WNY Handyman

Does Your Contractor Use a Quality Brand Tool? If not, RUN!

If your contractor comes into your job with some clunky and cheap tools, you need to do one of two things.

  1. Consider another contractor
  2. Check their prior work/reference carefully

I kid you not.  If a contractor comes to your job sporting a $79 table saw and a $59 miter saw, you might have made a mistake by selecting that contractor.  Now, I know that it might be difficult to ascertain what they use prior to getting them in to do the work on your property, but if they opportunity presents itself take a look at what they use.

Many of you don’t know brands, but a quick search should uncover the “quality tools” from the “cheap” tools.  Price is really the big factor here.  With tools, it is almost a certainty that you get what you pay for.  This isn’t a market where Ralph Lauren or Martha Stewart slapping their name on a product will garner a 25% premium price.

As someone who has done a lot of work, I realize that a quality tool is actually going to save me money and time while doing a better job (a more accurate cut, less swirl marks, faster, more powerful, etc).  Experienced contractors will realize the same.  My realization moment came back in 1996 when I was building some outdoor furniture.  I had a $19 Black and Decker jigsaw that I purchased at the factory outlet store nearby.  The cuts took a long time and I could only cut one board (there were many matching pair parts that were easier to double up and cut together).  I finally broke down and spent the $160 for a Bosch Jigsaw that was on sale.  The first time I used it, I literally began laughing and the difference in quality of the cut and the added power that doubled my efficiency.

A couple of quality brands:


A couple of brands favored by the weekend warrior rather than professional contractor.

Now there are cases where an inexpensive tool is just fine.  If I was going to be making a cut in concrete with a grinder, I don’t want to destroy my nice Bosch grinder with the horrible cement dust. Instead, I’ll pick up a $12 Chicago Electric grinder form Harbor Freight Tools and toss it when it burns out (maybe right after the job).  In fact, this is a tip from Ray Oldhafer on the “Ace on the House” podcast.  Buy a cheap tool if you are doing a job that will destroy it. Thanks Ray!

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