Can't decide!!

Rob R

Grumbler in Training
Aug 27, 2006
Ontario, Canada
Hi guys and gals.
I'm fairly new at this and a new member to boot so go easy on me. I am currently cutting moulding with a electric miter saw setup and joining with a cheap manual press. I would like to purchase a manual foot operated underpinner and a guillotine chopper but can't decide which one. I am looking at a Pistorious VN-M or a Mitre-Mite VN model. Framing has an entry level pneumatic underpinner Inmes IM-3P/SE for about $1000. with compressor. They also have there own guillotine cutter for $1500.or so. I checked the Pistorious VN-M manual and it runs around $1600. and the Mitre-Mite VN manual for around $1100. If somebody were starting out which way would you recommend. Ease of setup, ease of use, availability of nails and parts etc, etc. Any help would be appreciated. Sorry for the long message.
Welcome Rob, eh. Used Morso, eh? Used Cassees 810 or the foot version, eh?

Hope the translating software worked correctly, eh?
Originally posted by Rob R:
[QB] ...I'm fairly new at this and a new member to boot so go easy on me...
Ahh, so you've been lurking long enough to know what to expect from veteran Grumblers. Take Heart, Rob. Our bark is worse than our bite.

Welcome to you.

...I would like to purchase a manual foot operated underpinner and a guillotine chopper but can't decide which one. I am looking at a Pistorious VN-M or a Mitre-Mite VN model...
If I were in starting a framing business today, I would do again what I did in 1988, because it worked well. That is, buy the best used equipment you can find, learn about it, rebuild it, and use it until you can afford new equipment that is most suitable for your use.

Which brings up the next question: What is your use? If you are an artist or photographer planning to frame only your own work for exhibition and/or sale, then perhaps you would be happy with light-duty, manual tools such as you describe. In that case, used professional-grade tools might serve you as well as new.

Or, if you are seriously into framing and plan for your business to grow, then I suggest you consider a long term plan. If you buy manual or light-duty equipment now, you may find it is inadequate in a few years. And when you decide to buy faster, more convenient tools, your used manual tools may have little resale value(because framers often have them to sell when they upgrade). It may be better for you to hold out a few more months until you can buy a pneumatic underpinner.

In choppers and underpinners, all of the major-brand machines are perfectly suitable, and you may find Grumblers who swear by each of them. Your best strategy, I believe, would be to get to a trade show where you can try out all of them and decide for yourself which ones you prefer. Failing that, visit other friendly framers and ask if you may try out their tools.
I bought the chopper from and it works great.

I have used pistorious saws, morso choppers and a bunch of things in between and I have to say for the money it is a good chopper.

It is also marketed by other companies under their names so look closely at the pictures if you see them onlie, it is probably the same thing. Their price was the best I found.

Don't get rid of your saw. You will still need it for shadowboxes and mouldings that don't like choppers.

Welcome to the party!
I have a Jyden chopper with 3 sets of blades for sale for $1200 (US$ of course). You pay the shipping.

If your interested let me know. If not, good luck to you in whatever you decide.
Actually, if I was starting out and couldn't afford a pneumatic underpinner I'd get a vice and brad gun and wait until I could afford the pneumatic one. We had a manual underpinner before the Cassesse and it only worked on really soft wood, though this was in the late 80s. Maybe they are better now, but I can't imagine they are too much better. You're going to need a good vice to use in conjunction with the underpinner anyway.

Not sure where you are in Ontario but I found I few thing I want by talking to your sales reps. I also know where ther is a saw from a shop that closed that is located in Ontario if you wish!
Thanks guys for all the info.

Thanks for the warm welcome Baer, un-huh. Used Morso, un-huh? Used Cassess 810, un-huh?
Hope the translating software worked, un-huh?
Only kidding Baer, that's probably much further south than your location.

Jim, thanks for the great info. I am looking at a late model Pistorious underpinner which is in great shape. Buying good used equipment and learning from it is what I plan on doing. I build custom kitchen and bath cabinets in my shop and my wife's hobby turned business has started encroaching on my shop space. Hopefully buying her good equipment she will let me keep mine.

JbNormandog, thanks for the insight on the chopper from Needed to hear from someone that was using it.

Harry, that's not a bad price but I think the shipping would kill me. I'll keep it in mind.

Johnny,I'd love to but a pneumatic but I'm afraid to buy a cheaper model. I haven't seen any good quality used one's for sale lately. I've had the chance to use a manual Pistorious and was pretty impressed. But then again it doesn't take much to impress me.

Mr.T, I am located south of Ottawa. I'm not sure that another power saw is what I want. Is it a saw specific to framing cause I have more mitersaws and extensions than I can count. Let me know.
Welcome Rob R. It's good to have you with us. Be sure to check with your rep's and delivery people. They have a good feel when someone's shop is for sale or if they are upgrading a piece of equip.
:cool: :cool:
Rob, get your hands on a van and go see Harry. That way it's YOUR tool in the back when it crosses the border.
Jyden... THATs a great deal. I'll take a Jyden over
a Morso any day.