Horn hook couplers

Uncle peanut butter Apr 13, 2022

  1. Uncle peanut butter

    Uncle peanut butter TrainBoard Member

    Anyone use them? I’ve been buying some used cars and unbuilt kits off eBay to try and stretch my hobby money. I was thinking why not just use the couplers that come with the kit and save the kadee money for something else. Problem for me is my older cars and engines all have kadee.
  2. thetramp

    thetramp TrainBoard Member

    Make a transition car. Hook horn couplers on one side and Kadee's on the other side.
  3. RGW1

    RGW1 TrainBoard Member

    some times you can find used knuckle coupler lots on Ebay from take off from new cars at a good price So not kds but plastic ones that will work. I sorta like Accumate couples ( no spring to loose) , however many seem not to like them.

    just my 2 cents
  4. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    My experience is they don't uncouple when you want them to and do uncouple when you don't want them to.
    Mike VE2TRV and Metro Red Line like this.
  5. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    Eeek no. Buy a bunch of Kadee #5 couplers, that way you'll always have some on hand when you need to convert. Not only do horn-hook couplers look ugly, they're not as forgiving or flexible in operational situations. And since the majority of your cars already have Kadees, you have no practical reason to use horn-hooks. Yes, it's an added expense, but it's a justifiable cost to keep your trains both looking and running good.
    Mike VE2TRV likes this.
  6. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    My opinion exactly. The horn-hooks tend to uncouple at the most maddening times and for random reasons. Kadees, when well installed - right height, mostly - stay coupled. They only times I had some uncouple spontaneously was when one of the couplers was either too high or too low; a small height change in the tracks and there goes half your train.

    Get Kadees. Get a coupler height gauge (or use a known good car as a standard). Looks better, holds better.
    Metro Red Line and dalebaker like this.
  7. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

    The only time I have mixed Kadee and x2f couplers was I had a set of 12 Roundhouse covered hoppers I ran as a unit. They worked ok but I did not like how they looked at all. Those 12 cars now all have Kadee couplers. I run as many or few as I want. It also helps that I have a bit more disposable income these days for trains!(y)
  8. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    You can find 20-pair packs of Kadee #5 for less than $30 at hobby shops and on eBay. If you're buying older cars like Athearn Blue Box, that $30 can get you maybe 6 to 8 cars depending on how much they cost. In reality, you aren't really stretching your hobby budget that much by not buying Kadees.

    I would much rather have a small fleet of nice models than a large fleet of cheap or old models. Upgrading to kadees and installing metal wheels is almost always worth it. If the models you are buying come with horn-hook couplers, they are probably old models to begin with. If I were you, I wouldn't mind forgoing them in exchange for better couplers and equipment on the cars I already own.

    I can understand stretching your hobby budget by buying Walthers Mainline instead of Athearn Genesis, but not installing knuckle couplers? That seems a bit extreme. It's less than two dollars per car, I think that's a price worth paying.
  9. Chops

    Chops TrainBoard Member

    Kadees are great. If you have a host of tools, a magnifying glass, and lots of patience. I have none, so I prefer horn hooks, besides, unless you put your face to it, you can't tell, much. Of course, the high end stuff with roller bearings that rotate and such would look pretty lame with an x2f, no doubt. My rivet counting friend is always yanking my chain about horn hooks. So, it was with no small pleasure I got to watch him break in some new proto Kadees of the new, even smaller size.

    Karma is a witch.
    Mike VE2TRV and Shortround like this.

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