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What do you want in a tool review?

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  • #208608

    What sort of things do you want to see in a tool review?

    1 – What have you seen done elsewhere and liked?

    2 – What have you not liked?

    3 – Do you like some sort of standard scale?

    4 – Do you have any particular “categories” tools should get reviewed under (durability, value, etc)?

    5 – Any other thoughts?

    John S

    #208679
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I think a commonly overlooked component of the comparison part of each review( which I personally find the Most interesting) is how a given tool stacks up to similar models by the same manufacturer. I like to know how it is different from other options.

    For example, Ive found that many manufacturer websites do a terrible job comparing their own tools. They typically use flattering language to refer to all of their tools, which leaves me wondering how “great and powerful tool number 1″ compares to ” great and powerful tool number 2″

    The stock comparison option on many sites is insufficient as well..most being auto filled by a computer it seems. Some categories are blank or relate to another line in the comparison. Height, length and width is a common example. These measurements are commonly taken in different orientations making it difficult to compare tool 1 to tool 2.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #208680

    I think a commonly overlooked component of the comparison part of each review( which I personally find the Most interesting) is how a given tool stacks up to similar models by the same manufacturer. I like to know how it is different from other options.

    This is great – and I assume you are looking for more than simply a spec comparison, but an actual idea of how the two tools stack up in the other categories as well?

    John S

    #208681
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    The more information available the better. Specs are great, but it’s sometimes difficult to tell why one drill costs $50 more than another when the specs are almost the same. My assumptions is that the guts would be different in some way.

    If I’m dropping my hard earned cash on something, I want to be convinced that it’s money well spent and I’m choosing the best option for me.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #208689
    hgonzalez7
    Pro
    San Antonio, Texas

    @jponto07 makes some good points that I agree with. When I purchasing a tool, I also would like to know how it compares to similar competing models from other manufactures.

    1. In depth, long term reviews are my favorite test format. I also like comparison tests with four or more tools from multiple brands.

    2. Unboxing or introductory videos are appreciated, but often they are presented as reviews, which the aren’t. I do not like that.

    3. Scales are ok, but I prefer the following categories:
    Highly Recommended – exceptional tool, class leader.
    Recommended – good tool. average
    Not recommended – below average or has a serious flaw

    4. I like the idea of tool reviews that would follow a standard format. It would allow the reader to go directly to the section of the review that is of greatest importance to them as well as allowing easy comparisons.

    Specific categories that stand out for me are:
    Ergonomics
    Value
    Durability
    Length of Warranty

    Bert

    #208695

    @jponto07 makes some good points that I agree with. When I purchasing a tool, I also would like to know how it compares to similar competing models from other manufactures.
    1. In depth, long term reviews are my favorite test format. I also like comparison tests with four or more tools from multiple brands.

    2. Unboxing or introductory videos are appreciated, but often they are presented as reviews, which the aren’t. I do not like that.

    3. Scales are ok, but I prefer the following categories:
    Highly Recommended – exceptional tool, class leader.
    Recommended – good tool. average
    Not recommended – below average or has a serious flaw

    4. I like the idea of tool reviews that would follow a standard format. It would allow the reader to go directly to the section of the review that is of greatest importance to them as well as allowing easy comparisons.

    Specific categories that stand out for me are:
    Ergonomics
    Value
    Durability
    Length of Warranty

    I go along with all of that but would stress that I would like discussion on how well it performs doing what it is supposed to do (there may not be a comparison test if the review is on just one tool). It can have great specs but if for example the trigger on an impact driver is more of an off/on switch than allowing you to finesse the speed, the unit would be prone to camming out the screw you were driving. The clutch on drill/driver may not work well as an another example.

    #208702
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Here’s the deal on long term tests, by the time they are done and written up the tool is no longer new. Competitors have released competing models that may have more features than the one that was tested. Kinda like waiting until September 2014 to buy a 2014 model car because you want to see the results of the long term test. By the time that test is published already newer models are coming out that may be better than the model you are looking at. So what to do, wait for another long term test? Read the info, read the short term test, make a decision, live with it.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #208710
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    performance

    comfort of use

    balance

    if cordless how long of a run time it gets

    storage bag or case easy to stow the tool in and extra space

    fair comparisons to the same tool by another company that have the same specs… too often i see tool reviews on youtube where someone compares a heavy duty cordless hammer drill driver with a 3 amp battery to a light duty drill drive with a 1.5 amp battery .. its like doing a tow test with a super duty vs a mini

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #208713
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    I like watching a hands on video of the tool being used in different situations and description of all the features of the tool .

    #208719
    jdw1865
    Pro
    Dewey, OK

    I like for the reviewer to give an indication of suitability of the tool for different tasks. For example I used this drill to install door and drawer hardware but it was too bulky and clumsy to be comfortable but I used it to attach lag screws through a ledger for a deck and it was a joy with power in abundance. Most times if I am adding a new tool rather than replace a busted tool it is because of an upcoming task. I like to know how well the tool will function at my chosen task.

    #208788

    Pictures and video of it in action doing real world things. If it’s an impact, drive a bunch of tapcons and 3″ wood screws etc.

    If it’s a saw, start cutting plywood, osb, maple, whatever to show how it performs.

    Specs only mean so much. Real world use is what I care about.

    Andrew

    A Working Pro since 1995!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #208790
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    On top of it all, I also really like seeing the initial “opening of the box”. Hope I can do a few of those in the future.

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #208833
    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    I really like the “I use it for ______ and it’s great. I tried it for ______ and it sucked” comparison. I guess I like that real world feedback.

    I try and do videos if it’s applicable. I think I did one or two of DC with the router. I can’t remember.

    I also like to have follow ups. I am concerned about longer term reliability. Maybe a way to get pinged a year later to let us know how it’s still working for you.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #208837

    2. Unboxing or introductory videos are appreciated, but often they are presented as reviews, which the aren’t. I do not like that.

    Any reviews that come from me will still be labeled merely as my “initial impressions” – since even something I use often is used quite lightly compared to what pros will do with the tool. So, it may be helpful to distinguish between initial impressions and longer reviews – or to simply talk about the amount of time you have gotten to spend with the tool in the review itself

    Here’s the deal on long term tests, by the time they are done and written up the tool is no longer new.

    Interesting point.

    John S

    #208849
    hgonzalez7
    Pro
    San Antonio, Texas

    Here’s the deal on long term tests, by the time they are done and written up the tool is no longer new. Competitors have released competing models that may have more features than the one that was tested.

    Good points Bill.
    I should have been more specific when I said “long-term”. I think a month’s use by a Pro is sufficient to get an idea of how a tool will perform in the future.

    Brad’s suggestion that updates to a review are added in the future, is a great idea too.

    Bert

    #208866
    Dustincoc
    Pro
    Madrid, NY

    Good points Bill.
    I should have been more specific when I said “long-term”. I think a month’s use by a Pro is sufficient to get an idea of how a tool will perform in the future.

    Any review I ever do would be short term since I may only use a particular tool once or twice a month due to the variety of the work I do I do have things that I use everyday for amonth or so, then I might not touch it again for quite a while.

    Shop Blog: http://ravenbarsrepair.tumblr.com/
    Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz498FKw9LF1awJsKIqhoxQ

    #208904
    redwood
    Pro

    I want to know what uses a particular tool is suited for and what uses it is not. If it’s a compartive review, which is what we all really want, I want to know why A is better then B for a particular task.

    I also want to know what comes with the tool and what might be missing that should be there.

    The idea of longevity has to come from the companies reputation. Like Bill mentioned, by the time a longevity test is completed, that model is often times not even available any longer. With the rise of the internet, the companies reputation for long lasting tools is easier to keep track of.

    All manufacturers of any product, that makes multiple products for the same use, should supply accurate data and descriptions to separate there models. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen that done well. For example, BTP’s Jim supplied a link to compare Bosch LDM’s and truthfully, I almost found it useless with lot’s of discrepancies. Of course I’ve seen worse.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #208966
    Nyx
    Pro
    Pittsburgh, PA

    one thing that might be overlooked in some reviews (of any product) is the audio and video quality both in the form of having a good quality picture and a sturdy camera (for video reviews of course). If you are going to do a video review, get a tripod or something stable for your recording device, make sure there are no other background noises, and make sure you dont have to move the camera around a lot to do the review. If you guys remember the last Bosch sweepstakes where one person was standing at a workbench\table and had the camera pointed at him doing the review of the tool. You could hear him clearly, you could see him clearly, and you could see everything he was doing with the tool to showcase its features and functionality – these were good videos to watch.

    #210831
    hgonzalez7
    Pro
    San Antonio, Texas

    One thing that I would like added to tool reviews would be highlighting accessories that are available for that tool. The availability of a specific accessory can be the deciding factor wether a tool is purchased or not. I know that I might not have purchased my Bosch 4100-09 if it wasn’t for the TS2000 “Gravity Rise” stand. The added portability of the TS2000 was the initial deciding factor in my case.

    Bert

    #211037

    One thing that I would like added to tool reviews would be highlighting accessories that are available for that tool.

    Good point. Several of the reviews here have done that well here so far – a few router reviews and the 4100 review come to mind

    I would also really like it if BTP would help with embedding links on reviews – so that you could just click on the word instead of having lots of long ugly links listed.

    John S

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