WT334 – Tool Buying Advice

On today’s weekend show, we’re talking about how we make tool-buying decisions.

What Are We Talking About

What resources do you rely on? Forums? Blogs? YouTube reviews? Amazon reviews? Magazines?

Poll: Where Do You Go for Tool Buying Advice

  • 41% Online forums
  • 19% Woodworking Magazines and Books
  • 15% Blogs
  • 13% Talking with other woodworkers

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5 replies on “WT334 – Tool Buying Advice”

Guys, I listen to your show every week, mostly under duress. Seriously, it is a great show just don’t let it go to your heads… It came to my attention that the description for your podcast in iTunes is giving credit to someone other than Matt Cremona. I hope this doesn’t give rise to a tribunal or some other legal retribution, but you should probably stop blaming Matt’s contribution on someone else! Keep up the great work and just to let you know, I am considering becoming a patreon supporter.


One thing I’ve found particularly helpful for reading amazon reviews is to concentrate on the 3 star reviews. These tend to highlight annoyances and from that, I can determine if I can live with that particular set of annoyances. If there are few reviews, I’ll expand out to 2 and 4 star reviews.

Five star reviews tend to be just raves and rarely offer any good information.
One star reviews tend to be pissed-off customers who are often upset about something unrelated to the product (often shipping time or packaging)

I also tend to look at how the ratings skew. Products with a lot of 3/4 ratings are usually better than products with 2/1 ratings.

That said, for something specialized like woodworking tools, I tend not to rely on Amazon reviews at all. Amazon caters to the mass market and ours is very niche.

Great point on the Sort by Date on the reviews! That’s one of my approaches. My other approach to reviews is to read many of the 1-star reviews; you’ll find many of these are bad shipping, administrative issues, unrealistic expectations, etc. You can throw these reviews out as outliers.

My favorite ones are the reviews by people who pre-ordered a product. They are either posting 5 stars because they’re a big fan and they anticipate it being great, or the pre-order was delayed so they give it 1 star. Hilarious.

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