Amazing I stumbled onto this today.
I have a makins. Loved it. BUT.... only after I attached a LONG extension to the handle making it easier to crank.
Well last Friday, the day before a big craft fair and me frantically trying to finish a few pieces, the blasted thing broke. Sounds like the same problem someone else here had? Little brass screw fell out of the end cap so you turn and turn and nothing happens.
I bought the Willow creek one and YUCK! Though their crank handle is nicer than the one makins comes with, it's not as good as my altered big one.
And.... the plunger piece has a simple rubber O ring around it that FALLS OFF!!!! Leaving most of the clay smooshed inside the barrel. Now I think I can probably clean that piece real good and GLUE the O ring in place. So I'll keep it.
But... I contacted Makins and got a REAL nice guy replying. Shocked the heck out of me since the thing is made in China. But he seems very interested in feedback and said the company has plans to improve. That would be nice. He also told me they designed it with light weight aluminum "so crafters can transport it easier." Ok I ask you. How many of us clay nuts actually worry about transporting our extruders?
I've looked at the big one on oh heck. Polymerclayexpress??? (Could be wrong. It's in my bookmarks somewhere.) BUT... that one has a trigger handle like a big caulking gun. And I've already read lots of grumblings about how hard it is to use. So phoey on that.
I'm going to keep in touch with this guy at Makins and make several suggestions.
Better handle for one. use better materials. I'd be willing to pay for it.
Redesign the whole screw thing. It's too small and cheap to push stiff clay no matter how well conditioned it is.
Oh that's another point he made. The makins extruder was made to be used with makins clay which I guess is much softer than fimo, premo, kato, sculpy. But he knows everyone uses those clays.
Lets cross our fingers that they actually do listen. We need better tools....
Now.... seems these boards have changed? Lets see if my old signature code works here.
sigh... guess not. Maybe this will do.