Quoted from Rdoyle1978:
Somethings not ringing true here - when did you say you bought the Stern blades? Also nothing you’re saying is contradicted in my post. If you’re not careful, ALL blades can have an issue, whether it’s the top getting caught on the playfield edge, or a gouge from the PF if it doesn’t lift out totally straight. Or mirror blades getting scuffed...
Have you held official Stern Art Blades personally and the AP Houdini ones? The material difference is stark.
Official Stern blades were bought for most Stern machines on the route I help with once Stern started selling them (all installed by me and not at the factory on new machines we got, if that was ever an option), which started years ago. Literally none of the Stern art blades have been snagged by raising and lowering the PFs to service them. Zero. I'll be the first to call out Stern's cost-cutting and poor quality, but they are making their Art Blades right. The material is fairly durable. AP's blades are not. That's all I'm saying. There's an OBVIOUS difference, and once installed people (including me) are snagging/tearing them in the wild from just raising the PFs.
I don't ever install mirror blades because they are too fragile and easy to scuff because they are even thicker than Stern's art blades. I also happen to personally like additional art over a mirror effect.
Once installed (use the wet method exclusively, kids - voice of experience here!) unless you're REALLY careless, you're not going to snag/tear Stern art blades.