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Crystal Tools

whizzer

Registered User
Mar 18, 2008
197
4
18
I'm about to enter the confusing world of crystal replacement. I understand the India made crystal presses are of acceptable quality and aluminum dies are to be preferred over plastic.
Are screw on aluminum dies to be preferred over snap on dies?
Most of the presses advertized don't mention maker or country of origin. Only distinguishing feature seems to be color.
How does one choose?
 

darrahg

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Dec 22, 2006
1,572
694
113
Houston
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Region
Choice might only be preference. I prefer the nylon pads over aluminum and snap on is quicker. My nylon pads screw on and I would prefer the snap on or press fit. I don't use the tool very often so ended up purchasing the blue one on the internet. I did have a preference on the shade (color) of the tool when shopping for some reason but can't think of it now. I do recall that the price varies quite a bit for the same item so shop around once you have made your decision on what to purchase.
 

everydaycats

Registered User
Aug 11, 2011
479
9
18
Mexico Beach, FL
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Choice might only be preference. I prefer the nylon pads over aluminum and snap on is quicker. My nylon pads screw on and I would prefer the snap on or press fit. I don't use the tool very often so ended up purchasing the blue one on the internet. I did have a preference on the shade (color) of the tool when shopping for some reason but can't think of it now. I do recall that the price varies quite a bit for the same item so shop around once you have made your decision on what to purchase.
I too have the blue internet special with nylon pads. Just my opinion, but I have trouble making it work. I've broken a couple crystals attempting replacement, so I always order a couple extras just in case. This is another task that with experience I suspect you could snap it in by hand easily.
 

Kevin Scott

Registered User
Aug 2, 2011
570
6
0
Country
I like the BB crystal press system which uses aluminum snap on dies. Don't see any advantage to screw in dies. And nylon or plastic dies can break. Impossible to damage the aluminum dies if used correctly.

Advantages of BB system:
1)Pretty common. Not hard to find used at a reasonable price. Been made since the 1960' or before? Also still being sold new. So you can expand or replace parts without too much trouble.
2)Well made, strong, easy to use.
3)Wide range of die sets are available for every type of crystal. Nice storage system. If a new type or size of crystal comes out like for these new ww cases with oversize movements , BB or someone else will make dies for it.
At one time I had three different systems to be able to do all types and sizes of crystals. A pain, and took up excess space. Now just have the BB system and and a crystal lift - installer for top load ww crystals.
4) I don't know of a better system at any price.

Disadvantages
1) Price. There are probably other systems that are cheaper.
 

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