Last updated on February 17, 2021 by qualified builder Aaron Barnett
What stops many people from starting DIY, woodworking or building can come down to only a lack of basic information.
Sometimes your interest in something doesn’t start until you believe and can see yourself producing your desired result. Only then could someone have an interest in a new thing like DIY or woodworking.
Basically, if you don’t ever picture yourself building a table from a tree for example. You won’t ever start or have an interest in being able to build it, to feel the satisfaction of completing the job.
Sometimes even simple information is hard to find, in this case – what tools would someone need to start DIY or woodworking. This could hold people back from starting that aren’t even thinking about DIY as a new hobby yet, or building as a new career.
Problematically salespeople at hardware shops can sometimes say different things to different people and put fears of being ripped off in people’s minds.
When searching online you can get a range of different information coming at you from people that aren’t even professionals in a trade.
A tradie can instantly tell if a tool review is good or not. However, because of the rapid pace of technology and the difficulty of finding genuine recommendations on the internet, tool recommendations are limited mostly to word-of-mouth or borrowing a tool and realizing its value, before making a purchase.
If you want to know how to evaluate tool reviews on the internet here is my guide for you.
1. Does a tool review make basic sense?
As a qualified carpenter myself, the first thing I would recommend a new DIY’er in the need of a basic or advanced tool kit is to first evaluate the most basic thing.
What order of brands are being recommended in the comparison of value for money VS quality and why. If this isn’t right you can’t really expect any of the information to be accurate.
Have you ever seen somone where a hat or a shirt with this brand on before?
Without giving the quick answer right now of what the top cordless and power tool brands actually are, you can search for a brand to see if there is a popular Facebook group that’s dedicated to this single tool brand you should have a look to see if there is an active discussion.
Even with these top brands, however, I do believe a lot of user questions and photos are fake accounts used to market this particular tool brand, some posts just seem suspicious to me.
But right now you just want to do a process of elimination to find a good tool review, if a brand that no one likes is being recommended as number 1,2 or 3 over 13 other quality brands you are looking at a misleading tool review, done by someone that has probably not even used a power tool before, the answer of what a quality tool brand is, would only require 1 weeks experience on a building site.
2. Does the verdict come from someone experienced?
Once the value for money amongst the top reliable brands has been established. The next thing is for any practical pros and cons of a tool to be considered. And what makes a tool better or worse than the competitors.
A lot of this can just come from someone that has regular experience using power tools and knows the flaws tools have, and what can be improved.
Did you know there are many different types of tools that do the same job?
You don’t want to only consider the best tool, but also the best tool type.
3. Who has the experience to know about tools the best.
The most informed people are those that use power tools daily. Carpenters/builders by far have the biggest tool kit required for their job and use power tools all-day every-day.
It should be obvious a news journalist knows nothing about building, and a designer or an architect doesn’t know too much either about power tools or the safe use of power tools that are used by tradies.
Engineers, Mechanics, and sheet metal workers have slightly different tool requirements and skills, they know less about woodworking power tools but are experts on some tools that builders don’t know much about. When it comes to industrial welding, sheet metal folding, metalworking-lathes, drill-presses, bench grinding, and polishing tools.
Who uses what tools and equipment.
4. Tool review order and type organization?
Building and DIY isn’t a cheap hobby, although DIY can save you money in the long run, quality tools cost money. You want to know what type of tool to get and in what order, to have the biggest range of work you can do with the least amount of tools.
So make sure a tool review lets you know if there is a better tool option. For example, when starting out the best circular saw for you might not actually be a corded electric saw but instead, a cordless circular saw.
After this, you should search for the best of that specific tool type you know is the right choice.
5. Are the stats compared and well and organized?
When you know what tools you should get next, and you know what the best tool brands are, you should consider the stats and specifications from the manufacturer.
What I find is that tool stats can be different, for example, stats listed on amazon even are sometimes different from what’s engraved on the actual tool, or what’s listed on the manufacturer’s website.
There are so many stats when it comes to power tools but basically, you want to consider most importantly the power-weight ratio. The more power the smoother a tool will operate and will actually be safer with less risk of kickback although you want to consider power for the user’s strength so that if kickback occurs you can control it.
You also want to read user reviews to make sure that the power-weight ratio hasn’t been overly optimized that causes tool vibrations and instability.
For example, the new Dewalt circular saw maximized its power with a lightweight design to compete with Makitas circular saw but ended up with a tool that vibrates too much from a lack of stability, It sounds good from the stats, but is not as competitive in use.
Basically, a real tool review considers all the stats and the practical results of those stats, and is this should be displayed in an open table outlining all the key tech differences for each tool review you consider as viable advice for your decision-making process.
Pros and cons should ultimately be ordered correctly for practical reasons beyond the stats alone but with them in high consideration.
6. Is Youtube or a Blog better for tool reviews?
What I like about blogs is that blog content is easy and fast to consume for an actual answer and for finding the “why” compared to a video. Especially when it comes to comparisons like tool reviews, that’s why I choose to put effort into a DIY blog content-form.
With a blog, websites are forced to give an in-depth answer and quick. When it comes to youtube, YouTubers need to keep your attention vs providing information, not saying that there isn’t valuable tool information on youtube there definitely is. The information is just not played out the same way as what you can expect from a well-organized webpage.
When checking tool reviews on youtube make sure that the recommendations are coming from a real builder or a qualified expert on the related topic.
Is there a danger to unqualified building and tool advice?
As a builder, I see unsafe tool guides on youtube, and tool reviews that make no sense on the internet. The spread of bad information including tool reviews that make not much sense and don’t care about users’ safety could be a reason for the leading trend of increased DIY-related injuries.
Unrealistic health and safety regulations can hold professionals up on the building site, raising property prices. But did you know that most accidents pushing health and safety don’t actually happen on the building site, but actually happen to DIY’ers using unsafe tools while following unsafe building practices.
For example, when it comes to circular saws as a basic tool, it’s very important to understand the dangers of “Kickback”. Never put your hand behind a circular saw blade, while cutting and always use an RCD at the power source.
Be aware that some DIY’ers on youtube are not real builders by trade and haven’t had or give proper safety training for tool use. And may show unsafe practices to millions of people.
As building and DIY is getting more and more popular, it’s important to follow real qualified builders when it comes to, power tools, building regulation, safety standards, and picking suitable building materials that are compliant with your local building code.
What are the biggest risks for DIY’ers?
How DIY’ers need to minimize their risk.
As a qualified builder with 12 years of experience on the building site, I started Bangingtoolbox to help people get off the couch. And feel the satisfaction and enjoyment of building something with the info shared here.
I believe that every man or woman should always have 1-3 DIY projects on the go.
When it comes to the tool reviews you can find here, they can help anyone that is practical-minded on how to get started with building and DIY. The tool reviews here are designed for tradies to optimize and have the best possible tool kit.
But of course, Bangingtoolbox also answers the question of what are the best tools for DIY’ers in my top 2 recommendations throughout this blog.
Save this to your tool kit as a tool, to review your tool reviews online. Funny that.
Wherever you decide to get your trusted tool reviews from, remember that at the bottom of each of my tool recommendations I give you the option to review/rate my reviews.
Anything less than 4 stars is considered bad for me and this will give you the option to send me private feedback.
Basically, this feedback I get has further made the best tool review resources available on the internet, right here.
Sounds like this can be improved for the next reader.
Please share how this article can be improved?
My name is Aaron, and welcome to Bangingtoolbox.
As a qualified builder and DIY’er, my goal with Banging Toolbox is to provide the #1 building and DIY resource on the internet for my readers.
I’m here to show people how to start DIY, and to help qualified professionals take building to the next level.
Feel free to have a look around, and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions, you can find out more about me here.