Pro-Forme - Flexi hollower (Rating: 5)

I bought this tool some time ago, based on a recommendation I received from a good friend that does gallery class production turnings, and have been running it through it's paces. Now that I have it's measure, it is time to do a write up.

This tool is made in New Zealand - and definitely has excellent engineering and quality control. It arrived in first class condition well packaged and extremely well protected. The instruction book is a bit on the slim side…not enough diagrams on how to set up…but enough to give you an idea as to how it is assembled (and reassembled to make use of the flexible fingers). This is a very adaptable tool…and can be configured in multiple directions/formats.

The tool comes factory sharpened and very sharp. I did a fast hone to check the surface and it really didn't need it. The adjustment from the factory is pretty good….I played with it to see the different results (you can shorten or lengthen the cutter)...and the factory setting was pretty much right on.

There is a additional scraper set…fairly inexpensive and I would recommend it. The cutter comes unhandled…so you can use another manufacturer's, make your own…or purchase their handle - which I did at the time as I got it as a full kit. The handle is a compression type, you twist counter to loosen then insert the tool, twist to tighten…this way you can adjust the length to suit. The handle has nice padded grips and is very well made….heavy enough for the tool but light enough not to cause fatigue. I typically like my handles a bit longer and heavier…but I got used to this one very quickly.

I have turned several bowls, vessels and boxes using this cutter and it is very smooth….my other cutters (Sorby, Munro) tear the grain much more and cause me alot of work scraping the walls smooth…this cutter needs very little if any scraping (the scraper set that I got with this tool has mostly been used where I had to use other cutters or tools and hardly after hollowing with this one).

If you do not make your own tools, this is a very good hollower to purchase. So much better then the Sorby or any other set I have seen/used and moderately priced (it is not a cheap trinket made in bulk factories by cheap untrained laborers - and runs around the same price as the Sorby…Munro…etc). I find myself using this tool even more then the excellent one I crafted based on the one John Jordan uses. The 5 star rating is earned….they don't scrimp on quality and you can see it in the finished product. For anyone wanting a fine hollower, this is definitely one to consider.