Most tradespeople have a love/hate relationship when it comes to shopping for new power tools. Most hate to part with their money but also get a sense of excitement and exhilaration when it comes time to go hunting for a new power tool. New tools can be used to grow skillsets that can help advance your career. They also make for a great conversation starter in the lunchroom or in the workspace.
To make the most of shopping for new industrial power tools and to avoid spending more money than necessary while still getting what you need takes some consideration, have the answers to these questions before starting.
- What type of work am I doing?
Knowing exactly the type of work is key because some tools that seem like the right tool may be ill-suited to do the job. If you know you need a “grinder” but buy the wrong type for the work, it can be at best, awkward, and at worst, useless and dangerous.
- What is necessary?
According to Richard from Principal Power Tools “Buying the right tools means buying what is necessary. It is easy to get swept up in sales promotions and getting tools with all the “bells and whistles” however, getting what is necessary will allow you to do the work without breaking the bank.”
- How much use is this tool going to get?
When you are going to use a tool long-term and with heavy use, it makes sense to buy the highest quality, even if it costs a little more. Higher quality, because of the higher price tag, often comes with better warranties, longer-lasting parts, and overall better performance, which makes a big difference over the long haul. If the tool is only going to be used for a short period and for light work, it may be worth considering a tool that better matches those needs.
The answers to these questions are critical because it is easy to buy above and beyond what you need or not buy the proper tool, simply because you haven’t asked yourself the basic pre-shopping questions.
What to Look for When Buying New Tools
Cost: Everyone has (or should have) a budget when it comes time to buy tools. Being smart with your purchases and looking out for sales will allow you to buy more tools and be better prepared when opportunities come along. A great way to do this is to be on the mailing lists of your favourite tool brands as they will often send out special “member only” deals and have contests where you can win tools or gift cards to be used at their stores.
Value: Value is different from price because something can be a good price but a poor value or be at a higher price point yet be of better value. This includes looking at the warranties, replacement policies, special promotions and kits that come with the tools. Good value means that each of your dollars goes further for you.
Quality: Nobody wants to buy junk. Industrial power tools need to be of high quality because of the type of forces they are subject to. Low prices can be seductive (and occasionally may be the right tool for the job) but one of the premier considerations should be the quality and potential longevity of any tool you are buying.
Safety: How are the safety features of the tools you are considering? Does the company have a reputation for high safety standards? Thinking about safety when buying tools is an investment in your future because saving money or time by neglecting safety is a surefire way to get injured on the job.
Power Sources: How are these tools powered? Are there cordless and corded options? These become particularly relevant when you already know the answers to the questions discussed above, such as, “What type of work are you doing?”, and “How much use is this tool going to get?”.