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Stepless Adjustment Circular Cutter DSPIAE Catalogue # HRC64~75 Available from Breveco Modelling for €67,50 I was recently lucky enough to be sent the Thinnerline circular cutter for test. If you don’t know what these tools do, then it’s quite simple…they allow the modeller to cut out discs in masking paper and very thin plasticard etc. from around 1mm to 50mm in diameter. Having found the Thinnerline an amazing tool, I couldn’t turn down the offer to try out the brand new DSPIAE tool kindly sent to me for review from the Netherlands, by Corien and Evert from Breveco Modelling. DSPIAE’s new Stepless Adjustment Circular Cutter (long name!) comes in a very attractive, robust and heavy box whose quality is pretty reminiscent of the way Apple packages its products. The box lid contains a line drawing illustration of the circle cutter, and the edge of the box has a unique 16-didgit identifier that you can use to verify that this is a genuine DSPIAE product, and not a counterfeit. Certain elements of our hobby have succumbed to piracy, so this is a very nice touch. The only thing I can pick up on is that the box lid states the minimum size is 1mm, whilst the maximum is 7.8! I am pretty sure that this is more like 50mm. The lid is a seriously snug fit, and once you overcome the suction when you remove it, you’ll find a removable tray with foam cut-outs. This contains three different cutting tools in their own plastic box, tool assembly components and a screwdriver. Yes, you will need to assemble this cutter, but it won’t take more than a few minutes. For information, the tray lid tells you the cutting angle for each blade. These are colour-coded for ease of recognition. Assembly After lifting out the tray, you will find a foam-backed instruction card, with everything clearly shown in line drawing format. The cutter is assembled in six easy stages. Unlike the Thinnerline tool which is essentially based upon a bearing, with internal parts, the DSPIAE tool is also enveloped in an aluminium case that protects the bearing. This is machined in high quality material and has a red/crimson appearance to it, applied probably through anodization. The sharp corners are then machined at 45 degrees, exposing the metal again. Very attractive indeed. The two-part aluminium housing is now bolted to the exterior of the bearing, and tightened with the supplied tools. Four grub screws are now applied, securing the bearing so it doesn’t slide. Don’t fasten these too tight. They only need to nip. Now the adjuster and gauge are fitted. I did find a washer left over and a small neodymium magnet. They aren’t on the instructions. Use After fitting the blade into the tool (yellow 45 degrees) and adjusting its position, I dial the size of circle I want into the cutter, and the cutter is sat on a sheet of masking paper. I then use the small handle to turn the inner bearing and a perfect circle is cut. It really is that simple. The gauge works so that the close to the centre of the bearing you adjust the pointer, the smaller the mask. Move it outwards towards the circumference, and your masks are larger. The cutting tools are amazingly sharp and should be kept in their plastic protectors when not in use. Conclusion Does exactly what it was designed to do, and flawlessly. An amazingly high quality tool for which you will find endless masking applications in your hobby, from wheel hubs to inner radius curves for canopies etc. You really should treat yourself! My sincere thanks to Breveco Modelling for the opportunity to try out this new tool. To buy it directly, click HERE.
Photo Etched Parts Bender DSPIAE Catalogue # AT-PB Available from Breveco Modelling for €69.50 There are some really good photo-etch bending tools on the market, with my personal preference thus far being the 5.5 inch Hold and Fold from The Small Shop. I’ve used numerous different folders over the last year, some being good and some being a little iffy, in my personal opinion. I suppose it was only a matter of time before Chinese tool manufacturer, DSPIAE, released their own into their high-quality tools range, and here is that very tool. DSPIAE tools are packed into robust and attractive boxes of MDF construction, with rather random Aztec-style imagery that really doesn’t bear any relation to the product within. Still, there’s no faulting the presentation, along with the excellent packing that can be used to safely store the tools for many years to come. The box states that the contents within, or at least some of them, are a result of high-pressure forging. The box sides show the parts included within the tool set, plus the ID Code used to identify this as a genuine DSPIAE tool and not a pirated copy, with this latter being something that even the respectable Chinese companies have had to do to separate themselves from their more unscrupulous countryfolk. Taking a look at the back of the box, we see some general product information and rationale for specific product design choices. Got to love the inclusion of the Ghostbusters logo! Lift that heavy lid and you’re already getting a thank you from the company for your tool purchase decision. Another product authenticity check is included in the form of a Q-Code that can be scanned with an appropriate app on a smartphone. This red packaging is actually a sleeve that contains one of the tools working tables, as named by the manufacturer. Yes, this PE bender has a choice of two working tables, and the one in this sleeve is manufactured from a shot-blasted piece of anodized aluminium that has a sort of graphite colour to it. This is also protected by a foam cut-out within the sleeve. On the rear of the sleeve is a little more of the same product information we saw on the rear of the box, alongside line drawings of the product. One thing that can never be criticised with DSPIAE is their packaging. The tool and parts within the box are sat in foam cut-outs with another insert being used to span the area between the bending plate release knobs. A silica gel sachet is included to prevent any moisture damage. With other PE benders, I’ve been used to a metal blade to assist folding any of the longer bent edges. Unusually, with this tool, the folding tool (or bending plate as described by DSPIAE), is constructed from clear acrylic sheet which has been neatly and evenly ground down to a wedge end, and with a black plastic cap strip along the other edge. In fact, they actually supply two folding tools here, with one of them being quite short in relation to the main folder. It remains to be seen how these bear up to continued use as opposed to a metal item but remember that it’s not much effort is generally needed to make these bends, and you aren’t pushing and grinding these parts together. More rationale for product design is also given on a foam insert, and also some information on how the tool is used. Time to get our hands dirty and take a closer look at this. No doubt, this tool must surely win a prize for the most beautifully finished and aesthetically pleasing tool that will end up on your workbench. The main bed of the PE bender is machined from high-grade aluminium which has been finished in black anodising and has a recess into which the switchable working tables will fit. Four hex-key screws hold the default working table in place. Unlike the shot-blasted, anodised aluminium plate that was packed into the sleeve, this plate is constructed of stainless steel and has a high mirror finish that was a little difficult to capture clearly in my photography. The bending face is constructed from more high-grade aluminium, this time anodised in the companies trademark red colour. This has more bending options than my default 5.5inch Hold and Fold, with the various shaped being precisely machines, as with the US-equivalent tool. Two knurled knobs hold down this pate onto the working table, with the plate itself being sprung-loaded. The being plate can also be lifted off and turned around 180 degrees so that the long straight edge is the principle bending face. This unit is also larger (and heavier) than my usually tool. The larger size does account for that generally, but the stainless working table adds to this, unlike my usual tool which is simply a two-part item which is also sprung-loaded. DSPIAE’s tool has a length of 177mm and a width of 91mm. Note here the smaller machined bending locations that can be used in conjunction with dowel or metal rods/drill shanks. A hex key is also supplied for you to tighten the threaded knob screws, should they ever come loose. Here you can see the difference in the working tables. There is some notation about the mirror finish being easier to scratch (obviously) but that won’t impair the quality of the tool and how it works. I think the choice between these two items is more one of personal choice than how the tool actually works. If you ever inadvertently damage one of these, then at least you’ll have a backup. To help maintain that mirror finish and keep things clean, a neat polishing cloth is also included, as are a set of sticky feet made by 3M. In the same wallet are the two hex-keys that we’ve seen in use in this review. Aluminium or mirror-finished working plate, the choice is up to you! Here you can also see the bending face turned around 180 degrees. Conclusion An extremely robust and high-quality tool with unusually high levels of beauty for a functional item. The two choices of working table are a nice touch, and the large overall size of the tool lends itself to some of those longer folds that we something see in our photo-etch parts sets. It’ll be interesting to see how the acrylic folding tools hold up under use, but these can be swapped for something else, should the need arise. The folding tool I got in my 5.5inch Hold and Fold eventually started to rust, so that wasn’t perfect, and I really didn’t want to look at introducing oil to things, especially when I have to paint the folded parts later! Perhaps acrylic is an inspired choice in that respect. Overall, a stunning new release from DSPIAE and one which, cost-wise, is about on par with other contemporary releases from other companies, but with those little extras thrown in for good measure. Very highly recommended. My sincere thanks to Breveco Modelling for the sample seen in this review. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.