Willard Tip Shaper
This is a handy little tool for shaping your tip. They come in two sizes, nickle and dime radius (I prefer nickle, but that is going to be personal preference). The tool itself is very well made and will never wear out and also has a nice little guide that will tell you if you have the right shape. It is small enough to fit in your pocket or case and also has a little hole that you can run a keychain through, etc. so having it on you at all times is a breeze.
The following is an image of the scuffer that you use to shape your tip. You basically put your tip into the middle of the scuffer and twist until you achieve the right shape. You use the guide to determine that. My recomendation is to twist a few times, blow out the residue, check the shape with the guide & repeat until you get the right shape.
The following is an image of the guide that you use to tell you if you have the right shape. If there is any gap between your tip and the guide, you have more shaping to do.
As for my review of the product, it’s ok. I personally find the shaper awkward to use and prefer others that are out there. My preference is the “Ultimate Tip Tool”, which will be reviewed in a seperate post. I find using the Willard Tip shaper is a bit awkward to try to hold in one hand while holding the cue in your other hand and try to shape the tip. My preference is for a shaper that you can put on the ground and place your tip in it while holding the cue vertically. The problem wth using this shaper in that way is that it has a “bulge” in the back of the shaper that makes it wobble if you try to use it this way and there is no real lip you can use to stabalize it on the floor.
While I can see the advantage of the compact size, this is also a bit problematic for me. I find this tool is always getting lost in the bottom of my case pocket and it seems that I always have to empty my case pocket completely to find it. I have tried hanging it off my bag using a keychain, but I found that I don’t really like stuff hanging off my bag.
What I tend to use this for more than anything is the radius guide. I typically use the ultimate tip tool to shape my tip and I use the Willard Tip Shaper’s guide to tell me that I have acheived the right shape. It’s a bit of a knock on both these products frankly, that I find the need to use two tools to shape my tip. One to shape it, the other to measure it.
So overall, I say this tool is “ok” and I have it in my case, but I am constantly on the lookout for an all in one shaper and guide measurer that can replace both of these tools in my bag with a single tool.