How much reading posts and reviews on LJ really help you in your decison process?

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 01-08-2013 03:17 PM 2257 views 0 times favorited 161 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4861 posts in 3048 days

01-08-2013 03:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have been a member of JL for several years and I have read many, many posts about dust collection.
Just in the last two or three weeks I have spent hours reading about this subject.
Certainly I am much better informed about this subject that I used to be but does that really help me making the right decision? ( It certainly helps me to not make a very bad decision)
I still hesitate between different designs for my dust collection system and between different possible dust collectors.( even if that is now limited to basically only two of them)
I believe that in fact the most helpful review and posts are the very negative or very positive ones.
I know, reading reviews and posts, that some brands of tools I have to stay away from.
What is your experience?
Thank you for reading.

-- Bert

161 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2493 days

#1 posted 01-08-2013 03:29 PM

I haven’t been around LJ very long, but I have belonged to a few other WW’ing forums for over 11 years. I received much advice that has been very useful. You can easily get into information overload, and start overthinking the question but that doesn’t diminish it’s value. Dealing with contradictory opinions is just part of the process…I try to sort through to the folks who have the same criteria I do; not always easy. But all in all, the stuff I get in response to my questions has always been useful, either in steering me into a purchase/action/whatever or away from it. In the more complex issues, it’s often useful to quit overthinking and go back to basics. I will say this: I’ve been led astray a few times, but insignificant compared to the number of times I received good advice.

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

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2248 days

#2 posted 01-08-2013 03:34 PM

It’s helpful if you are looking for direction, but as Fred pointed out, it is easy to be led astray. It’s not that people are giving bad advice, but there are A LOT of options out there for many different things. You need to find people who are aligned to the way you work or aligned with your goals. I am a hobbyist and do not need commercial grade equipment, nor am I a heavy tinkerer and want to invest a lot of time in ad-hoc solutions or heavy modifications to achieve my end results.

If you have a basic understanding of the scope and direction you want to take something, and get advise based on that scope, I have found it very useful.


View BigMig's profile


439 posts in 2613 days

#3 posted 01-08-2013 03:45 PM

I’m not a long time member, but I’ve gotten great advice from other LJers on tool selection and functionality, as well as technique ideas and aesthetic ideas.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2883 days

#4 posted 01-08-2013 03:51 PM

For me, reading the reviews has been a helpful process, often I get ideas for tools/brands that I wouldn’t have considered (Grizzly) and realize other brands that I should stay away from (Laguna). It’s cheaper to learn from someone else’s experience! That said, I have a bunch of different sites that I go to when I am considering a tool purchase; the LJ reviews provide feedback from real user experience, but as a consequence, they tend not to be very objective.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2110 days

#5 posted 01-08-2013 03:57 PM

My personal weighting depends on the author of the post or review, and their level of anonyminity…

Sometimes, I’ll make it a tiny data point, other times, It’ll heavily tilt my decision.

It all depends…

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#6 posted 01-08-2013 04:03 PM

I try to find meaningful insights in reviews. a review that states “works good”, or “a great buy” doesn’t really add any value, but a review that states “quieter than product X that I use” , or “provided me with ability Y” does.

I take those insights and make my own idea about the product and sometimes have to take a risk.

just like making the decision between FORD and CHEVY…. at some point it boils down to what fits YOU better…

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

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2914 days

#7 posted 01-08-2013 04:07 PM

What Barry says.

That said, LJ input changed/altered my recent purchase of the soon to be delivered choice of Lathe and the associated tools that go with such a lathe. I have found that advice priceless! Well worth the effort.

And Rob’s point is also valid. One has to carry a large salt shaker when weighing advice on LJs.

And I tend to use that salt shaker on the LJs “Zeros” who offer advice. You know them… NO location, NO woodshop, NO projects, NO real self image/avatar, , NO Blogs, and NO history… Other than that, advice is good on LJs!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View MJCD's profile


541 posts in 2371 days

#8 posted 01-08-2013 04:11 PM

Reading the Posts and paying attention to the Projects Details have been very helpful for me; not so much the Reviews or Blogs. Also, I’ve a bit overwhelmed by the Members’ willingness to share their experience, one-on-one.

Most of the Reviews are too early in the ownership & use to be helpful to me. The Forum has considerable experience, and the members are opinionated – thank god.


-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3550 posts in 2251 days

#9 posted 01-08-2013 04:12 PM

LJ is a good source of advice that I use when I am researching a tool purchase, a technique, or material selection. I appreciate the opinions offered, but in the end, I have to make the decision. I have not been misled to this point.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2380 days

#10 posted 01-08-2013 04:14 PM

User reviews can muddle decision making. One guy loves a tool, the next guy hates it. Twenty people say it’s junk, twenty people say it’s the most reliable thing ever. And they can all be right. I tend to read the bad reviews first to get an idea if the complaints have a common trend or are just someone blaming the product for their own mistakes. If I’m researching a power tool and 10 of 100 had the bearings fry in the first month then I don’t care how much the 90% loved it.

-- Rick M,

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3577 days

#11 posted 01-08-2013 04:26 PM

Getting and giving advise is all subjective,the people who offer their input and advice vary so greatly that it’s sometimes hard to tell if their input is from actual experience using any participial product or if it’s pure speculation based on things they have read. All said and done, you can read and post over and over again on any given subject but if you can’t come to your own conclusion after investigating and research then all the reading is a waste of time and you turn into a full time shopper and product investigator. There’s also the reverse side of the coin where a person ask for help on a tool or technique and has already made up their mind what to buy or how to do the technique but after many suggestion goes ahead with their original plan. In the long run I guess use of posted information boils down to how well someone one can assimilate the information given by others and to put that information into a final action to purchase,because others can’t make that decision for the shopper,they have to do t themself.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3048 days

#12 posted 01-08-2013 04:45 PM

Most of the time I am in the same boat that Rick is in.
10 people say this tools is good or very good and 10 says it is junk or just OK.
In the end so many divergent opinions have a tendency to get me more confused and to make my decisions process more difficult.

-- Bert

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2914 days

#13 posted 01-08-2013 05:10 PM

Specificity of the posts really make a difference, IMO, as well. Kind of like a lie detector test for posters. Even those parroting complaints can be noticed on occasion. What Jim says is also way too common, and sometimes I find that I have to go look at such a posters posting “history” is to see if they are in perpetual “shopping” mode.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3577 days

#14 posted 01-08-2013 05:28 PM

I think we hesitate to buy because we know one these events may happen.

#1 Some one always bought it for less

#2 It goes on sale after you buy it.

#3 you read a review that claims a giant flaw in the tool you just bought

#4 Buyers remorse(should have…bought the…. cheaper one,...the better one etc.

#5 A new an improved model comes out the following week.

#6 You drop it on the floor the first day

#7 You love it ,but… if it only had…

#8 Your neighbor wants to borrow it.

#9 You open it a week after the return date only to find it broken.

#10 It breaks after using it once.(like HF)

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3048 days

#15 posted 01-08-2013 05:42 PM

My #1 reason to hesitate is cost.
This is only an hobby and, in m y opinion, I already have spent more money than I should have.

-- Bert

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