The almost-best compliments
I enjoyed Dave Campbell’s “Buy the (not) best” column (Taking Measure, issue 256). My dad was a mechanic, and he had the same philosophy: For tools that you use often, buy quality but not necessarily the absolute best. There are plenty of second-best tools that will last a lifetime.
And your advice about not buying top-of-theline tools you’ll use only once or twice a year is spot-on. When I built a fence, I bought a $69 nailer that has (so far) lasted through the fence and a deck. Even if it dies, the price was less than a rental and far less than a top-quality tool. Buy only what meets your needs and budget.
Atlanta, Ga. As an amateur woodworker, I used to be tormented by my inability to purchase expensive woodworking equipment, thinking that was what I needed to move up in the skills arena. Well, I’m here to tell you that I couldn't agree more with Taking Measure in issue 256. I am amazed what I can do, and the results that I get, with my meager tool budget. Thank you for confirming my beliefs.
—Nick Franks Mountainair, N.M.