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How do you chose what to buy?

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Anonymous

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Hi all

I have gotten to wondering lately about the purchase of new tools. This was mostly fuelled by the plethora of tool reviews in UK magazines when compared to American mags which seem to carry more projects and less tool reviews when compared to British counterparts.

Do people find that they are influenced by reviews when purchasing :?: or, do people consider the reviews to be one persons opinion and thus take with a pinch of salt :?: Do people prefer to buy locally or from afar :?: How do you chose :?:

**My personal purchasing habits are, upon analysis, are quite complex really.** :?

First. I am not prepared to wait for weeks for delivery and so LOCAL is preferred :evil:

Based upon Andy King's reviews I bought tablesaw (locally) + veritas shoulder plane . Both routers, Clifton and LNs all bought based upon reviews. All reviews of these tools were spot-on in my opinion. :D

As already stated, if possible I buy from a shop over the counter. (very useful when/if there are problems + I like to 'feel' before purchasing).
However, this only seems to apply to larger items such as tablesaw/bandsaw/P/T/Lathe/Pillar drill/disc sander/router table, all of which were purchased locally.
Only exception (delta thicknesser) came from Rutlands.

For smaller powered items such as routers/drills etc. I find that I have split local/countrywide about 60/40

Finally, for hand tools I have purchased nearly all from far afield, America (LN), Canada (Lee Valley), Germany (Dieter Schmidt) + Axminster etc.

So it would seem that the smaller the item, the further afield I am prepared to go !! :wink:

I would be very interested to hear other peoples preferences/foibles.

Looking forward to replies

Cheers

Tony
 

Aragorn

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I too like to buy locally where possible. There is a small family-run hardware store close to me where I have an account and I buy most things from there. I like to support small local business as opposed to faceless corporations.
I do my research online, magazines occasionally and by going and looking at the machine, then I ask this local shop whether they can source it and what their best price is. If this is reasonable compared to online prices I go to them, otherwise it's ordering from Rutlands, Axminster etc etc.
I also like to get a good deal! And on occasion this has meant ordering from the US or wherever! If my local store can't get it for me, it's over to the best price.
 

Mdotflorida

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I tend to try and research the tools I am intereseted in within the price range I have allocated, coming up with a list of available machines. Then refine this list based on any reviews I can find in magazines etc. and a search of (or post to) this forum to get actual owner experiences and opinions.

Following that I'm with Aragorn. Local supplier gets first crack. I have nothing but praise for my local supplier and the extra service (anytime after work free delivery etc.) is well worth a slight increase in base cost. I am sure there will come a time when even with the extra service they can't match an online price but with all my recent purchases the price has been the same everywhere so they have saved me a fortune in delivery charges.

Point in case is .. Had a Jet 60A planer delivered last week and the workshop wasn't quite ready for it so I had to leave it in the crate. No problems they said, "when you're ready, give us a call and we'll pop around and help lift it on the stand." Now that's service.

Can't see Rutlands doing the same somehow.
 
A

Anonymous

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I can honestly say I have never bought a woodworking magazine and probably never will. For me it is a hobby in my spare time and the most I've read about the subject is since joining this Forum which is free and probably contains far more than any magazine ever could and as for reviews, not only for woodworking machines etc but other stuff as well, I prefer to try it myself, if I like it I keep it, if not it goes back and I choose something else, my personal preference. As for tool buying etc, I generally by small amounts of the best I can afford as and when I can afford it and I'm 'allowed' by the mrs. :roll: although I'm getting devious now and saying nothing seems to work best. I mainly use well known online dealers or where possible local shops which can supply all but the more specialist things I need.
 

StevieB

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Well, My local dealer is Axminster itself :D The Faversham store in Kent is about 2 miles from my house. Friendly staff, have 99% of stuff in stock (except white glue sticks for some bizarre reason, they never have white glue sticks!) and were happy to give me a demo of my router before I bought it.

As to reviews, I do read GWW, although their reviews are not always within my budget, and research online. I do at least like to see if not test before I buy, and would be very hesitant about buying a large piece of machinery without trying first. May go to Tools2004 this year for that very reason (and SWMBO is not going to travel to Devon just to look at tools that are mostly on sale 2 miles down the road :p )

Steve.
 

Chris Knight

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I read all the reviews I can lay hands on and if possible, before a significant purchase, correspond with folk on the internet whom I've spotted as owning whatever it is. By some wrinkle of the human psyche, people seem more prepared to say what they don't like about a particular brand or model in one on one correspondence than when declaring their undying love for it in a public debate about the merits of such things.

I tend to deal with people whom I can talk to, even if distant and only over the phone. If the bod selling whatever it is can talk in a knowledgable way about it, without sounding totally partisan, I am much more inclined to do business with them. Alas, the way the world is turning, such folk and the local stores that actually have what one might want are few and far between so I end up with paying a lot of VAT on imports.

I have used Axminster since their early days when they had a real niche and weren't trying to be everything to everyman and whilst I still find them pretty good, I have lost the sense of loyalty I had towards them in the beginning when they really seemed to be on a mission.

I have all the power tools I am ever likely to need but I still yearn for useful, beautiful handtools - the sort that tend to be made by only two people in the world - so my buying these days is pretty simple with no need to lie awake wondering if I will get a better deal from Axminster or D&M. Of course I now lie awake wondering what the bank manager is going to say about a loan!
 

Midnight

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When I first started, I made the classic rookie mistakes; took the tool catalogues on trust, worked with a budget that in retrospect was unrealistically small and ended up with a shopfulla lemons. Learning the hard way that cheap and capable don't co-exist was a wake up call.
I've had some education since then, both here and other forums; after trying every UK mag on the market I came to the conclusion that they were next to worthless as their reviews were far too shallow to make educated decisions from.
Thesedays I'll spend months before committing to a purchase if need be, unless I KNOW through prior dealings that the tool I'm after comes from a lemon free zone; my L-N#7 being a case in point.

Right now I'm at the point where trying to work within the limitations of my earlier purchases is annoyingly distracting, compounded by the limitations of a small shop. I've to decide whether to replace the bench / table saw contraption with either a compact but proven table saw, or build a proper cabinetmakers bench, replacing the benchsaw with a decent bandsaw, changing my project scope to work almost exclusively with hardwoods rather than my current combination of hardwood and birch ply.
In the mean time, the intention is to slowly aquire more hand tools as the need for them arrises.
 
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