Category Archives: Tools

Buying Tools Without Breaking The Bank

We all need tools.  Whether it be the occasional screwdriver or pair of pliers for mundane tasks…..we all need tools.   Tools can be pretty expensive and for the most part “you get what you pay for” applies.

Analogy time.  The golden age of stereo was probably the 1970’s.  Vacuum Tube amplifiers ruled the audiophile roost while the transistor made it’s way onto the scene with gigantic receivers with beautiful silver faceplates and VU meters.  To this day I lust after giant boat anchor Pioneer and Sansui Receivers.

As it is in the world of tools.  Probably the golden age of hand tools was from the 1960’s to the 1990’s.  Things were robust then.  Men made buildings out of steel, and made in America appliances were built like tanks.   Cars were muscle cars.  Even the family car was substantial.  Powerful, and reliable hand tools were a necessity.  And everyone fixed their own stuff.

While I’m not saying that things today are poorly made, I am saying things are smaller, lighter, more electronic, and less repairable by and large.  People that need the most robust tools are in shorter supply.  Our love of inexpensive items made in China has affected the robustness of our tooling as well.  Walk into Lowes or HomeDepot and the tool areas are filled with inexpensive tooling from China that is cheap and becomes even cheaper around Father’s Day or Black Friday, or Christmas.

The internet is full of web pages comparing those tools.  I just watched one where someone welded a bolt to something and they used each brand of tools to the point of failure of either the bolt or the tool and then declared which tool to be the best.  While that is cool, 99% of the people who pick up a wrench or a socket are not going to encounter that.  90% of the people who use a screwdriver aren’t going to do much more than change the outlet covers to the new kind their wife likes.
Continue reading