Flex-I-File ALK03 Ninja Hyper Cut Saw 0.1 PRO-R
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Flex-I-File ALK03 Ninja Hyper Cut Saw 0.1 PRO-R|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Solid, well-built cutting-in saw for removing items in the middle of plastic moldings|
|Disadvantages:||Apparent high price|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended for all scratchbuilders and modelers who modify their kits|
One tool or set of tools all modelers have is a “razor saw”, usually a thin stainless steel or carbide steel blade less than 0.5 mm (0.020") thick for cutting plastic, brass, or wood. Many are about 5" long and can be used with a miter box. But there are times that specialty saws are needed.
Enter the specialty saws, right now mostly represented by “razor blade” saws that are the size of a double-edged razor blade. These fine toothed thin saws (usually about 0.1-0.15 mm thick) are handy for removing details or fine cuts in plastic or brass. But the saws are fragile and prone to blade snapping.
Several years ago Tamiya introduced a set of specialty shaped saw blades which were essentially a single fret of etched stainless steel blades in various shapes. They were thin 0.1 mm blades but short and only had serrations to hold on to at the rear of the blade, all of which were less than 50mm long. This caused cramping and also made them somewhat tedious to use as they would move around in the fingers.
Now Flex-I-File is offering a new line of “Ninja” saws from Japan which are handmade and use stainless steel. They come in several different blade designs of which this one has a radius blade. All have a stiffener on the top of the blade for durability.
I picked up this one at the IPMS USA 2015 Nationals at the Flex-I-File table and looked over all of the others that they offered. I chose this one as it is a tool I personally need as it is very good for “cutting in” – i.e., cutting into the middle of a section of plastic. In my case that is fine for removing things like hatches, engine decks and grills, and other parts that are replaced when either upgrading or backdating armor models.
The saw is extremely sharp and literally dangerous to remove from the package by the blade end - not recommended! Happily it comes with a 5" long permanently attached wood handle and according to the packing has a blade width of 0.1 mm and a pitch of 0.4 mm. The teeth run around the tip and end about 7 mm from the back edge of the blade.
Overall while it seems expensive these blades are noted as remaining sharp for a lifetime (if not bent or damaged by foolish use) and will work well with items like the UMM Micro Miter Box for cutting styrene or brass. I am looking forward to an easy-to-hold and use cutting-in saw!