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Tool Review: Durston Rolling Mill D130
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Durston D2 130mm Rolling Mill

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I am a demanding user who values quality and well-made items that are backed with good customer service. I make my own tools so I have a different perspective than the typical consumer. Designs are called out for what they are whether good, bad, or indifferent. Trademarks and copyrights are the intellectual property of their respective owners and used for reference and/or informational purposes.

FINAL RATINGS hover over topic for specific information
  • Item being reviewed: Durston D130 Rolling Mill Rolling mill with multiple wire-shaping options
  • Manufacturer: Durston Tools English manufacturer since the mid-1900s, they make other tools for the jewelry trade. Rolling mills are a signature part of their product line.
  • Retail price: $2,500 MSRP supplied by the manufacturer. Discounts are likely to be found with some searching.
  • Appearance: 9 Classic shape, definitely a piece of machinery.
  • Packaging: unknown I'm not sure how it comes packaged but mine was an open/missing box item so it was the rolling mill and nothing else.
  • Initial set-up time: unknown It was ready when I got it minus the damaged parts.
  • "Plug and play": Yes You're ready to do everything it's capable of right from the get-go.
  • Additional costs or equipment: If desired Durston makes textured patterns for the small outboard wheels. Their round lower rollers supposedly fit this machine.
  • Set-up time for each use: A few minutes Clean the rollers and you're good to go.
  • Storage provisions: None I made a form-fitting cover from a thick vinyl shower curtain.
  • Storage time: A few minutes Clean and grease every questionable exposed metal surface, rollers no matter what. Keep it covered.
  • Ongoing costs: Low It shouldn't need anything unless it breaks aside from basic maintenance supplies.
  • Maintenance: Yes, every use This investment deserves some time. Keep covered when not in use. Clean rollers with solvent once in a while. Grease every exposed metal surface frequently and the rollers before storage. Only roll clean, known metals.
  • Usability: Easy This is relatively simple once you understand how it works and fine-tune the rollers and gears. I made several add-on pieces to help with rolling long sheets and wires. These should be something Durston makes given the price point.
  • Functionality: 9 It works darn good.
  • Robustness: 8 As wide as it is, it could benefit from a sturdier frame. Still, it's probably better than most.
  • Value: 7 This saves a lot of time with its square wire rollers and half-round side rollers.
  • Adjustability: 6 It would be great to have a thicker capacity for the flat rollers.
  • Meeting expectations: 8 A few small things were annoying. Not deal-breakers but should have been better.
  • Innovation: Average It's a well-made rolling mill for the hobbyist or pro but it's not re-inventing the wheel.
  • Results: 9 This has been a workhorse. I've rolled many miles of wire through it.
  • Timeliness: 8 It takes time to roll out metal, make no mistake about it. You won't match its speed by hand (hammer) forging but rolling out a long strand of wire is literally thousands of turns of the handle.
  • Skill level: Low This item just requires that you aren't a dumbass and can follow instructions.
  • Documentation: There is something on their website but I think they are relying on the user being familiar with these machines.
  • Customer service: ??? They were quite responsive when they had to warranty the top wheel, plate, and gears. After that, nothing. Several of their dealers said the same.
  • Comparative: tbd I haven't used enough rolling mills to say one way or another. I'm told these are some of the best and for the most part, I believe it.
  • Recommendation: 8 Overall, it has proven invaluable.

Final thoughts: We invented rolling mills for a reason. Could I do the job of a rolling mill? Close, but what a colossal waste of time and energy! That's how we did it thousands of years ago, hammer and anvil. Technology has made it considerably faster with unparalleled accuracy. Just waiting for Durston to get proper customer service.

Posted by M: December 17, 2020

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