Psychology of Price and Perceptions

I'm a weekend warrior, who has over the years tried to purchase good quality power tools, albeit this has usually meant more expensive. .... Makita, Bosch, etc. Tools that would last. And they have.
Tended to avoid cheaper stuff as being not worth bothering with, unless I needed a tool straight away and my choice was limited. Then I would buy something cheap, hoping that it would last long enough to get the job at hand finished before it failed.
Was putting tools back where they belong today and suddenly realised that some of these "throwaway" tools are still going strong after a couple of years of heavy use. Not what I expected.
#1 About 3 years ago my faithful Bosh angle grinder died in the middle of a project that I had to finish. Went down to my local hardware store for another, but they were out of stock. All they had to offer was a Ryobi that was 1/3 of the price. I bought 3. Figured that should get me through the job, (grinding disc on one, wire wheel on the other, one for a spare.) Three years later, one of them is still in its box unopened, the other two still going strong!
#2 About 18 months ago, was in a tool store looking for a Makita saw and happened to see a rack of ridiculously cheap power tools that had been returned under warranty. One of them was a GMF compound sliding mitre saw with a faulty laser. $40.00 as is. At that price, I figured I could cut firewood with it.
Fixed the broken wire in the laser, tuned it up and used it in re-modelling the kitchen and constructing storage in the workshop. Fence is spot-on, cuts perfect 90 deg, - (haven't tried compound angles.) Can't fault it for my usage.
So, what's my point? Well, ....I still don't feel comfortable with the above tools. They're not something I would normally want to buy, - too cheap to be any good. I expect them to fail.
Based on my usage and totally satisfactory experience with them to date, that is illogical.
However, it seems I'd rather be several hundreds of dollars poorer but have the brand names I'm comfortable with.
I'm a marketer's dream. It's a worry. : )
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"DiggerOp" wrote
<snip tool purchase and usage story>
Speaking of angle grinders....
I got an angle grinder from sears a couple years ago. One of those super discounted, last in the store deals. It was a medium size. I used it for a single job, cleaning some rust off of metal parts. It was hard to hang onto and the ergonomics were lousy. But it was a one time job, so I figured it was OK.
The big problem was the crappy consumables. The wire brush that came with it just fell apart. I used it up in one day. I have had others that I used for many years and hardly showed any wear.
I suddenly had to do a mail box repair from hell a couple days ago. Some idiot put together a monster post and mail box base, hooked up to a crummy mailbox that died. Even the recipricating saw had no effect on it.
Soooo....., back to sears for an angle grinder, since the other walked off with a scumbag relative. This time I bought a makita. It was a small one, like the one I had years ago. I went to work on the mail box. It was easy to hang on to. And the grinding wheel did not get used up. I paid some more money and got a tool that worked so much better, Not just in terms of how it handled, but the consumables were not going to kill me.
The mailbox? Well, I had to cut it in half, then cut around the attachment points and then grind off the THICK tempered steel strips that held this poor mailbox in a death grip. Everything was covered with a thick coat of rust thaat prevented any kind of tool use on the fasteners. Then I attached a thick piece of wood for a base. Installed that with lag screws and used washers to level the base. I then attached the new, heavy duty mail box with stainless steel screws. And barring any kind of collision with it, the present setup should outlive me.
By the way, anybody know of any place to get some grinding wheels and wire brushes for a the 4" makita angle grinder? It seems that nobody in town sells them.
You can get away with a cheaper tool on some items. But on others, it is just not worth it. I don't know how the makita compares with the ryobi. Anyway, that is my experience.
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Lowes certainly carries the stuff for the 4" Makita and I assume Home Depot also.
If those two fail, you can always google up almost anything.
I think Sears even carries Makita Grinders.
Lee Michaels wrote:

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"Pat Barber" wrote

I bought the makita at Sears. They only sell their own line of consumbles. And half of that is out of stock all the time.
I will take a look at Lowes and HD. I did not have time the other day. I had to install the mailbox that day and had just enough time to make a quick run to sears and the hardware store.
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In article <4922a2d8$0$7530$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-

The book "Predicably Irrational" by Dan Ariely has something to say about such feelings.
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says...

Phorbin,
Your post led me to read some on-line reviews and extracts from Ariely's book. Fascinating stuff! Goes onto my "must read" list.
Thanks for the heads up : )
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In article <4923a1d8$0$7534$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-

You're welcome.
...Since I read it, I've been seeing the come-on "FREE" in an almost sinister light. :-)
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says...

That line brought a smile to my face, - until recent times it used to be that anything free or unsolicited was regarded here in Oz in precisely that manner, - particularly those of us raised in the country. The automatic reaction was "what's the catch?"
Illustrated perhaps by this piece of wry bush humour : - A swagman (itinerant) on foot is tramping from one outback station (ranch) to another on foot. Nothing but low scrub and occasional fencelines and gates as far as the eye can see. It's searingly hot, dry and dusty. His waterbag is empty and he looks like he's on his last legs. A passing station owner stops his vehicle and offers the swaggie a ride. The swagman gazes long and hard into the distance, scratching his beard while he considers the offer, - then turns to the station owner and replies "no thanks, you can open and shut your own b..... gates!"
: )
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