Richard Kaufman wrote:Why in the world is it necessary to write a "scholarly comparison" between two flipper coins? Different coin handlers might prefer one or the other for various reasons, assuming they actually are measurably different in some important way, but do you really need to write at length about it?
Sure, why not? Car and Driver has been comparing cars for years. Consumer reports the same with toster ovens. Genii reviews products, DVDs, and books (and over the years has saved me a lot of time and money.) So I thought it might be beneficial (and fun) to produce an article, analyzing the Cadillics and Lincolns of flipper coins. Of course I have no lofty aspirations of having it published; I'd just make it available to magic friends who were interested.
Flippers are expensive. I just looked, and for a Walking Liberty Half, Schoolcraft wants $95 and Lassen wants around $150; run-of-the-mill flippers are in the $25 to $40 range. So is there more than "brand" to justify the difference in price?
What is testable? Based on statements made on the Lassen and Schoolcraft websites, I find much to be testable:
1. Flipper insert tension. Possibly related to angle of deflection when open "via gravity" and the ability to lay flat on a horizontal surface; perhaps also speed of closing/opening.
2. Ease of band replacement. Subjective but may have testable steps. ("Due to trench cut...")
3. Geometry of flipper ("When flipped open, more of the insert coin shows...")
4. Sounds produced when in use (opening/closing.)
5. Physical properties of flipper (size, weight, gravitic deflection angle, & etc.)
6. Performance characteristics (speed of closing, speed of opening, and ballistic trajectory--when it closes how does it move?)
So there is much to test. Surely test results could aid one in determining which flipper to purchase.
I have no expectations, just a driving curiosity. I'm especially interested in the way band properties influence performance characteristics. After this flipper study I plan to experiment with various latex and non-latex bands to see if there is an optimal band material that provides both performance and longevity.