Thanks for this discussion.
Having giving the presentation many times around the country, I often have to use whatever masher is around and some do seem to work much better than others. The one we had in the DVD was probably one of the hardest to use, as you can see by the difficulty the girls had using it.
Sometimes, I just use a larger fork, like a serving fork, which works very well and I have just used my hands on occasion too.
This is the one I use at home.http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-FN19-Ny ... B000IV5902
The reason I love it is that is has a slight curve to it which allows me to use a slight rocking motion on the beans when mashing them and to also follow the slight curve of the mixing bowl. I show this technique on the DVD but it did not work as well with the masher we have.