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I have owned two. As a framer, I am really rough on chalk lines. Are they better?
Yes. Are they worth $30? Not to me. I agree with Kent. Eventually the winding mechanism starts to bind like all the rest. Durability on the outside of a chalkline is pretty much meaningless. Not many of mine have met their demise due to an exterior failure.
 

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I had my first one for 5 years, second for 3, current one for the past 4. I really like the sharp line it puts down. I have tried putting the taj line into a Stanley box, but it was not as good as the Taj. Worth the cash in my ipinion
 

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I've got two. The red metal case and the black plastic.

It didn't seem to work very well on rough concrete footers.

I also got a little bottle of dye, I think, that came with one of the lines. Is that an additive to the chalk, or does it get used by itself?
 

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They are like anything, If you take care of it it will last, I've had a couple for 3 years, I have a total of 5 I think.

The little knob has two tabs that hold it on, they broke on my older lines, but I PAM glued them back on they don't spin now but who cares.
 

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I've got two. The red metal case and the black plastic.

It didn't seem to work very well on rough concrete footers.

I also got a little bottle of dye, I think, that came with one of the lines. Is that an additive to the chalk, or does it get used by itself?
The ink is used by itself. If you got a bottle of ink with one of the boxes, you purchased an ink line not a chalk line. I use both, ink is nice for basement remodels/build outs where the lines get stepped on a lot and you forget your hairspray at home.

Tom
 
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