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Professional
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Whenever I've ever set brick or block I always used an 11" marshaltown. This may sound sacrilegious to some but I have never used a rose trowel. What's the difference? Is it just what everyone started using?
 

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Marshalltown makes a pretty good trowel, I have a couple of them myself, but Rose was always the Cadillac......at least they were......I think Kraft bought them out, and I can't speak to their present quality, but I'm hoping they haven't changed too much. My bunch should easily get me to the finish line......

While JBM's take has some merit, a Rose trowel is one of those tools that just feels 'right'.....it's clearly a professional's tool, and the fact that you can get (or could get) different weights in the blade, and different shank angles meant that, in addition to the length and style, you'd always have pretty much a custom trowel. Marshalltowns have always sorta seemed to be pretty much the same, at least to me.

It just comes down to preference though, like baseball bats and hammers and pickup trucks.......what's the best? Depends on who you ask.........
 

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Renaissance Man
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Kraft may have bought them out, but they're still made the same way at the same place they've always been...right around the corner from my house :thumbup:

I've posted this old article many times, but it's always good reading...
 

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IMHO,they both make an excellent product. Never had the blade break on either one. I may catch some flack from those who have pledged allegiance to one or the other. I have both,use both. It is kind of like the Ford and Chevy debate,they both have been around long enough to have stood the test of time.
 

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Vendor
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We sold both for 20 years, but the only one we have sold for the last 10 are the Rose trowels. No one ever asks for a Marshalltown, and some had been on the rack for years before we slimmed down the line. A lot of people DO ask for MT tuck, point, and margin trowels so we still carry both MT and Kraft in those models.

On a related note, we used to sell four or 5 hundred of the MT251 brick hammers per year, but about a year ago they changed the design and reduced the ferrule length. Almost every single one we sold was returned with the handle broken at the bottom of the head. We have switched to the (Kraft) KR256 and while there is still some breakage, it is manageable, and no complaints. Still haven't figured out why MT changed, and MT has no answer either (but they did make good on the broken hammers).
 

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My fav. hammers are the Vaughns, however you speel that. I have a estwing and the cutting edge is all worn down. The vaughns stay sharp forever.
 

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Drywall Slave
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I have never owned anything made by Marshalltown that was worth 2 cents !

Stilts /blades/hawks/ etc... :no:
 

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A lot of people DO ask for MT tuck, point, and margin trowels so we still carry both MT and Kraft in those models.
Interesting........yeah, I don't think I've ever purchased a tuck pointer that wasn't a MT, and their jointers I prefer as well, but given a choice, it is always the limber Roses for me.........

On a side note, when I worked with the speed merchants of Phoenix many years ago, they almost always used their trowels to cut the Dur-o-wall........a fast hard chop on a block.....and they all swore by Rose trowels to take this abuse that Marshalltowns couldn't......

I'm not surprised this method never made it into the sales brochures........:whistling
 

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Rockmonster; On a side note said:
always[/I] used their trowels to cut the Dur-o-wall........a fast hard chop on a block.....and they all swore by Rose trowels to take this abuse that Marshalltowns couldn't......


Having both rose and MT I would tend to agree with you regarding the ability to cut wire with a Rose. I have noticed a smidgen more thickness to the metal on the blades of Rose. The flip side of that,the MT have a lot more "snap" to their blades which unless it is my imagination,translates to less wrist fatigue. Although,it may just be a matter of perspective,who knows.


As I said before,I feel both make a fine product. Back to the Ford / Chevy thing.
 

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I agree with FJN, my Marshaltown trowels snap better for me.

It's more apparent on the large shovel sized ones for running block.

For brick trowel sizes I can take either, but I do prefer my wood handles over the resin ones.
 

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Having both rose and MT I would tend to agree with you regarding the ability to cut wire with a Rose. I have noticed a smidgen more thickness to the metal on the blades of Rose. The flip side of that,the MT have a lot more "snap" to their blades which unless it is my imagination,translates to less wrist fatigue. Although,it may just be a matter of perspective,who knows.


As I said before,I feel both make a fine product. Back to the Ford / Chevy thing.
What I've always noticed with the Rose trowels is that you cannot just buy sight unseen.....a box of 12 come in, say all narrow London, and they are all over the map for stiffness.....the first thing I would always do is take the point and push down......I like flex (or snap)as well.....the more the better.......some guys either have no preference, or just like trowels with the rigidity of a shovel, and that's cool, but not for me.

Then somewhere I read where Rose makes stiff, medium, and limber (I think that's what they call them).....and I found where they used to make what they called 'Norfolk weight'......which I guess was really flexible, though they wouldn't guarantee those.......think I caught that on that old Rose catalog......I will continue to scour Ebay for one of those, but whoever has one likely found it in their basement and chucked it in the trash......:sad:
 

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What I've always noticed with the Rose trowels is that you cannot just buy sight unseen.....a box of 12 come in, say all narrow London, and they are all over the map for stiffness.....the first thing I would always do is take the point and push down......I like flex (or snap)as well.....the more the better.......some guys either have no preference, or just like trowels with the rigidity of a shovel, and that's cool, but not for me.

Then somewhere I read where Rose makes stiff, medium, and limber (I think that's what they call them).....and I found where they used to make what they called 'Norfolk weight'......which I guess was really flexible, though they wouldn't guarantee those.......think I caught that on that old Rose catalog......I will continue to scour Ebay for one of those, but whoever has one likely found it in their basement and chucked it in the trash......:sad:





Very interesting regarding the flex. I do know they offer a choice on the set of the handle. The stiff,medium,limber aspect is not something I was aware of. SS what do you know about that,is it still an option ?
 

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Very interesting regarding the flex. I do know they offer a choice on the set of the handle. The stiff,medium,limber aspect is not something I was aware of. SS what do you know about that,is it still an option ?
SS=stainless steel? I'm not aware that Rose made one, but I do have a Bon that I really do like.......bought sight unseen, and I don't generally do that.....

As far as I know, standard and limber are all that they offer nowadays, although I've found that even in those 'classifications' they can vary quite a bit in flexibility......

There is that blog by a trowel collector where you can see the old Rose catalog......ALL of the different trowels they made, who from where preferred what styles, the Norfolk weight, the 14" beasts......all that stuff, which is cool to perhaps 46 people on planet earth, me being one......:laughing:......the blogger being another.......and........and....??:whistling
 

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Renaissance Man
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http://www.wrose.com/Products/Trowels

I can tell you they're still hand forged blades and they still use the same gargantuan, ancient equipment and machinery to make these things that they did 150 years ago.

They do make standard and limber weights officially and low lifts shanks, but I can attest, if you line twenty up in a row, they're all slightly different in aspect of dimension, weight, taper and flex. I've always attributed this to being a genuine handmade product.

Their handle options ain't too shabby either.

And I'd have to disagree with some given the notion that you can get use to any trowel you happen to put in your hand...No way for me. I've got my go to trowels and I stick with them.

I own MT's as well, primarily margins and duckbills mostly in flex blades. I like them a lot and I do modify many 1 1/2" flexy margins into stone trowels when I need them.

I'm not name brand loyal, just has to be good quality with a good feel and I usually know that right away.

I happen to like John Stortz masonry tools as well...Old school designs and quality made... I love their Washington pattern brick hammer :thumbup:

http://www.stortz.com/MasonryTools.aspx
 

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Haven't seen anyone touch on the fact that W.Rose carries a life time warranty against manufacturer defect. Had a young Mason that was bad to smack his blade as his cleaning process at the beginning of each day. Needless to say after repeated warnings the blade eventually snapped. Half way across the blade. He threw it away so knowingly I asked for it if it was dumpster bound.
W.Rose replaced it at my local vendor no questions asked. As I always say if it's free it's for me. Been using nothing but for 80 + years in our family going on 4th generation coming up through the trade now.
 
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