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Quality hand tools

Discussion in 'Tools and Materials' started by mark1a, 9 Oct 2019.

  1. mark1a

    mark1a

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    Been trying to only buy once with quality as when I can afford it. I went in to my DIY superstore and they had a few Irwin tools and lots of their own brand stuff. Ended up buying own brand as I needed it for now. Does anyone have any good trust sites they recommend? Anyone know why the big DIY shops are stocking mostly own brand/cheap end?
     
  2. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Can be a bit difficult, this - as we are swamped with Oriental rubbish :(
    If you can be more specific of what tools you need? Bahco saws are fine, Irwin tools are generally good. You may as well by cheap hand saws from screwfix or whatever as we rarely use 'timber' these days.....MDF , chipboard and ply being very common. All have so much adhesive that the saw tip disappears quickly and no-one bothers sharpening them any more.
    Softwoods are grown and dried at the speed of light and can be very difficult to work - the grain size being so large.
    Rant over!
    John :)
     
  3. Andydevon

    Andydevon

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    I generally look at second hand tools as they were better made using better steel etc. and cleaning refurbishing is part of the fun. Unfortunately the oriental rubbish is down to UK / European firms specifying a price point to supply i.e. as cheap as possible. China can make quality tools.

    2 sites I use;

    https://www.onlyqualitytools.com/

    https://www.workshopheaven.com/

    and a German based site but make sure you are sitting down, don't have hot drink in hand, nobody of a sensitive disposition in earshot before you look at some of the prices.

    https://www.dictum.com/en/

    Regards, Andrew
     
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  4. opps

    opps

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    http://www.axminster.co.uk

    Axminster Power Tools are pretty honest about the quality of tools. For example, they describe power tools as being light trade/hobby- professional- industrial. Given that they have fewer DIYers than the likes of screwfix, the product reviews tend to be more reliable and accurate.

    As far as DIY sheds are concerned, every inch of shelf space is worth bucket loads of money. Why have have a £20 screwdriver next to a £3 one when you will only sell one of the expensive ones for every 100 of the cheapo ones? Additionally, the margins on the cheap screwdriver are probably higher than on the expensive one.

    screwfix and B&Q are part of the Kingfisher group. They have pretty impressive purchasing power and can convince Chinese suppliers to rebrand their products as eg, Eurbauer.

    Personally I try to avoid the DIY sheds, as a decorator, I find that those that their Dulux Trade paints tend to be more expensive than my local decorators' merchant (unless they are doing a promotion). I get it though, they are pitching themselves to the people who know very little about dealing with the DIY task in hand. They are open at convenient hours and offer ample parking spaces. Unfortunately, they seem to employ people who know very little about the products that they sell (which is understandable given the range of products that they sell and the fact that many employees are on minimum wage).

    By way of a contrast, A decent decorators' merchants will get feedback about products from professionals. If the product is pants the store, by virtue of being much smaller, has a less crap stock to get rid of and can then find an alternative. If someone on the screwfix website complains about a rubbish Eurbauer chisel they, screwfix, probably rely upon an algorithm to notify them of a given threshold of complaints before they will act accordingly. At that point Kingfisher will be thinking about the fact that they still have a container load of chisels on a slow boat from China that need to be sold or refunded.
     
  5. EddieM

    EddieM

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    Oriental? I assume you're not lumping Japanese tools into that category?
     
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  6. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    No, not a bit of it Eddie.....I’ll leave my comment towards the Chinese.
    Indeed I’m sure they’ll get there but at the moment they are magnificent copiers - but don’t always use the correct materials (yet)!
    John :)
     
  7. EddieM

    EddieM

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    I knew you didn't, I was pulling your leg at bit. Shame, few, including us brits seem to know about the admittedly few quality Britsh toolmakers.
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2019
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  8. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Aye, just having a rant Eddie :whistle:
    I’ve no problem with people paying what they want, I just want the option of buying good stuff.
    Example: I’ve fitted 4 LED pirs for folks, two have failed within 3 months so I now have to replace them(n)....time meaning money etc as well as me looking like a jerk :eek:
    A bow saw bought for a pal threw its blade on its first use (n)
    I bought a beautifully packaged flexy drive 90 deg drill from Aldi, it didn’t even drill one hole before the bevel gears inside stripped (n)
    There’s plenty more!
    John :)
     
  9. EddieM

    EddieM

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    I tried out a £1 shop screwdriver once, my expectations were low to say the least, let's just say the first screw it saw bested it. Kinda expected really. Trouble is even at £1 its overpriced by £1.
     
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  10. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    At times its best to cut out the middle man and hoy the stuff straight into the recycling bin :mrgreen:
    Those PIR's I was on about came from T--lstation (absolutely no problem with returning them....where the hell is the receipt :whistle:) so I bought my own from CEF - significantly more expensive. They didn't last either, although they were better.
    The bow saw was an Eclipse....Sheffield made, yeh, right!
    I didn't return the Aldi driver - not worth my time or the diesel. Kept the smart ally box though!
    John :)
     
  11. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Not sure that there are so many good sites any more for general hand tools - for specialist stuff there are places like Axminster Power Tools (who also have eye watering shops), Workshop Heaven, Dieter Schmid, Woodworkers Workshop, etc. (follow the links) - although that selection betrays my main interest as being in wood butchery. If you want other types of tools you may well be able to find specialised shops/web sites in a similar vein.

    But you probably won't like their prices (I often don't!) because good tools have never been cheap. As an example a Stabila R type 1.8 metre spirit level will set you back circa £100 whilst a super accurate Hultafors 1.8 metre model (the MST180) will be double that and more - if you can find one. Compared to a low cost spirit level in the same size class that's a lot of brass, but if you look around you can find equivalent Stanley Fat Max Pro levels for a lot less (there's nowt wrong with them, they're trade quality, and they're still made in Brum). They don't quite have the cachet of a Stabila, though.....

    I'm also afraid that some once excellent brands are beginning to plumb the depths in terms of quality; for example, Irwin, once a quality brand, now make a mixture of good and poor tools (such as their soft chisels and shoddy hand planes). Sadly, they are not alone in living on their past reputation. But there are also some newer to the market hand tool brands which are surprisingly good such as Teng (automotive/engineering), Milwaukee (plumbers/general), etc.

    Fundamentally, if you want hand or power tools that last you need to pay more for them, and that probably means buying trade quality tools.
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2019
  12. mark1a

    mark1a

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    Just an example I bought a few quid carpenter pliers had no choice as needed them. I have already damages to end. Now a bit sloppy. I been looking at knipex versions for around£20 if I can't beat them I'll most likely get them. I needed a set of hex keys a few months ago ended up in screwfix getting wera. For what I needed they are good and still as new even tho they been used.
     
  13. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The trick is to know what exactly is a "quality" tool and what is overpriced branding that you just want to impress your friends.

    A cheap or expensive tool can do a good or bad job depending on the hands it is in, so the perceived quality is subjective.
     
  14. opps

    opps

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    To date, I have not had any complaints about the quality of Wera or Knipex tools that I have purchased. I would rather pay 20 quid for something that doesn't fall apart after a few weeks.
     
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  15. opps

    opps

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    I don't agree with the thrust of your post. In my experience, it is easier to do a good job if the tool being used is a quality tool (especially if you are not experienced). Additionally, when considering power tools, a better quality tool is likely to have extra safety features such as electronic braking or safety clutches and is more likely to have superior ergonomics.

    The first time I ever used a jigsaw it was a cheap Black and Decker jigsaw that jumped all over the place. The next time I used one, it was a Festool jigsaw. The former made me nervous, the latter was a far more pleasant experience.
     
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