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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are we adult enough to have a tool review forum?

Reviews buy people who own the tool and are willing to be objective about the tool.

I’m not the boss here but what I am taking about is a few rules maybe like these:

1) You have to own the tool to do the review.

2) You should give good and bad points of the tool.

3) Stick to facts.

4) Personal points are fine if you say “I feel…”, “I find…”

5) Other owners can post "details" or comments about the tool.

6) If you don’t own the tool simple non leading questions are OK but no “mine is better”.

7) No bragging or "cutting" allowed.

8) Policing will be done by use of the “Reputation” system. A good review and or comments should be given positive reputation. If it is “OK” then do nothing. If the poster is out of line let them know via the “Reputation” system.

If the tool is a current model you might mention where you can buy it and how much it cost and the money system you are on... Something like I got it at OAK PARK for $12 US.

If it is a tool that is older a review is still good as someone might spot one at a garage sale or resale shop or on ebay. Just say this tool is “older” or “I bought this in 1952…”.

I would not like to see “my router can beat your router”, “I only buy the best so that piece of junk you have…”

So how about it? Anyone interested? Comments are welcome.



Ed
 

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Sounds good to me. Objective reivews of tools can be a great source of information for someone getting ready to purchase a tool.

As long as the reviews do not turn into as you say a 'my router can beat your router' -- then I'm all for it. Great idea.
 

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Ed,

I think this would be a great idea if you can get everyone to behave. Humans seem to get so anal and passionate over "their" item being the best. If everyone can keep in mind the foremost rule "there is no best" only what is "best" for them and offer objective reviews in that light, then I think this would really kick a field goal on this forum.
 

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Sample review:
Makita cordless drill, 9.6 volt models
This tool was for a long time the only choice for contractors. Other manufacturers were slow to get it in gear, but once they did the market exploded with quality drills and eventually a whole new way of working cordlessly.
The 9.6 volt drill went through several evolutions. It started as a simple single speed reversable drill. Next came the variable speed trigger. A high/low gear selector let you choose torque or speed. Enter the adjustable clutch, a way to drive screws into drywall or hardwood without snapping the fastener. The keyless chuck was next, and the final improvement was switching from the NiCad to nickle metal hydryde batteries. Through all these changes the drill retained its simple "L" shape. This design let you get very close to an inside corner for drilling. These drills got dropped and broken a lot, and a universal replacement housing fit all models for quick and easy repairs. This design has a nice balance in your hand. It has a good amount of run time on a charge, and it's still sold for a very reasonable price: around $80 with a charger, 2 batteries and carrying case. Car chargers are available, replacement batteries easy to find. I own 5 of these drills, 2 were bought used for $10 each because they didnt have batteries.(I had extra's) I have a small charging station with 3 chargers so I always have a fresh battery ready. These drills are not as powerful as the newer models from Makita or other manufacturers, but they have as much run time as most, more than some. Remember that when you increase the voltage you decrease the size of the individual cells meaning shorter run time. All around these drills are an excellent value and provide long life for a very good price.
 

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Yes sir, I think it would be great to know how people like or dislike the tools they get.
Learning Herb
 

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If we're doing this "tool review" I think we should have a specific formatt to stick to, so all the reviews look alike. I like the idea, great thinking.
 

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IMO a big no-no would be going to a website like Amazon and copy/paste Amazon's or the manufacturer's review of the tool.
 

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Reference Review Site.

There is a web site that I go to quite often called www.mtbr.com. This is a mountain bike review site but it has a very good layout that I think could be followed here.
Products are sorted by type (drill, table saw, router, etc.) Within that you can sort by rating or price, etc.
Many of these reviews are by young people and most do their best to give an honest opinion. I believe the concerns regarding mature use of the review are unfounded. There is always an idiot or two, but that's what makes life interesting.
When giving a review it would be nice to have multiple elements to fill in. Somthing like:

Product Type:
Duration of Use:
Where Purchased:
Price:
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
Overal Rating: 1-10
 

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Well of course, if a user is to do a review on a tool, I exepect the review to be origional material.
 

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dustmaster said:
There is a web site that I go to quite often called www.mtbr.com. This is a mountain bike review site but it has a very good layout that I think could be followed here.
Products are sorted by type (drill, table saw, router, etc.) Within that you can sort by rating or price, etc.
Many of these reviews are by young people and most do their best to give an honest opinion. I believe the concerns regarding mature use of the review are unfounded. There is always an idiot or two, but that's what makes life interesting.
When giving a review it would be nice to have multiple elements to fill in. Somthing like:

Product Type:
Duration of Use:
Where Purchased:
Price:
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
Overal Rating: 1-10
I really like that formatt, I think its pretty good. What do you guys think?
 

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I like the idea Mark. It would give the newbe and idea of what works and what dosen't. I think most of the people here will give an honest opinion of their tools. If thing get out of hand, you can always shut it down. I say give it a chance.
 

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I really like that formatt, I think its pretty good. What do you guys think?
The idea of a format for posting reviews is great. Also include what other brand/models where considered prior to purchase of tool reviewed
 

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I like this Idea a lot! but with all respect I prefer dustmasters format of reviewing compared to mikes format all tho I appreciate the effort of giving all the background etc on the tool and maybe I just have a sort attention span but I find all the back history etc on a tool kind of unneeded information and can lead to confusion in the long run.

Also the "Also include what other brand/models where considered prior to purchase of tool reviewed" Idea seems in the same line as above, I don't really see why if I was in the market to buy say a porter cable 1/2 chuck 18v drill I need to know that before you purchased and reviewed that tool that you also looked at the ryobi 18v and the black&decker drill before purchasing the porter cable.

Please dont think I am just trying to pick faults the only reason I am pointing out the things I dont see as important information is all to many times Ive seem projects such as this going down the wrong road and becoming just a pointless feature as the reviews are so long to read or the information just bounces back and forth to the point the person reading it is more confused after reading the review than they were before.

also I would like to add an idea to the criteria which would be, "Adaptablity" because as an example...
when purchased my first router it was a Skil 2 1/4 hp with combo plunge/fixed bases which I though was wonderful! deal but now 2 years later it became a headache as It wasnt compatible with the biggest majority of after market additions available just simply wouldnt work with my model I was given a not sure what you call them you mounter your router into it and them trace the templates with the pen and it moves your router and copys it now granted the router is alittle to big for this function but based on the shape of the based it wouldnt even fit, edge guides standard size dont fit it,base plates after mater are the wrong size and none of the holes ever seem to line up and the actual "accessorys" they off specific for this router are extremely limited.

Product Type:
Duration of Use:
Where Purchased:
Price:
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
Adaptablity:
Overal Rating: 1-10

So I think this would be a good piece of information to be added to the review as if I had of known ahead of time I would have spent a little more and got a porter cable or craftsman style with the smaller round bases which would have made my life so much easier.
 

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As was pointed out to me, we do have a review forum.

Tool Reviews - Router Forums

The confusion may lie in the dates of the previous posts.
When I started reading this thread, I had exactly the reaction that lead Chris to make his post. Indeed I have posted a review of the router I use.
That said, in my opinion the guidelines discussed are excellent, and should be adhered to very carefully. Perhaps we could bring the tool-review subforum to greater prominence with the discussed guidelines guiding new reviews, and revision of reviews already there.
 

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I only now noticed the start date of this thread. Perhaps the Tools Review subforum is a result of the lively discussion that immediately followed the original post.
 

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I'm with you, Levon.. I'm not wild about the reputation system either.
 

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Just my opinion here for what its worth.....

Tools are a funny thing! It doesn't matter if its a hand, power, bench, cabinet, whatever!
The old adage that "one man's trash is another man's treasure" can easily be applied to just about any tool you can think of. Almost every aspect of a reviewers review will almost certainly be subjective. The level to which this subjectivity is applied relates not only to the reviewers experience with similar tools but also to his or hers own ability to actually understand how a tool is to be used.
Many tools require a substantial learning curve before claimed results can be achieved with relative ease. And it does not matter a lick if it has a plug attached to it or not. Alot of folks just plain ignore or just dont' have the patience to commit to learning 'what it takes'. Condemning a tool out of ignorance or lack of experience is extremely misleading to those reading the review. I think that it is here that a reviewer need to reveal their experience with a particular tool. If the reviewer has had experience with similar tools in the past, the review should include this. In doing so, the reviewer lends his/her own "relative" experiences to the tool and thereby taking the review to the next level. For those with little or no experience this too needs to be included.
Alot of folks are first time buyers in here. Looking for something that will get them "in the door" alot of the time. How many times have we seen where a novice has purchased a tool, only to get frustrated with it for one reason or another. Not long afterwards the tool becomes a paperweight. Expressing the reason for this frustration and the resulting feedback from forum members iin an effort to resolve the problem can only be a very positive thing.
Ed's OP presents a very nice format with the expection of #8. I see no need for reputation. As does dustmaters. Somewhere there is a blend that would fit nicely into the forum here. A "specifics" type format to be used at the very beginning of each review for those just looking for a quick reference or specific details about a tool. Followed by the 'commentary" portion of the review.
I would only add that there would be no hijacking a review or distracting from the original commentary by throwing in how you "made" one for pratically nothing or "my jig" works just as well. We should try avoid the "I can get something cheaper that does the same thing" posts. All comments and/or questions should reference the tool being reviewed and that particular tool only. Having the same tool and not agreeing with the OP should be perfectly acceptable. Why we like or dislike, agree with or disagree with a review of a particular tool contributes to the total review. These commentaries need to stay on point with the OP.
With all that said, I do think that an "alternatives" link be established for those who do have jigs/fixtures or alternative means by which to achieve the same results can be accessed. A very positive feature and certainly one of this forums strengths.
Since there are so many of us willing to submit a review and there are just as many varying styles for relating the experience a standardized format should be used if for anything the sake of consistency. We should be able to research an item, find it and right off know of the key points. Item, model #, price point etc. Present the objective first since this does not change (cept for price points) and then allow for the subjective. Allowing for the review to be as detailed as the reviewer chooses. I think once a format is established it will be much easier for many to contribute, knowing what might be 'expected' in such a review.
 
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