Whenever I decide to buy a new tool, an array of choices present themselves onto me. The decision between one tool or the other can sometimes be difficult. I tend to have certain prejudices when it comes to different companies, but in the end, I don’t always buy the better tool, probably just the one which seemed the better advertised. I did not have a means to compare each tool on the same level playing field. So, to try and circumvent that problem, I created a checklist which I am sharing with you.
Durability is of course a very important factor. How long will your tool last you? Is it built for daily use? Where will it start to break down first? Can it sustain your level of work or will it burn out?
The service and the warranty of the company is necessary in the event of buying a lemon, or simply a tool which is not appropriate. No one wants to struggle left and right to get a replacement or a reimbursement. When working on the jobsite, tools break. It is therefore important to get a great service from the manufacturer or the store from where you bought it.
Easy to Use
Is its usage intuitive? This may not apply to every product, but when buying a more complex tool or a software, it is always important to figure out how intuitive and easy to use it is. It will benefit you to optimize the usage of that tool and form other workers more rapidly.
What are the different features of that tool and how important are they? Even when comparing the same tools, they may present different features. There exists a range of accessories that can also allow you to optimize your workflow, get more work done, faster. Being able to find the best ones for your situation may tip the scale towards a specific product in a big way.
If you are going to be using that tool on a daily basis, you want it to be ergonomic. If the handle is too big, the vibrations too intense or generally hard to maneuver it will not only be not enjoyable, but it may lead to injuries. Find a tool that sits well in your hands and that is built for comfort.
This factor is only applicable to tools powered by batteries. How long is the battery life? How long is the recharge? This is not the most important criteria, but still will impact your experience with the tool. For more information on how to chose and preserve your batteries, you can check out our article “A Lithium-Ion Battery, How Does It Work (and How to Take Care of It)?”.
Your tools are going to get banged up on the work site. Is this tool ready for it? Make sure you buy a tool which will survive the inevitable roughness of your day to day.
Too often forgotten, the compatibility between this tool and others will make the difference. Are the batteries transferable between tools? It might be better to buy a bundle from the same manufacturer to ensure the compatibility and a better experience.
Professional tools are expensive, there are no ways around it. The question remains: is it valuable? Is the value added by the higher price worth it? You might want to fix a budget for a tool and try to find the best bang for your buck. You don’t need to buy the top of the line tool if you are only using it once in a while, but you don’t want to buy the cheapest either.
Finally, this article sought only to give out a general checklist whenever you are shopping around for a new tool. You can add or omit certain criterion, but I thought this would generally apply to most purchases. Please let us know if this checklist has been helpful for you.