I tatted this very simple motif to test it from one of my favourite books ever: DMC Tatting (ed. Thérèse de Dillmont) - this copy was gifted to me by my friend Megan and I love it! Before that I had a printed copy off the internet (this book is now out of copyright and available on various sites) so it was sooo nice to have a real copy of the little book.
So, the shuttle. Not quite as teal in colour as I had imagined but that's not a criticism. Wood is a natural material and I understand that they will all look different. I have to say that mine was too tight when I received it. I had to stop tatting and use some force to be able to unwind thread from the bobbin. What I like is to unwind as I tat in one seamless movement so no time is wasted. Sandra contacted me and offered for me to return it and they would have been happy to fix it for me but I didn't want to wait and was happy to "tinker" and do it myself. I had what's needed to sand things so I sanded the inside of the shuttle until I got a better tension. It's good and smooth now.
The tension is regulated by friction on this shuttle unlike the GR-8 where you can tighten or loosen the screw (which I could never get to work right for me). The screw in the Slider just serves as a post to hold the bobbin in place. You can't increase tension by tightening the screw. So the bobbin has to rub just right on the edges of the shuttle for tension to be nice to work with.
Top shuttle is GR-8
Bottom is Slider
You can see the size is very similar.
Here's where the main difference is:
The screw on the GR-8 sits right on top of the bobbin which means
you can tighten or loosen it to change tension.
(though I could never obtain a constant tension with it,
which for me, meant constantly fiddling with it as I tatted)
On the Slider, the screw sits on top of the wood, not the bobbin
which means the tightness or otherwise of the screw
doesn't affect tension.
I bought my Slider shuttle with the tools - a winder and another tool to undo the screw and push it out. But, I have to say that I still find it fiddly to need tools to take my shuttle apart every time I need to fill it or want to swap bobbins. And there are more bits to lose! That's why I prefer Aeros, no tools needed, you just push the bobbin out in a second.
But if you like small wood shuttles and don't mind the tools, then I'm pretty sure you'll like the Slider.
Here are some photos for comparison and I also took measurements because I thought it would be helpful to help get an idea of what the shuttle is like. For me, I also prefer the slimness of Aeros though I realise it's perhaps more difficult to make a really slim wood shuttle.
See how dinky the Slider is?
I chose the one with two pointed ends.
The top one is Pop-A-Bobbin from Jane Eborall's Etsy shop
(I believe she will be listing quite a large batch soon).
Middle one is an Aero which I quickly made for myself
so I haven't re-shaped the neck on that one like I normally do.
Here is a side view.
(I changed the order to place them in thickness order
as in the above photo, they were in length order)
So, measurements: LENGTH (without hook): Pop-A-Bobbin 67mm
Aero - 60mm
Slider - 50mm
THICKNESS: Pop-A-Bobbin - 19mm
Aero - 11mm
Slider - 17mm
WEIGHT: Pop-A-Bobbin - 7g
Aero - 3g
Slider - 7g
The weight is approximate in that my kitchen scales go up only in 1g increments but I know the Pop-a-Bobbin was closer to 8g.
Me? I still love that the Aero is easy to use, slim, and very lightweight! That doesn't mean that I won't keep being tempted by new goodies coming onto the market and wanting to try them out! But so far… I'm sticking with my Aeros.