Today I took delivery of four pizza screens that I had ordered from instawares.com in the following sizes: 9" (diameter), 12", 14" and 16". The order I placed with instawares went flawlessly, with excellent e-mail communication from instawares everywhere along the line. I had intentionally ordered the four screens from four different vendors, just to see which vendor, if any, has the highest quality screen construction. Four different packages showed up at my front door via UPS at about the same time.
The vendors I selected for the four screens were as follows: Adcraft (9"); American Metalcraft (12"); Crestware (14"); and Johnson-Rose (16"). The first thing I noticed is that all four screens were made in India. Not only are we outsourcing IT, software and manufacturing jobs to India, but it looks like we are losing our pizza screen manufacturing jobs to India also. I don't know whether I should tell John Kerry. He might make a big issue out of all this and show up on TV with another plan--to bring the outsourced pizza screen manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
All four pizza screens looked fine upon inspection, except that the Johnson-Rose screen had some minor scratches and scuffing. Also, of the four screens, the Johnson-Rose screen had an outer rim that was slightly narrower than the other screens, which had the same width rim (about 1/2 inch). Since I recently took possession of my new Soehnle Futura digital scale (a thing of beauty I might add), I decided to weigh the four screens to see which has the greatest weight per square inch--a possible indication of the quality of the screens. Although the numbers were quite close, the winner was Adcraft, followed in turn by American Metalcraft, Crestware, and Johnson-Rose. I suspect the poorer showing by Johnson-Rose was because of the narrower outer rim (less metal proportionately).
As I looked at the screens, it also occurred to me that they may even be useful when I plan to bake pizzas on my pizza stone--specifically, as guides to tell me how big my pizza dough rounds are. Usually I keep a tape measure on hand to do this (and I don't want to draw circles on my Boos cutting board that I use to work on my doughs).
I don't think it much matters which screen vendor is used, since the screens are all quite similar, although I might be inclined not to use Johnson-Rose the next time. But, as they say at Fox, "I report, you decide."