Cutting corals into smaller pieces to reproduce them (fragging) has become a popular way to provide corals for sale to hobbyists, and it also has the benefit of not removing any animals from the reefs. Two serious reef hobbyists who do a lot of fragging tested the Inland Craft Products DFS-100 Reefkeeper Saw, a small thin-bladed band saw specifically designed for fragging corals. The DFS-100 performed exceptionally well.
Inland Craft Products claims that the DFS-100 is the best tool to use for fragging corals and that it is an improvement over its previous model.
Since I do not do any coral fragging myself, I turned to friends at two local fish stores with large marine departments and with people associated with the store who frag a lot of corals. I gave one DFS-100 to Brett Varnum, owner (with his sister Bethany Stockman) of Laconia Pet Center in Laconia, New Hampshire. Brett had Garrett Sheehan test the DFS-100 (Garrett, by the way, is a professional tile man and has used just about every band saw out there, not only for fragging but for cutting tiles). The other DFS-100 went to my friend Steve Richmond, who owns Lovely Pets in Quincy, Massachusetts. Steve had Kevin Pratt (who frags corals both for the store and for his own business) test the DFS-100. Both testers were asked to use the DFS-100 to frag many different kinds of corals.
Both Garrett and Kevin said that the DFS-100 was the best frag saw they had ever used, and they were both familiar with other saws and the earlier model of Inland Craft saw. Garrett reported that he cut off four coral heads from a duncan coral that he had been growing, and with the band saw, cut those four into 50 smaller pieces; in less than an hour, the new frags had expanded and were looking like nothing had happened to them. Garrett attributes his success to the fact that the DFS-100 makes a very precise cut and that it is water-cooled well enough that not much heat is transferred to the coral.
Kevin’s experiences with the DFS-100 were equally good. He decided to frag one of the more difficult corals, so he chose an Acanthastrea coral with about 20 polyps to test the DFS-100. Kevin chose this coral because it responds well to being fragged, but it is important to cut the frag from the main coral very precisely along the ridges that divide polyps from each other. In a short time, Kevin was able to cut three frags off, each with three polyps, with his cuts being exactly along the ridges. Both the main coral and the new frags showed very few ill effects from the use of the DFS-100. This saw makes such good cuts that there was no damage to the mother coral or the frags at all. Kevin also used the DFS-100 on other types of corals, with equally positive results.
Both Garrett and Kevin (as well as the shop owners, Brett Varnum of Laconia Pet and Steve Richmond of Lovely Pets) were enthusiastic about using the Inland DFS-100 and wholeheartedly recommend it to any hobbyist or professional fragger. The DFS-100 is easy to assemble, easy to use, and makes precise and clean cuts. The thin blade is easy to adjust while being used and gives excellent results. The base and other parts of the saw that get wet are made of plastic, so there is no corrosion that could contaminate the frags. The water cooling is effective, and little heat is transferred to either the main colony or to the frags. Based upon what the testers reported, I would recommend the Inland Craft Products DFS-100 frag saw to anyone who is at all serious about fragging corals.
Inland Craft Products
DFS-100 Reefkeeper Saw
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