Tool Buying Philosophies
LET YOUR PROJECTS DICTATE YOUR TOOL PURCHASES
You'll be amazed at how much money you actually
have to spend when there's a project in mind. For instance, I justify all
my tool purchases based on the amount of money I'm saving compared to buying
furniture from a store or hiring a contractor to do the work. I've
equipped a workshop full of tools, each purchased to complete a specific
For instance, my wife liked a $650 bed (mattress
not included) at a local furniture store for my 2 yr old son. I spent $175
in red oak and I suddenly had money for a 6" jointer and 12½" planer.
Okay, I admit, the lumber ($175) + jointer ($450) + planer ($400) was a
bit more than the store bought bed, but the bed I made is solid oak compared
to the plywood/poplar beds in stores. Then we needed a garden shed.
A good 8'x12' one (not those flimsy prebuilt ones) built on my site would
cost over $1200. I spent just over $500 in materials. The $700 savings
allowed me to buy a Porter-Cable 447 7¼" saw and a Makita LS1220
12" compound miter saw. Cost of both was under $450. Plus the
shed was a fun project. Even my 2½ yr old son was involved
as he enjoyed hammering in the nails!
BUY WELL AND BUY ONCE
Think you're saving money buying a less expensive
tool? How much will you have spent in total after you replace that
tool in a few years? Buy the best you can afford and keep it a lifetime.
It's actually less expensive in the long run.
BUY MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU'LL NEED
It's easy to outgrow a tool. If your woodworking
abilities grow, and that's why we do it, you may wish you'd bought that
bigger saw sooner than you think.
TOOLS, MONEY AND REGRETS
Spend a few extra bucks and get a good tool and
you'll quickly forget how much you paid for it. Save a few bucks and buy
a cheaper tool and you'll be reminded how much you paid every time you
FOUND MONEY PHILOSOPHY
The money you save doing a project yourself is
an easy way to "find" money that can be used towards a tool purchase. But
over the years I have come up with several others way to find money.
I must admit, I've often been accused of "going overboard".
When I have another large cash requirement I sometimes
use that to justify spending a little bit more on a tool. For instance,
$280 for a dust collection unit suddenly doesn't seem like alot compared
to $2800 for home property taxes.
- When driving my car just a little over the speed limit
through a speed trap, I breath a sigh of relief when I see they have pulled
over the other guy and not me. Then I quickly figure out what tool the
$100+ I just saved by NOT getting a ticket will buy. Not getting a ticket
is "found" money and "found" money can buy tools. I know... it's a sickness.
Figure out what I can build for my wife that will necessitate
buying a new tool. Watch closely:
SUPPORT GOOD BUSINESS
I have purchased tools, machinery and accessories
from dozens of places and when I do, I try to support businesses I believe
in. That's why much of my machinery was purchased at Redmond&Son.
And I like to help support BadgerPond by buying stuff at Amazon.com
This is a hotly debated issue to which I'll dedicate a whole article.
Go back to the main menu and look for the Tool Brand article.