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  • consumer reports

    My experience has been that Consumer Reports opinion tends to differ from that of the 'real world'. Most of the reviews I have read on everything from cars to speakers to power tools have been no help, other than being an opinion.

    I'd much rather ask 10 different drill users on a job site what they use and why then read in a magazine why some geek in a 'lab' chose a particular tool over another ***cough, cough, ADVERTISING REVENUE, cough cough******

  • #2
    now how did this end up here? I swear I put it in the CS thread.


    sorry 'bout that.


    • #3
      I agree totally. I have no use for the magazine at all. When it comes to vehicles, their biases are painfully obvious. My father used to sell cars of many brands and I had the opportunity to drive (on dealer trades) many of the vehicles they reviewed. My impressions were often completely opposite. I never renewed again. One thing that amazes me is that they're apparently all plastics engineers. They seem to be able to tell whether a plastic is cheap or expensive by simply looking at it.

      Now I think that a consumer magazines are actually a detriment to competition, product variety, and ultimately the consumer. I don't subscribe to any. I have met too many people that would let a magazine decide what car they should buy without even looking. And before any of you Consumer Reports lovers protest that you made the decision, let me ask how many different cars you actually drove the last time you bought a car. Your spending a years salary folks. Maybe its worth a little time checking things out yourself.

      When it comes to tools, I wouldn't even bother to read it for amusement.


      • #4
        Consumer Reports feels that the lighter,and the more plastic a tool has in it,the better it is.
        In the current CU drill test,heavier drills are
        penalised in the ratings,by being given a poor "handling" score,and the "plastic wonders"
        are praised. Construction quality isn't even mentioned,since nowadays everything is a "throwaway".
        I have an old 1954 consumer reports book with a drill test. The drills tested had between 1.3a and 2.8a of power. They tested such names as Millers Falls, Cummins,Speedway. The old tests tore the drills apart. They told how each drill was constructed. I don't know how anybody used a large spade bit or holesaw with a 2a drill.


        • #5
          Conusmer Reports and other magazines alot of times rate the person that advertises with them higher then ones that do not. So more or less the more you pay them the better rating you get


          • #6
            Consumer Reports never has and to the best of my knowledge, still does not accept advertising from anyone. You must be thinking of a different magazine.
            "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


            • #7
              Lorax beat me to that comment.

              I've found CR to be a big help on many products I buy. We've followed their recommendations on cars we've bought for the last 20 years or so and never been disappointed----particularly when you compare our luck with those friends of ours who bought cars that were not recommended.

              But, I do have to say they do a pretty poor job of reviewing tools. Their recs never seem to match the reviews you see in ww'ing mags. And, another issue is the longeviety of the tool----having filled out more than a few of their surveys, they ask about repairs on all sorts of products, but never power tools, so they don't really track how reliable the tools are.


              • #8
                I remember a review they had of drills, cordless and corded. The reviewer complained that the cordless drills were inferior because they did not have the power of corded drills. He did not give any cordless drill a buy recommendation. The reviewer/idiot obviously did not understand why a cordless is preferable in some situations even if it is underpowered vs a corded.
                Any intelligent journalist(oxymoron?) would have sought input from a professional in order to learn more about drills.


                • #9
                  Back when I was into highend audio where accurate sound was the goal, it always seemed the CR would invert the list of recommendations from mine. When I spoke about CR to an advanced amateur photographer friend, he said most of their reviews were good except for their camera and lens reviews. Now the avid tool users are suggesting that CR's tool reports aren't up to snuff either.

                  CR does not publish advertisements, but I definitely question the ability of their experts to identify which item in a particular group is really superior to another. Heck, in most hobby circles the debates rage on. Why would CR do any better at reaching a conclusion? I suppose we might find some comfort in their reviews if we have no idea what to buy, but other than that I don't have much need for their publication. Anyone ever do a review of CR's reviews?

                  So what is the best TS?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hewood:

                    So what is the best TS?
                    The one each individual owns.
                    "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


                    • #11
                      Great Post, Duckman! I agree with you on the quality of the reviews in Wood magazines (very advertising driven) and consumer reports (very cost driven)

                      One more thing - did you guys notice that most woodworking magazines seem to have the same content? Are they all run by the same corporation!! I subscribe to Wood, Workbench, Shopnotes and Popular Woodworking. (ok, I am getting started, so decided to try all fo them for a year!) after a few issues, they all look the same to me. Some of them even report "shop tips" that have appeared in old "Time Life Series" wood working books that have been around forever.