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Forum topic by richgreer posted 04-27-2010 03:20 AM 1649 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3276 days

04-27-2010 03:20 AM

I certainly don’t want to offend anyone and I hope no one takes offense at what I say. Nonetheless, I have observed that a lot of the reviews begin with some variation of the line “I just got X”. In my opinion, a review should be more than a first impression. I value reviews from LJs that provide an honest and objective assessment of the tool after they have had some meaningful experience with it.

I welcome other opinions.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

26 replies so far

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Rick S...

10913 posts in 3234 days

#1 posted 04-27-2010 05:56 AM

TOTALLY Agree Rich. The other thing that might or might not go along with this is I am continuosly amazed at the amount of “NEW TOOLS” that need all kinds of modifications by the Purchaser before they are running proprerly, usually the Bigger Ones, and your right. How long will it take to find that out?

Example: I’m contemplating the purchase of a 14inch Bandsaw. Judging by what other LJ’ers have to say on here about all the modifications they had to do on them, I’m almost afraid to buy one! BUT! Grizzly seems to be #1. Not even sure if they are available up here in Canada.

The other aspect is ….WHY??? When you buy anything from a Toaster Oven to a New Car it necessary to spend your own money and modify it to make it run properly?

I know it’s Time Worn but ….”Something Ain’t Right Here!!”

Good Topic. Thanks for Posting Rich


-- I Chose "The Road Less Travelled" Now I'm Totally Lost! (Ontario, CANADA)

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205 posts in 3475 days

#2 posted 04-27-2010 03:30 PM

How right you are Rich. Rick, I agree that som’pin ain’t right!

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2600 posts in 3162 days

#3 posted 04-27-2010 06:21 PM

Guilty as charged! Forty lashes with a wet noodle!

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Dave Owen

254 posts in 3275 days

#4 posted 04-27-2010 06:50 PM

You’re absolutely right, Rich. I have a number of tools and accessories on which my opinion has changed as time and use better showed me their advantages and/or shortcomings.

-- Dave O.

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4541 posts in 3276 days

#5 posted 04-27-2010 06:56 PM

In response to kkickback – - I would not say a review based on first impressions is worthless, but I would say that a review that has been prepared after some meaningful experience with the tool is of much more value. I have a lot of respect for the opinions of a fellow LJ who has used his/her tool for several months or longer in real life situations. For me, that’s better than a review done by a professional at a magazine.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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219 posts in 3863 days

#6 posted 04-27-2010 07:25 PM

I agree. There are a lot of 5 star reviews that read like a sale brochure with only comments such as “it felt heavy duty” and “feel very powerful” written the first day the machine is bought and ran only a few times. Also I lot of “I’ve owned many yellow/blue/red/orange/green tools before so I know this one will be awesome and will last me a lifetime”. Reviewers should append their reviews after extensive usage to ensure other LJ’s are not misled by posted first impressions.

Pictures of the machine setup in the shop would be nice also. Call me paranoid but I do have reservations with short reviews with few insights paired with pictures pulled from manufacturer’s website.

-- Ed

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4541 posts in 3276 days

#7 posted 04-27-2010 07:32 PM

When someone buys a new tool and they want to tell their fellow LJs about it they should place a post in Forums with the heading of “Tool Gloat”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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8547 posts in 3850 days

#8 posted 04-27-2010 07:46 PM

absolutely. Its nice to see people excited about their purchases – but those should be posted in the blogs/forums not a review.

a review should provide actual insight about the tool/item, something that takes time to assess, if I wanted to see what the tool looks like – I’d check the box, or go to a dealer.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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2104 posts in 3929 days

#9 posted 04-27-2010 07:58 PM

one frustrating things though is that if you wait a year to post a review, odds are the manufacturer will have a new model out by then.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4420 days

#10 posted 04-27-2010 08:00 PM

I agree that a review based on considerable experience with a tool is more valuable than one based on first impressions.

HOWEVER, I don’t see anything wrong with people posting “first impression” reviews, as long as that fact is clear to the reader. For one thing, some types of tools don’t really require a long period of use to determine whether they work well or not. Long term reliability is a valid consideration, but performance and quality of construction are usually pretty obvious within a short time frame.

Secondly, if I had my eye on a particular tool, I’d rather read a first impression review from a fellow LJ than no review at all.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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3179 posts in 3729 days

#11 posted 04-27-2010 08:12 PM

Rich – You make a great point.

I suppose that it is important how a new purchase is packaged, how hard or easy it is to initially set up, and how the company handles any initial problems, But I am looking for more when I am making a purchase decision. That is why I am very grateful to those people who reply to such a review with something like, “I have had this model for a year and …”.

I recently purchased a Powermatic mortiser. I used it a few times and all seemed fine. Out of curiosity, I removed the handle and moved it to the other side. In doing this, I noticed that there is a problem with the pinion shaft that holds the handle. The machine is now at a shop being fixed. I do not plan to write a review about this situation right now. It is being taken care of, and I plan to write a review after I give the machine some real use. I would mention the initial problem and how it was handled, but not base a whole review on this situation – although I am tempted to use the nifty-sounding title “Problematic Powermatic” :-)

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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4541 posts in 3276 days

#12 posted 04-27-2010 08:16 PM

I want to focus on the fact that reviews after experience are more valuable. My fear is that someone buys a new tool, they are excited about it and they are motivated to do a review. That’s okay – I’ll probably just ignore the review. However, 3 or 6 months down the road, after they have had some meaningful experience they don’t think to do another review, based on experience, because they have already done a review on that tool.

The focus should not be on discouraging people about telling us about their new tools (in fact, that should be encouraged). The focus should be on encouraging people to do reviews after they have some meaningful experience.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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4867 posts in 3250 days

#13 posted 04-27-2010 08:33 PM

Then may be we need a column for “first impression”.
I agree with Rich that a professional who use the tool days in and days out for several months has a much more valuable impression but also most of us do not work with their tools day after day. It might be several months before I use this sharpener again. SO should I just not say a thing?
In addition in doing that I do I bring to the attention of some of readers a tool that they might not know about and that they might want to buy.
Certainly some of the readers would not buy a Tormek because of the price but now that they know about this sharpener they might want to buy one because they can afford it.
In addition, if my very first impression, just opening the box, had been that this tool is a piece of junk, a very short post is also useful in warning other readers to not buy this tool.
So I think that my post even if very imperfect is useful.
Thank you Rich.

-- Bert

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3317 days

#14 posted 04-27-2010 08:36 PM

Let me see if I can explain my openion of this topic in english
so you can understand my point right

if people say from start of , that it´s a first impression rewiew on a tool
from the time they had taken the decision to buy the tool and to
when they have unpached/assembled the tool and used it first time
It normely wuold have little but some value , but there must have been more
than this reweiw that people had pressiated
and there was one on the SAWSTOP witch people was very interested in
but maybee it Dont count becourse that rewiew was made as a blog by Don

but I do agree a full rewiew of a tool can´t bee made before you have used
the tool at least a ½ year intensiv to all kinds of jobs it surpose to do + that
little exstra we all do becourse there is no other tool in the shop that have a chance
to solve your dilemma of not have the right tool for the job

I think this was it, and I hope my meaning come across


View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3778 days

#15 posted 04-27-2010 08:52 PM

I’ll walk the line here Rich I agree that giving a review right after you have just purchased a item is not the full report and that an update is in order. But there is value as to first impressions of your purchase such as ,Did they ship as promised, was it packed poorly, were all the parts there, were the instructions clear and then some. When people first purchase an item these things are fresh in their thought were they may be skimmed over in a later review. So in my opinion the best of both worlds would be beginning impressions plus updates in 6 months and then in a year or so. Will most reviewers remember to add up dates? If there memory is like mine probably not, but I say an early review is better than no review.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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