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Who would like to see more Comparison Tool Testing in GWW?

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.... if you would, please say so in this thread.

Edit: Will be intereting to see who is Conspicuous by their Abscence :wink:
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Bill

I've just read the other thread and completely changed my post.

This is Pete (GWW) Martin's post: -

"Having tested pretty well everything on the market it's getting increasingly difficult to find new stuff (apart from the constant output of rebadged Chinese stuff) to test. And because we're still being read by people who have taken the mag since day one, it's not very easy to repeat tests of older machines without them complaining that we're just repeating what they already have.

I agree that comparison testing is what cuts it, in most cases, and we'd prefer to do far more of it. Perhaps UKW posters would let us know their thoughts on this - would they like to see more comparisons, even if it means repeats of previously tested kit? It's beyond our facilities to do, say, a giant test of every bandsaw for sale under say £500, but we can do more tightly focussed tests such as the table saw one mentioned (certainly one of our favourite reviews in the last year). We're always keen to listen to constructive criticism so tell us what you want. I can't guarantee you'll get it just so, but we'll do our best. "

Yes, I would like to see more comparative testing even if they are the same machines with a different badge because it would spell out which were clones.

Cheers
Neil
 

johnjin

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Hi Bilzee

Well it sounds like a daft question to me, :? as I would have thought that almost everyone would want more of this, :p but I suppose its one that has to be asked and needs answering in print. :roll: I definitely would like to see more comparison testing in any woodworking mag. I am very surprised that there is not more already, as I would have thought it would be the biggest single reason for people that do not subscribe to buy the mag in the first place. And then finding it interesting, after a couple of issues to subscribe.
Anyway yes, a definite yes from me.

All the best

John
 

Digizz

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Maybe if they took the short term hit and invested in more per review - they'd get more readers anyway as a result of the better quality???

Of course there are a lot of factors. I'm just always disapointed when I read most reviews :(
 

johnjin

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Hi Neil
Yup a very nice idea
I'm in for a subscription if that is the case, not to save a few pennies but to exercise a little collective muscle might produce all sorts of results. Mind you I have been impressed by the amount of presence there is on this forum from various companies and mags. It does make you feel like some notice might be taken of our moans and groans as well as our praise.

All the best

John
 

Alf

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Erm... depends. I can't say the idea of half a dozen reviews of the same machine taking up space in my back issues exactly appeals. But on the other hand announcements of "Bandsaw tests" or "We test planer thicknessers" that actually turn out to be three new reviews of rather dissimilar machines and a couple of lines each about the half dozen others tested 3 years before tick me off considerably. So I suppose I'm saying I don't mind the reviews as they are, but I do object to the misleading "packaging" that sometimes gets put around them.

Now if someone could work out if that's a Yes or a No, I'd be obliged. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Hi

Alf, with the greatest of respect I think you are complicating the issue.

Past tests were rarely comparitive so if kit is still around from former tests
the issue now would be how it performs up against other similar kit including price comparison. This I believe could well modify former conclusions as well as being a tad more helpful than the original review.

Newbie Neil: Reprinting Pete Martins post reminds me of something.

He says

"Having tested pretty well everything on the market it's getting increasingly difficult to find new stuff (apart from the constant output of rebadged Chinese stuff) to test
The issue here is not this at all, but how well similar kit perform against each other including pricing.

If you are 'in the market' for a new tool/machine this is the type of stuff you want to see.

Someone who knows their stuff giving the lowdown on several similar bits of kit.

Occasional Roundups and revisiting reviews with the object of assesing endurance and longeveity in use is also a very good idea ( saw this in the other thread).

This whole subject would appear an elementary need to me ( as Johnjin mentioned).

Lets hope GWW can oblige
 

Adam

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I'm happy to see repeats, and I think I like 5 in a "group" test as a minimum. I've noticed they do say, three bandsaws from the £500 range, and it;s a ywar before they do anymore in the same range, when in fact, their must be 10-15 manufacturers in that price range - why do they miss out on a test?

Why not tell us which manufacturers refuse to send products in for testing. Name and shame them, and refuse to test any of their products, or even mention them as alternatives?

why not test 5 or 10 in one go, or have more issues with more tests. If you read something like "Which?" they list all the products in the category, and sometimes indicate in which previous issue they had a full test of that item.

Adam
 

Philly

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Hi All,
I think you need to look at the American mags as an example of how to do comparative tests-take for example the test of bandsaws in the current issue of Fine Woodworking.
(incidently, have you noticed- "Good Woodworking"+"Fine Woodworking"-do the Yanks have higher expectations? :lol: )
I don't care if machines are clones-they all vary in small details and it's these details that make a difference in use. Re-hashing old single reviews is NOT the same as comparative tests-time moves on and opinions and expectations change.
regards,
Philly :D
 

Digizz

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I guess a lot of it comes down to the power of the advertising £ !

Many magazines aren't really as independent as they'd like to make out. After all, who'd want to seriously annoy a major and regular advertiser?

Maybe I'm too cynical? Probably not though.
 

kityuser

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yes please!, that way I don`t have to do AS MUCH market research when buying something
 
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Mmmm. Not a totally surprising response, ie, every option possible. Though perhaps slanted to more comparative testing.

Asleitch
Given the resources of any mag in the UK it would be impossible logistically to test 10-15 bandsaws in one hit. Simply too much work for the small teams involved - the US mags may be able to do it but they can throw more cash at one article than we have to put out an entire issue, plus they have dozens of staff it always seems, whereas there's me, Phil and Andy here at GW towers. Then there's the space...
Seems to me that smaller very focussed tests are the answer.

Good response though. Thanks for your comments

PS. Any feedback on Ian Dalziels workbench in the new issue?

Pete
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Pete

Firstly, I'd like to say thank you to you and Andy for taking the time to come on this forum. I'd also like to say that I agree with Alf's comments about the GWW reviews.

I understand that because of budgets it is not practical to run a fifteen bandsaw test in one go. But, what about running tests over three or six months. Publish your test results as they do in the US. How many holes did that 12v drill actually manage? etc. etc.

Then the following month when you have a new model to test and the manufacturers want you to review it you can tell them that you will be including it with a summary of the group test. This would give you an ongoing update of real test data for comparative purposes. You could bracket the test results by cost or "user" group.

It would instantly differentiate you from the rest of the market.

You only have to look at the way the routing magazines include the specifications of the routers over two to three pages in each issue.

I hope that helps.

Pete Martin":33cx4zhx said:
Any feedback on Ian Dalziels workbench in the new issue?
I think I started a post at the weekend that said something along the lines of the workbench to die for. It is absolutely wonderful. Well done Ian.

Cheers
Neil
 
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Neil

It's a fine idea referring back to previous tests. I'd like to do more of it, perhaps along the line of a 'If you are thinking about this, you might also be interested in this this and this' type box on the page. We even did something along this line once upon a time but the reaction to it was Zilch! Ho Hum!!

I'm afraid to say (yet again) that lack of resources prevent us from documenting every tool on the market and how it performs in those glorified spreadsheets that the routing mags do every month. It's fine for them with their limited scope but not so good for us when every power tool and machine in the land is up for grabs. And personally I don't want to spend my working week entering small words in small boxes all day! And it's me that would be condemned to doing it, as paying anyone else would sop up an already limited budget that we'd rather spend on buying projects and interesteing articles. Plus, I never look at them myself so does anyone else?

However, we do refer readers constantly back to our back catalogue of tests and articles. It's something we've always done and this make us unique in the market.

Pete
 

Alf

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Pete Martin":35cbghzw said:
PS. Any feedback on Ian Dalziels workbench in the new issue?
I managed a lame "nice bench" in the "Buying a bench" thread... :oops: It's an interesting article, but at the risk of offending Ian (which I hope I don't), who is it actually for? For the first time bench builder, who might well want to follow a plan, the cost and time involved seems a bit daft for a bench that isn't tailored exactly to your needs. For the more experienced woodworker, who knows exactly what features they want, the pull out plans would seem to me to be a bit redundant for a start. I suppose my feeling is that it should maybe have more focus on the individual skills needed for certain areas (cutting those big a** dovetails, fitting vices etc - rather more like the box on fiting the tail vice really) than trying to cover the whole process in less depth. For the latter, a simpler bench in cheaper materials would seem to be more the thing. Well that's my feeling anyway, and you did ask... :oops: It's still a beautiful bench natch, and puts my drawers to shame. :(

Billzee, I'm afraid I think all reviews are comparative. Even when they're not supposed to be. Every reviewer draws on their previous experience of similar machines, or what technique they had to use before. The only real difference would be you'd know which machines they had in mind while they were doing it. :wink:

Thinking aloud here, I wonder if it would be feasible for GWW to devote that pesky 13th issue of the year to workshop stuff (yes, a FWW rip off, but why not?). That way you could "save up" the reviews of all the table saws, for example, and have one really big, 'Murrican a-like test of the whole gamut? The next year it'd be bandsaws and so on. Stick with the current dribs and drabs as they are, but go for that big, comparative test in the annual workshop issue. Just a thought, probably not thought through, but a thought none the less... :roll:

Cheers, Alf

P.S. Kudos to Pete and Andy for putting themselves forward for the Circus Maximus like this. :D
 
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Also Neil

Referring to the 15 bandsaws over a few months scenario. I'm not sure that it's fair to test 15 bandsaws over a period and not directly against each other at the same time, which is what we generally try to do with any comparative group test. It becomes a very subjective way of testing and relies a lot on memory. Better to have them there in front of you and refer from one to the other as you go through the features. And to this end we need to keep tests small and focussed with machinery in particular (power tools not so much a problem, eg, the 10 18V combi drills in next issue) to make the most of our available space. Even more so with table saws - we're lucky if we can get 2 in our workshops at the same time. Mind you I often bring up the subject of doing huge tests of say 10 tablesaws ('We test everything out there this month' type of thing) at planning meetings... and get met with looks of disbelief from Andy and Phil - especially Andy who has to unpack, assemble and repack and return every single bit of kit every month

:roll:

Pete
 
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