Everyone knows Rattan sticks have a tendency to eventually blow out. The question is: how long will your set last you? Do you find yourself buying sticks once every month or two? If so, how about changing that to once every six months to a year or even longer! This is an independent review. I have not been paid to write this review, nor has it been requested.
When I first received my sticks from Maestro Nap. David Guillory, I'll never forget the moment. As soon as I held them in my hands, I found that they were just right in weight, neither too heavy nor too light. Though I will say they are a bit heavier than another set I had purchased from another party, they are almost like steel. It's simple to see they were fire-hardened in the correct way.
Another important aspect I noticed when holding the sticks in my hands is that David knows how to select equal-weighted sticks. Both are identical in feel and weight. A perfect matching set.
The appearance of the sticks is great! Rather than sanding the joints down completely level, David beautifully tapered them, which I do believe will provide added strength on the nodes themselves. Anyone who has an understanding of geometry as I do will know that a taper is like the triangle. The triangle is known as one of the strongest geometrical structures known, and the ancient Egyptians knew this all to well. After all, the pyramids are still standing. With the tapers David performs on the nodes, rather than flat-filing, it adds much more strength.
The skin is left on David's sticks, and you can see the visible lines which run from one end of the stick to the other. This really does a lot for assisting in the grip of the sticks, and the strength of the entire stick as well.
The sticks haven't shown any dimples where they've been smacked together at all! And a couple of times they've already been whacked pretty hard. Not a single sign of give in the fire-hardened skins of these sticks.
The sticks are a little small in diameter, but don't let that fool you. They more than make up for that in the solidity. I measured the diameter of both sticks and they are right at .85 of an inch - just .15 less than a full inch. Although this is the case, I must say that David carefully matches the sticks for equal weight and diameter.
The key with providing any product to the public is consistency. Same weight, same quality, always. Finding sources today who are willing to make this additional effort is rare. David provides a consistency that resembles a factory... yet he does this in his spare time from his home.
In my carefully thought-out opinion, I don't believe you can do any better in making your stick selection than to go with David's products. I am a happy recipient of his artfully crafted instruments, and I'm sure you will be too.
Contact him here on FMA if you would like to talk with him about how he fashions them. You will be amazed. Simply search the members list for Maestro Nap. David Guillory. I'm sure he will be happy to visit with you.
Above, I know I said the sticks should last up to a year of extremely heavy use. However, as I just got the sticks, I'm not honestly sure if that's the longest they'll last! According to David's statement on his own website at http://www.arnistendencia.com
(look under the clickable tab at top labeled "Rattan Sticks!"), he makes them with the same method as Supreme Master Sam C. Tendencia, and that many of Sam's sticks have been known to have lasted twenty years and still going strong. With this statement in mind, perhaps your sticks could last for many, many years beyond what I mentioned above. For me to discover for myself, I guarantee they will be used heavily.