The Evolution of a Product


First model – closed


First model – disassembled


First model – reassembled


3D plastic model – opened


Final metal model – opened


Final metal model – closed

In the last fifteen years at P&C, we’ve seen a lot of new products come and go, and we’ve created a lot of our own, like the Hearth & Home tobaccos and Baraccini pipes. We have some really good relationships with a number of companies, and we’re asked from time to time for our input as a company develops a new item. A while back, some folks from Rockwell wanted our feedback on a new pipe tool, figuring that we would be in the best position to tell them if their concept was good and whether it would sell.

(Please note: You can click on any of the images to see a larger view)

They sent us a tamper that had a pull-out pick on the end opposite the tamper, and it pulled apart and reaasembled Transformer-style, into a corkscrew. It was a neat idea, as you can see from the pictures, but it was about 4 1/2 inches long, heavy and the tamper head was too big to get into the bottom of a narrow chamber. We mentioned to them that a tool should have a scraper in addition to the pick and tamper. They wondered if a bottle opener would be helpful along a corkscrew. We thought that it was a good idea, as long as it would be durable, solid and compact.

A few months later, I got a chance to see something up close that I had never seen before – a computerized 3D model of a prototype. They entered the dimensions of the parts for the tool into a computer, and a 3D printer created the pieces. They assembled it and sent it to us for further evaluation. Take a look at the white item to see the model for yourself. You can see the swing-out scraper and pick, the corkscrew, the tamper end and a built-in bottle opener. We really liked the design, except that we felt that the pick needed to be a bit longer.

The other day, a package arrived here at P&C and in it was an all-metal working model of the new tool, which is tentatively named the Rockwell Binge Tool. The pick is now longer, it folds up securely, has nice heft, and they added a nice little loop at the end so it can easily attach to a key ring. Based on this model, we made a commitment to purchase a large quantity because we feel so positive about this a being a great all-in-one solution for pipe smokers, especially at the price Rockwell expects they can sell them for.

It’s always fun when you’re on the inside of new product development, and we’ll be glad to bring you this great new item soon.