Draven Reviews: Roughing Stick by Harry Robson

approved Title: Roughing Stick
Artist: Harry Robson
Producers: Vanishing Inc.
Retail Price: $15.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of Video: 14 Minutes
Notes:  There is no DVD.  The product comes with a link to an online video.


  • Harry Robson’s Roughing Stick
  • Business Card with online Video Tutorial Link

If you’ve ever worked with an Invisible Deck before, or a Svengali, or even a Brain Wave deck then you’re familiar with the principle of rough and smooth cards.  Up until now the way to rough cards was to buy a can of Roughing Spray from your magic dealer and then spray down the backs of the cards you want to rough up.  You’d of course have to do this outside or in a well ventilated area because that crap smells something awful!  Now comes Harry Robson with his roughing stick and all of a sudden the game changes.  No more smelly spray in a can, no more messy uneven roughed surfaces, and a single stick will last you a long time.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Let’s be clear about this.  You’re not buying a magic trick.  You’re not even buying a utility device really.  You’re buying a product that you can use to MAKE magic tricks.  Considering that invisible decks sell at $20 bucks + a piece at the magic store, you buy this little thing you can make a hundred decks yourself for practically nothing in comparison to what you’d spend retail on them.

The online video is short and sweet.  If you’ve never worked with roughing fluid before then they’ll show you how to use the roughing stick, and how to apply it to cards.  One of the cool things in the video is you literally see Harry, using a Roughing Stick, put together an Brain Wave Deck from scratch in under 2 minutes.  I just love the fact that this little stick is quite a money saver, and as an added kicker the Roughing Stick leaves no residue behind on the cards.  It’s totally invisible.

Harry Robson has come out with a product that belongs in every magician’s tool box.  His Roughing Stick has just as much of an important home next to the hobby knife, double stick tape, rubber cement, scissors, elastic thread, and rope.  I’ve used Roughing Spray before in the past, and I still own a can or two of it, but between the two I think I’ll always use the stick first and only use the spray as a backup in case I run out of stock on my stick.  This is an essential piece of equipment and you should own it!

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 9
The price is amazing for such a little product.  It will last you quite a long time.

Teaching Quality: 5
The tutorial really isn’t so much a tutorial as it is a stroll through the park of what you using Roughing fluid for.  That is to say there really isn’t much to be taught in how to use it.  There is more in suggesting ways for it to be used.

Video & Sound Quality: 5
The video is pretty grainy, but the audio is okay.

Overall Quality: 9
This should be an essential piece of equipment in every magicians tool kit.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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