We talk to tool guys all the time who seem to have a connection to a certain tool, and we’ve found that two factors breed loyalty more than any others: comfort and feel.
When we ask someone why they like a tool so much, one of two things usually happens. The first is that they can’t tell you and simply put the tool in your hand and tell you to “Feel that.” Feel — it’s elusive and hard to define, but when it’s on, everyone knows it. And tool companies are doing their dead level best to capitalize on it.
From form grips to words like ‘ergonomic,’ tool manufacturers seem to be trying everything under the sun to get the perfect blend of utility and feel. The funny thing is half the time they have no idea what that is either. You just have to “feel” it.
The other scenario that happens when you ask someone why a tool is great: You get a list of hard times that the tool has bailed them out of. Han Solo once said, “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.” What he was really saying was that he felt more comfortable with his blaster because it performed as expected every time and never let him down. The same can be said of a good hammer or wrench.
This isn’t a bad thing. We all have our favorite tools in the shop that we go to when in need. This kind of positive reinforcement breeds comfort, and comfort breeds loyalty in tool guys — it’s that simple.
But what feels good or works well for someone else won’t necessarily feel as good or work as well for you. So when you go to purchase your next tool, just remember: Use your head, take stories and marketing for what they are, and decide for yourself.