Buying used tools - thoughts?

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Forum topic by myxology posted 08-11-2016 04:37 AM 1060 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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60 posts in 1389 days

08-11-2016 04:37 AM

So, I’m super excited! I bought a couple of used tools today. I know I got a screaming steal of a deal on one and the other I think is a great deal too. I’ll share them both below. My question is, what do you think I should look out for when buying used tools? Is there something that you typically look to upgrade or replace on a used tool right away?

Here are my two purchases. The jointer is a Jet JJ-8 – probably circa 1986 or so. It has an 8 inch bed and I got it for $350 with a mobile base. I’m thinking this one may need the msot cleanup, but I think i was a really good deal.

My second purchase was practically an unfair acquisition on my part. The guy was retiring and he offered it to me for $75. I could not pass on it. It’s a Powermatic Benchtop Mortiser Model 701. The handle seems a little stiff to bring down, but I’m thinking that a little oil on the shock absorber or whatever it is, should help. Thoughts?

Again, any thoughts on what I might look at replacing, repairing, or just being on the look out for?

6 replies so far

View MikesProjects's profile


172 posts in 2051 days

#1 posted 08-11-2016 05:40 AM

Look out for deals that you can flip for more than double. Anytime you can get something new for the shop at a fraction of the used market cosy you are coming out ahead if you decide to sell it later on. The sky is the limit. I don’t know your tool/shop situation but just keep searching & upgrade everything possible. Most important tool is the table saw so if you need an upgrade there you go, miter saw can be purchased new on a sale. Look for cheap portercable routers on CL, look for cheap bandsaws 14”+ or deals that you could possible resell if you ever wanted to for what you paid. Inexpensive drill press? buffer, belt grinder, welding table, portaband, pocket hole machine, wood workers vises, disc sander 12” – 20”, sockets & wrenches, A nice older mechanics toolbox but harbor freight has them & they are good quality (general) but CL can provide you something as good for a better deal. I can go on but you get the idea. Not sure your type of work…Also begin to build a small metal workshop too so welders ect… Other dudes may say hand planes but thats not really my style, I use power tools… Oh, a 4×24 portercable belt sander & a 3X21” porter cable belt sander, both are good. Slow speed bench grinder (s) seem to be rare. The craftsman vintage bench grinders are desired because they are good.
Look for brands…delta, powermatic, dewalt, bosch, sawstop, portercable, rikon, rockwell, older craftsman, shop fox , grizzly ect…......... Dj-15 dj-20 dj-30 jointer… Dont be afraid to purchase doubles, the old tool can be resold. Look for a good lathe & lathe tools. Also keep your eyes peeled for florescent lights, the 2×4 drop ceiling t8 style.. Contractors often trash them during TI work, they can be had cheap or feee. You cant have too much lighting. Maybe you need a 32-80 gallon air compressor, if your patient you can get a good deal. The trick is to buy the extreme deals when they become available. Today I got a name brand quality 14” bandsaw for 150 & a dj-15 for 350, both are ready to use, Both went up on cl hours before I snagged them & each was a separate sale 2 hours apart …I already have 5 bandsaws & now 3 jointers but the new one today is a keeper for now, the 2 others will be sold soon…, you got to be quick & have cash at home ready to go…. Im always upgrading daily, its an addiction. Once I find a good dj-20 for 500 ill resell the dj-15 I got this evening for 500, lol Look for deals 100 miles away, 150 each way is my limit but I did go 200 miles each way last month for a killer deal on a tool.

-- -Mike, Southern California, YouTube User ( Give & Take )

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5097 posts in 2642 days

#2 posted 08-11-2016 01:03 PM

I have the Jet 8”, bought new in 2000 for $1000. You got a very good deal. Download the manual if you didn’t get one, and what I would do before any adjustments is some test cuts…and see what you get. Then you know if there is some tuning to be done. Plan on new knives, and do the clean up before the test cuts. There are more desirable 8” jointers (longer beds, other bells and whistles) but that one will serve you a very long time and do a whale of a job. No opinion on the mortiser…I don’t have one; but it sounds like that was a very good deal as well.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View toolie's profile


2145 posts in 2778 days

#3 posted 08-11-2016 08:18 PM

Where are the pics ? No pics, didn’t happen.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View myxology's profile


60 posts in 1389 days

#4 posted 08-11-2016 10:02 PM

Toolie, I’m having trouble posting the pics inline. I did get the link to post. They should be working now.

View nightguy's profile


213 posts in 811 days

#5 posted 08-11-2016 10:45 PM

I have a Delta Morteizer, there are Gibs on the vertical that can be tightened or loosened for slop, that could be the problem. Go slow and check it over for adjustments.

View MrRon's profile


5090 posts in 3393 days

#6 posted 08-12-2016 05:42 PM

When buying used tools (machines) avoid any made in China. Taiwan tools are much better; the Jet is made in Taiwan and of course any old American made tools that are in good condition. Most European made tools will be good quality.

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