I once owned a Hitachi Magic Wand, but I gave it to a partner as a gift thinking I’d easily get another one. This was during that dark period in history when there was a shortage due to the factory being damaged. Prices inflated quickly due to demand, and counterfeits were rampant. Between the price being twice what I’d originally paid and almost certainly getting a fake one that didn’t work as well for that ridiculous cost, I decided to see what else was out there.
Enter the Sinclair Select 8X Wand, purchased from a local retailer. Right off, mine isn’t an 8X, it’s a 7X apparently. One of the patterns just doesn’t work. The power light flashes to the rhythm that the motor is supposed to be matching, but it just stays constant as if no pattern was selected. I checked with the company that made it on getting a replacement, but it was going to cost over half of what I paid for it in order to do the registered shipping and such they required. The retailer wouldn’t accept returns on opened toys, for obvious reasons. I figured I could live without one pattern rather than throw more money at it.
This wand isn’t nearly as powerful as the genuine Hitachi I used to own. At first this was disappointing, but eventually I adjusted to the lessened sensation. It was still better than anything battery operated I owned at the time. The main bonus for this one is that the head is wrapped in a layer of silicone, which is a marked improvement over the mystery rubber on the Hitachi that eventually got dirty no matter what you tried to do with it.
Then after a few months of use, the silicone sheath around the neck started to tear slightly. This was concerning, but I ignored it. How bad would it be if this extremely thin flexible sheath tore, right? It’s not like a thin tube of silicone is all that’s holding the entire head, motor, and neck to the handle… right?
The real Hitachi Wand has a rather beefy motor in the handle itself, which is why the handle is so thick. The motor is connected a flex shaft ran through the center of a heavy spring for the neck, and also a cooling fan for the motor itself. That shaft is connected to the offset weight in the head that causes it to vibrate.
(apologies but I can’t seem to find the original source for this image to properly attribute)
Now that I have a replacement wand, let’s have a look inside! The Sinclair 8X only has 2 thin wires running up the neck, which means both motor and weight are housed in the head. This explains the lower power for two reasons: the weight of the motor being in the head is dampening the vibration, and having to hold the motor means a smaller/weaker motor and smaller offset weight which wouldn’t be able to vibrate nearly as intensely to begin with. I couldn’t find a screwdriver small enough to open the head itself, but the entire head is smaller than the motor on a Hitachi, if that gives you any indication. This is seriously the most questionable bit of engineering I’ve ever seen.
In the time since I purchased this pretender to the throne, other options have emerged on the market. Thankfully I managed to get a better one before Nearly Headless Nick here finally fell completely apart on me.