O.K., so yes, it's beautiful and hand-forged, but a ****** to use with Warré hives. The blade to cut comb free is way too thick top to bottom. It doesn't fit between my Warré top bars, and if you slide it down between the combs, turn it and cut up the side, it crushes a good bit of the bottom of the comb during the turn. We're talking unnecessary mess and crushed bees. I'd give it one star, but it is lovely and because the prying end and cutting end are in the same plane, you always know how the blade is oriented.
Today I have to free some comb to make a split. Why, oh why, did I have to lose my old, irreplaceable comb knife? (I think that somewhere there are a lot of lost socks and hive tools living it up on a beach.) It was just a steel rod with a ninety degree bend at the bottom, flattened and ground down after the bend to make the blade, with a handle at the top. What a dandy at the job, though! I'm going to try grinding down the blade of my Ultimate Hive tool before I start today. Part of me hates to destroy a forged tool like that, but I'm desperate.
We're sorry about the issues you're having with the ultimate hive tool. We've continued to refine this tool for the many years since we designed it and we'll continue to do so. Your point on the width of the blade is a good one, and we'll take this to the team and see if there would be any detriments to narrowing it slightly in future iterations! In our experience, it has worked well in our own Warre hives (and all hives, for that matter), but that doesn't mean it can't be even better. We'll let you know if we make this change, given that you're the one that came up with it!