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  • Cheap tools vs quality tools

     chanlui updated 2 days, 2 hours ago 3 Members · 6 Posts
  • techtownmayor

    June 7, 2021 at 10:55 am

    Obviously, there is no point discussing the merits of really cheap daily use tools, but I’m curious if there are any tools in your arsenal that you don’t use a lot, and went for the cheapest option? I’m asking because I’m surprised at the sheer amount of imported cheap tools out there nowadays.

    What used to just be cheap hand tools is now a market where any tool you can think of is available in a much cheaper option. Take for example multimeters – we all know that a good meter comes from Fluke, and will set you back around $200.

    But take for example this Aneng AN8008 meter – under $30, and offers true-rms, square wave output, frequency count, capacitance counter and more. Well rated and very popular on YouTube:

    The meter even comes with a variety of leads and plugs.

    The question is – is it worth using such a cheap tool?

    I’d love to hear some feedback from the community. Are there any tools you don’t mind being cheap with?

  • fixbear

    June 7, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    For someone that only uses a meter less than once a month, it’s probably a fine option. But for someone that uses a meter and requires accurate information to troubleshoot a problem, or uses it daily, they just don’t cut it. Selection dial, delays, and leads are a important issue to a professional user.

    I once went on a job that was over a hour from base and forgot to bring a meter. So I went to a close store and bought a inexpensive one. Couldn’t wait to give it away to someone that could make home use of it.

    Now when it comes to say a socket set or end wrenches, I have a different position. When I worked all day with wrenches, I had Snap-On. But these quick small sets in plastic snap close cases that you only need once every 2 weeks work fine and are easy to carry. Of course since Co-Vid, nothing is inexpensive any more. Meat has jumped 20 to 30%, Wood 400%. Pre-made sheds 300%. It’s going to be a while before everything gets back in balance.

    • techtownmayor

      June 7, 2021 at 3:57 pm

      Great point re. Covid – it is surprising how many products are still readily available and are staying cheap. Unless they are still selling from old(er) inventory, you’d think that the container space used by this cheap junk would be better used for other stuff…

  • fixbear

    June 7, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Unfortunately, there has been not only a delay in container traffic, but a extreme number of containers lost due to heavy weather. More in one month than most years. Heck, one ship lost 1900 containers last month in a storm. Also the fact that there is a container shortage because few are being returned has sent shipping cost threw the roof. Imagine having to pay a hundred thousand dollars for a 40 ft container to get from China to the US. MSC has posted billion dollar profits this quarter.

  • fixbear

    June 7, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    I ordered a EV charger back in mid April. They are telling me late this month for delivery. I know that a lot of the electrical equipment is being made in China today, But damn, two months for something that should be in stock and in high demand in the conservation year?

  • chanlui

    June 10, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    I use some cheap socket set from Aldi (yes it’s the Aldi that sells food) for $14 because someone always takes my tools at work.

    I use a couple of the $7 cheap multimeters from Harbor Freight so that I can measure both current and voltage from a power supply I build myself. I made the meters permanent fixture of the power supply.

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