I know this thread is a few years old and one of the posters is no longer with us, but I might have something to add if anyone is still interested (sorry, I didn't join the forum until a few weeks ago!).
I was a student of MaryBeth Minnis in my undergrad, who was a student of both Hugh Cooper and Bob Barris. She taught us all to hand profile, but in a different way than Mr. Corey describes above. We used 5" (127mm) cane, which was also Mr. Cooper's favorite, and did most of the work with a bastard file, after stripping the bark with a jackknife. She taught us to hand profile because that was the way she had learned and also because it was less expensive and more portable for the student (i.e. you didn't have to buy an expensive profiling machine, and when I did summer festivals and study abroad, I could fit all my tools in a shoe box). I also got a big kick out of being "that guy from the Midwest who hand profiles" when I went to summer festivals.
I then went to Michigan to study with Richard Beene. When I arrived, he was using a Rieger profiler for his reeds, so I bought one and used that. We did that my first 2 years there, and he was experimenting frequently with different profiles and measurements and the students would offer our opinions, etc, however he was never really happy with the results he was getting from us or from himself. Then my 3rd year, he announced that he had started hand-profiling and was going to teach us to do it too.
He said that when he had started teaching at Michigan, Mr. Cooper was still there. Mr. Beene was frustrated with his reeds and asked Mr. Cooper for help. Mr. Cooper then showed him his hand profiling method. Mr. Beene loved it and was, in his own words, "making the best reeds of my life." Mr. Beene liked it for the same two reasons Mr. Cooper did 1) Machine profilers compress the vascular bundles, which deadens the vibrations. Hand profiling tears the bundles, which allows them to stay open and vibrate freely and 2) Hand profiling allows you to put in the secondary taper that is standard in an American-style bassoon reed (what Mr. Cooper called the tip-tape reed), in other words a gradual taper from collar to critical point and then a steeper taper to the tip. Most machine profilers only do a single wedge tape from collar to tip.
Mr. Beene's method was similar to the one Mr. Corey describes with the "arrowhead," although the dimensions were a bit different (collar at 29mm, blade at 26mm). He taught it to most of us in the studio and I, for one, can say I was making the best reeds of my life at that time. I graduated that year and stopped hand profiling shortly afterwards due to time constraints and the fact that I had several students who needed reeds as well as myself. I haven't spoken with Mr. Beene in a few years, so I don't know if he is still hand profiling.
Hand profiling is extremely customizable and flexible and once you get the hang of it, it doesn't take that much more time than machine profiling. There is a higher margin for error, I suppose. After reading this thread, I hand profiled a couple pieces of cane last night and though I was out of practice, I don't think I screwed it up that bad. haha. I also have been re-reading the IDRS Journal article on "Cooper's Cubist Reed Concept." from a few years ago. It's a dying art - I don't know anyone who does it anymore, but I'm grateful that I was taught how to do it by two wonderful teachers and hope that others show interest in it, if for nothing else, than to keep Mr. Cooper's brilliant legacy alive.