Should the price be considered in the star system

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Forum topic by neandernormite posted 05-31-2011 04:01 PM 1322 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View neandernormite's profile


37 posts in 2777 days

05-31-2011 04:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

My B-day yesterday was pretty good to me. Got some tools I really love and am going to be reviewing them soon.

Thinking about the review star system I have one conclusion and one question. The conclusion is the star system is way over rating tools here, well, not the system, the people using it. In my opinion a five star tool should be very, very rare. I mean its the best possible, you can think of nothing that would make it better, its perfect.

But my question is should we consider price? I’m personally leaning towards no. Just like wine mags do, a 88 point bottle is a 88 point bottle rather its $10 or $100. know the price and know the performance of the tool, then decide if its worth it to you. Take the Kapex for example, giving it a lower review because of the price doesn’t help, I want to know how it performs and just judge if it worth the extra coin.

-- The confused powertool using galoot

15 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3280 days

#1 posted 05-31-2011 04:16 PM

This is a good point. Many professional reviews in magazines distinguish best overall quality and best value. In the first designation price is not considered. In the second it is.

I think most people on this board attempt to establish a rating that ignores the price. However, in the narrative, people will refer to some items as being a great value.

Personally, I don’t pay much attention to the star rating on this board. I’m much more interested in the narrative.

We get a lot of reviews on this board that are written right after someone gets a new tool. These reviews are “first impression” reviews and they can be very interesting and helpful. However, I wish a few more people would write reviews after they have had some meaningful experience with the tool over the course of several months. Those reviews can be even more helpful.

Note – I recently wrote a review on some clamps that I have owned and used a lot for the last 15 years.

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

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3364 days

#2 posted 05-31-2011 04:16 PM

Grats on the awesome tools!

I agree. I don’t pay much heed to star ratings here…it doesn’t bother me if they right a good review to support their rating, but that’s few and far between. My feeling is that people should really clarify the reasons why they rate something the way they do. Myself, I don’t have the time to do it…so instead I have chosen NOT to post reviews unless I can give the tools justice.

The problem is that there needs to be a better rating system. If it were done like a magazine review, perhaps you’d rate things 1 to 5 (or better yet 1 to 10) in certain categories, like value, performance, durability, customer service, fit/finish, and ease of use…then you average those into one score. Perhaps one category might be weighted more than another for a given tool (which admittedly would be difficult to implement in such a system). But if people would just keep such things in mind when they DO their reviews, then perhaps we’d see less 5-star, useless one-sentence, “so far it’s been great” types of reviews.

But yeah, I think value should, in some part, be a part of the review process. Now, that’s a little difficult when talking about a Festool, but value is sorta in the eye of the beholder…if a tool three times more expensive gives twice the performance and durability, and saves money on sandpaper, then certainly it’s a good value. Even so, I think the ideal review would detail why a person thinks so.

That said, I’m thankful for those who do put the time and energy into good, thorough reviews here at LJs.

-- jay,

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3189 days

#3 posted 05-31-2011 04:31 PM

I don’t pay much attention to star ratings themselves. I’m more concerned with quality, ease of use and maintenance and service. Price is never a deciding factor, if its something I want I will buy regardless of price. By the way congrats on some nice planes.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View lew's profile


12445 posts in 3961 days

#4 posted 05-31-2011 04:41 PM

If I may add a point, on value and price.

LJ Tool purchases are probably based on the affordability of the buyer- unlike magazine/TV shows, with seeming unlimited funds. A review, on LumberJocks, is therefore based on “what I can afford and how does it compare to what I had.” A 5 star rating for one LJ may have only been a 3 star from another.

As others have pointed out, gleaning information from the narrative/description is very useful. If you are unsure about the author’s intentions, ask. Hey we’re one big family, here.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View knotscott's profile


8154 posts in 3581 days

#5 posted 05-31-2011 04:51 PM

The star rating system is subjective, but I do think price is a factor in what we expect, which does indeed impact the overall impression of a given tool. As an example, at $17 I’d rate the Delta 35-7657 general purpose blade with 5-stars in part because its a terrific value…. it’s close in performance, but not quite to the same level as the superb $100 Infinity Super General or Forrest WWII….if the Delta blade were $60, I’d probably only rate it 4-stars. A 5-star system goes from 100% to 80% with one drop in the rating system …perhaps a 10 point system (or more) would allow for more flexibility with less overstatements of good tool that’s an excellent value.

I do tend to place a lot of importance on the reviewer, their experience with tools, and how critical they are when they evaluate vs just the star rating. It’s not hard to tell the excited new kid with their first good tool from a seasoned veteran.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3379 days

#6 posted 05-31-2011 04:53 PM

Wow. Did YOU score BIG !!!

IMHO … in a perfect world … the ratings would NOT consider price.

In a perfect world … IMHO … there would be a NUMBER of categories on which to give a rating (eg, quality, effectiveness, ease of setup, packaging, accuracy …. that kind of thing).

But …. I tend to think of value as an absolutely personal decision, whereas ratings …. in theory should be fairly consistent, across big groups of users.

Just my opinion, which … I’d give about three stars to, and … maybe four stars for value. Nobody had to pay for it ;-)


-- -- Neil

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3047 days

#7 posted 05-31-2011 04:59 PM

The main thing I use the reviews for here at Lumberjocks is when I am looking to buy a tool, whenther it be new or used. When doing so though, I already no the basics of the tool I’m looking for. I go to the reviews where I promptly start looking for reviews that have the least stars. I don’t want to sort through all the five star praises for a tool because someone else loves it. I may come back and read some of those. What I really want to know though is of any problems to looks for with said tool. I also agree with what some others said above, I put more interest into reviews that were writen after using the tool for a while. I find that most tools are impressive when they’re first removed from the packaging. Who doesn’t love new tools? All that means nada though if they fall apart in a few weeks.


View neandernormite's profile


37 posts in 2777 days

#8 posted 05-31-2011 10:10 PM

So the feeling I’m getting here is that others basically ignore the star rating just like me here, since nearly every tool is a 5 star here. Seems like there should at least be some defining terms when you click on the star or maybe just take the star away completely since its kind of pointless as being used.

-- The confused powertool using galoot

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2898 days

#9 posted 05-31-2011 10:15 PM

Jackpot! Someone loves you;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View ChuckC's profile


843 posts in 3140 days

#10 posted 05-31-2011 10:41 PM

Nice score on your birthday!

I don’t think the price should be a factor either. I always find it annoying when someone says; it’s a great tool for the money. What does that mean? It either performs as it should or it doesn’t. I don’t want a piece of crap just because I can get it for a low price.

I don’t think 5 stars should be rare but I do agree that they are way over used here. If I buy something that works well, and as advertised, then it gets 5 stars.

The rating system is also very subjective. A particular tool may work 100% for a hobbyist but then may fall short for a pro. I always look at the persons projects, if they have any, to get a feel of the skill level.

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3256 days

#11 posted 06-01-2011 02:50 AM

Wow, that is quite the haul there! That should keep you busy making piles of shavings.

I don’t pay as much attention to the stars as I do to what people say. What do they like? What don’t they like? How about things like weight, or balance, or accuracy? Those are the things I look for in a review, at least when I’m reading a LJ review.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2895 days

#12 posted 06-01-2011 05:15 AM

Price should not affect the rating BUT I would like all reviews to state the price so I can decide on value [which is not the same as quality].

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View steviep's profile


233 posts in 2852 days

#13 posted 06-01-2011 05:27 AM

I had never really thought about it, but i would vote, price should not have anything to do with Star system, rather it is a value based system. I would wish you a happy birthday, but if you aren’t happy after that truckload of goodness, you will never be happy! lol

-- StevieP ~ Micheal Tompkins - you were not here on earth long but left a giant mark on us. RIP Brother

View gillyd's profile


136 posts in 2851 days

#14 posted 06-01-2011 05:31 AM

Price does not factor into my reviews, as it has no bearing on the way the tool works. Ultimately price can help you decide what to buy though, I’m sure you’ve heard “Can’t beat it for the price” said before on these boards.

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4273 days

#15 posted 06-01-2011 05:44 AM

It seems like people differentiate quality and value. Is the star rating for the quality of the item or the value of the item? How about performance, where does that fit in? Suitability for the job? Since it sounds like all of these are subjective measures, an individuals perception of quality, value, performance, etc.

I’d just rate it on your overall happiness with the tool. It might be a junky tool but if the price was right you might still be very happy. Instead of stars I want happy and frowny faces, as in “this tools makes me smile 4 happy faces worth”, or “I frown at least 3 times every time I think about this tool”. Since these ratings are your subjective opinion anyhow you might as well rate them that way.

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