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A/B Testing...

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Forum topic by DKV posted 08-20-2013 06:06 PM 831 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DKV

3141 posts in 1162 days


08-20-2013 06:06 PM

IMHO (which is typically correct) something good has come out of the “clique post”. I know there are numerous reviews of tools on this site but I have not seen a lot of tool testing comparisons. What I propose is to get a list of tools that we would like to have tested and then those folks that own multiple tools designed for the same purpose could then do the comparison testing for us. Lots of benefits for all. Personally, I would like someone to do an A/B of Starrett squares. I put the money out for one but suspect that a big box store square may be just as good for a woodworkers purpose. I may be wrong but how would I ever know short of buying a second square and testing? Lots of you guys have many different branded squares and could conduct the test.

Let’s make a list and see which of our pals in the community step forward to help…

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know that.


11 replies so far

View BusterBrown's profile

BusterBrown

23 posts in 474 days


#1 posted 08-20-2013 06:14 PM

Great idea! I found PurpLev’s comparison of Empire and Starrett squares to be really helpful.

View Blackbear's profile

Blackbear

94 posts in 878 days


#2 posted 08-20-2013 06:14 PM

I like the idea!

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

13005 posts in 2641 days


#3 posted 08-20-2013 09:45 PM


... Nothing like a little dry square humor.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1256 posts in 731 days


#4 posted 08-20-2013 09:55 PM

I don’t have the starrett square, only lots of cheap ones. But I should be able to post the results on them. By what criteria do you propose testing?? Use Purplev’s formula?? That way my crappy squares can be compared to someone’s starrett squares?? Through down some metrics, yo!

-- Who is John Galt?

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5306 posts in 1257 days


#5 posted 08-20-2013 10:17 PM

How would one quantify longevity of quality, ease of prolonged use, and maybe other variables that would become known over long periods? I like the idea…it just maybe tough to bring the science to shorter term type stuff.

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joeyinsouthaustin

1256 posts in 731 days


#6 posted 08-20-2013 10:20 PM

Longevity of quality: post how long it has been in use, and approx use (daily, weekly, monthly) and there would have to be some judgement of the reader on the qualitative stuff and such??

-- Who is John Galt?

View DKV's profile

DKV

3141 posts in 1162 days


#7 posted 08-20-2013 10:30 PM

Joey, my neighbor has a big box square. How about I give it a shot based on purplev’s criteria and anything else I can add. Can you come up with something else to test?

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know that.

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DKV

3141 posts in 1162 days


#8 posted 09-25-2013 03:59 AM

Bump test

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know that.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1256 posts in 731 days


#9 posted 09-26-2013 01:25 AM

I got slammed with work… still into the idea, iffn’ I can find 10 min of free time, after this.

-- Who is John Galt?

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2837 posts in 1902 days


#10 posted 09-26-2013 07:33 PM

Starrett squares are undoubtly one of the best you can buy, but they are not for everyone; Brown and Sharp, Lufkin and Mitutoyo are other high quality squares. Woodworkers do not need the precision of a Starrett; machinists do. But if money is no object, those who wear Rolex watches and drive a Mercedes may also want a Starrett. I do machining and woodworking and I do own a Starrett square for my metal working. For woodworking, I use an ordinary Stanley square. I checked the Stanley against the Starrett and found practically no difference, but some difference none-the-less.

Starrett combination squares have either a cast iron or a hardened forged steel head. The blades are machine graduated with a satin-chrome finish. That makes them highly legible in any light. Can you compare that with the average big box square with their zinc alloy head and stamped metal blade? It will work, but how long will it stand up to repeated use?

Actually I have several big box squares. Some get used by me or whoever needs a square. They end up laying around outdoors with a layer of rust on them. Some get “tossed” into a tool box to be used at a remote site. I would never use my Starrett in such a senario. That’s what the el-cheapo squares are for. You don’t need a Starrett unless you just want one. But if you do get one, treat it with the respect it deserves.

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MrRon

2837 posts in 1902 days


#11 posted 09-26-2013 08:02 PM

An A/B test is a good idea. It would be conducted by an independent person (not a manufacturer or anyone paid to conduct tests). People like those on this forum would be eligible to participate. The only criteria would be owning two or more tools of different brands or even of different ages and subjecting each tool to a specific task.

Some tools don’t require an A/B test. The combination square as an example need only be checked for square by scribing a line 90° to a straight edge, reversing the square and scribing another line. The closer the two lines parallel each other will indicate it’s precision.

A/B tests may not tell the whole story. There is the question of wear over time. Another is variations in a number of the same tool. If you compare one measuring tape against another of the same type and manufacturer, there can be differences during the manufacturing process. Someone who reviews tools for a living, may get bad results with a tool and assume that all tools from that same batch are bad. Testing can be expensive. The cost of testing is tacked on to the tool. That is why items that meet a military specification can cost many times more than the same identical item without testing. I’m sure you have heard of the hammers that cost the government hundreds of dollars. That was because of the testing that each hammer had to go through before being accepted.

Sorry to go on so long. Being retired gives me a lot of free time.

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