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....because they charge $35!

Joanne Fabrics has round nose pliers for about $8!

https://www.joann.com/cousin-round-nose-precision-comfort-tool/2090249.html#q=round%2Bnose%2Bpliers&start=1

I guarantee they work just as well!

grin


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There are a lot of tools that can be used for piano work which are cheaper from normal chains of supply.


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What about those of us with elliptical noses?

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When you compare the photos of the two products, the ones on Vanda King are clearly much more robustly built. One is built in Germany with thicker steel. The other is built in China with thinner steel. There is a price differential there. There are differences in the handles too. The Vanda pliers have rubberised handles which adhere closely to the steel and resist spinning. The cheap ones have plastic folded handles which tend to rotate after a while, and they are thicker and more cumbersome for precision work. I suspect the Vanda ones are built to last a lot longer and flex less when twisting piano strings - given they are sold for that purpose. In short, I can see why the price differential exists.

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"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." John Ruskin

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Originally Posted by ando
When you compare the photos of the two products, the ones on Vanda King are clearly much more robustly built. One is built in Germany with thicker steel. The other is built in China with thinner steel. There is a price differential there. There are differences in the handles too. The Vanda pliers have rubberised handles which adhere closely to the steel and resist spinning. The cheap ones have plastic folded handles which tend to rotate after a while, and they are thicker and more cumbersome for precision work. I suspect the Vanda ones are built to last a lot longer and flex less when twisting piano strings - given they are sold for that purpose. In short, I can see why the price differential exists.

I have the cheaper pair, and the handles look pretty much the same as the Vanda King ones.

It's a simple pair of pliers, not a space ship going to the moon! The machining looks totally
fine on my pair, and I'm sure they would last just as long as the German pair.

Also, the German pliers don't have the springs that open the jaws, which
means they would be harder to use than the cheaper pair that I have.


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Originally Posted by Musicdude
Originally Posted by ando
When you compare the photos of the two products, the ones on Vanda King are clearly much more robustly built. One is built in Germany with thicker steel. The other is built in China with thinner steel. There is a price differential there. There are differences in the handles too. The Vanda pliers have rubberised handles which adhere closely to the steel and resist spinning. The cheap ones have plastic folded handles which tend to rotate after a while, and they are thicker and more cumbersome for precision work. I suspect the Vanda ones are built to last a lot longer and flex less when twisting piano strings - given they are sold for that purpose. In short, I can see why the price differential exists.

I have the cheaper pair, and the handles look pretty much the same as the Vanda King ones.

It's a simple pair of pliers, not a space ship going to the moon! The machining looks totally
fine on my pair, and I'm sure they would last just as long as the German pair.

Also, the German pliers don't have the springs that open the jaws, which
means they would be harder to use than the cheaper pair that I have.
That's not really provable though, is it? You only bought one pair. We'll have to see how you go with them over the next few years, I suppose. I hope it works out for you. I've learned that if I'm investing in tools that I'm going to use for a long time, not to take the cheapest option. If it's something I'll rarely use, I don't mind going cheaper.

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I am more likely to lose a tool like that in someone's piano than to wear it out. In fact, I did that once. A trip to the local hardware store fixed that. So a lot of my tools come from the hardware store.


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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Musicdude
Originally Posted by ando
When you compare the photos of the two products, the ones on Vanda King are clearly much more robustly built. One is built in Germany with thicker steel. The other is built in China with thinner steel. There is a price differential there. There are differences in the handles too. The Vanda pliers have rubberised handles which adhere closely to the steel and resist spinning. The cheap ones have plastic folded handles which tend to rotate after a while, and they are thicker and more cumbersome for precision work. I suspect the Vanda ones are built to last a lot longer and flex less when twisting piano strings - given they are sold for that purpose. In short, I can see why the price differential exists.

I have the cheaper pair, and the handles look pretty much the same as the Vanda King ones.

It's a simple pair of pliers, not a space ship going to the moon! The machining looks totally
fine on my pair, and I'm sure they would last just as long as the German pair.

Also, the German pliers don't have the springs that open the jaws, which
means they would be harder to use than the cheaper pair that I have.
That's not really provable though, is it? You only bought one pair. We'll have to see how you go with them over the next few years, I suppose. I hope it works out for you. I've learned that if I'm investing in tools that I'm going to use for a long time, not to take the cheapest option. If it's something I'll rarely use, I don't mind going cheaper.

There isn't much difference between an over-priced hammer, and a cheaper one.
Same thing for pliers: They are simple tools. No need for ultra-precision.

I bought these round-nose pliers for splicing bass strings, which I haven't
had to do in 7 years of part-time tuning work.

But now I am READY! grin


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Additionally, Howard Piano has a professional quality pair
of round-nose pliers for about $10:

https://www.howardpianoindustries.com/round-nose-pliers/

And this pair includes springs that open the jaws, making them
easier to use.

VANDA KING'S IS A RIP-OFF.


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Originally Posted by Musicdude
VANDA KING'S IS A RIP-OFF.

What, did they insult your family or something? Seems a pretty random PSA.
I’ve ordered several covers through this vendor, and have always gotten good service. They even remade a custom cover for me once when I wasn’t completely satisfied with it.


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VANDA KING'S IS A RIP-OFF.[/quote]

I read this entire thread and I don't understand this statement. I have used Vande King and have not found this to be true. Just because you can find a tool for less money somewhere doesn't mean the higher priced tool is a rip-off. As pointed out by several people there are various reasons a tool is higher priced at various outlets.

One thing we don't want happening is for a piano supply house to go out of business. I thought it was a sad day when Ford Piano Supply went out of business.


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Originally Posted by Tim Coates
I read this entire thread and I don't understand this statement. I have used Vande King and have not found this to be true. Just because you can find a tool for less money somewhere doesn't mean the higher priced tool is a rip-off. As pointed out by several people there are various reasons a tool is higher priced at various outlets.

One thing we don't want happening is for a piano supply house to go out of business. I thought it was a sad day when Ford Piano Supply went out of business.

Ok, maybe I was a bit harsh! Vanda King obviously has some satisfied
customers. And maybe their other inventory is reasonably priced.

But not their round-nose pliers. $35 for a pair of pliers is over-priced.
A pair of pliers doesn't need ultra-precise machining to function well.

Last edited by Musicdude; 07/01/20 08:20 PM.

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Originally Posted by Musicdude
Originally Posted by Tim Coates
I read this entire thread and I don't understand this statement. I have used Vande King and have not found this to be true. Just because you can find a tool for less money somewhere doesn't mean the higher priced tool is a rip-off. As pointed out by several people there are various reasons a tool is higher priced at various outlets.

One thing we don't want happening is for a piano supply house to go out of business. I thought it was a sad day when Ford Piano Supply went out of business.

Ok, maybe I was a bit harsh! Vanda King obviously has some satisfied
customers. And maybe their other inventory is reasonably priced.

But not their round-nose pliers. $35 for a pair of pliers is over-priced.
A pair of pliers doesn't need ultra-precise machining to function well.

You need to factor in how a business operates. If Vanda bought a bunch of premium pliers at $25 a piece, they are going to want to on-sell them at some sort of profit. They may have also researched them as having a market value of $35 based on identical product sold elsewhere. They will try to do so as long as they are managing to sell them and it is a part of their product range that justifies the effort. If your cheap pliers are siphoning off enough of their premium plier business, they'll drop down a few tiers and some cheap ones - maybe alongside the premium ones, or as a replacement for the premium ones. But if you have inventory of a product, the point of business is to sell it for more than it cost you to acquire it. I would suggest that the wholesale price of these pliers is a lot more than the retail price of the set you bought. A lot of people unreasonably expect businesses to simply price everything based on what competitors are doing, but that doesn't take into account their costs of doing business and what their specific products cost to buy. In the modern world we've also become quite averse to paying money for things. Most people want bargain basement prices for everything, but not everybody is in that game. There are other metrics beyond price. And as for the statement that $35 for a pair of pliers is overpriced. I wonder how much a set of pliers at NASA costs? Medical pliers? There are different levels of product.

I have about 5 sets of various pointy nosed pliers at home, I can easily tell which ones are the expensive ones and which ones are the cheap ones. With the cheap ones, there is a lot more flex and splaying in the prongs when applying heavy twisting forces to them. The expensive ones are much more stable and apply more constant and controllable force. It doesn't matter for some purposes, it does for others. When it matters, I always grab my good pliers. I suspect the Vanda pliers have a much higher ceiling in their capabilities when the forces become greater. If you don't exceed the limits of your pliers, and they continue to perform well, you have chosen your pliers wisely. If you break them one day, you might be wishing you had a set of Vanda pliers! wink

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Originally Posted by ando
You need to factor in how a business operates. If Vanda bought a bunch of premium pliers at $25 a piece, they are going to want to on-sell them at some sort of profit. They may have also researched them as having a market value of $35 based on identical product sold elsewhere. They will try to do so as long as they are managing to sell them and it is a part of their product range that justifies the effort. If your cheap pliers are siphoning off enough of their premium plier business, they'll drop down a few tiers and some cheap ones - maybe alongside the premium ones, or as a replacement for the premium ones. But if you have inventory of a product, the point of business is to sell it for more than it cost you to acquire it. I would suggest that the wholesale price of these pliers is a lot more than the retail price of the set you bought. A lot of people unreasonably expect businesses to simply price everything based on what competitors are doing, but that doesn't take into account their costs of doing business and what their specific products cost to buy. In the modern world we've also become quite averse to paying money for things. Most people want bargain basement prices for everything, but not everybody is in that game. There are other metrics beyond price. And as for the statement that $35 for a pair of pliers is overpriced. I wonder how much a set of pliers at NASA costs? Medical pliers? There are different levels of product.

I have about 5 sets of various pointy nosed pliers at home, I can easily tell which ones are the expensive ones and which ones are the cheap ones. With the cheap ones, there is a lot more flex and splaying in the prongs when applying heavy twisting forces to them. The expensive ones are much more stable and apply more constant and controllable force. It doesn't matter for some purposes, it does for others. When it matters, I always grab my good pliers. I suspect the Vanda pliers have a much higher ceiling in their capabilities when the forces become greater. If you don't exceed the limits of your pliers, and they continue to perform well, you have chosen your pliers wisely. If you break them one day, you might be wishing you had a set of Vanda pliers! wink

Sure, there are poorly made pliers, but the one I bought from Joanne
is a solid pair. It will last, especially since I will only use it to splice
bass strings.

Vanda is over-charging for round-nose pliers.


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This is a little like condemning the gas station that is selling fuel .10 - .20 more than the station down the street. We say they're ripping us off. POSSIBLY they are, but if it is simply a matter that their last truckload of fuel happened to be much more expensive than the last truckload of fuel their competitor purchased at...well it could be as simple as that. Once they exhaust all of that and buy at a better price they become more competitive. In the end, it is the consumers choice to buy at one place or the other.

That's my perspective on it. I have in fact sometimes (not always) internationally purchased the more expensive thing (whatever it is).

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Originally Posted by Musicdude
Vanda is over-charging for round-nose pliers.
You're over-reacting to the price of round-nose pliers. And you're refusing to engage in the finer details which might explain the difference in price. That pretty much ends the discussion.

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Originally Posted by P W Grey
This is a little like condemning the gas station that is selling fuel .10 - .20 more than the station down the street. We say they're ripping us off. POSSIBLY they are, but if it is simply a matter that their last truckload of fuel happened to be much more expensive than the last truckload of fuel their competitor purchased at...well it could be as simple as that. Once they exhaust all of that and buy at a better price they become more competitive. In the end, it is the consumers choice to buy at one place or the other.

That's my perspective on it. I have in fact sometimes (not always) internationally purchased the more expensive thing (whatever it is).

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Sometimes you get what you pay for, and sometimes you
get ripped off.

Things I would not buy the cheapest: Any kind of surgery, or dental
care, Automobiles, houses, etc.

But I won't pay $35 for a pair of pliers, that I will only use once
in a Blue Moon!


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