Decades in the Making:
Our journey began 45 years ago when I was a supplier for the US and European aviation industries. Through this work, I cultivated a strong relationship with a prominent aviation firm. They approached me with a unique challenge: to create a high-precision cutting tool capable of cutting aircraft skin, primarily composed of aluminum or aluminum alloys, without generating sparks, burrs, or sharp edges. This was a common issue, especially during aircraft prototyping in those days. It was no small task, but I embarked on the journey to design my first nibbler.
On June 27th, 1985, I patented my initial design, the Turner Nibbler. Unlike the large, unwieldy, and costly cutting machines of its time, the Turner Nibbler was a compact and portable alternative, utilizing a power drill to drive its cutting motion. These innovations made the nibbler mobile for the first time and significantly more cost-effective than its contemporaries, while fulfilling the aviation industry's exacting requirements.
[Image: A technical drawing from the original Turner Nibbler, dating back to 1985]
The Turner Nibbler is the progenitor of today's 'nibblers,' with subsequent tools adopting its compact and mobile design philosophy.
Our Turner Nibbler received patents in the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and the United States (U.S. Patent No. 4,748,744). We continued with this design until the early 2000s when we decided to part ways with it and explore a new approach to nibbler design.
Building on a capable platform:
After years of tinkering and developing what would become the world's first 'saw nibbler,' I began to refine a design that built upon the innovations of my original nibbler while introducing key changes. Although the Turner Nibbler used an over-length cutting apparatus in a linear actuating motion to reduce tool vibration, this approach consumed more energy, limiting the tool's cutting potential. While groundbreaking at the time, advances in manufacturing techniques allowed us to achieve similar results without compromising cutting power.
Another innovation was changing the tool to cut on the up-stroke, significantly enhancing its strength and preventing the cutting punches from breaking unnecessarily, a common issue with my first nibbler. To this day, our nibblers remain the only ones that cut on the up-stroke.
The most substantial change was made to the design of the die, resulting in a major reduction in cutting wear, thereby enhancing the life of the punch and making the tool more maneuverable. This innovation led to the creation of the Professional Nibbler, which began production in Perth after our relocation to Australia in the early 2000s.
The Professional Nibbler has been available in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan for over a decade, continuously improving during this time. As we prepared to move to Queensland, I revisited my nibbler design. After decades of incremental improvements, little had led to significant progress until I focused on the driveshaft.
A slight alteration in the number of faces on the driveshaft reduced the risk of the drill slipping and improved power transfer between the drill and the nibbler. We also made changes to the cutting punch, optimizing manufacturing processes and materials to enhance blade strength and longevity. This evolution resulted in the CaNibble, the culmination of over 40 years of nibbler design, refinement, manufacturing techniques, and my entire career. It's unquestionably my life's work.
The CaNibble Nibbler is born:
Our decision to reintroduce our Nibblers in North America after more than two decades was a significant step. It had become increasingly challenging since our move to Australia, but it has brought us to where we are today. The CaNibble is now available worldwide and stands as the most advanced drill attachment nibbler on the market, tracing its roots back to the original drill attachment nibbler that set the revolution in nibbler design in motion—all sparked by a request from a friend in the aviation industry.
The CaNibble is undeniably my life's work, a testament to a time when craftsmanship and durability mattered. I can only say, enjoy using the CaNibble, as I know my father would have been proud.
Ken Turner, Designer & Founder