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Thread: Which power tools would you only buy new?

  1. #1

    Which power tools would you only buy new?

    Just wondering if there are any power tools (large or small) that the members would only buy new and not used?
    For example, I see a lot of people are buying used table saws, so that seems safe. How about planers, random orbital sanders, shop vacs, etc?
    Any good or bad experiences when buying used?
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Most of my electric powered tools were bought new, but I have bought a few Festool products "lightly used" because I'm comfortable with the quality. While I'm not needing to do so, I'd probably be comfortable with typical used stationary tools because the majority are not really complex machines. I'd also likely be comfortable with used Euro equipment because quite often, lightly used becomes available from hobbyists who leave the activity or change their minds.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    I generally won't buy cheap power tools, because it's not worth the hassle with Craig's List or Facebook Market, or whatever. Not worth it (to me) to save $10-20. I might buy simpler ones off Ebay, but then you can't tell what you're getting. So no shop vacs, sanders, plate jointers, dremels, drills or impact drivers. I might make an exception for something exceptional, like a drill from the 50s or something else cool.

    I'm also a bit leary about buying a lunchbox planer used. Too many things to subtly screw up in ways that are not easily seen during an inspection.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Orwell, NY
    Almost all of my power tools were bought used. More recently I've been buying some new ones as the things I wanted were less available locally used, and too heavy to ship cheaply, and I had enough money coming in to justify spending on new tools.

  5. #5
    I personnaly would stay away from contractor tools, any of them unless you know who they are coming from. I'm a mechanical and our portable tools are abused. I wouldn't want any of them second hand. Our stationary stuff even it goes out to jobs are built better and are also treated better. Im assuming the same goes for any tools from other contractors.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Coastal Southern Maine
    I try to purchase all of my big tools used. The only new stationary tool currently in my shop is a grizzly 12" J/P. I watched for over six months trying to find a decent used J/P before purchasing the grizzly new.

    I have a Sawstop, 19" bandsaw, 14" Jet bandsaw, Jet drill press, Dewalt 12" SCMS, 16/32 drum sander & 220v-13amp dust collector all purchased used.

    I never purchase any measurement tools used. Too many of them get dropped and lose accuracy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Central NJ
    All of my stationary tools are used, mostly from the 1970's and earlier solid, American made. However, I'm happy to do some restoration work on them if needed. Handheld power tools I usually buy new, especially battery powered.

  8. #8
    The tablesaw because it is the center piece in my shop. Everything else is secondary, and I can accept second hand. That said, the only second hand machines I have in my shop are those hand-held tools I picked up before I went serious with woodworking.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    black river falls wisconsin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    I don't think there is an answer to this.

    Good quality used equipment can be very cost effective.

    Poor quality used equipment can be a waste of money.

    Both of the above require knowledge and expertise to determine.

    New equipment will perform to the manufacturer's specifications, or they will make it right.

    There's no right answer to this...................Rod.

  11. #11
    The only machine I absolutely would not buy used, and by used I mean not pristine and near new, is an edgebander. They are just too finicky even when new.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I dont think there are very many things at all I would not buy 'used'. I have bought completely unopened items from private sellers who had duplicates or never used it, etc. Is that 'used'?

    In order of comfort might go something like this:

    Tools with no moving parts. Sockets, wrenches, planes... items that can be inspected for structural damage and if ok, are 100% useable
    Tools with no motors, electronics, and minimal wear parts. A slight extension of the above but includes inspecting bearings, joints, modest wear parts
    Tools with high wear items but that are designed to be maintained and replaced. Bearings are a good example. Pretty simple fix if everything else is in good shape
    Tools with motors that have brushes (or even centrifugal switches). Close in nature to the above as long as they havent been over run and gouging of shafts, etc.
    Tools with industrial electronics (mechanical relays etc)
    Complicated tools with lots of moving parts, friction adjustments, etc. The ones that have 30 parts that all have to work just right in unison. This might be the category where the edgebander fits in?
    Tools with digital electronics and/or sensors. Sensors always seem finicky. Plus, I cant always know how to calibrate them to know they are reading accurately.
    Oh, and tools with batteries. No idea to know whether a battery is any life left and if not it can be the most expensive component to replace.

    This is probably way off base, but I am just going to hit send and the rest of you will straighten it out.

  13. #13
    I think I've only got seven stationary tools that I bought new, everything else was used.

    Almost all of my portable handheld tools were purchased new. There's a free things I would buy used and have because they are no longer made and not throw away quality like many sold today.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    West Lafayette, IN
    I buy all used stationary machinery, but you need to be mechanical inclined enough to fix it if you find out something is broken/worn out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    North Alabama
    Electric toothbrush.

    More seriously, most but not all of my handheld power tools were bought new. Nowadays I'm far more likely to buy used if I'm in need of a benchtop or larger machine (and can find it).
    Chuck Taylor

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