Monday, January 3, 2011

5 Important things to think about when buying hand tools

Do you need a new set of hand tools or do you need to replace one?

If you do, you might be tempted to just run out to your local hardware store and buy the cheapest one you can find, and I don't blame you.  Who wants to spend a lot of time doing research on an item that will most likely cost less than $20?  Although  most hand tools are not very expensive, especially when compared to the cost of a new power tool, you might want to consider a few things before heading out to the store.

5 things to think about:
  1. Warranty/Quality - Does the hand tool come with a warranty? Several brands such as Craftsman and Ace Hardware come with lifetime warranties for all hand tools.  Why not buy a tool that is guaranteed to last?
  2. Supplier/Manufacturer’s reputation – Who is giving you the guarantee? A warranty is only as good as the company providing it. A lifetime warranty from a company that may not be here tomorrow is not worth anything.  Be sure the store and the manufacturer have a reputation you can count on. 
  3. Comfort – Is the tool comfortable to hold and use?  I know from personal experience that if the tool is not easy or comfortable to use it will never leave my tool box.  Hold the tool in your hand and see how it feels. This is especially important if you have extra small or extra large hands.
  4. Function – Is it the right tool for the job?  Buying a tool that is too big, too small or just a little bit ‘off’ is not worth the money no matter how much you are spending or think you are saving.  Also buying a ‘multi-purpose’ tool that does 10 different things when you only need it to do 1 thing may not be worth buying.
  5. Cost – How important is it? In general hand tools are not very expensive and it is worth spending a few extra dollars to get a high quality tool with a life time guarantee from a reputable source.

2 comments:

  1. Judy you are right on all points. My particular experience has been having a tool that was too heavy. I had a circular saw that was okay if you used it once or twice but when we laid wood floors in my sons bedroom, I needed help, it was just too heavy and the grip was just a little bit too big so my arm just couldn't handle the entire job. :-)

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  2. I agree Amy and thanks for the comment. I used to use a 22 oz framing hammer and ended up with tendonitis. I bought a titanium hammer for $90 bucks and don't tire out as fast and it doesn't hurt :) Well worth the money especially when I'm volunteering with Habitat.

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