Mokerson

VB Tools worth their price?

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So... I've been buying VB tools for a few months now, as I need something I will order it and so far I have had no complaints.  They have been solid, the finish has been an improvement over the stuff I have been using and I have had no complaints.  I have mostly picked up cutting tools, hammers and dividers so far, and I have felt they were a good product for the price I paid.  I just got in some edge bevelers though and I have to admit (still being a noob to leather work I don't have an extensive point of reference relating to the various tool mfrs.) when I unpacked them I was sure that they had sent me the wrong product.  The fit and finish on these tools are really lacking!  While I don't know if the comparable Tandy tools cut better or worse, they certainly look like they were better made and assembled.  There is no consistency in the location of the groove on the bevelers, none of them are in the center of the tool, there are huge grooves and gouges from the making process with little attempt made to clean them up and make them into a presentable, finished tool.  The ferules have burr's on them and just generally do not look like they came from the same place the rest of the VB tools I have.  Is this normal for VB?  I was considering ordering a set of oblong punches from them as well, but after seeing how they treated the steel on the bevelers I am expecting a very similar approach to a set of these punches.  I am ordering a set of Montana bevelers to replace the VB ones I just got, but any advice or insight into the oblong punches would be appreciated.  Like most here I suspect, I am a bit of a tool collector but in the end the tool needs to perform the job well, and how it looks is of little importance to how it performs, but for the price I would like to think that they can produce a tool that looks finished AND does the job it was made for.

This said if I am missing the mark here due to inexperience please let me know, if not would love to hear of any mfrs, foreign or domestic, that produce quality oblong punches.  Have done a few searches on the punches and haven't found much, I see Weavers name mentioned but no first hand endorsement or dings on their product.

Thanks in advance.

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I can’t really speak to the quality of Vergez Blanchard tools but a new crop of companies from Asia are really changing the game. 

To name a few:

KS Blades: for stitching chisels and punches

Feng Tools: for edgers 

Nash Anonymous:  for awls 

Nobuyoshi:  for Japanese skiving knives

Wuta:  for creasing irons and stitching chisels

I highly recommend any of these for their performance, fit and finish and many of them are cheaper than their Blanchard counterpart. 

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+1 for Wuta. I just got a nice order in from them. I think I'll post a thread tonight about them. I have always gotten good service from them.

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They may have been worth it at one time since they were the best you could get, but there has been many new entrants and these new entrants are arguably much better than VB. So on a relative basis, I'd say they are not worth the price at all.

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You would think companies like VB would stand up and take notice of these sort of conversations, but I think not or they wouldn't be shipping out the product they do.  If they don't, I hear another bell tolling.  Bye Bye Dixon, Bye Bye George Barnsley and Sons, etc.  I know this isn't the sole reason for these companies becoming defunct, but it sure is making them non-relevant.  

YinTx

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Well until recently, China was no threat to these higher quality companies. 

But, that has changed. They have access to better steel and equipment these days. And are approaching the retail market directly. Before they were subcontractors building to the cheapest price point for a said company.

 

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Agreed, but it isn't just China making higher quality tools, leather and other equipment.  Japan, Korea and others are tapping that market effectively.  I think KS Blade Punch is South Korean.

YinTx

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Not much fun punching a slot with an oblong punch, and discovering it was actually an "oval" punch, and wider at one end than the other. If I wanted a tapered punch, I'd buy a tapered punch!

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10 minutes ago, alpha2 said:

Not much fun punching a slot with an oblong punch, and discovering it was actually an "oval" punch, and wider at one end than the other. If I wanted a tapered punch, I'd buy a tapered punch!

This happen to you?  What brand did that to you?

YinTx

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47 minutes ago, YinTx said:

Agreed, but it isn't just China making higher quality tools, leather and other equipment.  Japan, Korea and others are tapping that market effectively.  I think KS Blade Punch is South Korean.

YinTx

Right, I just thought they were a great example, because we have been dogging them by name for 50 years.

Kizer Cutlery is another company that is out of China making great products. I think I have 5 of their pocket knives. I don't think I'll ever need another pocket knife.

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6 hours ago, Webicons said:

I can’t really speak to the quality of Vergez Blanchard tools but a new crop of companies from Asia are really changing the game. 

To name a few:

KS Blades: for stitching chisels and punches

Feng Tools: for edgers 

Nash Anonymous:  for awls 

Nobuyoshi:  for Japanese skiving knives

Wuta:  for creasing irons and stitching chisels

I highly recommend any of these for their performance, fit and finish and many of them are cheaper than their Blanchard counterpart. 

Webicons, thanks for the list.  It is a great starting point for folks like me.  Any idea where to find info on Feng and Nash Anonymous?

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1 hour ago, YinTx said:

This happen to you?  What brand did that to you?

YinTx

It was brand T. I just started punching a hole and cutting out the leather between the holes. Not happy with that method though. It's fraught with peril...one little slip and it is trash.

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2 hours ago, Mokerson said:

Webicons, thanks for the list.  It is a great starting point for folks like me.  Any idea where to find info on Feng and Nash Anonymous?

They both can be found and contacted through Instagram:

Feng Tools

https://www.instagram.com/feng_tools

Nash Anonymous 

https://www.instagram.com/nash_anonymous

Note:

Feng offers two different types of steel for his edgers XW42 and M390.  The upcharge for the M390 is worth it.  I use it several times a week for six months and only recently needed to sharpen them (and edgers are a PITA to sharpen).

Nash offers fully customizable awls and knives.  I ordered a special awl with a longer stickout.  No issues and charged the same price.  They are laser sharp.  Goes through 10oz veg tan like butter.

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3 minutes ago, Webicons said:

They both can be found and contacted through Instagram:

Feng Tools

https://www.instagram.com/feng_tools

Nash Anonymous 

https://www.instagram.com/nash_anonymous

Note:

Feng offers two different types of steel for his edgers XW42 and M390.  The upcharge for the M390 is worth it.  I use it several times a week for six months and only recently needed to sharpen them (and edgers are a PITA to sharpen).

Nash offers fully customizable awls and knives.  I ordered a special awl with a longer stickout.  No issues and charged the same price.  They are laser sharp.  Goes through 10oz veg tan like butter.

Ugh... not social media, what happened to the good old days where everyone had a website?  :)  Appreciate the info, I'll check them out for sure.

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Here are a few of my favorite things (from Asia):

Nobuyoshi skiving knives/plane (Japan) Note: they are not much to look at but the Aogami Super steel is top notch and will hold an edge like no other.

Feng edgers (China)

Wuta creasers (China)

Nash Anonymous awl (Hong Kong)

KSBlades stitching chisels (Korea)

 

43D7EEE7-5B34-47A4-BC01-7ECD960A49A5.jpeg

Edited by Webicons

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41 minutes ago, Webicons said:

Here are a few of my favorite things (from Asia):

Nobuyoshi skiving knives/plane (Japan) Note: they are not much to look at but the Aogami Super steel is top notch and will hold an edge like no other.

Feng edgers (China)

Wuta creasers (China)

Nash Anonymous awl (Hong Kong)

KSBlades stitching chisels (Korea)

 

43D7EEE7-5B34-47A4-BC01-7ECD960A49A5.jpeg

I haven't ordered the creasers yet. You're pretty happy with them?

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8 hours ago, bikermutt07 said:

I haven't ordered the creasers yet. You're pretty happy with them?

Hey Mutt - Yes.  Very happy with them.  It took a while to get used to them, especially around tight corners but love them now.  

I have the 1.5 and 2.0 spaced versions and they do the trick for 95% of what I do.  They’re comfortable and hold the heat well.  

It seems that Wuta changes their pricing according to the venue so look around.  You can get free shipping on a lot of their tools but it takes 20 days+.  I always opt for expedited shipping which is about 7 days but cost around 18 bucks.  

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On February 13, 2018 at 11:15 AM, Mokerson said:

So... I've been buying VB tools for a few months now, as I need something I will order it and so far I have had no complaints.  They have been solid, the finish has been an improvement over the stuff I have been using and I have had no complaints.  I have mostly picked up cutting tools, hammers and dividers so far, and I have felt they were a good product for the price I paid.  I just got in some edge bevelers though and I have to admit (still being a noob to leather work I don't have an extensive point of reference relating to the various tool mfrs.) when I unpacked them I was sure that they had sent me the wrong product.  The fit and finish on these tools are really lacking!  While I don't know if the comparable Tandy tools cut better or worse, they certainly look like they were better made and assembled.  There is no consistency in the location of the groove on the bevelers, none of them are in the center of the tool, there are huge grooves and gouges from the making process with little attempt made to clean them up and make them into a presentable, finished tool.  The ferules have burr's on them and just generally do not look like they came from the same place the rest of the VB tools I have.  Is this normal for VB?  I was considering ordering a set of oblong punches from them as well, but after seeing how they treated the steel on the bevelers I am expecting a very similar approach to a set of these punches.  I am ordering a set of Montana bevelers to replace the VB ones I just got, but any advice or insight into the oblong punches would be appreciated.  Like most here I suspect, I am a bit of a tool collector but in the end the tool needs to perform the job well, and how it looks is of little importance to how it performs, but for the price I would like to think that they can produce a tool that looks finished AND does the job it was made for.

This said if I am missing the mark here due to inexperience please let me know, if not would love to hear of any mfrs, foreign or domestic, that produce quality oblong punches.  Have done a few searches on the punches and haven't found much, I see Weavers name mentioned but no first hand endorsement or dings on their product.

Thanks in advance.

Did you try offering feedback to VB?  Tell them of your displeasure?  

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