Rutlands now

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Established Member
19 Nov 2012
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I have been asked just recently for my point of view on the quality of Rutlands as a company and supplier these days.

I'd like to be as fair as possible to the person that asked my opinion, and rather than give only my own experience and thoughts I'd like to make up a thread here of everyone's view, if you've had any dealings with them in the last couple of years, please post here. I'd like to know how they're generally viewed - that way I don't feel like I'm being nasty if I was personally to say that in my own opinion they have badly gone down in quality. If you had a good experience I'd like to hear it, and if not also, please post here.

This way I can direct the question right to this page for an unbiased view - For that reason, if you are a Rutlands representative or employee etc., please don't post, I'm not looking for an argument or anything, view this as an assessment of the prevailing perception of your company if you like.

For myself, I've had unpleasant dealings with their customer service, quite honestly awful quality stuff supplied under their own brands, and noticed that their range seems to be getting smaller every few months. In our forum retailer chart they have a 7/10 but this was last looked at almost 2 yrs ago, when they still stocked power tools - I think there's around ten items in their whole site now that require power. They've also started sending their email shots out through a address, flagged by the "Web Of Trust" as known for spam and scam operations - not smart business.

As I said, this is not looking for rants or hate, just an honest assessment, and I hope some of you have had a better experience than I have.


Dreadful. I won't use them any more. They are not that cheap, despite the special offers- I could quite examples but look at most products- there is an alternative elsewhere at full price which is the same or better price as rutlands.

Stock levels have been poor in the past- I tend not to notice now.

The quality of Dakota products is generally not suitable for even occasional use - just this week I used an anvil that I bought months ago in a sale and the top was soft as dung!

I haven't had an issue with delivery. Always prompt in fairness. I have never ordered anything that wasn't in stock- too many nightmare stories. If there is an issue, customer service is a nightmare.

This echoes most of your own experience.

Bad experiences aside, I would be reluctant to buy even premium branded goods from them in case there was an issue. I feel that elsewhere the retailer would do anything to help, or if they couldn't get the manufacturer straight on it (eg screw missing from a mitre gauge). With rutlands you would be on your own.
I've used them a few times for things and found their service to be fine. In one of my orders there was a couple of things that were listed as in stock and turned out not to be, but I was called by someone within an hour of placing the order to inform me of this and to give me an estimated delivery date of a few days hence, which was subsequently beaten (this would have been around Easter time I think). For buying tools that I know are good quality (Veritas, Quiangsheng etc) if they are competitive on price I'd have no hesitation in using them again.
Honestly, I have never had any bad feeling or problem trading regarding Rutlands and have purchased regularly from them over the years.
I have ordered stuff like T track from them on several occasions with never a problem in stock or delivery. On the other hand my son has ordered from them twice and they seemed to lose the order ( though taking the money ) both times.
devonwoody":1m6gjefw said:
Honestly, I have never had any bad feeling or problem trading regarding Rutlands and have purchased regularly from them over the years.

Your not on your own DW, I bought a Trend T3 from them and the on/off switch stopped working so under guarantee a courier was sent out to pick it up and it was replaced.
I also bought a thread converter for my lathe which for some reason didn't fit, they then sent out a further 3 which again none of them were any good (it was a cheap nu-tool lathe with a funny thread) nothing was too much trouble and the service received was excellent.

devonwoody":7b4o4ynn said:
Honestly, I have never had any bad feeling or problem trading regarding Rutlands and have purchased regularly from them over the years.
I'd second that!
I haven't used them a great deal, but when I have used them the goods have been reasonably priced, as described, and promptly delivered. In 'ebay' terms I'd happily buy from them again.
Excellent. I was hoping to get a balanced assessment from various sides. Just to clarify, this is only the last year or so that I'm questioning though, comments about "over the years" make me worry this point was missed.

I was a big fan of theirs till about eighteen months to two years ago and recommended them ad nauseum to friends etc. Then I started having more and more trouble. Curt and unhelpful customer service, Dakota brand carving chisels (not advertised as such) I bought for a gift that came with bevels ground totally wrongly, one even had a bevel of 80 degrees on a gouge (measured with a gauge). I ordered a couple of wooden Chinese style planes on a deal, and they're basically unusable but to return them I've been asked for photos and explanations to the point that I really can't be bothered for the price I paid. I could go on, I gave them a lot of chances - I'm actually surprised at the balance of comments so far being so positive compared to my own experience, and glad that they're not all bad. I wonder what makes their service so polarised, seems it's either great or terrible?

I'm glad others have had a better time with them, but again, I'd like to check this was recent?

My tuppence worth.
Most of my dealings with Rutlands were probably about two years ago, and at that time...
Service - Everything I have ordered has turned up on time and as expected.
The only time I contacted customer services was regards instructions for something (cannot remember what ) and they emailed me a copy immediately, so no qualms there.
Quality - i have not much to compare it against but for example the xt chuck and various other bits and pieces purchased seem perfectly fine to me and are wearing well .
Price - is often a difficult subject as it includes other costs apart from the actual item one is purchasing, but they must have been competitive at the time as I dont give away money as a rule :)
Would I use them again? Yes.
Based on my past experience would I recommend them to others? Yes. I have had no reasons not to.
I'll order from them if the price is right but it seldom is unless it's one of their many offers. What I've had from them has always been as expected. I've only needed to contact them once and the minor problem was sorted quickly.
I've bought many items from Rutlands over the years and have had excellent service every time. All delivery's have been within 3 working days from the date of order :)

Got an email this morning on that set of dovetail cutters, would be a good addition to my tools if I was into dovetail boxes, and (edit) if it came with a jig offer at the same time.
Never had a problem with them. Stuff ordered arrives quickly and quality has been fine. Also they regularly have free delivery and percentage price reduction weekends.

It's a while since I've bought anything from them but when I have it's been hassle-free.

It would be a shame if they weren't there as they sell some stuff that nobody else does, though some of the prices do seem somewhat optimistic.
I have always had very good service from Rutland's for more years than I care to mention
Any time I have had an issue it was dealt with promptly and to my complete satisfaction
so far in my experience I put them slightly ahead of Axminster but it is a close run thing

Personally, I've never had a problem with them. I quite like the steady stream of special 'discount' offers - some even seemed pretty good value & I've bought.

I must admit I've always avoided ordering 'out of stock' items, because of negative comments from other forum members on this subject.
I've ordered several items and only once had a problem, when a small but important component was missing. It had to be ordered from their supplier, but was all eventually sorted out.
Otherwise they've been quick to deliver and their stuff has been good value for money IMO.