The Kestrel 4 Ounce Tuning Lever
Out of stock due to popular demand
Out of stock until we are able to fulfill current orders...
If you would like to be put on the waiting list for us to inform you when they will be available for order, email us at email@example.com
Please view the video above, as it answers most of the questions we get asked.
Each lever will be made to order, to accommodate length change requests. This will be on a first come first served basis. Actual lead time will depend on current demand, but currently we are at about 2-4 weeks for the Standard model and 3-6 weeks for Polished models that take take longer to produce due to the hydro dipping (applying the burl wood graphic film), epoxy finishing and final polishing.
When ordering, be sure to select your tip (40mm, 30mm, 20mm or NONE). We offer the option to purchase without a tip because some may already have the Jahn tip(s) with the male threaded stud, and would prefer not to pay for something they already have.
The default total length of the Kestrel is 11 inches. If you want a different length (maximum 12"), please enter a note in the box during checkout. Keep in mind that if we offer a carrying case or storage bag in the future, it will be made to fit the standard 11 inch length.
Benefits and Unique Features:
1. It's as light as it gets (especially at the ball handle end), and this is a good thing! Less mass to push and pull results in better control, more accurate movements, and crisper tactile feedback to let you feel how the pin and wire is responding to your input. Lighter levers also reduce physical strain on your body.
2. The extreme modulus carbon fiber (specially made for our Kestrel) is over 3 times stiffer than typical, less expensive CF tubing. Regular modulus tubing sacrifices stiffness in favor of higher impact strength, which may be important for some applications. But a tuning lever does not require this compromise, as long as you don't drop it on concrete or smash it with a hammer, so we rid unnecessary impact strength in order to max out the stiffness. The Kestrel's extreme stiffness further adds to the feedback and responsiveness, providing a more direct transfer of your inputs to the tuning pin.
3. The downward offset ball brings your hand down closer to the level of the tuning pins by about a half an inch. This makes it behave like it has a 12 degree head while maintaining all the strut clearance benefits of its 15 degree head. The elevation of the right hand is what matters for efficient transfer of input forces to pin torque, not the angle of the head.
4. The center of mass is much closer to the tip, due to the composite ball handle being so much lighter than wood, which means less inertia and momentum to counter your efforts. On a heavier lever, this unusual balance point might make the tool feel less balanced or provide stress on the wrist to hold the tool in position when moving from pin to pin. But with the Kestrel being so light, moving from pin to pin is almost effortless.
Actual weight can vary slightly. The Polished models may be about a tenth of an ounce heavier due to the epoxy finish.
11" lever with 20mm tip: 3.9 ounces
11" lever with 30mm tip: 4.3 ounces
11" lever with 40mm tip: 4.7 ounces
Ball handle diameter = 52mm
Carbon fiber tube shaft diameter = 22mm
Head is 15 degrees (but downward offset ball lowers the point of applied force, making it feel and behave more like a 12 degree lever).
Difference between Standard and Polished:
The difference is only looks and the finish texture/feel. The Standard model has a composite ball handle, which is hand-polished to a satin or semigloss sheen (depending on color). The carbon fiber tube shaft is exactly as it comes from the tubing factory; it is not polished smooth, so you can slightly feel the texture of the underlying carbon fiber weave.
The Polished model is constructed exactly the same way, but the ball handle is hydro-dipped to provide the ultra-realistic wood grain appearance. Both the carbon fiber tubing and ball handle are coated with a clear epoxy finish, which will endure a lifetime of use.
Answers to Common Questions:
Q: Will you offer 12.5, 10, 7.5 or 5 degree heads in the future?
A: Maybe, but if we do, it will be reluctantly. Using a low degree head usually results in having to use longer tips or tip extensions to overcome the clearance issues produced by the small head angle. This just makes the tool heavier and less responsive, while elevating the grip hand. This means the desired reduction in flagpole forces (the reason small angles SEEM like a good idea) is lost. We hope to produce a video in the future to demonstrate this more clearly.
Q: Does the hydro-dipped burl wood pattern really look like wood?
A: Yes, it's quite stunning, as the hydrographic film is a photo reproduction of real wood grain. Everyone who has seen our levers in person has been surprised that it's not actual wood.