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					                       HISTORY OF MERLIN & THE EQUINE INDUSTRY



King Arthur’s Tools, the worldwide leader in the development of chainsaw blades on angle
grinders, proudly introduces “MERLIN – Electric Hoof Knife” to the Equine Industry. The tool and
its effective use in trimming a hoof has been proven by thousands of users over the past four
years.

In 2005, King Arthur’s Tools (KAT) introduced the MERLIN, a self contained trimming set, to the
dairy cow hoof trimming industry to be used by Hoof Trimmers, Dairymen and Veterinarians. But
it wasn’t long before we realized that we also had a trimming tool that could be used by a wide
variety of individuals and industries like Farriers’, Veterinarians, Individual Horse Owners and
the Equine Industry.

During the R & D days of the MERLIN Hoof Trimming Tool Set, KAT utilized the services of
Jerry Bowman; originally a trained Farrier turned Professional Hoof Trimmer, to assist by testing
different prototypes in actual field conditions. “I realized I had a power tool that could easily trim
the hooves on a horse”, he said. “I began trimming my own horses shortly after I started working
with the MERLIN and I’ve been doing it ever since”. (Trimming video on line) So KAT has
known for some time that the MERLIN could be successfully used on a variety of different
animal hooves. Our tools are used to trim the hooves of dairy cows, horses, cattle, goats, sheep
and hogs as well as the occasional elephant and giraffe (zoos). Almost anything with a hoof can
be trimmed.

Weighing in at 1.5 pounds and 11” long, MERLIN is the first electric tool to be offered as a hoof
trimming set. The patented set consists of an electric miniature long neck angle grinder, a 2”
diameter, 4 tooth carbide chain saw mounted between two discs and two other specifically
designed accessories for trimming, preparing and finishing hoofs. Famous worldwide as “The
World’s Smallest Chainsaw”, MERLIN is the first power tool that can duplicate the actions of a
hoof knife. It has been dubbed the “Electric Hoof Knife” by the dairy industry.

Over the past few years and prior to introducing our product to the Equine Industry we chose to
seek outside assistance to ensure that our tool would indeed be a viable tool for the Equine
Industry. In 2006, KAT contacted Ralph Casey of The Farriers’ National Research Center in
LaFayette, Georgia and submitted the MERLIN to them for their evaluation. The Center found
the tool to be an exceptional product for hoof trimming. Mr. Casey was so taken by MERLIN
that he promoted it on his cable television show “Horseshoe’n Time”. (Casey video on line)

We also contacted Dr. Ed Johnson, Department of Animal Science, University of Florida and his
resident farrier, Adam Whitehead. We asked if they would test the MERLIN to see if there was
an application for which the tool set could be used. The University found the tool to be
invaluable for doing hoof resections. Prior to MERLIN, the University used a Dremel tool almost
exclusively but now only in very few instances. (Whitehead video on line)

Over the past two years Farriers, Veterinarians and individual Horse Owners have found out
about KAT through word of mouth or the internet looking for an option to compliment the hoof
knife for trimming.

The following is a brief summary of some reactions that King Arthur’s Tools has received over
the past few years from those customers who are currently using the MERLIN.
  Subject           Initial Reaction                           What We Found To Be True.
Electric cord    Not comfortable having a       Because it has a power cord, it’s not a hand tool. That’s a good
                 horse exposed to an            thing.
                 electric wire.
                                                You have to work with the cord until you find your comfort level
                                                but the cord and its positioning around the horse soon becomes
                                                a part of the trimming process. It only adds a couple of minutes
                                                to the time you take to set up your trimming work area. Safety
                                                measures can be easily introduced to protect the horse such as
                                                using a grounded extension cord that has a built in circuit
                                                interrupter.

                 Fearful that the tool may      The noise the grinder makes is about the same as a pair of
                 be too noisy.                  electric clippers. The horse soon becomes use to it.

                 Don’t have access to a         MERLIN uses 100 watts of electricity and pulls one (1) amp of
                 source of electric power.      power. You can easily power the unit with an auto/truck DC/AC
                                                power converter.
Chainsaw         Most people are a little       The two things about a hoof knife are sharpness and the ability
blade vs. hoof   skeptical when they are        to control the knife as you’re making the cut.
knife            first introduced to the idea
                 of trimming a horse’s hoof     The general consensus of most people familiar with hoof knives
                 with a small chain saw         is that the hoof knife is difficult to sharpen and requires a certain
                 blade.                         level of skill. Sharpening a hoof knife isn’t a problem for the
                                                Professional Farrier but for a Horse Owner who trims his own
                                                animal they find that one of the advantages to using chain saw
                                                technology is the ease in sharpening the four (4) teeth. It
                                                requires the use of a diamond tipped chain saw file due to the
                                                tungsten carbide teeth. The whole sharpening process takes
                                                less than 5 minutes and should be done after each trimming. It
                                                only takes three passes of the file on the tooth to tune it up. This
                                                guarantees you a sharp tool the next time you need it and it
                                                helps extend the life of the blade.

                 Concerned about being          You have to learn how to use a hoof knife and develop the feel
                 able to control the tool.      in gauging the depth of a cut on the hoof while having enough
                                                strength to pull the hoof knife through the hoof.

                                                It’s almost the same with MERLIN. The operator will develop the
                                                ability to control the depth of the cut through feel. The
                                                combination of the grinder size, the unique cutting action of the
                                                chain saw blade and how the unit balances in your hand allows
                                                the operator to use the MERLIN in a very precise manner. You
                                                can remove hoof material as small as micro thin slivers.

                                                The major difference is just how easy it is to trim with the
                                                MERLIN. You just let the tool do the cutting as you control the
                                                area and amount of hoof material to be removed.
New              A proud 200 year tradition     The MERLIN probably isn’t going to be for everyone but here is
technology       of hoof knife, rasp and file   a list of some of those who are using the MERLIN;

                                                       Professional Farriers.
                                                       Farriers and Veterinarians who provide “hoof wall re-
                                                        section” type services.
                                                       Horse Owners who trim their own animals.
                                                       Trimmers who have limiting physical problems with their
                                                        hands and wrist.
                                                       Women in general buy the MERLIN because of the size,
                                                        weight and control. It doesn’t require the physical
                                                        strength like a typical hoof knife.

				
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posted:5/6/2010
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