Today I am going to give you some insights to the differences between Konad and fauxnad stamping plates.
There is a good posting in the Salon Geek about how to spot fake Konad products, which describes the basic differences. The Salon Geek posting shows an example of a bad quality stamping plate. But the plate in the image is not a laser etched plate at all. It is clearly visible that the plate is mechanically engraved, like the engravings in jewelry etc. Some crooks do sell plates like that, but they are not suitable for nail art stamping and I would not call those nail art stamping plates at all.
Good thing is that most of the fauxnads are not like that. Most of the fauxnads are genuinely laser etched and it is very hard to see the difference to the originals. From the top side, that is - none of the fauxnads have the nice decorated backside that Konad plates have.
Some fauxnad manufacturers do use old etching machines that will result in images that are not nice to stamp with. But you really cannot see that by looking at the plate. You may see that the etchings look more shiny than in the Konad plates. That is because the edge is curved and reflects more light. In some cases the plate looks just like regular plate, but the image just do not transfer neatly. The most common fauxnads, Bundle Monster and Chez-Delaney do not have this problem, but I do have some B-series plates that are unstampable. I am not sure whether they are original or not.
One thing that is mentioned in the Salon Geek posting is that the fauxnad plate edges are sharp. That is true, but for most of us that is not a big deal. I can easily file the edge if it bothers me.
The nail art stamping plates are normally made of stainless steel, but some of the fauxnads are made of aluminium. They will not last as long and it is a good advice to use plastic scraper with fauxnads if you do not know their material. Aluminium is very soft metal and plates will be easily ruined when scraped with metal scraper. But then again, some fauxnads are made of stainless steel, just like the originals.
The biggest problem with fauxnads is the image format. Without original vector art the images need to be scanned (poor quality) or redrawn from scratch to correct format. In my opinion, it is more often this redrawing process that makes the fauxnads low quality, not the laser quality of the machine.
To see yourselves what I mean, look at the following examples. As I do not own the image copyrights I cannot show them directly in this blog:
m71 by Konad
m71 from Chez-Delaney (Update: This link no longer works, Delaney now sells real Konad plates)
m78 by Konad
m78 from Chez-Delaney (Update: This link no longer works, Delaney now sells real Konad plates)
Look at the lace image in the top left of the plate m71. In the original image the lace consists of dots. In the fauxnad image, it consists of lines and is missing some of the bigger dots. Also the lace in the lower right is looking quite different from original.
If you look at leopard spots in the Delaney m78, you'll quickly notice that two of them misses the area in the center. The copycat has forgot to run some boolean operations to her images after scanning. There are also other changes in that image, plus the butterflies are a simplified version of the original.
As every fauxnad manufacturer has to redraw the images, every fauxnad manufacturer has their own versions of the images.
The Chez-Delaney plates are nicely etched and I do not wish to discourage you to buy plates from her non-fauxnad series. I am buying from her myself! These images linked were just to demonstrate the problems in the fauxnad plates in general. I am not sure whether the non-fauxnad plates that she is selling are created by her, or if they are clones of some other plate serie that I am not aware of. If some of you knows, please let me know!
To sum up, good quality non-Konad nail art stamping plates with original images do exist, even though they have a bit rough edges. But if you are trying to save money by buying fauxnad with Konad images instead of the original Konad plate, you will have to accept that the images are not exactly the same.