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Subject: C4 Corner Cutter Video Review rss

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Doug Poskitt
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Joe - thank you for going to the trouble of posting this video.

I had been toying with the idea of the C4 counter cutter ... and after seeing how you have wasted $20 ... I certainly will stick with my nail clippers for cutting my counters (60c from the Pound shop).

I'll donate half of my savings on the C4 to charity in respect of the effort you have made here for the benefit of us all.
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Jeff Yeackle
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Thanks for the review! Having clipped counters for a number of years, I had high hopes for the C4 when I heard about it but then when I saw what needed to be done I had some reservations which your hands on video confirmed, namely the difficulty of handling, inconsistent cuts, and the type of blade you needed to use (x-actos dull really fast, and they're useless and sometimes dangerous to what you're working on when dull).

One thing I noticed was that a lot of counters aren't always perfectly square, nor will they all fit square when when there's a fuzzy corner or side that offsets it a bit compared to another counter, so blindly stacking them didn't seem like a good idea. If I had the C4, I'd probably still do only one counter at a time to ensure the best results.

It seemed to cut deep enough for my preferences, but the real deal-breaker is the fact that you need to work on a flat surface. I do all my clipping relaxing in my recliner while watching a movie or something where I can relax and clip and get chit crumbs all over me.
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Well, I for one love my C4. I will be honest I didn't like it that much after I got it, but I kept at it and I would never clip counters without it again. I have done about 15 games worth of counters and only used 3 blades, so I don't know what Joe is doing to wear the blades out. Sure it is akward, but so is just about anything else you do for the first time. Once I got used to it I can burn through a 3 countersheet game in about an hour. That used to take me hours upon hours with the clippers.

Obviously it isn't for everybody, but it isn't nearly as horrible as Joe makes it sound IMO.
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Joe,

Good review, I got my C4 today. Some of your issues are spot on, but I love mine. It took me a few tries, but I got the hang of it and it works for me. I am not as fast with the C4 as I am with the clippers. But, I have clipped 10,000+ counters with my nail clippers. I plan on using the C4 for all of my war games and use my clippers for my Federation and Empire counters. My F&E counters don't have to look uniform, but that is what I like best about the C4, they are all the same.

My counters got better as time went on with the C4, and I don't use the wooden block thingy.

You must have sharp new razor blades for it to work well. IMHO 50 cents per blade to cut a 100$ game, all to the same exact corner clipping is worth it.

I would have liked it adjustable, and maybe if he offers different depth of clipped corner, that would improve it some. I cut my Paths of Glory this afternoon and off to cut Burma.

Good luck to however you choose to clip. Every clipper, whatever method, is doing the right thing! I am now hiding waiting for the hate mail!

Cheers,
James
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Skip Franklin
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Thanks for the video Joe.

I think that the C4 is good for some wargamers but I've been clipping for decades and like my clippers.



Note the the Union Jack, New Orleans, and Atlantic Beach clippers? They were bought in London, New Orleans, and Atlantic Beach, North Carolina (USA). In other words they can be found in a lot of places. Trinket shops, truck stops and even museums. I recommend them over the one that Joe is using. The thumb lever is flat and more comfortable. I DO NOT recommend them for fingernails.

Here is an example of my work with these clippers.



Click the pictures for a close up view.
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I had a C4 for some months, and I wouldn't even think about cutting corners with nail clippers again.

I can do a 300-400 counters game in about 1 hour, or an old SPI game with 130 counteres in 30 minutes. With nail clippers, it would have taken at least 3-4 times longer.

Blade quality is important. I had very good results with the Olfa brand:

https://olfa.com/BladesDetail.aspx?C=5&Id=101

These works in every X-Acto knife, but are probably easier to find in Europe, and I think they cut better ( well, since it's Japanese steel, it must have been made by Hattori Hanzo in Okinawa...).

I usually replace the blade every 5-6 games, or about 2000 counters.
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I have yet to cut any corners. I'ld sure like to but alas, the time involved looks to be too steep for me. Thinking about getting this baby.

Thumbs up to Dave King, thumbs down to Steadman.
 
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dking232 wrote:
Normally, I don't bother responding to people like Joe, but he has taken his utter ineptitude and blamed my product for it. That's a bit much.

(snip more vitriol)


A business owner's reaction like this costs more in sales than a bad review does.
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
A business owner's reaction like this costs more in sales than a bad review does.

QFT.

You can rebut a bad review and you SHOULD offer a rebuttal if you stand behind your product. But it's bad form to launch ad hominem attacks at the reviewer. He paid his money and offered his opinion and the response is a vitriolic slam. shake

A better response would be a video of your own that demonstrates how well your product works and how easy it is to use.

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Quote:
A business owner's reaction like this costs more in sales than a bad review does.


Yep, unfortunately there are a lot of game designers and publishers who react the same way anymore to a bad review. As much as Joe's 'cooler than sh$t' attitude is really annoying, Dave's response was pretty childish and if I were somebody looking to buy a C4 I would have been pretty put off by that response.
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dking232 wrote:
Normally, I don't bother responding to people like Joe,
bla bla bla


Dave King: you are extremely rude. If this was a different website I'd elaborate my views here more sharply. angry angry


Joe: pay no mind to this guy. Your review was great (all your reviews are great). I liked how you walked us through the experience of using the cutter. You offered an honest opinion based on direct experience with the product. You expressed your review as gently as possible while still sticking to your informed conclusions. (..and the euro cube joke was funny!)
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dking232 wrote:
Normally, I don't bother responding to people like Joe, but he has taken his utter ineptitude and blamed my product for it. That's a bit much.

First of all, Joe, it's called a C4 Corner Cutter, not "counter" cutter, and I guarantee the item 100%. If Joe had contacted me, I would have given him his money back. Simple. So what's the problem? He couldn't figure it out?--get a refund. I'll repeat--says right on the Ebay listing that it's guaranteed 100%. Joe has a reading problem. But let's deal with his issues anyhow.

The wooden block is totally optional and provided as a convenience. Didn't read the instructions very well, Joe. Tiny? It's 1-1/2" square. Most counters are 1/2" to 5/8" square. The C4 easily accommodates this size counter and larger. If you can handle counters, you can handle the C4 easily; not sure I would want to sit across the wargame table from a guy who thinks 1-1/2" square is "tiny." Once you get the hang of it, it is not awkward and it's a lot easier to use than nail clippers--and much, much faster. As he himself demonstrates in the video, Joe isn't coordinated enough to handle more than a single action at once. And he somehow gets three or four different pressure points from a tool that only requires two (just like a screwdriver).

He holds the hobby knife all wrong. This is not a guy you want anywhere near a precision operation or exercise. He takes a razor sharp hobby knife and holds it like it's a Bowie knife. Unbelievable. Obviously, he didn't look at the pictures on the instruction sheet. Can't read, can't figure out pictures. Hmmm? It only takes one push down, not several. Joe--read the instructions. Can't keep the stack straight? Joe, read the instructions. Barely takes the corner off? Take a look at that first counter he holds up--that's the average cut that most people want (Joe apparently likes the "Stop Sign" look). The instructions show how to reduce the cut, but Joe didn't cut straight down anyhow, so you can't really tell what kind of cut he got. Joe, read the instructions. Also, it's not designed to cut one or two or three at at a time--that should be obvious--and oh yeah, it's on the instruction sheet. And after all that, he tries to demonstrate that nail clippers are faster and more accurate. In his hands they probably are, but then I'm not sure he could handle a hammer.

I invented this thing because I got tired of using nail clippers after 40 years and knew there had to be a better way. The C4 Corner Cutter is a better way. Guaranteed.

I have cut thousands upon thousands of counters with nail clippers and they are neither faster nor more consistent than the C4 Corner Cutter. I am going to be at PrezCon in February and at the WBC in August. I would love to face off with Joe and his nail clippers. It will be no contest. This is a silly man who lacks basic mental and physical skills. I think the image at about 5:24 of the video says it all. I do like the phrase "handy dandy" though. When I was 4 I got a "Handy Dandy Tool Kit" for Xmas. Always liked that thing.

Okay, back to Joe's ineptitude. I state right up front in the instructions that you should use some blank counters to get the hang of it. It's a new tool; would you know what a hammer was for if you hadn't seen one before? Of course not. I make note on the instruction sheet that not all counters are square and you must trim these the old fashioned way. I get about 500-600 counters done before I begin thinking about changing the blade. On sale, blades at Hobby Lobby cost about 25 cents--is this a problem?

As far as sponsorship, I sent the product blind to the Two Half-Squads for a review; I had no idea whether they would like it or not. As it turns out, they did. I offered to send them some freebie product to hand out to guests on the program. They accepted. They do their show out of a basement--do you really think I or anyone else is paying them hundreds of dollars for an endorsement? Nope. Should've asked them Joe, before you impugned their integrity or mine. You at least owe them an apology.

Cost issue? What's your time worth? Once you get the hang of it, you can easily knock out the average game in under an hour and a monster game in a single evening. You decide what that's worth to you. Hundreds of buyers think it was a good deal.

Go to the website at www.daveking-c4.com and download a copy of the instructions. Look at the photos on how to use the product. Got a question, ask me. And then if you buy one and don't like it, let me know--I'll give you your money back. I can't name them for privacy reasons, but several well-known designers in the wargame hobby have given the C4 Corner Cutter their enthusiastic endorsement.

Posting a video is cool, but it really only shows that Joe is uncoordinated, doesn't read well, and can't even understand pictures. For your type Joe, I offer money back. But not after you make a public spectacle of yourself and use my product to do it.


I have purchased this item and Joe's experience is similar to mine. It was a waste of money.

It was especially a waste because it is $20 and that is way overpriced for what you get. That, combined with the fact that no matter what technique is used the result of the the cut is simply not consistent.

It is faster though. But I certainly don't find it more consistent than clippers no matter what promoter/seller of the product states.

Additionally, the replies I have read by Dave are uniformly rude to anyone who finds fault with his product.

My advice and opinion is for prospective purchasers to avoid this product both because of the price and specifically because of the attitude of the business owner toward his customers.
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jyeackle wrote:

It seemed to cut deep enough for my preferences, but the real deal-breaker is the fact that you need to work on a flat surface. I do all my clipping relaxing in my recliner while watching a movie or something where I can relax and clip and get chit crumbs all over me.



Soooo, Old Man, you veg in a recliner chitting on yourself?
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dking232 wrote:
Normally, I don't bother responding to people like Joe, but he has taken his utter ineptitude and blamed my product for it. That's a bit much.




Methinks Mr. King should grow some thicker skin.
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dking232 wrote:
Normally, I don't bother responding to people like Joe, Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate


Ouch.
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dking232 wrote:
But not after you make a public spectacle of yourself




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dking232 wrote:
Whine whine whine


Joe's review didn't put me off spending $20 to try this product, but this vitriolic rant surely did yuk
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kiraly wrote:
Finally, I take my time. If you take a hack and slay approach you'll get hack and slay results. (And no, I wouldn't consider Joe's style 'hack and slay').


Why wouldn't you, though? I don't want to get involved in a dogpile here, but after watching Joe's video, it became apparent he didn't make much of an attempt to gain any proficiency with the item. He grabbed pieces at random, made no attempt to align them, and just started bashing at them with a knife. My first thought was that he could have at least ensured they were all right-side up and facing the same direction. He clearly doesn't do that. ASL counters have a definite ridge on them from the printing process that is apparent when you inspect them, and the obverse (front) is easily distinguishable from the reverse (back) side. I can't help but feel this would have an effect on the results one receives. He made no visible effort to either practice, read the instructions, seek help from the manufacturer, or for that matter, shoot steady, clear video.

The video itself was poor - framing, focus, composition. The empty soda/beer can in frame 1 of the opening scene makes the whole thing start off like exactly what this is - something some dude shot in his basement. I admire his attempts to brand himself and be taken seriously, but go all the way or go home. If I had to give advice, it would be to drop the ridiculous looking hat, abandon the folksy "handy-dandy" references and do the homework required for the project. A tripod, better lighting, and maybe even a book or two on professional video shooting wouldn't hurt. There is real potential here. But as presented, the whole thing was indeed "hack and slay" - not just the counters, but the job he tried to do on the product itself.

Unfortunately, the response from the product representative is no more professional, as has been pointed out. I totally agree with those that say a measured response would be far preferable to the undignified and sarcastic tone that was adopted. I haven't paid much attention to Joe's video reviews in past - they're cute and I'm sure they appeal to a wide segment of gamers, but they do nothing for me (I'd rather read a well-written review than "something some dude shot in his basement") - but I will also not be paying much attention to hysterical online shouting from vendors who belittle complaints, whether justified or not.

It's too bad, because in between the name-calling, the vendor has made a lot of legitimate points. I am a big fan of small business and this is the kind of product that deserves to succeed. A great idea and the makings of a fabulous success story. But if you can't cheer for the guy standing behind it because his personality is simply toxic, it doesn't mean much. He needs to realize that there will always be naysayers whose only purpose in presenting themselves online is to get attention for themselves. In a small way, that's what everyone here is out to do. Joe is no different. Susan Sarandon said in some girlie movie everyone wants a witness to their lives. Some people do it constructively, with innovative ideas like the C4. Others do it by making videos cutting apart other people's ideas. Better to get a name for yourself as the "idea guy" than as the guy who rips other people publicly in undignified ways.

EDIT: I don't mean to imply I think Joe is one of the guys whose mission in life is to seek attention at the expense of others. I've glanced at a couple of his other ASL reviews in the past. Like I've said, they don't do much for me, but from what I've seen of them, they're inoffensive. Basically what I get is a "guy next door shows you his stuff" kind of video. I get no sense that they are meant to be contentious or insulting, or even necessarily intended to draw a lot of attention. They are what they are; sort of like public television on the internet. Mostly just "aw shucks" kind of stuff. This one happened to hit a raw nerve with the guy whose product was displayed. My point with my advice was to be constructive and to suggest that I think there is some talent behind what he does, and with some work, he could take this to the next level if he wanted. And if he doesn't, hey, that's cool too. Advice is free.
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This review was out of character for Joe, but then again, I have not seen him give a negative video review. Despite the rant response, I would think this thread will generate some new sales due to the additional exposure. No such thing as bad publicity and all that.
 
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kiraly wrote:
I use the C4 and absolutely love the thing, I would never go back to the clippers. It does, however, take a little while to figure out the best way for you to use it.

For me:

I don't use the block, it tends to dent the counters that it's being placed on. Obviously this may not be a big deal to some, but I'm weird like that. You do want to have enough downward pressure before cutting into your stack and for that I use extra blank counters on the top and push down on those. I don't use the plastic piece either, my thumb works better, as the plastic piece will just push on the largest counter (and I've never come across a game where all of the counters are exactly the same size).

Different types of counters cut differently. I've found that I need to cut fewer brown core pieces at a time to get a nice cut (usually five or six at a time), while I can easily cut eight white core counters with no problem. Also, I've never come across a game where all of the counters are exactly the same size. It helps to stack the slightly larger counters on the bottom and keep all of your counters facing up (or down, just so that they're consistent).

Finally, I take my time. If you take a hack and slay approach you'll get hack and slay results. (And no, I wouldn't consider Joe's style 'hack and slay'). For me it was definitely worth the $20.


+1. I love my C4.
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I don’t have much to add here. I’ve thought about the counter cutter, but have not tried it myself yet. On the other hand, I do have Battle for Normandy landing on my doorstep in the next week or two (hopefully). It takes time to create a review, and sometimes they are analytical, and sometimes they come from the gut. (My comments about Axis & Allies Pacific 1940 are certainly the later). I think that both approaches are valid as long as taken in context.

Joe, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, and also my thanks to others who have taken the time to reply to this with their thoughts and experiences. I appreciated hearing a variety of viewpoints on the product.
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dking232 wrote:
Normally, I don't bother responding to people like Joe, but he has taken his utter ineptitude and blamed my product for it. That's a bit much.

First of all, Joe, it's called a C4 Corner Cutter, not "counter" cutter, and I guarantee the item 100%. If Joe had contacted me, I would have given him his money back. Simple. So what's the problem? He couldn't figure it out?--get a refund. I'll repeat--says right on the Ebay listing that it's guaranteed 100%. Joe has a reading problem. But let's deal with his issues anyhow.

The wooden block is totally optional and provided as a convenience. Didn't read the instructions very well, Joe. Tiny? It's 1-1/2" square. Most counters are 1/2" to 5/8" square. The C4 easily accommodates this size counter and larger. If you can handle counters, you can handle the C4 easily; not sure I would want to sit across the wargame table from a guy who thinks 1-1/2" square is "tiny." Once you get the hang of it, it is not awkward and it's a lot easier to use than nail clippers--and much, much faster. As he himself demonstrates in the video, Joe isn't coordinated enough to handle more than a single action at once. And he somehow gets three or four different pressure points from a tool that only requires two (just like a screwdriver).

He holds the hobby knife all wrong. This is not a guy you want anywhere near a precision operation or exercise. He takes a razor sharp hobby knife and holds it like it's a Bowie knife. Unbelievable. Obviously, he didn't look at the pictures on the instruction sheet. Can't read, can't figure out pictures. Hmmm? It only takes one push down, not several. Joe--read the instructions. Can't keep the stack straight? Joe, read the instructions. Barely takes the corner off? Take a look at that first counter he holds up--that's the average cut that most people want (Joe apparently likes the "Stop Sign" look). The instructions show how to reduce the cut, but Joe didn't cut straight down anyhow, so you can't really tell what kind of cut he got. Joe, read the instructions. Also, it's not designed to cut one or two or three at at a time--that should be obvious--and oh yeah, it's on the instruction sheet. And after all that, he tries to demonstrate that nail clippers are faster and more accurate. In his hands they probably are, but then I'm not sure he could handle a hammer.

I invented this thing because I got tired of using nail clippers after 40 years and knew there had to be a better way. The C4 Corner Cutter is a better way. Guaranteed.

I have cut thousands upon thousands of counters with nail clippers and they are neither faster nor more consistent than the C4 Corner Cutter. I am going to be at PrezCon in February and at the WBC in August. I would love to face off with Joe and his nail clippers. It will be no contest. This is a silly man who lacks basic mental and physical skills. I think the image at about 5:24 of the video says it all. I do like the phrase "handy dandy" though. When I was 4 I got a "Handy Dandy Tool Kit" for Xmas. Always liked that thing.

Okay, back to Joe's ineptitude. I state right up front in the instructions that you should use some blank counters to get the hang of it. It's a new tool; would you know what a hammer was for if you hadn't seen one before? Of course not. I make note on the instruction sheet that not all counters are square and you must trim these the old fashioned way. I get about 500-600 counters done before I begin thinking about changing the blade. On sale, blades at Hobby Lobby cost about 25 cents--is this a problem?

As far as sponsorship, I sent the product blind to the Two Half-Squads for a review; I had no idea whether they would like it or not. As it turns out, they did. I offered to send them some freebie product to hand out to guests on the program. They accepted. They do their show out of a basement--do you really think I or anyone else is paying them hundreds of dollars for an endorsement? Nope. Should've asked them Joe, before you impugned their integrity or mine. You at least owe them an apology.

Cost issue? What's your time worth? Once you get the hang of it, you can easily knock out the average game in under an hour and a monster game in a single evening. You decide what that's worth to you. Hundreds of buyers think it was a good deal.

Go to the website at www.daveking-c4.com and download a copy of the instructions. Look at the photos on how to use the product. Got a question, ask me. And then if you buy one and don't like it, let me know--I'll give you your money back. I can't name them for privacy reasons, but several well-known designers in the wargame hobby have given the C4 Corner Cutter their enthusiastic endorsement.

Posting a video is cool, but it really only shows that Joe is uncoordinated, doesn't read well, and can't even understand pictures. For your type Joe, I offer money back. But not after you make a public spectacle of yourself and use my product to do it.


very sad to see you name-calling, sir! It sounds like you have serious issues about negative comments.
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My apologies to Joe. While I disagree with his conclusions, the nature of my response was unwarranted.
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After reading some of the responses from owners, I have a question for you guys.

I can easily clip a game like Combat Commander (850ish counter) in under two hours by hand, and I'm very picky about getting them perfect (so I cut them out of their sprues with a blade first). As I read the responses I'm seeing things like 300-400 counters per hour and that one needs to make sure they have the counters stacked right in the jig.

Do these estimates include trimming the counters from the sprues, or just the actual clipping time? Otherwise it seems a lot of the time you're saving is taken up by getting them lined up in the jig right for consistent results. If the former though that is a nice time savings, although as Bill points out I prefer to chit all over myself in a recliner (although I do have nice little portable table...).

Thanks!
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dking232 wrote:
My apologies to Joe. While I disagree with his conclusions, the nature of my response was unwarranted.


It's tough to see something you love or created criticized. What I do when posting is type up everything in a text editor (mostly so I don't hit submit and find that BGG is down for maint., doh!). If it's an emotional response though it lets me vent, and then I sit on it, and most of the time I don't even post it. It let's me say what I want to the only person I know who actually cares (me! ) and people think I'm less crazy that I really am... mostly. ninja
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