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Anonymous

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My first post here, so firstly to say what a great forum!

I've been obliged to buy a whole new 'set' of tools recently, having left all my tools in another country (long story..), so thought that some observations might be of interest...

Given urgent need and straightened circumstances I've been forced to buy cheaply and quickly. It's been interesting and surprising!

* Wickes 750watt corded drill (c.£17): after the first few minutes of burning brushes smell this turns out to be a sweet drill, smooth and consistent. My 'other' drill is an expensive Hitachi which drops out of 'screw' to 'hammer' whenever it feels like it and vibrates badly. Mind you, it did shrug off having an 8x4 sheet of pb dropped on it from ceiling height, so maybe that's what you pay for. The Wickes drill has put a 16mm bit through 8ins masonry no problem. If I had both drills here now I'd go on using the Wickes!

* Wickes jigsaw, c.£17: fine - pendulum action a bit aggressive, but you can choose a lower setting. Cuts truer than the unit I already had, which cost three times as much.

* Wickes table saw, c.£100: cr*p! Mitre fence at least 5 degrees play, blade not set straight, went back to its maker!

* Homebase Powerbase router: ok for a couple of days before the plunge lock wouldn't hold. Went back.

* Powerbase 'excel' planer: hilarious! Rear plate set higher than the cutter, so wouldn't plane at all! Went back and oddly (I was in a hurry) replaced with:

* Powerbase cheaper planer: well, it cuts. Wobbly, inaccurate front plate. But it was cheap, and really it does a job as well as the Bosch unit I've left behind (nobody sensibly expects an electric planer to be accurate anyway!)

* Powerbase wet tile-cutter (this is getting embarassing!): for £25, should I complain? About as much diamond in the disk as there was in the first engagement ring I ever bought for a girl. Eventually it did cut through a few marble tiles. I'm wondering now why I didn't take it back...

* Freud circular saw (Screwfix) c. £70: screamed like a banshee (whatever that is). Casting flashing protruding from baseplate. Fence wouldn't fit into base plate. After some hammering I got it to go in, sort of, then thought "Why am I doing this"? Went back. (DW on order!)

* Ferm omnisaw (Screwfix, c. £30): nicely finished, runs sweetly, good tool.

* Kinzo angle-g, free from Sfix with three diamond blades: horribly awful piece of junk! Shd go back really, but I'm not sure of my position on sending free things back!

* Ferm radial-arm bench drill, c.£50! (Screwfix): at half-price I couldn't resist this - it's a lot of metal for your money! So far seems very well built, though the radial movement is a 'lift and shove' job. A tremendous buy if you need one and you're short of cash.

* Ryobi router/table combo, c.£100: nice table, cr*p router, with more play in the plunge than I've seen before. Went back! I already have a very good Ryobi router bought some years ago, so I was surprised by this (though I read on the Ryobi forums that there policy/quality has changed in recent years...)

So, to make a point out of all this: it seems to me that the 'cheap tool' market is by no means consistently bad, and that in some cases you get an awful lot more than 'what you pay for'. I've been comparing these tools as I use them with expensive Hitachi/Makita/Bosch that I already own. In many cases the cheap tools compare very favourably or even seem to me to be better than gear costing much more.

The cheap tool market also includes some stinkers, though - so be prepared to take such items straight back.

- And it's a pity, on the other hand, that you can't buy a name like Freud or Ryobi and expect a basic level of quality control.

Hope this hasn't been too long and boring!
:oops:
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Chips

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your entertaining "review" of the budget tools market.

Cheers

Neil
 

Dog

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An interesting catalogue of tales of the unexpected, surprising and down right useless 'budget end' of the market....oops, Welcome :wink:

*Dog, professional asker of extremely irritating questions*
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks for your replies, guys - I could go on and do 'buying budget hand tools', but I think I won't strain your patience tonight!
 

Dog

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Any useful advice on any experiences with tools of all kinds is useful to all members/visitors, if there's the patience to read and reply to my posts then there's unlimited patience to read any reviews/advice you can contribute I'm sure :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi chips, welcome :)

I'd second dog's advice.

The ferm biscuit jointer from screwfix is one of the better budget tools

The ferm router is not bad for the dough either

Didn't like the Ferm CMS, the table was 1 degree out, that went back.

I'm pondering on the ferm 2000w saw bench ( induction motor). Looks like it may well be worth the money
 
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