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Blog entry by itsme_timd posted 01-16-2008 05:22 AM 725 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, I’ve completed a few projects now and have some in the works as well. I’ve got 150 others that I’d like to make – we’ll see which ones I actually make it to. The list continues to grow.

I’ve asked a lot of questions on here about methods and tools and I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that you definitely get what you pay for in power tools. It really amazes me that the quality can be so poor on some tools. I’d understand them being less durable, not as powerful, etc. but when you purchase something like a router or saw I’d think that accuracy would be at least ‘acceptable’.

From suggestions I upgraded my Skil router to a Porter Cable – I happened to time it out and get a free sander as well. Wow… what a difference, in the router and the sander. I almost let the poor tools convince me not to mess with woodworking at all. After tearing up some board and running through batteries like crazy trying to sand with a cheap cordless sander I thought it was just me.

I’ve still got some tools to upgrade but I’m getting there, I love my new router and the better quality tools make an obvious difference in the quality of my projects.

On that subject – I’m encouraged to see my ability increasing a little with each project. Woodworking is challenging and that is why I enjoy it – I love a challenge and it’s always satisfying to figure out a new method, tip or trick and see the benefits in your work. Also, it’s helped to teach me to slow down and take my time with things. I’m no master carpenter, but I’m learning more every day!

Thanks to all who’ve shared their knowledge with me.

Tim D.

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

10 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3955 days

#1 posted 01-16-2008 05:30 AM

I’ve learned to buy the best I can afford for the things I plan on using a lot.
So-so quality for the thing I will rarely use, and never buy cheap.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3860 days

#2 posted 01-16-2008 06:02 AM

thankfully I no longer own anything that goes by the name …................?

it pays to cry a lot, even scream, but only cry/scream/whine/stamp up and down/suffer….....once.

ya right <vbg>

never say “cheap” as it “cheapens” everything. Kinda like saying “I am only a receptionist”. Saying I am a receptionist just sounds better. Saying my wife is “cheap” doesnt sound near as good as saying my wife is “frugale”. One is acceptable and the other isnt. Not much different then a tool, some are good, some arent so good, one was cheap and the other was affordable and suited my purpose.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3955 days

#3 posted 01-16-2008 06:07 AM

By cheap I didn’t mean inexpensive. I meant a piece of junk. There is some expensive junk out there.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3860 days

#4 posted 01-16-2008 06:14 AM

that said, we dont ever have to win the battle, .........we only have to win the war.

Buying a “mistake” isnt as bad as making one and making one…......well thats just part of life.

marrying one…...........thats just bad luck <g>..........marrying two….....thats really bad luck <g>

Is there some kinda analogy there?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4033 days

#5 posted 01-16-2008 11:31 AM

Tim, woodworking is a journey – you’ve taken the first few steps and you are now on the path. Keep walking and upgrading when you feel the need. Gary – I agree with you and somewhat with Roman too – but I know what you meant by cheap Gary.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3841 days

#6 posted 01-16-2008 02:07 PM

Get the best quality tools you can afford, and try to avoid lesser quality just because it costs less. (I have used “cheap” as a term, but I can see what you are saying)

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4266 days

#7 posted 01-16-2008 02:19 PM

Sometimes circumstances like having to eat, makes the difference in the tools you buy, but get the best you can

afford. Cheaper tools are better than no tools.

Someday you will be able to afford something better.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4018 days

#8 posted 01-16-2008 04:18 PM

I like what you said about the poor tools convincing you not to mess with woodworking. I am there now with a few of my tools and really need to upgrade them so that I can enjoy my time in the shop. That statement is soo true.

-- Hope Never fails

View cheller's profile


254 posts in 4076 days

#9 posted 01-16-2008 10:34 PM

Most of my first power tools – router, palm sander, jig saw, circular saw – were Black and Decker, bought at an outlet store in Maine. They were acceptable when I got them. As I replace them, I’ve been able to draw on my increased knowledge to get more accurate, more reliable ones. With increased knowledge has come increased expectations. The good news is that I’m now able to afford better tools. As several others have said – buy the best you can with the budget you have, for the work you’re going to do.

-- Chelle

View itsme_timd's profile


689 posts in 3798 days

#10 posted 01-17-2008 12:19 AM

I bought one of those ‘starter sets’ of B&D tools. Circular saw, sander, jig saw and drill. The main complaint I have with them is the lack of staying power in the batteries – but I guess that is one downfall of cordless tools. However, I did see a huge difference moving up to the PC sander. Now the Skil router, that’s another story – it’s just plain junk.

There’s definitely a difference in ‘inexpensive’ and ‘cheap’ in the sense that I use it sometimes. I’m all about inexpensive because I’m cheap! :-) I’ll scout craiglist and eBay anytime I’m shopping. It would be nice if I had an extra $10k that I could drop into a shop and tools, but for now I’ll have to do it a piece at a time.

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

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