A Beginner's Guide to Buying Power Tools

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Power Tools

Taryn Williford
Jul 11, 2011

You know the tools you need, thanks to our guides (The First 5 Power Tools to Add to Your Toolbox & The Next 5 Power Tools to Add to Your Toolbox), but do you know when to buy them? Do you know the best places to buy your tools? Do you know why you should never buy store brand tools? Well read on for the answers.

If you're an amateur DIY'er who's trying to renovate her way through a new fixer-upper, we've got some tips to guide your first foray into power tool purchasing:

  • Don't buy store brand. The store brand tools that are loyal to one retailer are usually great quality purchases. So why would we steer you away? Well if you ever move away from that retailer's area, you might be hard-pressed to find the compatible replacement parts, repairs or accessories that you need. Go with a nation-wide brand or retailer instead.
  • Buy tools that use the same battery. Since you're just starting your power tool collection, you have the advantage of carefully curating your stock. Pay attention to the type of battery your cordless tolls use. Buying several tools that use the same battery means that you can buy a back-up that's compatible with your whole set. Plus, you won't have to lug around 10 different battery chargers.
  • Buy refurbished. Ethan from One Project Closer, in a blog post on Dover Projects, suggests that refurbished tools are a great buy for amateur DIY'ers. Refurbs, tools previously returned to the manufacturer before they're repaired and re-sold, are offered at up to 60 percent discount off retail prices, usually with a factory warranty.
  • Get the best prices by waiting it out. Ethan also mentioned that prices on tools fluctuate quickly. "The new Paslode roofing nailer was introduced about 6 months ago with a suggested price of $529.00," he writes, "Already, the price has dropped about $40." If you're itching to buy the next big thing, wait out your shopping bug for a few months, if you can.
  • Shop around holidays. Big tool sale holidays? Presidents Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day. Keep an eye out for store circulars in February, May and September.

(Images: Flickr member rintakumpu licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member cogdogblog licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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