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#632677 - 01/10/02 02:09 AM Opinions on tuning hammers
BrianT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 17
Loc: South Africa
Hi folks,

I would like to ask you tuner/techs out there what your thoughts are on different tuning hammers, which is your best/worst hammer. Perhaps one could even rate the different brands,
Hale, Schaff, Renner, Watanabe, Itoshin, Trophy, and of course the student gooseneck (also Schaff i think).

Secondly can one purchase different heads for a trophy Hammer?

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#632678 - 01/11/02 08:04 AM Re: Opinions on tuning hammers
PNO2NER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 128
Loc: Traverse City, MI
Hi Brian: Tuning hammers are a very personal thing with technicians. Talk to 10 techs and you will get 10 different answers. Everyone has their favorites and will boost what they know. If you are looking to buy one, I would suggest the least expensive wrench to do the job you intend to do. If you will be using it daily on many different pianos, such as a professinal would do, you would want a high quality wrench with replaceable head and tips enabling use on a variety of instruments. If you are using it occasionally on one or two pianos, the student type with the fixed angle head and non-replaceable tip is fine. The length, shape and weight of tuning hammers are so varied, that one has to find his own favorite. That may take years, and $$ to settle on one you really like. Hope this helps.

#632679 - 01/11/02 08:29 AM Re: Opinions on tuning hammers
BrianT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 17
Loc: South Africa

Thanks for the reply, A year ago I decided I would like to tune pianos starting as a hobby. I have spent the last year just reading on the topic, including the entire PTG Archive, Reblitz and William Braid White.
(would make a change from Information Technology). I have spent time playing on my own piano (not tuned by me) to see if I can in fact discern beats to tune aurally. I have also loaded a copy of tunelab. After a year of learning as much as I can without enrolling in a course the desire to tune pianos has not gone away. I am at a point that I would like to try and actually tune a piano. I have masses of reading and head knowledge which I would like to put into practice. I don't know that I will ever be a first rate tuner, but I have little doubt I could be a good one. (if only for myself and the love of pianos). To do this I am ready to purchase my first tuning lever. That is why I asked specifically about the Trophy lever, It is the one I can most afford living in South Africa. Is it adequate. Can one purchase other heads for it.

With thanks for your time
PS. I have no illusion that this will be easy.

#632680 - 01/12/02 07:34 AM Re: Opinions on tuning hammers
PNO2NER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 128
Loc: Traverse City, MI
Hi Brian: Congratulations on embarking on a new career! Its very rewarding, and really lots of fun. I have no knowledge of the Trophy brand of tuning wrench, have never heard of the make,but if it is easily available to you, it may be fine. It might be time for you to become acquainted with others in the field near you. You can gain a wealth of knowledge from a mentor, there are also South African members of the Piano Technicians Guild, and possibly other local groups which could be helpful. Working one-on-one with another is a good way to speed up the learning process. There is no reason you cannot become a first-rate tuner/technician. Set your goals high and work toward them. Stay with it and Good Luck!!

#632681 - 01/12/02 11:50 AM Re: Opinions on tuning hammers
BrianT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 17
Loc: South Africa
Thank you PNO2NER, both for your advice and encouragement. I have been in touch with a local RPT (he tunes my piano, since I don't want to mess up the instrument I play on) I will get a second piano for that, at least until I get good at it.


#632682 - 01/22/02 09:42 PM Re: Opinions on tuning hammers
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
I highly recommend an extending hammer. Some tuners disparage these, but I find them valuable elbow savers. Most of the time you will use it withou extending it but when you need it it is great. I like wooden handles, like rosewood. Impact hammeres are good for verticals, but caused me some wrist problems,so I abandoned the idea. Good luck, thammer

#632683 - 01/23/02 12:42 AM Re: Opinions on tuning hammers
BrianT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 17
Loc: South Africa
Thank-You Thammer

#632684 - 01/23/02 08:46 PM Re: Opinions on tuning hammers
A=443 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 109
Loc: Japan
I`m a yamaha piano tuner.
I used to the Renner tuning hammer to
20 years. I like it.I think it have good balance. What do you think about my opinion?
Regards. \:\)

[ January 27, 2002: Message edited by: A=443 ]

#632685 - 01/23/02 11:15 PM Re: Opinions on tuning hammers
toddthepianoguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 13
Sounds like you've gotten some good advice on tuning hammers. But I wanted to give you some advice on technique. Start early to try to learn to manipulate the tuning hammer with either hand. When I'm tuning the treble, I use my left hand, when I tune the bass I use my right. I say this because I know of several colleagues of mine that have developed repetitive stress injuries from working their tuning hammer. Spreading the work out between both arms should prevent this. It also makes it easier to reach those tuning pins located right next to the case.

Have fun!

#632686 - 01/24/02 06:51 AM Re: Opinions on tuning hammers
BrianT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 17
Loc: South Africa
Thanks for the tecnique advice Todd. Thanks too A=443.

My question would be is the Trophy or Gooseneck tuning hammer sufficient to start with?

The cost in my country is very high for a professional hammer, so it is something I would rather work towards, and get something cheaper in the meantime.

Take Care


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