Quality vs Cheap tools - Router Forums
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Default Quality vs Cheap tools

As we know buying quality furniture tools involves a little comparison-shopping.Quality tools are well balanced, carefully machined, expertly matched, and properly heat-tempered. With some care, quality tools will last you a lifetime.On the other hand, cheap tools are a waste of money and can cost you plenty in miscut and poorly cut materials. Cheap tools can also be dangerous because they don't hold a sharp cutting edge, and dull tools can slip. So what type of tools you are using for designing and cutting furniture

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 12:45 PM
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I also temper my purchase with versatility and the amount of use. I could have bought an ELU or Lamello biscuit joiner but I bought a Dewalt for much less money. I've had the Dewalt since 92 or 93 and cut must be thousands of slots, it's still running.

A good tool or toy doesn't have to be expensive or branded some pay for name. Most of my old friends owned Harley's, I had a Honda 750 K1. I road more often and had fewer repairs. Speed wise unless the bike was tricked I usually watched them shrink in my mirror.

Sometimes I'm forced to compromise like the JET JPM13 I needed A floor planer and molder but could only afford one.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 02:07 PM
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HI Jennabutala

I agree and disagree

For Most woodworkers it's just a hobby ,, most get into it late in life,and most don't stick with it very long... once they find out what the true cost is for this hobby.. many say buy the best bit you can buy that is the highest price the norm, most don't sit down with a pad and pencil and come up with some type of total for just a router and the bits, the high end bits can put you in the poor house real quick.. 50.oo to 100.oo per bit..not to say anything about the wood..some will drop 2000.oo or more for some tools and then they find out they can buy the furniture for so much less..
Like many hobbys you can go overboard real quick.this and that little things that add up up real quick...
So I always say buy the best you can buy keep your head on, do you need a router bit that's going to cost you 80.oo dollars and use it just one time..
when you can buy the same thing for so much less..it may not last forever but what will ...it's a wood cutting tool and like most cutting tools it needs to be replace from time to time.. I can't tell you how many saw blades I have but it's many...The last one I got was a Freud high end one for 80.oo dollars and it's dull already just after 30 days of using it..80 tooth type.. and I did not use it day in and day out...

This is true I think for the power tools as well


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Originally Posted by Jennabutala View Post
As we know buying quality furniture tools involves a little comparison-shopping.Quality tools are well balanced, carefully machined, expertly matched, and properly heat-tempered. With some care, quality tools will last you a lifetime.On the other hand, cheap tools are a waste of money and can cost you plenty in miscut and poorly cut materials. Cheap tools can also be dangerous because they don't hold a sharp cutting edge, and dull tools can slip. So what type of tools you are using for designing and cutting furniture


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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 03:48 PM
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The thing about buying a good tool even though you may discover that you could buy the bureau, bed frame, etc., for a smidge more or less than the tool is that you'll always have the tool for other junk.

In 06 I subbed a big roof out, my profit went into a Jet Performax 22-44 cabinet drum sander with one wrap each from 36 to 220 which mostly sat in the basement for close to a year while the Oak was cooking. We bought a new soft side waterbed and the store wanted another $1100.00 for a plain oak frame that went with it. "Yawn"!

When I was done I had a much nicer Oak frame with mahogany trim, drawers, a headboard and dual heaters set. Much more user friendly than the factory set-up. Wifey was/is very happy and I got a drum sander. If I just bought the frame $1100.00. Buying the lumber and the sander $2250.00 I figure I got the better deal.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 11:22 AM
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My local Home Hardware store offers a saw blade exchange. You buy one blade, when it's dull or you need another you return the blade and pay 9.99 for a replacement or the cost difference between it and a different blade. I think this is a great system for a blade you may need only once or a continuous use blade that you need to get resharpened regularly. They are not "super high end blades" but they perform fine.
I wish they had something similar for router bits. But if I need a "one time use" bit I will buy an cheaper and probably inferior quality bit.
When it comes to power tools a similar theory applies. If it's going to be something I use regularly, I will make an investment in a decent tool. If it's going to be a dust collector in my shop, a cheaper or used tool will suffice.
I watch for sales, I comparison shop, I keep an eye on online and print classifieds for a true bargain, I ask on the forums for advice. Sometimes I make purchases I regret, other times I am rewarded for my efforts. I'm sure this happens to everyone. We all want to save a buck, and we all want to have the ultimate tool collection. I don't think you can have both.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 12:26 PM
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I've thought about re-sharpening dull bits in the past, for me though I'm pretty consistent with keeping the bits clean, (removing sap and pact debris) and checking for junk on and in the wood, I can't recall ever hitting a nail. But I'm sure I've hit sand grains, I have my share of chipped carbide and because of the chips I dump the bit. It might not be felt on a bigger or tabled router but the bit is unbalanced

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 04:30 PM
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I have been involved with 4wheeling (and would still like to do so if I could find a good place to go here in Georgia), for 15 years. What I observed there among some of the fellas I have observed in people most everywhere. "I need to have the best to be the best". And before get flamed not all people are that way, but enouth are that one can make an observation or two.

Get what you can afford and see what the next step is. As one's ability increases and in so doing justifies a better "wigget" then get it. You may buy the best "wiggit" only to sell in on Craig's list for half or less that you paid for it.

Sometimes it seems the longer one works with something that is not "the best" and overcomes it's failings the better he or she is when the "best" comes around. I read one time where someone suggested that if someone wanted to be good at woodworking then pick up a knife and a piece of wood and start whittling. After doing that for a year or two then you will know and understand wood, how it feels, how it reacts etc. I don't know if one needs to do that, epically at 65, running out of time, but I think I understand what he meant.

Get what you can afford and work with what you got. Sometimes we can spend so much on tools we can't afford the wood and then what's the point? I see pictures of some of the shops and see what looks to me to be a "mess", then I see what is produced out of that "mess" and it is a jewel. I think that I am learning that I should just enjoy and not run after anyone. The basement shop I am working on is just because we were going to finish the space eventually and I just get to use it till we need it for other things and then it's back to the garage, no big thing.

Well so much for that and after dinner I will post on the "basement shop's" big setback in time.

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 05:26 PM
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When starting out in routing many people make the mistake of buying large sets of bits that seem like bargains. As they start working on projects they discover only a few of these bits get used. No matter how cheap they are, if you don't use them it is just money down the drain. Bob and Rick suggest buying bits as you need them, and this makes a great deal of sense since there is no waste. I do not think people should start out with expensive bits because odds are they will overheat and damage them. It is better to learn on an inexpensive bit and replace it with a premium bit. Most sources agree that there are 10 commonly used bits plus a few solid carbide spiral bits depending on what you are working on. So do not go hog wild buying bits until you have several projects under your belt and know what will get used, how often it will get used and what quality level you really need.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
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When starting out in routing many people make the mistake of buying large sets of bits that seem like bargains. As they start working on projects they discover only a few of these bits get used. No matter how cheap they are, if you don't use them it is just money down the drain. Bob and Rick suggest buying bits as you need them, and this makes a great deal of sense since there is no waste. I do not think people should start out with expensive bits because odds are they will overheat and damage them. It is better to learn on an inexpensive bit and replace it with a premium bit. Most sources agree that there are 10 commonly used bits plus a few solid carbide spiral bits depending on what you are working on. So do not go hog wild buying bits until you have several projects under your belt and know what will get used, how often it will get used and what quality level you really need.
I did (the big set deal) and couldn't,t agree more. Just a few to get one going and the rest will fall in as time dictates.

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 06:19 PM
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Every bit I've acquired over the yrs. (minus a couple of the straight bits) I bought because the particular project required it. Some have only been used for one project, now they're mine and eventually I'll figure a way to use them in future jobs I hope.

IN the last 5 yrs. we've lost Woodworkers Warehouse and Western Tool Supply, both carried 3 or more brands of everything and they were usually the least expensive of all the local stores and distributors. I'ma missing them!
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