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When we started Toolmonger back in 2006, we mainly wrote about tools that interested us — things we found in our shops, at the places we shopped, and that our shop buddies chatted up to us. But almost 8,000 posts later we’ve expanded our coverage quite a bit. But now we’d like your input:

What would you like to see more of here on Toolmonger?

Your reward for answering? Nothing except the knowledge that you’re helping your favorite source for a daily tool fix direct our attention in the right direction. And, of course, our thanks.

(Thanks, Margaret Anne Clarke, for the great CC-licensed photo.)

 

67 Responses to We Want Your Input!

  1. Mike Hawk says:

    I love toolmonger how it is. Some of my favorite stuff is showcasing strange tools that I had no idea existed. (both old and new) I’ve even gone on purchased some of those things after seeing them here when there’s been links! An interesting feature to add might be cool and interesting ways to MISUSE tools to get a good result. Sort of a “tips and tricks using things in ways that you may not have thought to try” type of thing.

  2. cheerIO says:

    I love Toolmonger. It is one of my home tabs and I think that the format is great. The one thing that I miss, and I know it takes a lot, are the pod casts. You guys are hilarious, the rundown of the top posts are always interesting, as are the rants, and I miss my weekly dose of the crazy chicken music. 😉

    I could do without the TV tonight posts. But that is only cause I haven’t watched TV in about 12 years. I could see how it would be helpful to others though.

    Keep it up!!!

  3. Vagn says:

    Beutiful site! I visit it every day(!).
    But I would like more focus on handtools. I’m a handtool nerd, and it’s nice to find a place where that’s considered allright. =o)
    Sincerely
    Vagn Rosell
    Aarhus, Denmark

  4. slapinem says:

    Dealmonger posts and home made tools.

  5. Jacob says:

    Things I like:

    Home made and rare tools
    Love the custom made toolboxes and such
    Tools that last a lifetime and are still useful
    Actual experiences with tools (not just press releases)
    Quality of quantity of posts

    P.S. Disqus login support would be nice 🙂

  6. Cameron says:

    More Podcasts!!!!!!

  7. Jupe Blue says:

    I second losing the TV listing. I figure that people with internet access can look up the listing themselves.

  8. FredB says:

    I come for the projects.

  9. Mike Jones says:

    I agree with most of the oter posters, the site is great as it is. Unusual tools or diy tools would be interesting.

  10. PutnamEco says:

    I’ll second the return of podcasts. They where what originally drew me to Toolmonger. Maybe just interview some industry insiders? Gotta have somethin to listen to on the job..
    Me personally, I would like to see a little more heavy equipment, there is some really cool stuff out there.
    I don’t know how it would play in Peoria, but I’m also interested in industrial production machinery and related control systems.

  11. 1200tec says:

    I agree with the others on podcast and such but what I would like to see is more showcasing of people home built projects that post to the flickr pool. I know when Sean was doing the posts he did them ever day, it would be nice to see that again..IMO

  12. rick says:

    I like it, would love to see some tool testing. “how accurate are torque wrenches” “this grinder is better than that, here are the tests” how much torque does that drill put out. Simple tests you can do with the tools already in the shop and it wouldnt kill them.

    Love the projects too, neat ideas. I also like the tools that you need but dont know about, and here is what they do!

  13. rick says:

    Oh, a forum would be great! That would be very useful. I am not aware of any tool dedicated forums.

  14. Lucas M says:

    I would like to see more tool reviews and of course if budget allows tool comparisons. As far as tv listings I could care less, I don’t have cable and would prefer to spend my wasted(read TV) time in the shop anyway.

    I know I would like to see plans and designs posted even shared between readers.

  15. Nik says:

    Fine Homebuilding Magazine has a section called “What’s the Difference” where they explain the difference between similar things such as:

    * Acrylic Caulk vs Silicone Caulk vs Polyurethane Caulk

    * Shingles vs Shakes

    * Hot-dipped galvanized nails vs Hot-galvanized vs Electroplated

    This is pretty useful since the differences can be subtle, the terminology can be confusing, but it’s good to know what the real diffence is so you can make an informed decision rather than just grabbing a random item in the store.

    I’d like to see something similar on Toolmonger.

  16. fred says:

    I also visit the site regularly. What I look for are ideas that will improve my worker’s productivity and on-the-job safety.

    I second what PutnamEco says about mixing in heavy equipment with the portable tools. Since what’s often the most useful are the comments – it wouldn’t be bad to see who thinks what about the new crop of skid steers, Daewoo backhoes etc. it would also be nice to see things about European tools from the likes of Mafell and Virutex

  17. Sam says:

    Love Toolmonger, read it at least daily.

    Love and want more:
    Obscure/unique tools (underwater chainsaws!)
    Antique tools
    How-tos
    Homemade tools/jigs
    Tool maintenance/repair
    Industrial machinery eye candy

    Don’t need:
    TV listings (don’t own one)

    I’d like to see more stuff on tool maintenance (like how to fix runout in your drill press) and general handyman-ness (5 different ways to fix a wobbly chair). I’d also love somewhere that could pick the best general-interest content out of the countless woodworking/metalworking/construction/electrician/etc. blogs and repost it here.

  18. TM Reader says:

    1. A forum for us to discuss tools and projects.

    2. Clean up the site design! Along the right are “Archives, Posts By Subject, Posts By Tool Type, Tool Talk Podcasts, and Posts By Manufacturer.” They take up room, make the page load slower due to the scripts used to display them, and make the page stupidly long. Get rid of them or make separate page / special menu for all that crap.

    3. More in-depth tool reviews. Either review new tools, or do roundups of similar tools and compare / contrast them.

    4. Don’t stop! I know my criticism seems harsh, but I mean it to be constructive. There is no other site like this on the web and I simply can’t do without it.

  19. Caleb says:

    Just keep doing exactly what you are doing! This is hands down the best tool blog on the net!

  20. Rich says:

    Just chiming in with everyone else, I could do without the TV listings. Maybe replace them with weekly links to tool videos online. I know of several sites with free tool videos and highlights each week would be great.

    I also second the call for a redesign, what you have works, but not as well as it could. Contact me if you’re interested, it’s what I do for a living and I’d be more than happy to help out a site I read every day.

  21. UK2TX2CA says:

    Another vote for No TV listings….and more projects!

  22. I would love to see some more metalworking/machining, industrial sewing machines, and fire pistons. Also I like software, PC’s (ipad) and obscure specialized tools. I want to see an article on iconel

  23. PutnamEco says:

    Re:
    rick Says:
    I am not aware of any tool dedicated forums.
    —-
    Tool-Rank.com is dedicated to tools, with a Forum and community blog too. Not as many posts as Toolmonger though.

  24. Seattle Sean says:

    1. Keep it up. I don’t think I’ve missed a post in 3 or 4 years. You and your guys keep it consistently interesting and high quality.

    2. Ditto on the TV listings.

    3. Maybe you could have a weekly open thread where we can post questions/comments to discuss amongst ourselves. Another favorite site, lifehacker, does this on Fridays. It’s a good change of pace for the weekend.

    4. Do interviews and tool reviews on Youtube. You don’t have to pay for bandwidth (right?) and we can see your sweet shop!

    Cheers!

  25. Jest Me says:

    I absolutely love this site, just so you know. There are two things that would make me visit it more than the twice daily that I do.

    First would simply be having MORE posts.

    Second would be a more ergonomic/visually appealing layout.

  26. bartsdad says:

    A: Love and miss the podcasts.

    B: Tool forum would be great. I’m a mechanic who dabbles in wood working and electronics. Nothing but tools.

    C: TV listings can go.

    D: Maybe a theme week the first week of the month. Woodworking in January, electronics in Feb, construction in Mar…..

    E: Thanks guys. We appreciate the effort.

  27. Martin says:

    Loose the weekend TV listing. Other than that, don’t change. No TV and it’s is perfect.

  28. Chris W says:

    I love Toolmonger. There, I said it.

    Now,
    Lose the TV listings. Reduce the length of the pages by shrinking the lists (tool type, mfr, etc) to just the categories with a + sign to expand it.

    Add how-to guides like “fine tuning a bandsaw” or “router tips”.

    More user surveys. The comments on Toolmonger make it special so keep them coming.

  29. brian says:

    Agree with most of the people here. Lose the TV listings.
    My thoughts:
    1. I’ve amassed a huge collection of tools, and often salivate over some of the stuff shown here. But tools are only as good as what you use them for, so a project that goes along with them – even if it just sends you to the photos of them would be an inspiration. Something like ‘here’s what i build with a circ saw, some boards and a plane could get everyone thinking…..

    2. It would be great to see more in depth things like the shop truck rebuild going on. It doesn’t need to be a step-by-step thing, but a summary of ‘how you got there’ seems fitting.
    3. Drop down menus for the links on the right (posts by type/manufact).

    4. How about some bios or something for the writers? I’ve been reading the blog for 3 years, but don’t really know much about you guys except for what you give up in the posts.

  30. Frank Townend says:

    Sorry to cut and paste but Sam and the others said it for me:

    Love Toolmonger, read it at least daily.

    Love and want more:
    Obscure/unique tools (underwater chainsaws!)
    Antique tools
    How-tos
    Homemade tools/jigs
    Tool maintenance/repair
    Industrial machinery eye candy

    Don’t need:
    TV listings

    I’ll add tags by “type” of project, purpose, etc. “Woodworking”, “Automobile”, etc.

  31. McCheese says:

    Home made tools, specialty tools & industry specific professional tools.

    I’d also love to see weekend tool posts rather than tv guides.

  32. Steve says:

    One thing:

    TORTURE TESTS: I want to see the tools I may buy at their best/worst. I want to know if my new screwdriver is going to take being hammered on through a 2×4, or break in half just by turning a screw that’s a little too tight.

    I want to know if my next drill is going to last through years of hard use, or burn out in my first week.

    You get the idea. That kind of information would be more valuable to a buyer than anything else. And it would set Toolmonger apart among it’s competition.

  33. Dave B. says:

    I too pull up toolmonger at least once a day.

    I second what Steve says about the torture tests. I really enjoyed the posts you did on the Stanley levels where you beat the hell out of them to see how they held up. Those of us out here who wear our tools everyday appreciate that kind of “long-term” expectations of our tools.

    I like some of the ideas I have seen here about how-to’s and more of the readers posts of projects that they done.

    I would love to see a forum as well.

    I don’t read the tv posts.

    Keep up the great work, one of my favorite sites!

    Thanks!

  34. Bob D. says:

    Dump the TV Listings.

    I don’t watch TV-got rid of DISH because I didn’t like Package Deals that included programing I wasn’t interested in. I’m too remote for a regular antenna so your TV Listings are useless to me at this time.
    If and when the Sat. Providers ever offer “create your own package”, then I might be interested in Tool Show Listings

    I visit this site daily.

    A separate section for Beginner/Novice users of different tools: For example, I would like to learn to Weld, but feel overwhelmed by the different types, choices, difficulties vs easy learn, prices, etc. Are there entry level systems that can be added/expanded as more is learned instead of having to buy another system? This would guide a user as they grow in ability and knowledge of any tool use.

    Thank you “Putnam Eco” for the info on http://www.Tool-Rank.com. I just put it in my “Favorites”-it’s kinda like a Consumers Reports for tools-good tip!

  35. johnnyp says:

    For starters I am a daily visitor. Archives and posts should be on tabs on the top of the page. I don’t know if you’re getting residuals from them, but. I come from a long line of technocracts, everything was word of mouth or printed publications . A lot the stuff I see is from manufacturers, granted its probably been submitted , but the regular joe has a lot of great ideas.
    I won’t lie I am a professional tool designer. My best ideas are borrowed or variations of existing designs, I don’t patent things. I get paid for the tool and the documentation. There are things I understand such as was this tool engineered properly and does do its objective.Generally the objective is met , but will this tool stand up or does the costs don’t justify the means. These are issues that should not be conversed at great length on this page , we are not all engineers. Although anyone who is should be greatly interested.
    The bottom line is how about some ideas from us(not me in particular). I am sure there is a lot of people out there who have great ideas or solutions to a myriad of complexities.
    I would love to see a forum as well.(stolen from dave b). Old tools or something like Yankee magazine has “what is this ” or what should I buy (diyer vs pro) .

  36. kyle says:

    Links to free plans would be awesome. It would also be great to have a place for others to put up their projects as well as put up project plans (either homemade or purchased). I love the projects you have been posting and the quantity of posts that you do each week. I too would like to see you lose the TV listings. Keep up the great work! This is my favorite site on the internet.

  37. Mr P says:

    Reply:
    Bob D.
    …..”Thank you “Putnam Eco” for the info on http://www.Tool-Rank.com. I just put it in my “Favorites”-it’s kinda like a Consumers Reports for tools-good tip!”
    —————————————————————————————–
    if you want a Consumer Report for tools check out http://www.toolsofthetrade.net

    Now I agree with many other toomongers loose the TV posts.

    I would like to see over priced tools and next to them the alternative cheaper tools or the diy make the tool your self how to models.

    I want tool tests to see if they put out what manufactures say they do. Maybe some tool myth busting. Some how to tool instructabuls would be nice
    now they don’t have to all be your own you can link us to some other great blogs at time with tool related posts.

  38. Jerry says:

    Keep doing what you are doing. I check in here at least twice a day. Right at the top of my bookmarks. TV listings seem to be unpopular but they really do no harm and take up little space and I am sure many folks actually use them.

    As many others have echoed – more plans – links to free plans. Too many “free” plans sites give a couple of freebies and then charge for anything really decent.

    Keep it up. We all love it. Podcasts? Don’t matter to me – I don’t even understand the concept – too many hours in the shop I guess to have learned that.

  39. Jonathan Smith says:

    Greatly enjoy the website.

    1. ditto the tv listings.
    2. I agree the lists on the right take up space and should be addressed, but DON’T get rid of them, I have only been reading for about a year and whenever I can try to read backposts. What would be great would be a searchable index for that tool/article that you read about months ago and want to find again!
    3. love the old tools and unusual ones, have researched and made purchases after reading your blog more than once.
    4. I agree with Sam about tool maintenance, and how-to stuff in the “not widely known” category.

    whatever you do, keep up the good work.

  40. Yadda says:

    More cheap ass tool articles would be great. The ability to hide content (ala facebook) would be great. I would hide the TV scheduling.

  41. Darren says:

    What I would really love to see is some good comparisons between the professional tool manufactures. Companies such as Snap-On, Matco, SK, and Mac (Maybe even Proto)

    Comparisons on Wrenches, Ratchets, Screw Drivers…. That’s something I’ve never seen anywhere else…. Comparisons related to strength, ease of use, comfort, grip quality…. You see this everywhere for powertools but never for hand tools.

    That’s what I would like to see.

    Darren

  42. paganwonder says:

    Love it the way it is. Daily reader. I’m really interested in reading all the comments that result from your posts. (Never actually look at the TV listings)

  43. browndog77 says:

    Love the site & visit daily or more. Brian & I are on the same thought train w/ the idea of some “I did THAT with THIS!” postings. I also would like to see a plan pool of sorts & while I do occasionally check the tv listings, I would rather see the space filled w/ postings; pics & comments. The tv sched. could be in the sidebar. I know you guys use those listings to fill the weekend slots, so maybe some “best of” articles or guest-posted projects for those days. All in all, if it didn’t ever change, that’s fine too!

  44. browndog77 says:

    Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I just had a vision! My grandkids are here for the weekend, and are playing pirate with a plastic sword from Disney and one I made from a strip of pine for a costume party years ago. (a quickie bandsaw project) After telling them to be careful furniture of the walls & furniture with the wooden weapon, I thought “It would be nice if that was made out of a lightwieght, semi-rigid plastic, maybe 3/8″ thick. I wonder where I could find something like that?” Then this came to me: How about a daily or weekly (weekends?) Q&A derby. Kind of like a forum, but the site could stay in the present format. This site is a well of info. Just a thought.

  45. mr. man says:

    @browndog77

    http://www.mcmaster.com is a good source for the raw plastic shapes.

    just promise us you won’t post a picture of you in the pirate costume..

  46. Tetsubo says:

    I am also a daily visitor. I would lose the TV listings. Other than that I think the mix of topics is good. I do have a preference for knives and LED flashlights though. But being exposed to things I’ve never heard of is cool. And I’ve bought two books that this site introduced me too.

  47. FredB says:

    See what you started by asking for input?

  48. george says:

    i have a few things i look forward to when i get up. coffee, f1 news and toolmonger and then my bbq lists. day is not complete until i have my fix.
    great site and thanks !

  49. Casey J says:

    Great site! I like to see the new and unique items. The old stuff is fun to check out, but I like to keep up with the tool gadgets, Keep up the great work!

  50. rob says:

    I like the deal monger posts
    and would love to see more tool repairs/hacks
    I have done a couple that I would be happy to share
    maybe so more technical stuff like home automation
    and stuff like that but really the tv listings not my thing
    I don’t even get most of those channels and the ones I do
    are on a different schedule

    and of course I like the idea of sharing useful misuse of tools
    maybe possible adding a tool trading center lets face it we change jobs from time
    to time and either need tools cheep or need to pass some on to others

  51. Dr_No says:

    Regular podcasts again would be great!
    TV listings are no use for me since I am in Australia

  52. kent hanson says:

    I would like more tools and less projects and books. For a tool website there are definately a lot of tools that come out that are not shown on the site.

  53. TM Reader says:

    @browndog77:

    Pipe insulation! Rubber cement a short length of wooden dowel into a piece of pipe insulation and you have a sword. My grandpa did that decades ago for my mom and uncle and they were still around for me to play with.

  54. browndog77 says:

    @ Mr. Man & TM Reader-
    That is exactly what I was envisioning, the exchange of knowledge, ideas & experiences between folks with a common affinity for tools & related stuff. Thanks for the responses, both have my creative wheels turning!

  55. Brau says:

    I visit this site daily before bed to fill my head with things to dream of. I like to: see new things, see old things, see specials, pricing, neat projects. I don’t generally care for tool comparisons as I find “better” a relevant term, and prefer to make those judgments based on my own need.

    *Most of all though* I can tell this site is run by someone who honestly loves tools and what they do. It shows loud and clear, and it’s something that media organizations can’t pay a host of writers to produce. It’s what brings me back each day. I don’t honestly know that it *needs* to improve. Keep the love for tools, and whatever ensues will likely work.

    Thanks,
    Brau

  56. buckshot says:

    You can read about name brand tools on their websites. I like the cheapass tools, or the obscure ones you don’t see on other sites. I think its obvious the TV listings need to go but I’d also like to see creative uses of tools that they weren’t originally designed for. Improvising and being creative is what being a tool guy is all about. Any idiot can make things with state of the art tools, but how about using a drill press and a file in place of a metal lathe? Now that would be cool.

  57. ShopMonger says:

    Currently I read everything but TV tonight…. But i would like to see more tool tests…. Hands on with you guys and then test to fail in standard use situations. Also i back up what others have said about bringing back the podcast, maybe a live shown like WOOD TALK ONLINE does. This would allow the reader to interact with you (Chuck, Sean..and others) more often and would create great community awareness. Also maybe some videos of tool tests, sometimes it is nice to see the tools in action. Also maybe some more contests, or give always, I know this is tough to do, but tool companies might be open if there is some advertising in it for them, or maybe just a product knowledge test to enter. I am just looking at other ways to get more companies involved with your site. Also since there is a ton of cheap ass ways to do some of the things posted here, maybe a trial or review of a few reader jigs, fixtures, ideas…. Like the reader tips no on Ask This Old house…..

    Shopmonger

  58. Nick says:

    more:
    DIY stuff
    how-to / tutorials..
    dealmonger!
    tool comparisons / shootouts..

    keep up the good work.

  59. fred says:

    I second everyone’s thoughts about keeping up the good work. This is a great site.

    My other comment to all those who don’t much lke the TV Tonight section – is: let’s give the guys a break for the weekend. It seem to me that the TV item is a filler that helps do that – and while I don’t read it – I can understand that it may be easier to produce as wekend content.

  60. shopmonger says:

    THAT IS TRUE….Good call fred…. Boys we are always behind you….maybe weekend content should be a look back at the week….1-2 years ago, just re-post some tools that reflect a year ago

    shopmonger

  61. Gurnney says:

    I would like to see more unique furniture and who the builder was and how they built it. Yall are doing a great job and I go to your web site every day keep up the great work.
    Gurnney

  62. Chuck says:

    Podcasts, without a doubt. I know they don’t bring in revenue like posts do, but I enjoy them more than anything on the site.

  63. Slow Joe Crow says:

    I’d like to see more shop stories. The BMW motorcycle rebuild just fizzled out and the shop truck story is also on hold. Some more tool maintenance or tuning stories would be good too.

  64. Coach James says:

    1. More cheap tools.

    2. Please bring back pod casts.

    3. More how to.

    4. I actually do read the tv listings. It saves me time reading the program guide on the tv and has kept me from missing something I didn’t realize was on.

    5. More power tool reviews if possible. The tool companies all say their stuff is great. I’d rather hear from someone that has actually used it.

    And thanks for keeping the site going.

  65. KD says:

    I check the site every day!

    I enjoy the site most when I discover a useful new tool or an existing tool I was unaware of. I purchased 4 items from the Dealmonger links in Dec/Jan.

    DIY and Hot-or-Not are thumbs up, I’ve never yet read one of the TV listings.

    Suggestion(?) – How about a little more emphasis on mechanics/ auto repair tools? I spend most of my time tinkering in the garage on my fleet of 70’s Fords. MechanicMonger? GarageMonger? Grease Monkey Monger?

  66. Deelow says:

    I’d like to see more of the suggested reading. I love when you guys post about a book from the 50’s where people did everything themselves.

  67. PutnamEco says:

    Re:
    KD Says:
    How about a little more emphasis on mechanics/ auto repair tools?
    —–
    I think your looking for The Garage Journal.

    http://www.garagejournal.com/

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