Why Buying Quality Tools Matters

Ten bucks for a 12 piece set of screwdrivers? Insulated pliers and screwdriver sets for under $50? Two hex key sets for eight bucks? Who wouldn’t buy tools at these prices? Unfortunately, when you’re buying tools at those prices, they’re not likely to last long. This may be fine if you need the tool once to help throw an Ikea thing together or do a one time job of putting a shelf on the wall. But if you use tools extensively as part of your hobby working on cars or doing carpentry and especially if you use them in your job to earn a living, then you might want consider shopping around for something that can be trusted and will last. While you certainly don’t want to buy the cheapest thing to save money, just as well, you don’t want to shell out top dollar when you don’t need to. You want to find the best quality for the best price and here at Haus of Tools we try provide you with the best tools at the best price because we think quality tools should be priced reasonably.

Rather than just considering the one-time cost, there are a few other factors to consider when you’re out to buy some tools. Probably the most important thing is quality. Is this tool going to get me through the current job and any others I need it for? Is it going to break halfway into use? Will I need more than one to do a job? While low cost tools aren’t always bad and high priced ones aren’t always good, it should be noted that many cheap tools are often cheap for a reason. Many cheap tools, like the kind you would find at Harbor Freight or a dollar store are often not even made to withstand a single job. Often screwdriver shafts are crooked or not securely installed, parts break off easily. They don’t fit and then incur damage or strip screws. Getting a “great deal” in the moment has caused something that requires a tool or a bolt be replaced and you’re out the time and money to replace whatever broke. Further, the cheap tool may be a good buy the first time, but what about on the second or third or maybe the tenth time you have to buy it? Eventually one will have spent more money in time and in replacing parts or replacing cheap tools with cheap tools than it would have cost to buy a quality tool from the beginning and get the job done right.

Another thing to consider is safety. A quality tool is also, for the most part, a safe tool. For starters, cheap tools are more prone to breaking or bending as they are often cast which makes them lighter and more porous. Often times a cheap tool will bend or crack and in certain cases may actually break, and when that happens, if enough of the right pressure is being applied, hard, sharp pieces could go flying. Not a good idea. Another concern is with insulated tools. Insulated tools are a matter of life or death in some cases, and relying on a discount, cheaply made tool to guard against fatal shock may not be the smartest move.

When you compare cheap tools to quality tools, you’ll find that with high quality tools, the materials used are going to withstand use and even sometimes, abuse. They’re strong and solid because most if not all of the good tools are forged. Forging eliminates the porous steel found in cast tools and forging makes for a stronger tool, and a stronger tool won’t break as easily thus preventing injury. Insulated tools are also made consistently from high grade materials and undergo rigorous testing to ensure safety. With cheap insulated tools, you never know what corners were cut to save costs and when you’re about to touch a live wire, that isn’t the best time to find out. In short, quality tools not only last, they will also be safe to use.

Other factors to consider are the feel of the tools and their reliability. Are the tools comfortable to use? Do they feel like an extension of your hand? If you’re using a set of tools all day on the job, after a few hours, the discomfort caused by a cheap tool is going to be evident. A tool that’s made well is ergonomic and will have much less impact on your comfort. A quality tool will also be made within exact specifications, whereas a cheaply made tool will be an inconsistent fit even in the same size. This article shows how tight the specifications are for a quality brand like Bondhus and compares them across other brands. This article also points out that a quality tool is actually really affordable. Bondhus and even Wiha have some really affordable tools and sets that will last you years and when compared to the cheap versions will have a much more precise fit.

To give you an example, a set of Bondhus metric/SAE hex wrenches is more than double the price of a similar two-pack/36 piece at Harbor Freight. A Wera set could be as much as nearly five times the price for less than half the amount of tools and certain Wiha sets can be nearly ten times the price for a comparable amount of tools. Buying quality in this case may seem daunting, but it can still be done affordably, the Bondhus set, while more than Harbor Freight, is still relatively cheap at under $20. Yes, it’s more than Harbor Freight, but consider that the Bondhus set will have a far more precise fit which means you’ll need less effort and won’t damage the hex screw or the tool, there’s less chance of stripping. The Bondhus set also has a ball end giving you all of the advantages of that and somewhat justifying some of the price increase over the cheap version. The Wera and Wiha sets will look nicer, but the Bondhus will do a better job than Harbor Freight’s and will last you into future jobs. The Harbor Freight special may get you through the job but if any of them break, or strip screws you’ve wasted $8 even if you get the job done. You’d have to go buy another $8 set to replace it if needed again and your savings slips away. Or if you’ve stripped the screw out, you may never be able to move it again, which may result in more waste should whatever you’re working on need service again.

In the world of tools there are definite cheap ways to go but taking the shortcut of lower cost will cost you something in terms of tool, screw or other breakage. In the end, it sometimes pays to spend a little extra initially to get a tool with extra features, precision fit and longevity. Regardless of brand, Bondhus, Wiha, Wera, Klein and so on you can find incredible buys that give you untold benefits with just a little more investment than a cheap tool asks for. In the long game, you’re doing yourself a favor when you buy a tool that’s a good one.

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