Stonfo Elite or transformer?

troutnumbered

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Hello all

I am likely going to treat myself to a new vice and having read reviews on here I am down to these two options.

Stonfo Transformer or Stonfo Elite.

There is a price difference between them on approximately £100.00. Can anybody advise what "extra" I would get with the transformer and if it is worth the additional investment?

I generally tie size 10-20 trout flies for stillwater and river.

Many thanks in advance.
 

baca157

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Hi troutnumbered,

I got the Transformer last year and absolutely love it. The only difference between Elite and Transformer are the two additional sets of jaws and the coupling allowing quick change.

To answer your question - if you only tie trout flies then there is no point in getting the Transformer. Elite will do the job really well and you’ll save 100 quid(y)

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

pentlandflyman

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I have the elite and tie big saltwater and pike flies from a 6/0 hooks down to size 20 dries (could go smaller if I could see them) and everything in between so for me the transformer is pointless. The elite is a lovely vice and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it to anyone.
 

running bear

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I use the transformer and I like the large jaws for pike flies and streamers, purely because it’s easier to keep the long fibres out of the way than when using the true rotary and small jaws.

I also use the large jaws to hold a HRM tube fly tool, which I find superior to the dedicated tube jaws. So if you have a tube fly tool or don’t tie tubes or large flies the decision is perhaps easier and stick to the elite.

The small jaws will hold everything though, it’s just a bit easier on the straight large jaws with large flies.
If I had money to burn I’d have another of the true rotary attachment but with the larger jaws, just because they have a nicer profile when tying larger trout flies (6-12s) and if I want to hide the hook point, which is useful when tying Irish shrimps on trebles, one less point for the fingers.
 
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roger h 10

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I've just bought a Transformer at a very good price. I liked the idea of being able to change the heads so easily. It arrived today and I'm very pleased with it except for the material spring on head one which flops down and generally gets in the way, I've now refitted it so that it sits under the vice head and this seems to have solved the problem. Tied some flies down to #28 on it this afternoon and must say that it is easier to use than my HMH standard which doesn't always seem to grip the hook very well.
 

troutnumbered

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Just a quick thank you to all who contributed. I bought myself the elite. I nearly plumped for the transformer when i saw it at a bargain price but I am very happy with my purchase.

Used it for about a week and it's a great piece of kit. The jaws are fantastic as is the positionable head.

The base is very functional but as others have mentioned the plastic is a little bit cheap in appearance and the feet are not great.

Would I recommend it to others? Yes, I definitely would.
 

mr_eejit

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Just a quick thank you to all who contributed. I bought myself the elite. I nearly plumped for the transformer when i saw it at a bargain price but I am very happy with my purchase.

Used it for about a week and it's a great piece of kit. The jaws are fantastic as is the positionable head.

The base is very functional but as others have mentioned the plastic is a little bit cheap in appearance and the feet are not great.

Would I recommend it to others? Yes, I definitely would.

You could add a bit of weight to the base
 

dgp

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Just a quick thank you to all who contributed. I bought myself the elite. I nearly plumped for the transformer when i saw it at a bargain price but I am very happy with my purchase.

Used it for about a week and it's a great piece of kit. The jaws are fantastic as is the positionable head.

The base is very functional but as others have mentioned the plastic is a little bit cheap in appearance and the feet are not great.

Would I recommend it to others? Yes, I definitely would.
Was thinking of treating myself to a better vice but spending a big chunk of cash to find the the plastic is a little bit cheap in appearance and the feet are not great and then seeing a video of how to add weight to the base - has put me off - even if the jaws are great
 

blithfield2

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Was thinking of treating myself to a better vice but spending a big chunk of cash to find the the plastic is a little bit cheap in appearance and the feet are not great and then seeing a video of how to add weight to the base - has put me off - even if the jaws are great

Refer to the above entries recommending Mike Johnson's vices
 
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troutnumbered

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Was thinking of treating myself to a better vice but spending a big chunk of cash to find the the plastic is a little bit cheap in appearance and the feet are not great and then seeing a video of how to add weight to the base - has put me off - even if the jaws are great

DGP they are the only criticisms I have of the vice everything else about it is genuine quality.

I just add a non slip mat under the vice and it is steady as a rock, my concern over the feet was that they would mark my table top, this is not a concern with the addition of the non slip mat.

Knowing what I know now would I still buy it?

Absolutely.
 

pentlandflyman

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The plastic is decent plastic, don't think its cheap at all and the feet ? Even my medallions feet are only stick on pads. Its heavy and rock solid and plastic is easy to keep clean so spills of resin etc is not a problem. Tied on it for a good while now and have had zero issues with movement or the plastic base. If the base really bothers you you can make or buy another but you're expecting a bit too much for the money if you ask me. Also why anyone would need to add weight to it is beyond me.
 

running bear

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I quite like the plastic, I know machined steel would look better, and give a better perception of quality, but the plastic is warmer to the touch, won't show scratches etc over time, and is probably a bit quieter in use. If it had a fully machined base, I don't think I'd be buying it as the cost would be well up. There are recesses for the other heads and allen keys, really useful.

Don't let the base make the decision, it's an excellent bit of kit. I never even noticed the feet, it sits fine on my bench, but if I was on a polished hardwood dining table I might think about them now I've looked.

Also, shop around, I got the transformer from Dunfly in person for much less than it's being sold on some sites.
 

dgp

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If the base really bothers you you can make or buy another but you're expecting a bit too much for the money if you ask me.
Perhaps I am tight but spending what £280 on a vice and expecting too much for that money or making a new base -forget it !
 

pentlandflyman

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Perhaps I am tight but spending what £280 on a vice and expecting too much for that money or making a new base -forget it !

£280 😂 nope, you can get the elite for approx £200 if you shop around or ask. And unless you have seen the base yourself its unfair to put it down as poor quality, its not and believe me if it was I would be the first to say so. Its a heavy metal base covered in a good quality plastic with tool holes and recesses for beads and hooks, the feet hold it in place and hold it steady. The rest of the vice is all high quality metal and a lot of it for the money. You do know most vice bases are coated metal ? Very few are solid brass or steel and if you do get one they aren't cheap. You are imo getting a top quality vice with a well designed base for a very competitive price. Have a look what else is available for approx £200 and if you find anywhere near the same quality then fill your boots 😉
 

roger h 10

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£280 😂 nope, you can get the elite for approx £200 if you shop around or ask. And unless you have seen the base yourself its unfair to put it down as poor quality, its not and believe me if it was I would be the first to say so. Its a heavy metal base covered in a good quality plastic with tool holes and recesses for beads and hooks, the feet hold it in place and hold it steady. The rest of the vice is all high quality metal and a lot of it for the money. You do know most vice bases are coated metal ? Very few are solid brass or steel and if you do get one they aren't cheap. You are imo getting a top quality vice with a well designed base for a very competitive price. Have a look what else is available for approx £200 and if you find anywhere near the same quality then fill your boots 😉

I totally agree with everything you've said although I have the Transformer which cost me less than £300.
It's a quality piece of kit and I am very pleased with it,I find it far easier to use than my HMH Standard although this is a very good vice. The only thing that I have noticed is that my No1 Jaws on the Transformer have started to change colour in the short while that I've had it, looks a bit like the sort of corrosion that you see on aluminium,I wonder if it's caused by moisture from my hands.
 

running bear

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I bought my transformer in February for €300. Thanks to lockdown I’ve probably tied 1000 flies on it, from 20s to 6/0’s. Singles doubles trebles and tubes (although I use the HRM tool with it for tubes).
I have to say it’s been one of my very best fishing purchases from a functional perspective, only time will tell if It has the longevity of the few other items I think of similarly.
 
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