Turning Archive 2007

Hunter vs. Eliminator

russ Fairfield
>The following is my answer to the question about the difference between the rwo hollowing tools. Others may have different opinions.

I have 2 sizes of Mike Hunter's tools and one of Jack McDaniel's "Eliminator" tools. Either one is superior to a ring tool, a termite, or one of the hooded tools for cutting dry or wet end grain wood. The cutting action is similar but there is no clogging and no sharpening. I made goblets for Christmas last year and gave the Hunter tool a good workout. I have used it a lot more as a hand-held tool than the Eliminator, so my opinion may be biased. These are small open forms that are no more than 3" to 4" deep. I lost track of their number after 40, and I am still cutting with the same spot on the tool. So it does last a long time.

I acquired an Eliminator earlier this year, and have had a chance to use it on similar dry wood. There is little difference in how the tool cuts. The real difference is in the handle. It is a 3/4" diameter shaft that has a long taper down to the cutter, and there are 2 flats along the shaft to make holding the tool at 45-degrees a no-brainer. The smaller diameter and the larger diameter shaft should make for easier and deeper cutting, but I didn't find that to be the case. The long taper negates any effect of the larger diameter shaft, and in the end I cannot cut any deeper with the Eliminator than I can with the Hunter.

The longer shank on the Eliminator means I can use it without a handle if I were so inclined, but the shorter Hunter tool requires a habdle. My handle of prederence is either the long or short handles that Oneway sells. I have used both, and prefer the shorter one.

For serious deep hollowing, either hand-held or with a captured system, the better option is a short Hunter tool with a 3/8" shaft stuck into the end of a Stewart Omni or other straight bar that has a hole drilled in the end and a set-screw to hold the tool bit. This gets the larger diameter shaft out near the cutting tool where it can do some good. I have been up to 12" over the tool rest with this tool in dry Maple burl and it cuts fine.

Hunter also makes a version of his cutter that can be attached to the Srewart Hooker tool, most of the Don Pencil tools, and probably any other tool that you can come up with that has a replaceable tip.

Bottom Line:
As a hand-held tool, which you prefer is a personal choice because there is little difference between the Eliminator and the Hunter. There may be specific applications where one may be preferred over the other, such as the goblets where I prefer the Hunter.

The Hunter is the only one (that I know of) that has the option of being used with another hollowing system.

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