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You Get What You Pay For

February 12, 2016

Well, it has a longer handle, but I think that’s the only one available.

I was at the hardware store for a new 3/8″ ratcheting socket driver. Actually, I was there to exchange a broken one for a new one. The broken one was not holding the ratchet the way that it should. You’ve probably been places to exchange a tool or item you bought because it’s broken. 


How long ago did you buy this?

I’m not entirely sure. I think it was about 40 years ago.

You’re the store clerk. What do you do? 

For most items, the clerk would laugh, or at the very least tell me that since I had used it, the return policy was void. This clerk did neither.


Here’s the new one. Have a nice day.

The mechanics know exactly what I’m talking about. (BTW, my car is still broken, check in on Monday’s post to hear an update.) The tool I was returning was a Craftsman brand. The story would have been the same if I’d taken a Husky brand back to Home Depot, or if it had been a Snap On. 

Tools, good tools, last a really long time. And they are pretty pricey. The ratchet I was getting in exchange was about $25. I could probably find a knock off brand for about $5. So, why pay 5x as much? 

Because, you get what you pay for. Twenty-five dollars over fourty years is about $0.65 per year. Not a bad investment. And the guarantee on Craftsman tools stays with the tool. When my kids inherit my tool collection, they will keep that 3/8″ ratcheting socket driver until it wears out. And then they will take it to some hardware store in 2056 and get a new one. Then, my $25 tool, over 80 years will be about $0.35. 

When my grandfather passed away, I got his tools. Included was a worn out Craftsman 3/8″ “breaker bar.” I took it to Sears and they handed me a new one, no questions asked. 

Buy quality tools. They are a lot cheaper than the knock-off brands. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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