Tool Buyers Guide

Chris   April 19, 2008  
0   0  

tr_rateThis is one of the first articles ever written on ToolRank, and now it has been updated with even better shopping information. Kind of like Tool Buyers Guide 2.0. Use this guide to help you find the right tool for your needs, without going over budget.

In this article, I will talk about the best way to go about shopping for any type of power tool, this guide will probably even work for just about anything you would want to buy online, with a few changes. If you are shopping for a new power tool, then you probably have some idea of what type of tool you are looking for. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, we can get started.

  1. The first thing you should do is get a piece of paper, so you can make a list.
  2. Next you want to come up with a budget. Once you have a maximum price set, you should write it down and stick with it. The last thing you want to do is go out looking for a $50 tool and come home to an angry wife after you have spent $200.
  3. Write down what you expect out of the tool in order of importance. You might only be able to get half the features you want, to stay within your price range. This is where you will have to compromise on features, or you will have to increase your budget. You need to find the right balance, and this is what makes shopping so hard.
  4. Its time for research. You obviously have access to the Internet if you are reading this, so now is the time to visit all the manufactures websites. Find the type of tools you are looking for, make sure they have the features you need, then write down the model numbers. You might even find out a tool has other features you didn't think you needed.
  5. Go to AmazonTool Buyers Guide and check the model numbers to see if they are within your price range. Amazon might not be the lowest price, but they will give you a good idea on what the tool is going for. Adjust your list of tools. In many cases, Amazon will also let you know if there is a new version of the tool you are looking for.
  6. Here is where I come in. Read other peoples reviews. If its not on, then do a search on the Internet, its not hard. In the search box type "manufacture, model number, review" and hit enter. Ex. "Makita BHR240 review". If the tool doesn't have a model number, then use specific terms associated with that tool. Read as many reviews as possible. Be sure to read both the good reviews as well as the bad reviews. What is bad for someone else might be good for you, and vice versa. Now its up to you to make some judgement calls. Adjust your tool list again.
  7. Now you need to weigh all the information you have gathered thus far to come up with a model from your list that meets your needs and and falls within your budget. Like I said, this is hard, and you will probably have to sacrifice on something.
  8. Lets go shopping; it is not just about finding the right tool, it is also about finding the right store. Always remember, if something looks to good to be true, it probably is. If you find a tool online that is way under priced, go to and do a search on the website. There you will find a review on the online store. A lot of times these crazy low priced stores will lead you to believe that you are buying a complete tool package, but then try to sell you the accessories that should have already been included. I like to stick with well known online tool stores like AmazonTool Buyers Guide, ToolBarnTool Buyers Guide, and Rockler , to name a few. They are not always the lowest, but they are reliable. A couple more dollars is sometimes worth a bit of security.
  9. Have you considered buying reconditioned tools? In most cases these tools are in new or like new condition, and will carry the same manufacture warranty as new tools. The price savings could be worth it. Check out the CPO outlets.
    STOP. Don't buy anything yet.
  10. We need coupons. Look online for deals. Head over to the deals forums, and see if we have any coupons or deals on the tools you are looking for. You might even find a rebate for a free tool with purchase. My local tool store has a 20% off sale twice a year, so I try to save all my tool purchases for then. If you don't need the tool right away, wait and try to find a deal.
  11. Take your list of tools, find the best deal you can possibly find, then buy. Just don't buy the whole list.
  12. Now that you own your new tool, be sure to test it out for a while, then submit your review here at ToolRank. This is how you can make a better place.