Where do you go for tool reviews (other than ToolGuyd)?

Stuart and company do an amazing job, but they can’t cover all the tools out there.

Where else do you go for tool reviews? Ideally they’d be as thorough and thoughtful as ToolGuyd’s.

I check out protoolreviews.com and sometimes toolboxbuzz.com. I also pop around tools in action’s forums.

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It has been a long time since I was actively involved in purchasing a significant amount of hand and machine tools. When I was - my partners and I would sometimes look at printed and online information about new tools - consult with the guys who were most likely to use them - then decide if it seemed prudent to buy one or more to try out. If our trial seemed to show some significant advantage - in the realms of safety or productivity then we would talk about a phase-in at one of our staff meetings. Back then - Toolguyd may have been just a glimmer in Stuart’s mind. Today - for me anyway - its the only blog that I regularly read - now probably more for entertainment than for the basis for any purchasing decision.
Today - I realize that many retailers - notably Amazon provide reviews along with tool listings. From what I’ve observed - and from other’s (like Fakespot.com ) analyses - I always take these reviews with a grain of salt. Many reviews have little content, may be placed by shills for the seller or may be paid for with free or discounted items. Even honest reviews/reviewers need to be placed in the context of their personal use - if you are able to discern it. Many reviews are also just first impressions - and few represent any sort of long-term testing.Amazon or Home Depot reviews may be of some use - when there are a significant number of them spread out over some time - as the distribution of ratings might be statistically significant.

Some tool purveyors also sponsor tool blogs. Here are a few that I know about:

https://www.acmetools.com/blog?cm_mmc=Spop-Email--161111_BlogAnnouncement%20--%20Active-_-CheckItOut%20&spMailingID=27032392&spUserID=NzgzMTU2MzQ1NDcS1&spJobID=921902212&spReportId=OTIxOTAyMjEyS0

https://beltsandboxes.com/tool-brands/

I also note that when you Google “Tool Blogs” you get some listings for some that have supposedly reviewed tool blogs:

https://www.generaltools.com/blog/the-9-best-tool-review-blogs-online/

https://toolsourcedirect.com/top-7-tool-blogs/

I might add that forums like the Garage Journal (www.garagejournal.com), The Journal of Light Construction (jlconline.com/tools) and contractor magazine (www.contractormag.com/tools) may be of interest.

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Most of this sounds like a description of ToolGuyd, that’s why I don’t look there anymore. I just like to poke around the forum.

My go to for tool reviews is a youtuber from Canada called Ave or Boltr. Just search on either at youtube and see what pops up. He is an engineer with a wicked sense of humor but what he does is take tools apart analyzing each part for quality and how they are all put together as a system. At the end, he will summarize his opinion and has specific terms for pieces of manure vs “skookum” or “not teabag” tools. He is transparent an does not take free tools from companies. I’ve bought a couple of tools as a result of his reviews or tear downs. He goes off in all kinds of directions. I pulled the trigger on the DeWalt 60 volt “flexvolt” grinder as a result of his review of that. I also finally pulled the trigger on a KitchenAid mixer and a dyson vacuum as a result. Check him out. He loves to go after Harbor Freight.Canadian Mastercraft and has surprisingly found a few of them to be “skookum.” His after market battery comparisons to branded ones is of interest also.

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Yep AvE is quite entertaining, been watching him for years!

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@Steve

To be fair - I think that Stuart tries (via ToolGuyd) to provide his honest take on tools. But it naturally comes from his perspective as a blogger, his educational background (PhD in Material Science) and long-term interest in tools. He does not seem to pretend to be a know-it-all or pawn himself off as a professional tool user. While I suspect that some (maybe even many) of the tools that he tests come to him gratis - I don’t see him being afraid to say negative things about what he’s reviewing if he thinks its warranted. The comments of his readership often provide some interesting, varied and different takes on the tools helping to provide some different perspectives. His responses usually show a sense of self-awareness and respect for differing opinions.
When I was in the “buying-for-a business mode” I was often frustrated by the “manufacturer-placed pieces” about new tools that I’d see in the trade journals - and their lack of editorial content. As a hobbyist woodworker, I’d sometimes also get a chuckle at the reviews that I’d see in the hobbyist magazines - some that place importance on features in which I had no interest. I always thought that what we needed was a “Consumers Reports” for tools - but then I realized it might be irrational to expect that such an entity were possible given the rapid changeover in tool models and variations in the needs of prospective users.

Anyway - I now read ToolGuyd mostly to be entertained as my dotage approaches - and I’m happy that Stuart is able to make a living keeping us entertained and informed.

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I agree. I respect Stuart and company a lot. That’s why I keep coming back.

About your idea for a Consumers Reports for tools: If it were well written, thorough, technically sound, etc., would you pay for the content? I’m curious because the Consumer Reports model does not sell ads or earn referral income, so all of their revenue has to come from subscriptions and services like the Car Buyer service.

I stumbled in here a few years ago as an “old school” Craftsman C3/19.2 user since they came out. Actually, I noticed Consumer Reports has tools they review like cordless drills. It is not their best work… ToolGuyd has always seemed objective with good observations. In the end, it is the subscribers that make a forum like this work though.

@Redfour5

While Consumer Reports may not be biased by taking any advertising dollars or money from manufacturers/vendors - I would argue that they do have a bias. That bias is likely formed by their perception of their membership/readership. As an example: I had a friend who had a “funny car” that had no doors - just a body that lifted up over its roll cage. If it were somehow included in CR’s annual car buying guide - I can imagine it would have been rated as unacceptable for its lack of doors. Yet I knew that he was happy with its performance in the races that he ran.
Their tool reviews - when they have them - may also be aimed at suggesting ones that might be good choices for their homeowner/DIY readership. If you are seeking a tool for your business a CR rating might not be on target.