Reply by DynaBlue

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Posted on "I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for"

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131 posts in 3971 days

#1 posted 02-05-2010 10:25 PM

I generally believe that paying more, up to a point, will get you a better tool. Early on in my woodworking, before I decided it was something that I really wanted to do, I purchased much Ryobi stuff from the Borg. Six years later I don’t have a single Ryobi item that I use any longer. I had one of their RO sanders which died in the first week I used it, replaced by a Dewalt that is still going strong five years later. I had two Ryobi routers, a hand held and a table mounted, that worked okay for several years until the both the depth lock and collet gave out on the handheld and released a spinning bit to drill through a project I was routing, just missing my foot. Other items worked and still work but, all things being equal, they don’t provide me the same level of accuracy that my more expensive items do. While I think that experience and determination can help overcome many obstacles buying more expensive/higher quality tools reduces the obstacles to be overcome in the first place. And to answer the OP, I think HF tools fall into that Ryobi category. They work but usually aren’t the best at what they do. Of course my Dad’s HF sliding compound mitre has done a good job for him for six years and doesn’t need replacing..but I tend to look at the tweaking he did to get it good and the mods he made to improve the saw and wonder if there was really much tradeoff with the lower price vs buying a more ‘reliable out of the box’ saw.

I usually read many reviews on a particular item before I buy it as no company seems to make ‘the best’ everything with the possible exception of Festool..they usually seem to be highly regarded across the board. For example Jet makes decent equipment but there are levels even within Jet, the lower pricepoint equipment doesn’t tend to have the nicest features so just filling your shop with white (or older green) gear doesn’t always ensure you’ve gotten the best deal. I like the rainbow shop effect: I’ve got yellow gear, white gear, black gear, grey gear, blue gear, etc, whatever got the best reviews within my price range. The thing to watch for is personal or endorsement-related bias in the reviews; if several reviews tend to speak well about a product it becomes easier to objectively assess why a particular review might have been negative.

I believe that B&D bought P-C several years ago and I tend to believe that when the parent company made their mark on ‘weekender project’ tools that the philosophy will trickle down no matter what brand they market under. Hence the reason I purchased my P-C router before the company was purchased and before they could potentially cheapen up a good brand.

Padre, I also have a Sawstop and was impressed that it wasn’t just a mediocre saw with a nice safety feature but it was a nice quality saw with a nice safety feature. Nothing I’ve encountered in the past three years of ownership have made me regret spending the extra money for the brake, even customer service has been very responsive in anwering questions via email or phone.

More than two cents worth but there you have it…

-- Mistake? No, that's just an unexpected design opportunity....

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