Once again, Gerry nails it with a few well chosen words: " But I put my few $$'s on anything made in France,
these are such a great tool have when the need arises!"
It is unfortunate that the tool market now have the fraudsters attempting to duplicate the precision items at a cheaper price and passing them off as French, German, Swiss or UK origin.
Many from India/Pakistan can do the job adequately but have a very limited life span. So I used to buy these in bulk and use for one-offs. No longer do this however, as the quality control check often reduces my buy to 40-50% for keepers.
The rule of thumb should be with many precision jewellery tools is that the cheap versions do not necessarily represent value for money.
One particular brand (stamped France) but clearly lacking the usual quality, always has failure with the wheel’s wire axle. It has become a habit of mine to set aside some free time to remove this axle and replace with stainless steel for emergency use.
These days the easy access to the internet tool suppliers does limit our visual appraisal, and when somebody else selects a particular tool from their stock you cannot be assured of receiving one which you would personally select.
So to those of you who are new to millgrain tools or others who seem to be having issues with them, I urge you to heed the advice of experienced others on this forum. Sometimes it IS the poor quality tool at fault, well sometimes!