View Full Version : 20x24 or 16x20 4-bladed easels: Beseler or Saunders

Steve Baggett
25-Feb-2001, 21:51
This question is about which of 2 designs of easels is favored. Both Beseler an d Saunders make 16x20 and 20x24 4-bladed easels. (For Saunders, I'm speaking of the non-V-track easel.) I've examined both and found that the blades on the Sa unders are more "limp" and tend to bow extensively when the easel is opened. Co nversely, the Beseler blades seem more "stiff" and bow much less when the easel is opened. Examining (with my eyeball) how flat they hold the paper, I can't se e any difference. The Saunders blades also don't seem to move as easily in that , since each end is attached, the end with the movement knob always moves ahead of the other end and you have to take your hand and help the far end of the blad e track along as it is moved across the top. This seems a little less than "rob ust" design, to me. Also, the Beseler is counter-balanced with a bigger spring when opened. What are your opinions on this? Do you like one easel better than another? Do the blades on both stay strictly in place when printing several co pies of the same print? The Beseler design seems better to me at this point, bu t I have owned other Saunders darkroom equipment that was very good in the past, so don't know if I am being to critical of things that don't matter. Thanks in advance for your adivce.

Scott Walton
25-Feb-2001, 22:32
Stay away from the Beseler!!! The Saunder's blade are straighter. Trust me on th is one. I have the 16x20 and I think it was a waist of money. Also, with the Beseler, The screws on the blades are very cheap... I use the Saunders at work everyday and have never been let down. I do highly recommend the V track also if you can swing the extra money.

R. McDonald
26-Feb-2001, 01:15

I agree with Scott.... I got my money back on the Beseler, went to the Saunders Heavy(?)Duty,and Settled on the V-Track. I now have one under each enlarger and they are GREAT! Well worth the extra money. I have known people to buy used easels and they have been very unhappy. I think easels are a lot like tooth brushes. I'm not sure it's the kind of thing you want to buy used. Aside from that, a good easel can make or break a print.

My 2 cents,


26-Feb-2001, 11:36
I, too, agree with the others. We have both types of easels, and were trying to save money by ordering the Beseler in 16x20 size, but in retrospect I wish we had gone with a Saunders. I'm more inclined to just not use that easel at all when making prints that big, as it's never had the "feel" that the Saunders easels have.

Robert Bedwell
26-Feb-2001, 20:12
I must agree with the consensus on the Saunders V-Track. I made the mistake originally by trying to compromise on the lesser expensive Saunders easel and it was a mistake. I first purchased the 16x20 V- Track and then the 11x14 v-track. A real joy to use. The blades are nice and wide and hold the paper tight. I have a friend that has the Beseler and she used my 11x14 V-Track in my darkroom when we were running some tests and fell in love with it.

andrea milano
27-Feb-2001, 13:28
Hi I have a Kaiser(40 x50cm) which I am led to believe is the same as Saunders, however DUNCO is another beautiful 4 blades

Steve Baggett
28-Feb-2001, 00:43
Thanks to everyone for the good advice. I have decided on the Saunders 16x20.