Can't be a gloat


I figure nothing from Hobo Freight can be a true gloat, right?
Well, anyhoo... I've been doing some carpentry, enclosing our garage to create an entry/mud room/pantry/laundry, and dividing it to make a nice big dorm for the three oldest boys. (Turning our home into a 4BR/2bath.)
So anyhoo, part of this process is clearing out the shop-slash-junk stuff in the garage. The "stuff" will go in our storage building, but we needed shelves first. I whipped out a quick pencil drawing for shelves, but told SWMBO that for the first time in this project, I needed to buy a new tool: a miter saw so that I could cut shelf members accurately.
I told SWMBO that I could get the HF 10" CMS for $99 on sale, but when I got to the store, that model was at the full price of $129. The 10" SCMS was on sale for $99 (regular $199). I know it's reported to be a real POS compared to the sorta-POS CMS, so I plunked down $11.99 for a one year in-the-box exchange if I manage to break it.
Out the door for $121.22; I figure if I wear this one out and get another one 364 days from now, I wound up with a "buy one for half price, get another for free" deal.
I only need a CMS for the occasional square cut on lumber, and some repeated cuts to length. It's a cheap POS, but it will serve my needs.
I guess the gloat is SWMBO, who urged me to get the tool I need, and volunteered to wait until December for the Conure she's been craving.
Kevin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is the gloat part :-)
-- Regards,
Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com Complete our tool survey, Win $200! ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 6 Reviews: - Sherwood OS-100 Oscillating Spindle Sander - Porter Cable NS150A Narrow Crown Stapler - Book: Popular Mechanics Shelving & Storage - Betterley Tru-Cut Insert System - Digital Calipers & Height Gauge - Delta SS250 Scroll Saw (Review Updated) ------------------------------------------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kevin:
Don't complain about your tools. This is something that I see a lot here, and I do not understand it.
I would offer you this:
- If you bought a tool for a specific purpose (accuracy not paramount or for occasional use) and it fulfills that purpose, then you did well
- If you bought all you could afford but needed that tool specifically to finish a job or project but is wasn't what you wanted, so be it. You did the best you could with your given circumstances, so nothing to be ashamed of there
-If you bought a tool (like this saw) that you can abuse the crap out of learning on it, then great. Buy a better one when you know what features you want and when you are more proficient, and keep this one in the corner to cut fencing and use it to build 2X4 projects
If you bought a cheap tool and could have done better and just didn't want to, then you deserve all the grief your new POS gives you. And as with all the Crafstman tool owner that report here in tears of despair on their problems with their "crapsman" tools (how cute), why should anyone give you sympathy? Why did you buy them in the first place? How stupid are you? If you have been so thoroughly traumatized to the point you are immobilized and cannot simply return the tool, go on Oprah. Otherwise, get off your dead ass and take it back to Sears.
I have said this many times on many forums and groups. The tools do not make the craftsman. My experience over the years is that almost without exception the capability of the tools far exceed the user.
I think it is a shame that people that buy what they can or what they want, and then feel like they have to hold their hat in their hand when addressing this group.
Better now. Climbing off 'ol soapy. Flame on boys.
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 05 Jun 2005 22:24:49 -0700, nailshooter4 wrote:

I don't think it could have been said any better Robert. Add my name to those words. My flame proof suit is on.
Paul H.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

I think a lot of times cheap tools have their place in any shop. It depends on what it is and each tool is an individual case. Unfortunately, there is no way to know in advance if you can get by with a cheap tool or if it is a waste of money, making the inevitable purchase of the high grade tool even more expensive. I think the only rules you can go by is how much you are going to use it and how important it is to get the best results. I would never fault anyone for going directly to the good stuff and saving themselves any chance of time and money wasted, and I believe that is the thing to do if you have the money. Mostly I don't, but I can't knock the guys that do. Since bargain hunting is necessary for me, I have a bunch of far from top of the line tools where I'm glad I didn't spend more. All my squares and tape measures are from Stanley and they all do their jobs perfectly. My Harbor Freight band saw and drill press are good performers and are just somewhat cheaper versions from the same Taiwanese factories as a lower end Grizzly or Jet. On the other hand, some tools that seem very nice and sell for nice prices are pretty dismal. Crown comes to mind in that category. They'll never get another dime of my money. The marking gauge I bought from them was unusable until I spent an hour of time reworking the mortise.
But some cheap tools just aren't a good investment at any price. Sharpening stones, hand saws and power saw blades are good examples. You don't have to buy the most expensive, but you do need to do your research and find out what is good and what isn't. In my opinion, most other hand tools fall into this category as well including chisels, planes, files and rasps. $30 isn't too much money for a Two Cherries or Sorby chisel considering how much easier work goes having them compared to a $5 cheapie. I've bought my last cheap rasp. It's hand cut only from now on for me. The most expensive tools are the ones you don't use. Sometimes experience is the only teacher here, but at least we have rec.woodworking to share our good and bad experiences.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I LOVE my CRAFTSMAN power tools!! They do the job I want them to do. I just wish I could afford a decent fence for my TS. One gripe about a number of tools ain't bad.
says...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hax Planx wrote: SNIP

SNIP
Hax:
Agree with you on all points. My problem these days as a contractor is simply finding a good tool for continuous use at any price. I used to buy Porter Cable, DeWalt, etc. with complete confidence. No more.
Before all the business of the venture capitalists buying all the tool manufacturers even started, the quality of tools crashed. Some of my 25 year old tools (yes, new bearings, triggers, etc.) are sturdier and run better than the tools I have bought over the last few years.
I quit buying DeWalt recip saws as they continually break. A couple of years ago I got 4 in a row and something broke on all of them within 10 days of purchase. I bought a Porter Cable recip and have had no problems. But I have had bad luck with the Porter Cable circular saws and won't buy them anymore. Love the drills from both DeW and PC for the most part.
But on a recommendation from one of my fellow miscreants, I bought one of those 19.2v saw, drill, and light sets based on their generous return policy. I paid about >half< of what I paid for my DeWalt heavy duty 18V, and purchased a 2 year no questions asked replacement on the spot warranty. While a little bulky, all the tool have worked great for the last 18 months. So for half the price I got a lot of value. (OK, I admit it surprised me too.)
You should always buy the best tools you can within your budget. Some of the cheaper tools don't even do what they were deisgned to do, which is why they invented "the return". In this day and age, as long as you don't want cash back, it is not unusual to take a tool back to the big box stores (I know, not all of them) and they will exchange the tool after the refund period. Tools are like all other goods purchased these day... you pay your money and take your chances.
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

I've actually thought about that before. I can get hand tools that are so good they are almost works of art in themselves, like Lie-Nielsen planes and hand made saws from England and Japan. But for portable power tools, the choices are pretty much crappy or mediocre. There is no Lie-Nielsen equivalent that I know of, unless maybe it is Festool. They're all mass produced consumer items, even my top of the line Bosch jigsaw, which can be bought at any home improvement store.

I know, it is all part of the Wal-Mart business model that has swept nearly every industry. Everything is price, price, price. The big chain retailers constantly pressure manufacturers to sell for less while the manufacturers all merge into big, dumb, soulless corporations that want to make a quick buck. Quality is the first thing to go since the MBA's that run them aren't in the business of making tools, they're in the business of making money. They will only deliver the quality that the lowest common denominator of the market demands, and not even that if they aren't losing market share to the competition.

You didn't say what brand, but my brother has an 18v set from Craftsman, and the circular saw drove me crazy. It just didn't last cutting 3/4" white oak when I was helping him do some home improvement project a few weeks ago. Maybe it was too much to ask from it, but it was cut for 30 seconds, charge for 6 hours. I like cordless drills though. That is one thing modern tool makers got right.

I've been on a roll returning tools lately. I got a Bosch jigsaw that was missing a part and a Dremel scroll saw that had a slightly twisted arm. The second scroll saw was better, but not perfect. Gotta love that made in China quality, but I wanted to save a few bux over the Dewalt or the really pricey ones, so I'm as guilty as anybody.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
-snip-

Here's an example of a well-placed cheapie. I bought a pnuematic cut-off saw from HF for about $16. I didn't even need it really, just thought it would be handy to have around. Since then, it has become indespensible and I use it frequently. Honestly, I got my $16 value out of this tool the first time I used it and I would not have been surprised if it failed after a few uses. In fact, it keeps going strong. If it doesn't last a year, then I'll probably replace it with a better one that would be expected to last a lifetime, but until then this one does the job beautifully.
This argument doesn't really apply to expensive machinery though where even the cheapies can be hundreds of dollars. It's a much bigger risk.
Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And that is my reasoning as well. As much as I'd like to have the biggest/bestests MakWaltTachi 12" SDCMS, this one will serve just fine.
I used the same logic to buy a Ryobi BT3100; I couldn't have bought nearly as much "traditional" saw for $250 (sale price). The difference is that the Ryobi is acknowledged as well-made, just "different". The HF looks, feels, and sounds "junky", but I couldn't have bought any kind of name-brand miter saw for a hundred bucks. (Not unless you count a Delta "Tradesman" (or whatever they call it) as "name brand".)
Kevin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Usually, I try to stick with the "high end" for all my tools, but quite a while back I got the Black and Decker miter saw for wacking off 2"x4"s, and it has really exceeded any expectation I had for it. It's kind of odd, but the thing looks and feels like a DeWalt, and was better adjusted out of the box than most of my Delta stuff. For $99, it has paid for itself a hundred times over- and it has graduated from "crappy jobsite saw" to the machine that I use to make good finish cuts when I make furniture (with a nicer blade, of course.)
I've been kind of noticing a sea change with the tool industry. Like I said, I try to stick with the high end stuff, but every so often a well-meaning relative or my wife gets me a cheap version of a tool. Oddly enough, after I roll my eyes a bit and sigh, I've discovered that as the quality of the *good* tools is going down, the quality of a lot of the *cheap* tools has gone up, and the stuff that was unusable junk a couple of years ago is really starting to be able to hold it's own.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.