Latest Tools from UMM USA
By Matt Bittner
In my opinion, having the right set of tools for any job is a must. There are times when you look at a tool and think to yourself "what would I use that for?" Most times, if you think hard enough, you can come up with a multitude of applications a tool could be used for. There are times, though, when a specific tool is mean for a specific purpose. All three of these tools meets one at least of those critera.
The first tool I'm reviewing is the new Precision Sprue Cutter. This tool satisfies the caveat of a tool having a specific function. What makes these different than other sprue cutters I have used is the head, and the angle of the head. With these cutters you can get flush up against the part. While they are primarily to be used with smaller sprue gates and thinner material like photoetch frets, you can use them on larger gates. You'll just have to "chew" your way through the gate (while I have tried that successfully, I would still recommend using the UMM-USA JLC Saw for thick gates instead). With practice, you can cut parts from the sprue flush, leaving little-to-no residual left at all. That's where these cutters really shine.
The next tool from UMM-USA is the 5" Fine Point Slide Lock Tweezer. I can see a lot of uses for this, especially in one genre where I model in. Although I haven't tried it yet, I can see these being used to apply rigging to biplane models. Lock the rigging in the tweezer while you size the wire (if you use wire), and then when you're ready to apply, glue one end down, then slide the lock and open the ends to release the wire as the glue sets. This could really help once you get the process down. Even if you don't build biplanes, I can see multiple uses for these tweezers. Another tool I see being used quite frequently.
The last tool sent by UMM is their Micro Mitre Box II meant for their JLC Saw. In ages past, a model railroad company used to put out something like this (called something like "The Chopper") and it was used both by model railroaders and plastic modelers alike. What is great about this mitre box is the ability to accurately cut 45, 60 or 90 degree angles from any material you want. Another aspect that's great about this miter box is its small size, which means it's great to cut smaller material. If you need any type of sprue cut with those angles mentioned above, then you'll want this mitre box. Anyone can use it, especially scratch builders.
I feel all three tools are ones that should be added to your modeling tool chest. The tweezers and cutters for anyone; the mitre box for those needing to cut sprue accurately. I have no hesitation at all about recommending all three.
Huge, huge thanks to UMM-USA for sending these in to review.