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.

—Jim Cof­fey

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.

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