Does tool color matter?

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I was in Home Depot today and stopped by the tool area. When I was leaving I noticed the full lineup of Ridge brand tools were on display. Tablesaw, bandsaw, planer, jointer, etc. They all had lots of orange on them. The tablesaw had a cast iron top and orange legs. Not too bad, but the bandsaw was a dull orange. Gosh it was ugly.
Overall, the tools are probably not all that bad of a deal, but to me, the color is just plain ugly. I'd not have one in my shop. I like the Ridgid sander that I have, but it is gray, not orange like the new ones.
Not to just rag on HD, I don't like the color of Makita tools either. They are a good tool, but I just don't like the color and I've never considered buying anything of that brand. Ryobi is a mediocre tool, but I do have a couple of the cordless ones and I do like the dark blue color.
I have both PC and DeWalt ROS, but I tend to grab the DeWalt first. The PC gray is OK, but sort of bland. Performance of both is about equal.
The marketing guys at Home Depot should have talked to me before making final decision on the pukey color. Bet they could sell a lot more tools if they re-painted them. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Ed, I have Makita tools and I could care less what color they are as long as they work as well as Makita tools do. :) My tool buying decisions have NOTHING to do with the color. It's ergonomics, features, weight, etc., that gets me interested in a particular tool. And I don't stick with one brand, although I have lots of Porter Cable tools. I love my Unisaw and the DP is fine too, but I'm not too excited by all the other gray tools they sell. I don't usually buy Ryobi, but I'm perfectly happy with their OSS. I have some of their hand tools and could say with near certainty that I'd not buy any more of theirs. I've had clunkers like the 4 1/2" orbital sander.
So, to summarize, there are factors that drive my buying decisions but COLOR doesn't make the list.
When I buy a car, I am particular about the color, but that isn't much of an issue as each make comes in lots of colors, as opposed to woodworking tools.
(You could always break out a spray can of your favorite color and repaint all your tools!)
dave
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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All things remaining equal (Performance, ergonomics, etc) I go for the bright colored hand powered tools. For me its a visibility thing. Take for example building a fence. If you are using a Hitachi drill and leave it on the grass while you get more pickets, you might have to search for it a bit. Same thing with PC on concrete. The same drill in Dewalt Yellow screams "Here I am!"
I also go for bright with garden tools. The orange-handled spade shovel I have is less likely to rust out in the yard or be eaten by the lawn mower like my wife's green-handled hand shovels.
Full-sized tools? Who cares! If I trip on them or can't find them I have bigger problems to deal with. Also, they won't even fit under a lawn mower, so that's not a concern. :)
Hey, that makes me wonder.. How come there are no Gas-powered table saws ;) 3HP Unisaw? Bah, I've got a 7HP Tecumseh!
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Jay wrote:

It's a conspiracy to sell generators to contractors. If you'd only wear your tin foil with the shiny side out, you'd know this.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@XXXXcarolina.rr.com
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Makes you wonder if the marketing dudes are putting patents or whatever on particular colours ("colors" America) or the mix thereof. I reckon they are, and it will make it a pain to paint the house in the future. Red house with a white wave anyone?
--
Greg


"Edwin Pawlowski" wrote in message ...
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Greg Millen asks:

Yeah, they are, as I stated a bit earlier, but...it applies only to commercial copying of colors and schemes, not to consumer use of colors.
Charlie Self "It is not strange... to mistake change for progress." Millard Fillmore
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I think it may be possible to trademark a color in a particular use. If you use a particular color or color scheme on power tools, you can probably have it trademarked for that use, but anyone can still paint their car or boat or dining room table the same. Ed
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dull orange. Gosh it was ugly.

I'd guess it depends on the market that's being served. I'm sure that Dewalt's company colour appeals to a certain segment of the market and would be the first thing that's picked up and examined by a lot of people, solely on the basis of it's colour and presumed 'quality'. Like you, it's somehow been ingrained in my head that tools should be certain colours and everything not conforming to that colour standard doesn't get my attention very much. Somewhere along the line, I've associated bright colours on tools with the softness/fragility of plastic. Doesn't make me feel comfortable and if I'm not comfortable with something, I won't use it. (unless it's given to me free.) :)
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Upscale writes:

Yeah, but. Almost every tool I can think of these days has a plastic casing--power hand tool, anyway. So if you buy a new tool, you get plastic. Add that to the fact that plastic is sturdier than aluminum in impact testing, and much, much, much better as an insulator should anything go wrong internally, and the reasons for use go beyond cheap blow molding of even the highest quality tool casings.
You really can't buy many metal power hand tools any more. And that's also really a good thing (at least until we run out of oil and coal to make plastics).
I think of some tools I used in the '50s and '60s, and I get a little sweaty thinking of the possibilities of internal shorts and of running into electrical cabling in walls. Both can still happen, but with a plastic case, neither is as dangerous as before.
Charlie Self "It is not strange... to mistake change for progress." Millard Fillmore
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Ed Pawlowski writes:

That DeWalt yellowjacket look was marketing genius. It made them truly distinctive in looks (the only other company with a yellow and black scheme is Stanley--and theirs pre-dates DWs). Black & Decker protects that lookpretty strongly. I think it was ProTech who came out with a line of benchtop tools 7-8 years ago in essentially the same color scheme. B&D was on their case instantly. And won.
What do you think of Milwaukee's red?
Charlie Self "It is not strange... to mistake change for progress." Millard Fillmore
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Red on a tool is OK. The BD Firestorm look cheap to start with because of the color. OTOH, I've never owned now will I never own a red car. Burgundy, maroon, or some other variation is OK, but a real red (Ferrari excepted) is not going to sit in my driveway. My wife is set against ever owning a white car. That could be because I had four in a row many years ago when I bought (very) cheap used cars. Ed
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Ed,
It makes a lot of difference to some people - it's a psychological thing. For me, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference, I buy tools based on performance. Having said that, most of what I have for portable power tools is Bosch. My favorite color scheme for tools right now is Hitachi, that bright green is great; but I only have a 4-1/2" angle grinder to show for that preference. I have one each Milwaukee and DeWalt tools, and the color doesn't make any difference.
I don't find Ridgid's orange to be all that bad, but it does make them look cheap. The industrial colors of the more expensive brands (Delta, General, etc. that dark greens and grays) make the tools look like they're better made (even if they aren't).
Jon E
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"Jon Endres, PE" wrote in message

Other than the fact that you can't hide from me with camouflage on, sounds as if my color blindness is a blessing..
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You sure you're old enough to be playing with this sort of stuff?
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- GRL

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I bought the Ridgid hammer drill, and it kicks butt. It goes as slow as you want, with soft start, has an impact-grade hand chuck, pulse mode for driving nearly-stripped screws or starting drill bits on hard materials, and a really long, rubber-covered cord. It's not too heavy, but it'll drill through nearly anything, with the right bit. I don't like the color, either, but it's got a feature set that isn't matched by any other manufacturer, and the price is right. I wouldn't want my band saw to be this color, 'cause that'd make me puke, but the drill is very good, and I'm glad I got it, despite its ugliness.
Kevin

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Sun, Apr 4, 2004, 3:42am (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@snet.net (EdwinPawlowski) says: I was in Home Depot <snip> <snip> They all had lots of orange on them. <snip> Gosh it was ugly. <snip> the color is just plain ugly. <snip> itis gray, not orange <snip> I don't like the color of Makita tools either. They are a good tool, but I just don't like the color <snip> I do like the dark blue color. <snip> Bet they could sell a lot more tools if they re-painted them.
Ya shouldn't be hanging out in low class places like HD in the first place.
Many of you know I paint my tools. Ed's lament is some of the reason why. I find a lot of tools butt ugly, so painting takes care of that. It's also relaxing. And, the tools make a matching set that way. LOL As many of you also know, I paint them bright yellow. Originally it was to brighten up the shop a bit, yellow makes it seem lighter, but it also wound up making it more cheerier - an unexpected plus. The explanation for that is here. http://www.holistic-online.com/Color/color_yellow.htm And, last, but definitely not least, my two sons refuse to touch a tool that's painted, let alone "borrow" one.
If you paint any, it's always nice not to paint over the little part that tells the model @, etc. Just in case. I never paint over the brand name either, I'm not trying to fool anyone. I will continue to paint my tools. My latest, my "new" used Delta planer has had a start made.
Oh yeah, if you get most of the shop 6 inches deep in sawdust, bright yellow tools, drill, sander, etc, are a lot easier to find then dark tools.
JOAT Don't e-mail me while I'm breathing.
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Hi Ed, just bought a Powermatic bandsaw....i,m not used to that color on a tool either....has a mirrored finish where the cast iron part is....think its even a better finish than my Unisaw..... Got most...all colors except red n orange...

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http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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if the price is right, and it works, i dont care if its pink with paisleys.
randy
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