Taunton Press Tool Guide for 2004

Hey guys
Excerpt form ad: Just $9.99 gives you an insider's look at the results of 225 rugged performance tests of routers, sanders, tablesaws, cordless drills, and more -- plus an exhaustive survey of 6,000 independent tool users.
For those interested in a new tool buyers guide, Taunton Press is releasing a new guide for 2004. It also includes user surveys as to the usability of the tool and are rated as such. The guide will ship in mid September and if you order it now shipping is free. The guide is $9.99 I just ordered it and seems like it is going to be worth it, at least to me. If you are going to buy new tools, another source for information before making a purchase. I'm not associated with them or any other group.. just trying to finally get started again in woodworking now that I am retired.
http://www.taunton.com/store/pages/nmtg01.asp
C Cole
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Wreck: Useful Information and More
;-)
On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 22:35:57 +0000, Leon wrote:

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

of
to
Since I started reading the rec. about 2 years ago,,, I probably already have :) C Cole

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The problem (to me) with formal reviews is they typically swing towards someone's opinions. The reviewer may favor a different brand in their own shop than the one being evaluated. That tends to bias their results (human nature). Consequently, I tend to disagree with many of the reviews I've read over the years. Furthermore, if you read a lot of different WW magazine, you can often find the exact opposite opinion on the same tool, in a competing magazine. Whether it's truly a different opinion, or smart marketing (not upsetting your sponsors), it's anyone's guess.
That brings me here. God I love the web! If someone actually buys a product (not just tests it) and either loves it, or hates it, you can read about it online. The fact that someone actually bought it lends credibility to their review. Opinions will vary BUT when you find a number of owners telling you the same thing, you should probably start to listen. Sure, there are plenty of arm-chair-QBs on this NG that bad mouth brands without actually owning the product someone is asking about, but ignore them.
I also buy a lot of computer equipment. I go to CNET for reviews. What's very enlightening to me is reading a rave review from the editor, then reading the user comments (typically 100 or more people). Many times, the users will completely disagree with the editorial. Those contributors make CNET worth reading. ;-)
But, that's just me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

True, but unless the number of respondants is large, the results are no more reliable than the mags. Unfortunately, some will post a review to a web site before fully evaluating the product. Then there's the problem of pride-of-ownership and refusal to admit an error in their purchase. Another problem is that you don't know whether the person posting the review even has a clue as to how to use the product properly (less likely in a specialty mag) and rags a good product because it doesn't do what they want (this screwdriver sucks at driving nails!!!).
I prefer both - expert opinions (that may be biased one way) and broad-based views on a product to see how the hoi-polloi like it.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert responds:

Huh? Usually, when I test tools, I include the one I have in my shop, if I currently have one. And I do not always have the best one going in my shop. In other words, what I have in my shop is close to irrelevant in a review or test. I may be more familiar with its use, but if I can do more with xxx brand of jigsaw, I then try to evaluate whether that's my extra experience with that saw over yyy brand, or a real plus becuse of better features.

Make sense to me. I do,too.

I've seen differing opinions, and had other writers in magazines come up with different results than I do. That is sometimes skill, it is sometimes desire for different features, expectation of different uses and similar concepts. Expect it to continue.

No it isn't, unless the editors are stupid. I know most of the woodworking magzine editors out there, and none of them are stupid. Companies that base advertising on a good review are self-limiting.

Usually. Not always. Charlie Self
"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls." Dan Quayle
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

own
(human
shop. In

test.
of
that saw

Let me put it another way. If someone is brand loyal, such as a Chevy owner, when he tests a Ford, expect his review to be less than stellar, despite how the test actually went.
Spend any time on this forum, you'll read plenty of tool snobbery. That's why I suggested dismissing opinions of tools from those who don't actually own one.
FWIW, I've got WW magazines dating back to the 80s. I've read almost all the reviews, some are fair, some are boldly, er, biased. The upside to the bad reviews is some manufacturers pay attention and capitalize on this. Porter Cable got slammed by users on a number of oversights, Dewalt listened, and made a model that addressed the competitor's flaws. To that end, we just ordered the Dewalt in my shop at work though I luv my PC tools.
It ain't all bad. Just don't put too much stock in any one thing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Then you have a biased reviewer. Rookie perhaps. I don't think a decent reviewer would last long if he was that easy to spot.

Umm... I think Charley has been on this forum longer than anyone here....

Then you have probably read many of Charleys reviews.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert responds:

You're kidding, right? Do you use your table saw in exactly the same manner as the guy down the street? If you do, then expect similar results and the same desire for particular features. If you don't, think about what may happen.

Something close to 5o years of experience working with all kinds of machinery, in my case.

So what is his hobby? He obviously knows enough about archery to satisify a certain level of expertise. Do you KNOW that he has less expertise than that?

Plain, old-fashioned common sense.
Charlie Self
"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls." Dan Quayle
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Snip

Naw... an Expert may be a Professional but a Professional is not necessarily an Expert. An Expert is a person with great knowledge or skill in a particular field. A Professional can simply be the guy that flips burgers at McDonalds for a living. I would much rather consult an Expert than a Professional.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert responds:

Dr. Spock is irrelevant to this discussion.
If you fished as a professional, you'd be qualified as an expert fisherman. Would you be an expert at using ALL fishing equipment, at making it, at determining how it was made, at determining the best use of each piece? Maybe. Probably not. You'd work with what you had on hand, or buy the best you could find...after reading a bunch of reviews.
I know a fair number of woodworkers, and most are always eager to gain more information. It doesn't seem to make much difference whether they are making a living at woodworking or not. There are skilled amateurs out there that can make your average professional woodworker look sick. There are woodworkers out there somehow making a buck or six for themselves out of woodworking who cannot build anything much, but manage to BS the customer into buying their stuff, instead of things made by someone else.
Qualifying as an expert in anything is a matter of work and study, not a matter of proclaiming yourself a professional whatever. I've know a great many amateurs who study harder and learn more than a great many pros. And who have a greater enthusiasm for woodworking, or other processes. I've got a friend who was once a pro woodworker--he spent years on furniture factory production lines, and also set up equipment for those lines. He can eyeball more stuff accurately today, 20+ years after his last production line work, than I can get right with measurements. He has more jigs and ideas than any other person I've ever known, except possibly 2-3 other WRITERS in the field. He doesn't write because he left school at about grade 5 to help support his family. He is, though, an expert in areas where I would like to be more expert.
Hobbyists tend to woodworking because they enjoy it. After a few years, too many woodworkers who make a living at producing sawdust feel forced to work at what was once an enjoyable way of making a living...something they can't walk away from as a hobbyist can, so the driving motivation is no longer enjoyment, but making a living for their families.
One further question, though: if your buddy is writing for achery magazines, who runs and reads those magazines? Are there any experts on the staff? Do they accept his professionalism? Do readers complain about the mistakes he makes in his writing?
If not, whatcherbeef?
Charlie Self
"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls." Dan Quayle
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.