Archive for May, 2009

This week’s tip: Do brands matter?

Posted in Tool Tips on May 19, 2009 by Peter

Yes, brands matter.  They matter a lot, for a simple, two-sided reason:  Accuracy and reliability.  In precision work, very small errors can cause very big problems.  A tool that doesn’t measure correctly all the time is worse than useless; it lets bad parts slip by and can force you to re-do entire runs or even lose a good customer.  Buying the right brands can save you that headache.

This week we have two “Do Not” rules:  First, don’t buy Chinese.   They’re garbage.   Second, don’t buy Fowler (yes, we’re going to name names here).  Fowler makes better tools than the Chinese companies, but they’re still not very good, especially their calipers.  To be fair, Fowler micrometers are passable; but they’re still not the best.

The fundamental “Do Not” rule is this:  Don’t buy a cheap tool.  Quality costs money, period.  If you don’t have the money for a good tool now, save the thirty bucks you were thinking of spending on a piece of Chinese junk, and start a sock fund for something decent.

What’s decent?  Find out next week.