Uncle Bobs Tips

How To Pick The Wrong Power Tools

How To Pick The Wrong Power Tools

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True fact: More men will experience indecision, stress, and downright agony while standing in a Home Depot power tool aisle than they will under the wedding canopy. Sad, but true. Buying a power tool can be one of the most overwhelming acquisitions of a lifetime. Everyone wants to get the best buy for their money, and no one wants to walk away with a lemon, no matter how little or how much money they've put down. That's why UBT has put together this two-part power tool-buying guide. Part one tells you the five best ways to buy the wrong power tools, or, more succinctly, what you should avoid doing when purchasing a power tool. Part two gives you a list of brand names and where they rank.

So here are the 5 best ways to buy the wrong power tools, and a few ideas on how to get the best ones.

#1 Buy from an irreputable store- The best way to buy the wrong tools is buying at a shady shop without any credentials. I'm not talking about the self-run hardware store that old Bill has been running since his grand daddy passed away 250 years ago. If you've frequented his store, and are generally happy with the results, that is fine. I'm talking about stores that deal shady business. These stores buy the imitation brand names, and often you will never know the difference. For example, the shell says Bosch, but it is all second hand or imitation parts inside. This is guaranteed to last you less time than a dozen donuts at a weight watchers binge.

#2 Buying the most expensive piece in the store- That's what every retailer wants you to do! In reality, though, the most expensive item is not always the best item, and certainly not always the best item for you. The type of project you are working on will determine the quality of tool that is necessary. In addition, often you will find better brands for less because of importing costs, larger supply and demand or competitive pricing brackets. Go for a good brand rather than a big price tag, even if someone else is footing the bill.

#3 Looking for quantity not quality- Just because a tool has seventeen features listed doesn't make it a better tool than one with fewer options available. When dealing with high performance power tools, it's a good idea to cut down on the frills, and go for the most durable and powerful tool you can find. After all, would you rather have quality and precision or a retractable cord?

#4 Assuming one brand is the great across the board- Power tools can be broken down into three types; stationary, table top and portable (corded or cordless fall within these). Some companies are masters of one field, while not even making the top ten list for another. For example, a company that gets top marks in power drills, like Panasonic, may be terrible for table saws. The lack of dependable table saws does not negate the obvious expertise found in their drills. Know that almost no one out there makes top quality products in every category.

#5 Being uninformed- Regardless of the type of tool you are looking for, it is foolish to walk into a store without doing a little research. Go on line, and read up on the different makes and brands that are available for the tool you are looking for. When you go to the store, make sure you speak to someone (who knows what he's talking about), and ask questions about the company and model you are looking at. Don't be afraid to ask straight up questions about quality and pricing. A reliable store will stand by their choices, and be honest about shortcomings.

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