Types of Thumb Tips
There are probably hundreds of different types of thumb tips. Most magicians will own 10 or 12 thumb tips and consistently use 3 or 4 different thumb tips.
I carry 3 different thumb tips with me at all times. I carry a Vernet Classic Hard, Vernet Medium Soft and a Vernet King Size Soft thumb tip with me all the time. The Classic Hard is pre loaded with a $100 bill ready to perform a bill change. The Medium and King size tips are used for assorted tricks. I also carry an 18” diamond cut silk at all times. More on silks later.
I discuss the difference between soft and hard tips and why it matters a bit later in another post.
Thumb tips come in metal or plastic (Vinyl). Vinyl is the most popular today. Metal is used less frequently than it was 40 or 50 years ago. Vinyl thumb tips came to market in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
Metal thumb tips were the only choice for decades and were very difficult to fit and of course skin coloration was painted on and the paint wore off frequently. In fact, many old timers will tell you they grew tired of repainting their tips and just left them unpainted or silver and they learned to handle their thumb tips properly and the silver tip never showed.
Metal tips were great for doing cigarette vanishes however since smoking has fallen out of favor, is not allowed indoors in most venues; cigarette magic has also diminished greatly. Cigarette vanishes can still be performed with vinyl tips by using aluminum foil and/or small amounts of wet paper inside the tip.
With the advent of vinyl thumb tips, the styles and varieties of thumb tips has multiplied immensely. Vinyl tips come in a great variety of sizes, colors and textures. Some vinyl tips are soft and flexible while other vinyl tips are hard and more rigid.
The cost of a decent thumb tip has plummeted in recent years. Most tips are under $7.
In fact, I will discuss Vernet Magic brand on this website. Vernet is a world-renowned manufacturer of thumb tips and false fingers. Vernet makes tips in various sizes for big thumbs, regular thumbs and even smaller fingers…some tips are hard and some soft.
Some tips are just plain tips and some thumb tips are utility tip or devices with secret uses. I will discuss utility tips later. I will also discuss how to make your own utility tips by modifying your thumb tips. So stay tuned.