Doug, et al.
I switched to stainless steel pins decades ago and use only enameled ones as utility pins as brace-pins in shipping, etc. Have been using the Austerlitz for many years and am pleased. However, if there are any comments from you or others about the quality differences in stainless steel, I would be interested.
Paul J. Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor of Entomology
Insect Biodiversity Lab
1148 Medary Avenue
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD 57007-1096
“Your ecology is only as good as your taxonomy.” G. Hoffman, 1974
“The Prime Directive of Biology is to discover, describe, and understand organisms. All else is secondary fluff!”
Of the brands discussed, I have used or handled samples of pins from Kostal, Bohemia, Entomoravia/Austerlitz, and Entochrysis, and personally consider the Kostal pins to be the highest quality of these by a very small margin, and the vendor (Petr Kabatek) is very prompt and cooperative, which itself counts for a bit for me. That being said, if we were forced to go with a second choice, I would go for Bohemia or Entomoravia before Entochrysis, and feel pretty happy with either choice. I know a lep collector who has used Entosphinx, and they did not consider them as good as Bohemia.
There *are* several parameters that I take into consideration, focused on consistency of manufacture (sharpness, lengths, head sizes, evenness of enamel), and durability (tip hardness, resistance of heads to solvent exposure, corrosion resistance). Historically, the worst overall I've ever seen were Morpho pins, while Artl's "Elefant" pins were the best.
Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
"There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82