What are advantages and disadvantages of laminated or layered tips?
Layered or laminated tips are made by compressing and gluing together many layers of leather material, in an attempt to create more consistent properties as the tip wears down with use. Some people think laminated tips are better because of they don’t seem to compress and harden with use, and they seem to provide more consistency over their lifetime; but others don’t like them thinking they don’t hold chalk as well or that the glue between the layers can affect performance. In the absence of hard comparison data, it just seems to simply be a matter of personal preference and psychology.
from arnaldo [quoting Jack Koehler] (in AZB post):
“Leather (from the donor animal) is not homogenous. The texture (and hardness) changes from the hair side to the inside. If the tip is made of one piece of leather, you get a simple progression from hard to soft. The thin pieces of leather skived for lamination purposes have these same characteristics but when you stack them, to get the proper thickness, the final product is much more homogeneous. The randomness of grain from layer to layer when compiling the stacks, which you properly mention, probably also plays a part in the resulting superiority and performance characteristics.”