But it was on sale

Like my wife in a shoe store, we woodworkers sometimes buy tools we don’t need. I admit my guilt in this, but this time it makes sense. No, really.

I’m betting that if you went out into your shop right now, in under a minute you could come up with a couple hundred dollars worth (at least) of tools you’ve never used. You probably found them on sale or closeout, and you thought you might need them someday. Well, yesterday I bought a new tool that I know I’ll eventually need. I just don’t know when.

For the last few years I’ve been touting how wonderful the new crop of 12-volt (really 10.8-volt) lithium-ion tools are, especially the little drivers. Sure, I’ve got bigger, more powerful drill/drivers that see a lot of use, but my primary use for these small ones is simply driving screws. For that, these diminutive wonders are perfect.

I have three of these little guys, each from a different manufacturer. But my favorite is one that a tool company gifted me a couple years ago at a woodworking media event; since I got it I rarely touch the others. But I know that someday something is going to happen to that small workhorse – I’ll lose it, break it or simply just work it to death.

Shifting gears slightly, have you ever bought a pair of pants, shoes or a shirt that was just so perfect, you couldn’t imagine how any other could compare? Maybe it was a cordless phone that was just right, or even something as simple as a garden hose that was better than any other you’d ever used. Then, one day when those pants, that phone, or the hose finally had to be tossed out, you probably went out to buy one just like it – and couldn’t find one. I’ve done this countless times, and always wished that once I’d found the perfect [inset perfect item here], I had gone out and bought another while they were easy to find, just for that day I’d eventually need it.

Well, that’s how I feel about this little driver. Yesterday, while out doing errands I happened on that very driver, on sale for a considerable discount. I can’t begin to tell you how quickly I reached into my wallet. Back home, I stashed it away in the shop, safe and secure for the day it would inherit its predecessor’s place. If they’re still on sale this weekend (and if my bank account allows), I just may go out and buy me another one.

You know, just in case.

A.J.

COMMENTS

  1. Lee Gordon wrote:

    Based upon several of your previous blogs, the question I have is, what are the odds, when your present driver finally bites the dust, that you’ll remember where you stashed its replacement(s)?

  2. Chuck R wrote:

    It will be right next to the fifty dollar gift card that he forgot he had…

  3. A.J. Hamler wrote:

    Yeah, and if I hadn’t forgotten that gift card, I could have used it to get the drill…

  4. Bill “Pop” Golden wrote:

    AJ, Pay no attention to those guys behind the curtain. Go get that tool. Having been in TV production, I’m here to tell you something you already know. There’s nothing to make youre day as having a back-up waiting.

  5. Danny H. wrote:

    And then again one of the risks of buying tools you don’t need right away is that when you do finally need it, it has become obsolete with the rapid change in technologies these days.

  6. Gary Schmidt wrote:

    AJ, With friends like these…

  7. Olav Brastad wrote:

    I say buy the tool. If you really like the tool than it will never become obsolete. If it makes you happy than is that not the most important thing!

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