Letter to Fons & Porter


I bought the 3 pack of rotary blades (again). These were so stuck
together they
were impossible to separate. I tried using two hemostats after trying
to slide them
apart didn't work.I tried to wedge another blade between them. That
didn't work.
I really didn't want to end up telling this story in the Emergency
Room, so I threw
them down in frustration and walked away.
Then I got the bright idea to load the whole stuck-together mess into
the rotary cutter,
and cut fabric. They then collected enough fabric threads/lint it kind
of wedged them apart.
I generally don't take the time to write manufacturers over stuff like
this, but the more
I stewed about I realized how *dangerous* that is. And how hard would
it be to
place tissue or waxed paper between them during packaging??
So I wrote to Fons and Porter. (and I was sure to tell them that I
have loved every
F&P product I've bought -- except this one). They wrote back and told
me the
blades have oil on them, and all I had to do was put on some kind of
special
glove (which I don't own)..and slide them apart. Duh. These blades
were stuck
together until the atom bomb drops. They weren't sliding anywhere.
The last paragraph informed me that the proper method of loading the
blade into
my cutter was on the back of the package. Double duh.
Thanks for the vent. I'm on bloodthinners. There's no way I am buying
a F&P
three-pack again. I'm a klutz to begin with, and that's a combo for
disaster.
Thank you, kind folks, for allowing this vent. :-)
Sherry
Reply to
Sherry
oh dear, Sherry. i dont find their reply satisfactory at all. did they apologize? was it possible you got a defective package? did they even consider this as a possibility? did they offer to replace the package? on the off chance it was a bad one.
i would not accept their excuses or reasoning. tho to be fair i didnt actually read your letter or their response. maybe thats just me tho. i've never had those blades or bought anything from Fons and Porter. now i dont think i'll ever bother if that is the best they can do for customer service. i wonder did they even consider who you might pass this info on to considering we are in the 21st century and the internet allows us to communicate on a daily basis with quilters around the globe.
j.
"Sherry" wrote ... I bought the 3 pack of rotary blades (again). These were so stuck together they were impossible to separate. I tried using two hemostats after trying to slide them apart didn't work.I tried to wedge another blade between them. That didn't work. I really didn't want to end up telling this story in the Emergency Room, so I threw them down in frustration and walked away. Then I got the bright idea to load the whole stuck-together mess into the rotary cutter, and cut fabric. They then collected enough fabric threads/lint it kind of wedged them apart. I generally don't take the time to write manufacturers over stuff like this, but the more I stewed about I realized how *dangerous* that is. And how hard would it be to place tissue or waxed paper between them during packaging?? So I wrote to Fons and Porter. (and I was sure to tell them that I have loved every F&P product I've bought -- except this one). They wrote back and told me the blades have oil on them, and all I had to do was put on some kind of special glove (which I don't own)..and slide them apart. Duh. These blades were stuck together until the atom bomb drops. They weren't sliding anywhere. The last paragraph informed me that the proper method of loading the blade into my cutter was on the back of the package. Double duh. Thanks for the vent. I'm on bloodthinners. There's no way I am buying a F&P three-pack again. I'm a klutz to begin with, and that's a combo for disaster Thank you, kind folks, for allowing this vent. :-)
Sherry
Reply to
J*
I purchased a 5pack of blades and thought I had put one into my cuter only to find that he wasn't cutting true and had lots of threads like yours. I had even cut myself quite badly trying to find out what the problem was.
Like you I threw my cutter down in disgust and my OH said he would look at it - he is mechanically minded LOL - and said I had inserted two blades. He used his thick work gloves to slide them apart for me plus the other three as well.
I will never trust myself to do that again - it's a real pain in the bottom.
I would follow up with F&P, that is truly bad customer service. Your feedback was warranted but their attitude was not.
Maybe other F&P customers have had the same trouble. Mine were not, they were OLFA blades.
Reply to
DiMa
I approach a new pack of blades with such caution you would think I was reaching down the throat of one of the gators to see what he was choking on. I am afraid, very afraid. I've found that using the finger of a rubber glove or part of a wide rubber band will sort of grip/stick to the top blade and slide it away from the others. Polly
Reply to
Polly Esther
On Thu, 15 Jul 2010 00:55:14 -0500, Sherry wrote (in article ):
That does not sound like very good customer service. But I've been kind of down on F&P since I heard a rumor that they won't let customers use the bathrooms in their shop in IA.
Maureen
Reply to
Maureen Wozniak
Thank you for sharing this information! I have had good luck with Olfa blades, and am pleased to have a nice little stockpile of them tucked away. (Whenever I find a REALLY good sale on them I buy them -- last time was at Tuesday Morning.)
I find F and P stuff to be extremely over-priced and the quality to be not at all worth the difference. I never hesitate to pay more for better quality, but try not to be an idiot, and sometimes think F and P thinks we are idiots. Their response to you seems to prove it.
Reply to
Mary
I like the Fiskars brand myself. They seem to have less sticky oil on them when new and they seem to stay sharper longer for me. I get them at JoAnns when I get a coupon.
Diana - PA
Reply to
PhillyQuilter
The answers would be no, no, and no. We think alike. I sorta kinda thought they might entertain the possibility that this packaging was defective too. But no. Here's the actual letter they sent, copied & pasted below: I thought it was a little condescending. Like I had not *tried* already to "easily slide the blade off"??? Thanks for all your replies. So possibly I'm not just an idiot. :-)
Hi Sherry: With all cutting edges you have to be extremely careful. When they package the blades they put an oil in between each blade. What I do is remove the blades from the container and side the blade off. It will easily slide off the other blade. You might want to put on the klutz glove so you won't get cut. On the back of the packaging it will show you the correct way to put the blade on you cutter.
Reply to
Sherry
I agree. In this case, I had a 40% off coupon, and other shoppers had already beat me to the Olfa blades and bought them all. I'm not buying these again even if I do have a coupon.
Sherry
Reply to
Sherry
Ok, folks... First, let me be clear, I am NOT taking sides on this issue - just trying to help/offer a possible explanation/solution.
They package the blades in oil to prevent rusting from humid conditions. When this is done with very smooth surfaces, a vacuum can form between the blades, making them difficult to separate. However sliding them apart should not be all that difficult. Another possibility is that the package you got was very old, and the oil had dried out, which can make them seem like they're glued together.
If it were me, I would try loostening the oil by spraying some WD-40 (if you don't know, ask someone of the y-chromasome persuasion) between the edges, and let them sit overnight (might take less time) or immersing them in some sewing machine oil or penetrating oil (just enough to get some between the blades).
I can't guarantee this if the oil's *really* old, but that's what I'd try (and wipe off most of the excess oil and practice with the new blade to get it off the blade edge where it might stain fabric.
HTH,
Doc
Reply to
Dr. Zachary Smith
On Jul 15, 3:28=A0pm, "Dr. Zachary Smith" wrote:
I think you may be right, Doc. The little bit of oil that was on the blades was dark and kind of sticky. I had wondered even, if they had been on the shelf for a long time. My next plan actually was to immerse them in very hot water. I really don't know why. It just sounded like a good plan at the time. Sherry
Reply to
Sherry
Thanks for posting the tips on getting these blades apart. They give me shivers every time I have to put a new blade in.
And a note to Maureen. You are of the same mindset that I am...if you want my money, please have a restroom available. Actually, here in WI it's a state law. I was in an antique mall a few years back and their restroom had an "out of order/Employees only" sign on it. Made me so darn mad, I called the state building inspector and complained loudly. The next time I stopped in, the sign was gone, so he did his job. It just happened to me a week ago at a local store in my town. I'm still pondering if I should complain again. I know I won't be back to shop there.
Reply to
dealer83
Back when I was doing undergraduate physics, this was seen as a feature, not a bug.
If you wanted a surface that was absolutely black to reflected light, you'd use a stack of razor blades. Any light that hit those blade edges would get reflected inwards and lost in the cracks. Perfect black body. And it was easy to handle because the blades stayed in a solid block.
So, this is a phenomenon (desired or not) that people have known about for 40 years. Seems a good bet that 40 years ago they also realized you could make them easier to pull apart by putting sheets of paper in between the blades.
You get the same behaviour with stacks of art knife blades. I use those a lot. I've never bought multiple rotary cutter blades, but you'd think somebody might have worked out that unlike an art knife, a rotary blade doesn't have a blunt back you can safely push on.
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Jack Campin - bogus address
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Okay, X-acto blades are something I know about. I've had stitches in nearly all my fingers, and on the bottom of one foot from a 26 year career in pasteup art. I also learned that when you wear sandals, and drop an X-acto on that vein on the top of your foot, the blood squirts out like a geyser. But you're right about separating blades. I never cut myself doing that. The blunt end makes it easy. Thanks for the chuckle and the memories. Seems like another life. I'd rather be quilting! Sherry
Reply to
Sherry
Sherry,
Not a great idea; oil & water don't mix. Oil has different volatile components; some are "solvents" and common to many oils, and will loosten up the "sticky". Heat alone might work, but could also dry things out worse than they are; too much could even warp the blades.
Doc
Reply to
Dr. Zachary Smith
You sure you didn't just borrow that line from the old Microsoft Windows joke? "It's not a bug - it's an undocumented feature!" ;-) (Applies to EQ too...)
Or maybe physicists wrote the MS Windows joke...
Putting paper between the (rotary cutter) blades could cause more problems in the long run. In addition to cost (that some would be willing to pay but others not) if the oil dries, the stickiness would be even worse.
Blades are tools. The guys that design them (and how to package/store them) are tool guys. They know that the best way to keep a blade sharp and rust-free is with a light coating of oil. That knowledge goes back decades (at least). The problem could also be in how much oil they're using, but if they go too lightly, it'll dry out all the faster.
I really think the company tries to do the best they can. Nobody's perfect, and no company has much control over what happens after their products leave their control. Chalk this one up to the "stuff happens" bin, loosten those blades up with a little WD-40, or return/ exchange them. Then move on - life's too short!
Doc (Who also goes through a lot of blades of many kinds... except razor. 8^)>
No, but it does have a big honkin' flat surface area. Usually they slide apart fairly easily with a little opposing finger pressure.
Reply to
Dr. Zachary Smith
Talk about chuckles - the smartass in me says that sounds like you really *don't* know much about them (or how to use them safely). However my guess would be that most of those stitches were due to dull blades rather than sharp ones. One of the first rules of tools I ever learned in IA (Industrial Arts) was "A sharp tool is a safe tool". Statistically, most accidents do happen with dull, rather than sharp, tools.
Wow! Biology and Anatomy too!
Unless they're really old and the oil has dried out. I just threw a 20+ yr. old pkg. away rather than mess around with them because they're extremely cheap ($2/pkg of 5) and I have no idea where my can of WD-40 wandered off too... (probably hiding out with my roll of duct tape...)
Doc
Reply to
Dr. Zachary Smith
On Thu, 15 Jul 2010 18:48:35 -0500, dealer83 wrote (in article ):
Indeed, I can see why maybe a business wouldn't want every guy of the street to come in an use the restroom, but I'm there to spend money. Just makes sense that I'll stay longer if I'm comfortable.
Maureen
Reply to
Maureen Wozniak

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