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Sarah's Personal Blog

Read my opinions on some interesting topics

How to save money by buying used tools

Buying and selling used power tools is very common. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t bought or sold used tools. It’s especially popular among frugal woodworkers and DIY, looking for a chance to get best product for their buck. For some, who have vast experience in finding good bargains, getting a good deal becomes a bit competitive and finding great tool for low price makes them very proud. Other than that, buying second hand tools, or pretty much anything second hand, is beneficial to the world at large. You make use of the tool, and seller gets some money, instead of throwing it away and adding to earth’s massive plastic trash reserves.

Before buying used tools though, i do recommend that you have some experience of using them for DIY and home improvement projects. It’s also good idea to visit local stores to try them out in person and ask questions. I think you should only consider buying used power tools when you have good knowledge of tools in general. Also pay attention to safety measures on the tools. You must make sure that manufacturers have implemented proper adjustments to protect you from the accidental harm. Retail stores usually don’t have used tools for sale, but you might find some good last-minute deals there. Whenever new models get released, retailers are eager to get rid off old inventory, so they tend to drop the prices significantly.

But the real gems for finding used tools are auction and listings websites – eBay and Craigslist.

If you have specific model in mind, it’s worth to search the model name on both sites. It will at least give you rough estimate of how much you should expect to pay. But also pay attention to the condition and appearance of the product – not all used tools are the same. Some might work, but won’t look good, and those are usually much cheaper than slightly used tools that barely have any signs of wear.

eBay and Craigslist are a bit tricky because you don’t have much feedback about the item. But what you do have, at least on eBay, is sellers rating, which is worth paying attention to because it reflects level of seller’s honesty. If they have a lot of ratings and are frequent sellers, they won’t risk damaging that by selling shoddy product.

 Just like when buying new, brands should be kept in mind when you’re buying used tools as well. I would recommend to buy tools from brands that are famous for their quality, for instance – DeWalt or Bosch. These tools are literally very hard to break, so even used ones are very much likely to work for a long time. I recently bought excellent splitting maul made by Fiskars. If you’re interested but don’t have experience, this splitting maul buying guide does pretty good job of explaining. I don’t recommend buying cheaper brands like Ryobi. Even though they’re legitimate brands with good tools, they are intended for casual use, and after few years of use, they won’t be as reliable as brands like DeWalt.

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