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Reconditioned Tools

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  • Reconditioned Tools

    Perhaps this topic has been discussed before and if so I apologize for bringing it up again. I am going to try to finish stocking my shop with as many tools as I can, planer/jointer, drill press, and band saw, so I am wondering what you folks think about reconditioned tools and if you have had good or bad experiences with them. I am just a one man hobby shop who was forced to retire due to an injury so its not like I will be pounding on the tools or using them as a professional who makes his living from them does. A few hours a day is about all I can stand. Will reconditioned tools hold up to this fairly "light" use? And does anyone have any recommendations on good suppliers of reconditioned tools? Am searching on the net now and finding some reconditioned tools with 2 year warranties. Your feedback is truly appreciated. Murray

  • #2
    I have a reconditioned Porter-Cable 333 ROS and a reconditioned Porter-Cable DA250B 15ga angled nailer that serve me very well everytime I use either. I've had the sander for around 3 years and the nailer about 17 months and neither has ever given me a lick of trouble. As long as you're careful where you shop, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend recon tools to anyone. I would definately make sure that the tool you're buying is a factory reconditioned tool versus just a seller reconditioned tool. Like you stated, checking on the warranty that is offered is a good idea. I wouldn't buy anything though if the price wasn't at least 30% cheaper than new and a factory backed warranty of at least 1 year.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3

      In my opinion, a lot would have to depend on the type of tool and the difference in cost. I'm a guy who would prefer anything new as opposed to used and often the price difference may very well only be 10 to 20% difference. So if you are going to spend $200, what's another $20 or $40. But that said, that's just me! A lot of so-called reconditioned tools are simply just cleaned up and repacked because they have been returned for some reason or are in many cases "new" but obsoleted by an upgraded product. With companies offering 30 to 90 day "no-risk" return policies, you may very well be buying a tool that someone received or purchased and simply didn't like it for some reason. These tools cannot be put back on the shelves as "new" tools, even if they are in perfect condition. Also, tools may very well have had some minor problem and are returned to the market with the simple fix applied.

      I could very well be wrong, but IMHO, a major breakdown in a tool will most likely find itself in the dumpster as opposed to remanufactured. In most cases, having to make a major repair to a power tool is just too expensive for the manufacturer to worry about. Even something minor like replacing a defective switch is questionable considering you have to analyze the problem, order the part, disassemble, repair, test and rebox... expecially in light of today's assembly line practices, where a power tool is made in a matter of a few minutes. Replacing a defective motor on a big tool is mostly a bolt on and adjust kind of thing, but to do so in a sander or drill, there is a lot of time consuming stuff a worker would have to do, taking much longer than making the new product. It's most always a time verses material/cost savings type of thing.

      A case in point would be the company that I recently retired from, had a major recall on small compressors. The problem being that a few of the foreign-made tanks had been found to leak after several years of use. The company simply offered a $ sum to buy the units back. They didn't care what condition the units were in or even it they were returned intact. It was too expensive to cannabalize the motors, gauges, pressure switches, or even the compressor. On the unit I had, I kept the motor, regulator and gauges. They didn't care because once received, the entire assembly was destroyed. It simply would have cost them too much to try to take off anything useful.

      While I can't vouch for the truth of it, I was told by a Cumming's sales guy that it's Ryobi products were simple "returns" that once received, were examined to ensure they were in good condition and working to spec. and then they were repacked as "reconditioned" and Cummings, purchased such items on a contracted "lot" basis for resale. So, in actuality a person was buying an "almost" new tool at a discount price.

      However, I agree with BadgerDave, if it isn't a major discount, and it isn't backed by a factory warranty, I'd probably stay away from it.

      Hope this helps,


      [ 11-13-2004, 06:16 PM: Message edited by: CWSmith ]


      • #4
        Badger and CW...thanks very much from both of you....some great insights and information....the only reason that I would even consider a reconditioned tool would be a price difference, and once again, that warranty is very important to me. I have all Ridgid tools right now, but man o' man, to try to get a great shop full of tools with all the trimmings, can absolutely be a real drain. We have a Cummins truck come into town about 3 times a year so hopefully one will be here before Christmas. I saw a Ryobi drill press and band saw, both bench top models, in HD this afternoon, and a very reasonable price for each, but if I can get a bigger and better machine for a little more money, even if it is reconditioned, then I would be much happier. Thanks again guys for your responses. You have made me feel a little better about looking at recon tools. Murray