Hello, Alex --
> Moreover many use handheld tools like a "bamboo skewer" that is
something obscure to me...
A bamboo skewer looks like a very long toothpick. It has the same
circumference as a toothpick (about 1.5mm) but is four or five times
longer than a toothpick. Mine are pointed at one end. Although some
strange people use them to grill food, they were clearly designed for
uncoupling model railroad cars. :-)
> So the question is: what about we Zers?
> Do you uncouple the cars preferably by hands or using MTL
(magnetic) and MKL (electric) uncouplers? Do you use any handheld
Any slender, round, pointed tool of at least 1.5mm-2mm thickness will
probably work as a manual uncoupler. My favorite tool is a bamboo
skewer, because it's long. I've also used a toothpick and a stout
metal needle. Some companies such as Rix manufacture a plastic
uncoupling "pick" (designed for N and HO) which works on the same
principle. I think a wood or plastic tool will work best; metal may
eventually damage couplers, and if it becomes magnetized it may not
work well with MTL couplers.
> In particular, for Magne-matic couplers any suggestion about how to
better perform uncoupling activities without partially removing one
side of a car form the track? I mean uncoupling possibly just
touching the couplers as I presume a "bamboo skewer" should do.....
A skewer or similar pick will work equally well on Magne-matic and
Märklin couplers. It will even work on those troublesome
Märklin-compatible couplers manufactured by MTL (with some
practice!). The trick is to gently push the point of the pick between
the two knuckles of a pair of MTL couplers, or between two Märklin
fish-hooks. Once the tip has gotten between the couplers, the
shoulders of the tool will spread and dis-engage the couplers. With
Märklin couplers, you can swing one of the hooks clear of the
other one. You may need to push one of the cars down the track a
millimeter or two to prevent re-coupling, but otherwise it leaves the
cars right where they are. You can even uncouple on curved track.
-- Andy Hunting