We heard back from corsetmaking.com this morning, and they explained that when they notice damage in the continuous boning, they include extra to make up for it. We pulled out the tape measure, and sure enough there was an additional three yards in my coil. I find that to be a perfectly reasonable tradeoff.
As for the boning cutter, it would seem that we ended up with a factory defect or something, since the people of corsetmaking.com haven’t heard of the tool being too stiff to use before. We’ve been given the ‘okay’ for returning it.
I’m glad that that’s taken care of.
Everything else that we got from corsetmaking.com seems to be of good quality (coutil, lacing, grommets, etc).