Don’t Be A Power Tool Snob


My advice if you’re getting into woodworking and you’re looking to purchase power tools: Buy what you can afford. 

Do your homework. Read woodworking magazines and look at their websites. You’ll get as many different opinions on what tools to get as there are sources, but you’ll get a general idea. My personal opinion? Make sure you at least own a drill/driver (18 volt cordless), circular saw, hand saw and miter box, and jigsaw. You can handle a wide variety of projects with that combination of power tools.

Think about where you can purchase tools. To get the most for your money, try garage sales, pawn shops, or even ask a woodworker friend – they may be looking to upgrade their tools and be willing to cut you a deal. Then look at retail outlets. You CAN try power tools from discount stores, but know that there is a reason you haven’t heard of the name brands they carry. I’d prefer you purchase the cheaper models of recognizable name brands at home centers or large retail chains.

As far as quality is concerned: If you’re just starting out, you won’t notice an appreciable different between a drill, for example, that costs half as much as another. Look for basic features, and as I said before, get what you can afford. If you decide you’re definitely going to continue woodworking and plan to do it often, then it’s advisable that you upgrade when you can. 

My personal philosophy is that the quality of your work isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a reflection of how much you spent on your tools, but rather the quality of your craftsmanship. 

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Published in: Uncategorized on May 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve been saying this for years, Glad somebody put it in writing on the internet finally! There are a lot of “tool snobs,” but do the best you can with what you got you’ll be surprised with what you can accomplish if you put your mind into it. A little can go a long way in more ways than one.

    • Thanks. Yeah, I fear that folks think that they can’t get into woodworking because they can’t afford what they see in magazines or on TV.


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