Buying that new tool… or not

Buying a new tool can be simple or complicated. Here are a few thoughts and some guidelines.

I liked the old tool but it broke or wore out.

Replace it with the same model unless new models have more and better features.

I bid and won a job that needs a specialty tool.

If you can buy one cheap then do it. Look at tool rentals to see if it can be rented. Can you borrow one from a buddy? If you know the tool will allow you to bid and win more jobs then consider buying it new.

The tool I really want cost almost twice that of a competing model.

Hmmm. “Premium” tools often command a higher price for a reason. They last longer, are easier to use, have extra safety features and or the service and support are superior. If the job is on a fast track the premium tool is tempting since tool failure would set you back. If your in a one and done situation it is hard to justify paying a premium.

How do I evaluate a tool before I buy it?

Many tradespeople and companies have in-house experts who stay current with tool offerings. If this is not your situation there is plenty of information on line. Most tools can be purchased on Amazon and it is easy to read multiple user reviews. There are also multiple forums on tools. Who do you know might have the tool? Ask them.