Tool Registration

Happy New Year everyone. Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. My wife brought me some new hand tools this year and a Makita Sub-Compact Drill/ Driver. Unpacking I came across the tool registration card and set it aside usual. I know most manufacturers allow you to register tools online these days; I can’t say I’ve registered any of the 30+ power tools I own.

What do you guys typically do? Is it worth the effort to register the tools at time of purchase? I have to admit I am awful at keeping receipts, I see the purchase price is asked for. Do you think that’s all that important to track down the actual price or can I just approximate what I paid?

It might depend on the state you live in. In most states, you do not need to fill in a registration card to be eligible for a warranty. I really don’t know how Ridgid gets away with not honoring their battery warranty if you don’t register your product, maybe nobody has taken them to court over it because it’s just cheaper and easier to buy a new battery.

When I’ve filled in a registration card, especially online, I’m always amazed at the increase in spam I get from the company and other companies they share their data with. There may be ways to opt out of this spam, but I’m pretty good about reading everything and unchecking boxes, and it still happens to me. Then they always want your to create an account with them – one more username and password to manage.

The only real reason I can see to register a product is so that they company can inform you about recalls. That said, I don’t think it’s worth the hassle and barrage of spam you get.

I never register, unless they offer to extend the warranty. Like Ben, I get annoyed with the junk mail and spam. Receipts aren’t generally a problem. Either it’s stapled and stowed in a plastic Rubbermaid box with the manual or its in my email and easily searched if needed.

50 years ago - I was probably diligent about sending in those cards. That slowed to a crawl and stopped for me over the years. Buying for a business I looked more carefully at capital tools - but not for tools costing $500 or less. I recall seeing over the years incentives for registering - like the registration would enter your name into some giveaway. Those sort of gimmicks were never appealing to me.

My 2¢:

I never registered tools until I started buying Ridgid products. Unless a manufacturer specifies registration as a condition for them honoring their warranty, there’s no need to register. Such is the case with most tools I buy.

In the case of Ridgid, they offer an extended lifetime warranty free of charge for those who register their products, so I have registered several Ridgid tools, and I have had no issues at all with SPAM from them. In fact, I don’t recall getting any emails whatsoever from them; they have a message communication system embeded in their online registration.

Bottom line for me is, if I’m interested in a warranty to a particular tool, I read the warranty. If it specifies I must register the product to get their warranty, that goes into my decision to buy the tool or not. For example, it’s nice of Ryobi to honor a lifetime (correction: 3 year) warranty for their 18V batteries without requiring registration, and that went into my decision to buy their line of cordless tools. But I’m never interested in a warranty for anything I purchase from Harbor Freight.

FWIW, I do not want the government regulating how manufacturers warranty their products. Terms of a warranty should be up to the manufacturer to specify, and up to the buyer to choose whether to accept those terms or not. So far this has been the case, my hope is that it continues. We have excessive government oversight already. YMMV

  • djb

As far as I ever knew and can find out on the website, Ryobi doesn’t have a lifetime warranty on any tool much less the batteries. Tell me more about how you accomplished a warranty exchange after three years.

Several months ago I had a Ryobi battery that quit taking a charge. I don’t know if the battery was over three years old or not, since I had no receipt, but the Home Depot Pro store ran a diagnostic check on it, declared it was toast, and ordered a new one, later delivered to my door. If there is a limited warranty period, maybe they monitor that with the serial number(?)

Update: The Ryobi battery warranty appears to be three year, not lifetime. The Home Depot Pro shop I frequent may have had my purchase in their system. I never registered the batteries, for sure.

My original post corrected. Thanks, Steve.

  • djb

I register all my tools (mostly Milwaukee) and then put them in my inventory on Milwaukee’s website. At a glance, I can see how old a tool or battery is, where I bought it, and if it is still under warranty.

If you could actually register the tools and then they showed up in your inventory that would a really good incentive to do it.

The Ridgid registration site (EBox) has an inventory setup with links to manuals for each tool.

Something else to consider is that, if tools are registered, someone would have a way to contact the owner should the tool(s) end up lost and found. A friend of mine recently spotted a Milwaukee cordless flashlight along the side of the road, so he stopped to check it out. What he found was a complete set of cordless tools, plus some hand tools that were not cheapies. Maybe $1,000 worth of tools(?), must have fallen out of a truck or something. He called Milwaukee to see if the serial numbers could be traced to a registration, but no hits. Milwaukee apparently just changed their warranty process so that no registration is required. The person told my friend that their registrations have dropped precipitously since that policy change.

There are still decent folks left in this world that will return missing/found items. :slight_smile:

  • djb

Great to hear stories about honest people!

Great idea on the complete inventory. I really like Milwaukee tick- although the price point puts is too high for me to consider. I do think once there are enough users the price point will come down. Also being able to leverage ‘crowd sourcing’ to determine the location of ‘misplaced’ tools (as mentioned by multiple users in comments on the Tick post by Stuart)

Dewalt has a “registration” page but it’s mostly an inventory tracker they don’t actually ask for a serial number, just model and when you bought.