Reply by Cosmicsniper

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Posted on Must Spend Smartly

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2202 posts in 3186 days

#1 posted 09-14-2012 05:05 PM

Definitely purchase tools as you need them, as Surfside said.

With regard to “brands,” most all brands have their junk and their jewels. Brands like Porter Cable, DeWalt, Bosch, Laguna, Jet, Delta, Powermatic, Craftsman, Rikon, etc. would fall in this category. Brands like Black and Decker, Skil, and Ryobi are more geared toward the homeowner, so they will be mostly consumer-grade products, though if you look closely there will be a good product mixed in here and there (e.g. Skil will always have their great worm-drive circ saw).

Some of the products offered by these brands are chinese-made products, many of which are the exact same product offerings. Often times, Harbor Freight will have the same tool (Central Machinery) for a substantial discount compared to the named-brands. Their lathe, spindle sander, and band saw is an example of this.

A few companies sell Born in the USA, solid products and wouldn’t THINK about ruining their reps by selling inferior tools. Incra and Festool are the two big boys there, and their prices will often show it. In my case, I love anything Incra. For Festool, you have to judge if it’s worth the extra price…but the tools are reputedly tremendous. Lie-Nielsen enjoys this reputation among hand-tool users.

Other companies like Kreg, Woodpeckers, and Lee Valley will generally deliver solid to spectacular products as well.

In all of this you must read reviews and judge a tool’s quality by price…you do get what you pay for regardless of the actual brand.

-- jay,

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