Endangered Tools

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

Like the advancing thin edge of the wedge, it has come to my attention that several of our very favorite tools are no longer available, namely the very fine Utica Swiss-made PBL sprue cutters, both varieties. They are no longer on dealers' shelves, nor are they on P-B-L's website or product list. I suspect that with the weak dollar, PBL could not longer afford to import them, and the flooding of the modeling market with cheap Pakistan clones by Micro Mark did not help (the Micro Mark cutter WILL cut melted butter but nothing more substantial- making it as a replacement tool a pretty dear item).

Otto Frei has a similar Swiss cutter to the Swiss P-B-L varieties (Dumont No. 15A High Precision Carbon Steel Tweezers 157.312) at @$87; and Wiha has a German-made variety #49501- almost identical @$86, which gives some clue as to what values are involved for fine tools these days. .

Also noted is that in some Otto Frei listings, their outstanding, popular, and precise French- made brass-handle/steel-chuck miniature pin vise #23650 is either just "Out of Stock", or is no longer listed. I have made inquiry.

Although I do take extremely good care of tools (usually!), this certainly is a cautionary note to guard even more closely my P-B-Ls, reserving to cutting pliers any tasks calling for cutting any metals, no matter how small.

Also, once again, with regard to the MicroMark copy, I got exactly what I paid for- performance and quality commensurate with the cheap price. Caveat Emptor.


Denny S. Anspach, MD
Okoboji, Iowa

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