What To Look For When Purchasing Woodworking Tools

What To Look For When Purchasing Woodworking Tools

Even experienced woodworkers can go into “contractions” when it​ comes to​ trying to​ buy a​ new tool … can you imagine how a​ novice must feel?
The rule of​ thumb when buying anything is​ … “when you don’t know much,​ if​ anything about the​ product,​ select the​ cheapest or​ near cheapest price,​ or​ we​ pick the​ most powerful version,​ thinking that if​ one power is​ good,​ two must be better”.

We all do this with one thing or​ another,​ but doing this with power tools can be hazardous to​ your health. One example of​ buying too much was a​ friend of​ our family’s daughter. Finally got her first apartment and decided to​ fix it​ up a​ bit. She needed to​ fasten a​ bookshelf to​ the​ wall and decided to​ purchase a​ portable drill. There are dozens of​ them around. in​ her mind she wanted “a good one” and promptly purchased,​ at​ the​ sales person’s recommendation,​ an​ 18volt drill. Honestly,​ if​ this young gal is​ 100 pounds soaking we,​ I would be amazed,​ she is​ a​ wee bit of​ a​ thing,​ and you guessed,​ the​ first time she used the​ drill,​ the​ bit caught something in​ the​ wall and twisted out of​ her control to​ the​ point she had to​ seek medical attention and was off work for a​ few days and in​ a​ sling for two weeks. the​ drill was simply way too powerful for her.

Purchasing power tools goes beyond looking at​ power,​ just ask the​ woodworker who purchased a​ portable drill and the​ third time using it​ the​ battery pack actually blew out the​ bottom of​ it’s case,​ barely missing his leg … and this was an​ “experienced” woodworker.

Like purchasing anything,​ a​ bit of​ research can go a​ long way. as​ a​ rule,​ I have found most tool salespeople to​ be well informed,​ but remember,​ they will be trying to​ sell you the​ tools THEY sell and not what might be best for you,​ so keep this in​ mind when you are looking.

Without going into depth on​ many different tools,​ here are some points that I have found useful in​ purchasing tools.

Warranty – look for tools that have a​ long or​ even lifetime warranty. These tools will be among the​ better performers because they manufacturers do NOT want to​ see these tools coming back to​ them for repair or​ replacement.

Price – I always find that purchasing tools that are priced “middle of​ the​ pack” gives me about the​ best value. I can often find a​ very decent tool,​ with a​ good warranty that is​ competitively priced.

Power – as​ noted above,​ bigger is​ not always better. I am an​ average sized woodworker and I have no use for drill over 14 volts,​ they are too heavy and too powerful,​ even for me they can twist my arm … look for what will do the​ job for you.

Corded or​ Cordless – you will generally pay much less for corded tools,​ BUT they are less convenient. if​ think you will be using your tools a​ lot,​ battery power is​ good,​ if​ you are only going to​ use your tool occasionally,​ corded is​ probably fine for you.
Where to​ Buy – as​ always,​ a​ reputable dealer,​ preferably one who has a​ selection to​ choose from and who will stand behind what they sell.

If you use these guidelines in​ purchasing tools you will reduce your risk of​ purchasing poor quality tools or​ tools that don’t suite the​ work you need them for … save yourself some time,​ money and lot of​ frustration.

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