A number of readers have written in lately asking for advice on buying used tools, and though we have some — OK, a lot of — experience in swap meets and flea markets, we thought we’d toss the question out here for everyone to have a go at it.
I suppose this really breaks down into a few categories: hand tools, power tools, and specialty tools. Hand tools are pretty easy, as you can pick ’em up, check ’em out, and get a pretty good idea right on the spot as to their condition. Power tools are a little harder as it’s sometimes hard to detect almost-worn-out brushes and such. But I’ve still had lots of good luck with used power tools. Incredibly, though, I’d say I’ve found more used specialty tools than either of the others. Why? People don’t know what they are!
I know you have an opinion on this — every tool person does. So why not share it with us in comments?
(Thanks to oskay for this great CC-licensed photo.)