Craigslist Search-Fu secrets for finding machinery bargains

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Forum topic by Loren posted 12-23-2011 06:22 AM 1913 views 2 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

12-23-2011 06:22 AM

I’ve been at this awhile and learned a trick or two. There are nuances, but here are some tips for finding machinery bargains.

1) Not all machinery is listed in the “tools” section
( – sometimes good stuff is in in “business” section ( Mostly we are talking about heavy iron, not portable planers and stuff like that.

2) Type in “planer” and also “planner if looking for a planer. Type in “jointer” and also “joiner” if looking for a jointer. Unusual machine terms you might want to type in are “boring” “mortising” “mortiser” “dowel” “doweling” “tenon” “tenoner” “pin router” “overarm router” and unusual brand names as well, e.g “robland” “inca” “scmi” “ema” “belsaw”, etc.

3) go to and into the search bar type this: inca

This search phrase will bring up a lot of INCA machines recently listed on Craigslist in the USA and Canada.

Try: unisaw

See what comes up? Results are all over the place, but I bet you would drive 100 miles for the right machine bargain. Some of us nutcases would drive a lot further.

There will be nuances to searching in other countries, but understand that you can search for relevant terms and get relevant results.

I have tried various Craigslist aggregators and “search engines” and found their results to be generally outdated compared with the results the above method produces.

Try these out. Have fun. Lots of deals out there you may have been missing. You can also search Kijiji and other sites using this method.

10 replies so far

View jaydubya's profile


183 posts in 2232 days

#1 posted 12-23-2011 06:35 AM

try it will search all craigslist sites within a certain distance of you (or any zip code you choose)

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 12-23-2011 06:40 AM

Thanks Jay. I’ve tried aggregators and engines like that and found that their
results are spotty. Most pull their results from google, which may prioritize
data calls from automated “bots” like search tempest at a lower priority than
calls from unique IPs. This is technical detail, but in short, you do the searches
yourself and you get the bargains – use 3rd party aggregators and search
tools and you may miss something really sweet.

View jaydubya's profile


183 posts in 2232 days

#3 posted 12-23-2011 06:49 AM

I didnt understand a word of that LOL

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 2430 days

#4 posted 12-23-2011 06:56 AM

Thanks for those tips – will give them a try next time I am shopping CL. Honestly I’ve always felt like the CL market in my area either doesn’t have a lot of good deals, or that it’s so saturated with deal-hunters that a good deal lasts 5 seconds. Maybe it’s just how I’ve been searching.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View childress's profile


841 posts in 2962 days

#5 posted 12-23-2011 07:55 AM

Awesome tips! thanks. Bargain hunting right now and this helps…

-- Childress Woodworks

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


930 posts in 1775 days

#6 posted 12-23-2011 09:19 AM

Yes, misspell the item you are looking for. Works on ebay to, not everyone knows how to spell the words we hear all the time but never see in print. Like the jointer/joiner example.

If you need industria strengthl try sites like to.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 2657 days

#7 posted 12-23-2011 11:53 AM


Try and you’ll see several features that are hard to do with a custom google search. I like to limit my search distance to the distance I’m willing to drive for anything I am searching for. I also like to put in very specific terms to search for unique items and put all the results into one page. Last year I spent $800 on things I bought on Craig’s List. The full retail price of the tools I bought was $4500. I check the tools, business, materials, and farm sections of my local Craig’s List several times a day. The best items don’t last very long.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View superstretch's profile


1530 posts in 2113 days

#8 posted 12-28-2011 10:50 PM

I use the ‘craigsnotifica’ app for Android and it works really well.. You can use multiple operators in your search terms and define things like price, multiple locales, etc.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3068 days

#9 posted 12-28-2011 10:56 PM

I always get a giggle when I see posts for ‘bansaw’, ‘laith’, ‘hand plain’, ‘deawault’ and the likes…

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

View superstretch's profile


1530 posts in 2113 days

#10 posted 12-28-2011 10:56 PM


-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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