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Thread: Tool Pride

  1. #1
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    Tool Pride

    Over past 2 or 4 years, I've noticed that a lot of people take far too much pride in the tools they own. Festool and Mini Max owners especially, seem to jump on anybody who says anything bad about those brands and I also noticed that a lot of people are quick to say something bad about those brands whenever they get the chance.

    So my question is: Why? Why do people have such strong feelings for these tools and brands?

    I come to WW forums to get help and hopefully to be able to help somebody else in the process. I also enjoy the community aspect. And I enjoy reading the posts and seeing the work of other people who are passionate about woodworking.

    It seems that some people have decided to stage a personal war against or in defense of certain tools/brands, and this seems to be the opposite of helpful IMO.

    Its sad that somebody can't ask a sincere question about the merits of 2 competing tools without having to put up with the nonsensical arguments of the people who can't hole back their emotions long enough to either say something helpful or just plain keep their mouths shut.

    I'm not accusing anybody here of being that way, just wondering if anybody has any insight to this strange and annoying phenomenon.

  2. #2
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    Has this happened here on FWW? I don't recall seeing this happening here.

    From what I have seen on FWW, most people have tool/manufacturer preferences, and tend to make that known. If asked most will tell what they like or dislike about a particular tool that they have. Unless the mods are getting it before it gets started and we don't actually see it, this doesn't happen here much.
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.
    www.tinyurl.com/thewoodshoppe

  3. #3
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    'bout the only thing I've seen here that might be called "over the line" remarks about a member's tools are Frank Pellow's expression of passion for his RAS....






  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Wright View Post
    Has this happened here on FWW? I don't recall seeing this happening here.

    From what I have seen on FWW, most people have tool/manufacturer preferences, and tend to make that known. If asked most will tell what they like or dislike about a particular tool that they have. Unless the mods are getting it before it gets started and we don't actually see it, this doesn't happen here much.
    No it hasn't happened here that I'm aware of, I was just reading a couple other forums and was reminded of it as I saw the traces of some battles in a few threads.

    I just posted this here, because this is the forum that I regularly post on.

    I've learned that there are some questions that you just don't ask unless you WANT to start a fight, but sometimes those are the questions that I want to ask.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Grimes View Post
    No it hasn't happened here that I'm aware of, I was just reading a couple other forums and was reminded of it as I saw the traces of some battles in a few threads.

    I just posted this here, because this is the forum that I regularly post on.

    I've learned that there are some questions that you just don't ask unless you WANT to start a fight, but sometimes those are the questions that I want to ask.
    In my experience, the members here post most things in a civil manner. That is one of this big things that make us here at FWW different than many other WW forums.

    Disagreements to happen, but more often than not, they don't get out of control. This civility makes for good open exchange of information from a wide range of experience levels.
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.
    www.tinyurl.com/thewoodshoppe

  6. #6
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    Hi Allen, I'd agree with you if you had said "SOME Festool and Mini Max owners especially".

    I own a Festool circular saw and guide rail set up, and for my current situation in the Dungeon, I figured out it was the best solution. If I had a larger shop, I'd most likely have come to a different conclusion.

    Your question is not confined to just those two makes of tools, let's be honest, SOME owners of Grizzly tools must bleed green when cut, or the owners of the Sawstop tools are just as solid in their support of their own tool choices.

    If we take it a step further, ask some guys about pickups, Chevy vs Ford has been going on a lot longer than most of us have been alive. I think it is just human nature to defend one's choices and purchases, especially if that choice is attacked, or they feel it is attacked.

    I also agree that a civil discussion on the merits of various tools is healthy and helpful, but both sides of the discussion must realize that in the end you may just simply have to agree to disagree. For tools, sometimes it is things about a certain tool that just feel "right" in your hand, that make it the tool for you, and this "Rightness" may not manifest to the next guy, so it is very subjective on tool choices.

    Just be VERY happy that you do have all of these choices, there are lots of countries where the choice of tools is very limited.

    I've certainly found advocates for certain tool brands here, but I not found any zealots.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    In buying my entire shop's equipment, I personally have encountered so many badly-engineered and poorly-made products, my head was swimming. And I admit that when a finally found one brand that suited me, I became a touch "RELIGEOUSLY IMPASSIONED" about it.

    The comparison to truck loyalty is entirely fitting. These topics seem to excite the passions. So perhaps, the advertising is working. After all, I never argue about brands of potato chips!!!!

    I hardly care anymore. But when I do get enraged, it is when a whole range of tools or machines that are all sadly lacking. Every cabinet saw blade guard and splitter, for instance. (recently, things are looking up in that department).

    Now, where did I put my bag of potato chips (no name will be mentioned here).

    Gary Curtis

  8. #8
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    I think Gary makes a point that fit us all to some extent. If a person over a period of time has used a variety of tools and equipment, either his own or other's, and they did not perform well, or wore out too soon, it is just human nature to become somewhat overly elated when you finally get something that really works both as you expect, and as it has been billed. I don't get too excited when someone is overly exhuberant in this manner, because I have felt the same way about SOME tool purchases. The one thing I do have a problem with is someone that badmouths a piece of equipment but has never even used one, or someone that brags on a certain tool of a given brand and says it is the best, when in actuality, they may own another tool of that brand but not the tool in question. I think every manufacturer, INCLUDING the manufacturers of some of my favorite tools, has certain tools that are really great but have some that although they may be good, may not be quite as great as the same tool from another manufacturer. Sometimes, the reason for disagreement has to do with the operations intended for a tool which may vary from operator to operator, and while saw (a) may excell at doing operations a, c, & e, saw (b) may do operations a & c equally well, but be easier to set up or more accurate when doing operation h, so one needs to know both the strong and weak points of a tool so he/she can match the strong points of a tool to the operations he/she will do mostly.

    So far on THIS Forum, I think everyone has stated their opinions and experiences, good or bad, from their own actual experiences, or from experiences of others that they personally know and know the facts are true. One thing we should all remember is that NO Manufacturer will ever be able to make every machine perfect every time, and no customer service dept will ever have a perfect record either, 'cause the folks in those depts have good days and bad days just like we all do, and I for one really appreciate it when they make every effort to help me resolve an issue or problem if one does develop/occur, but let's face it, there are some folks that NO ONE could please, no matter what.

    I am proud of our members here, for the civility everyone has shown to each other, even when everyone didn't agree.
    Last edited by Norman Hitt; 09-19-2007 at 06:46 AM.

  9. #9
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    i try not to be a "brand advocate" i don`t hesitate to point out that i prefer to use some types of tools rather than others....like air tools.....and i`ll generally relay what i know to be true about certain power tools that my friends shop sells and repairs....but after a few decades i think i have enough miles under my belt to offer my opinion and try to present it as just that, a somewhat educated opinion, not gospel.
    there are lots of good "tools" on the market just as there are lots of inferior ones but to suggest that a hobbiest who spends 3-5 hrs a week cutting boards for trinkets buy an altendorf slider or even a 66 just doesn`t make sense, when a contractors saw will suffice. or suggesting that a pen turner buy a robust lathe....kinda ludicrous.
    i sincerely hope i haven`t come across as being a tool zealot on this or any forum? if i have please accept my appoligies
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  10. #10
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    I'd agree that discussions and differences of opinion are pretty well tolerated here...as they should be. There's lots of respect exchanged here compared to alot of sites!

    Human emotion is likely the root answer to your question of "why" tool pride exists. My view is pretty similar to Norman's. Early on in this hobby, I was far more brand loyal that I am now. I guess you start out liking what you know, and wanting it to the best....regardless of whether it really is or not...ignorance is bliss, right? It's partly human nature to form attachments...more so to something that brings pleasure or enjoyment. I've liked most of the tools I've owned...at least for a while...even many of those that weren't particularly fine examples. Over time, and with more experience, I've come to realize that there's typically alot of viable competition for most of the major tools and accessories....none of the brands seem to be in possession of that fairy dust I once assumed they had. I get a kick out of the comments that put "Brand X" ahead of the pack "hands down...". Many of the tools within a given class are nearly identical, but there are some with distinct design and feature differences. It's rare that one tool has all the most desirable features, the most advantages design concepts, the best warranty, the most knowledgeable retailers, and the most attractive price all rolled into one. For most of us, there are compromises to those aspects that need to be made in order to suit our particular need and/or budget. Usage, need, and expectations are also huge factors in our opinion of a tool. A weekend warrior has far different needs than a pro. What's "good" is relative to what we've been exposed to, and what are needs are. My $99 HF mortiser has been a surprisingly good purchase for my occasional mortising needs, but I understand that PM offers a much nicer example.

    I think brand loyalty will usually end up short changing you in the long run. No one makes the best of everything, and even less respected names market a decent product now and then. Evaluating each tool/accessory on it's own merit works well for me.




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    Last edited by scott spencer; 09-19-2007 at 12:47 PM.
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