Jack Philbin, CR and president of Philbin Construction & Remodeling based in Crestwood, Ill., purchases about $6,000 in tools each year. Some tool purchases are replacements for lost or damaged tools, but new tools play a big part in his purchasing decisions. Philbin shares some of his experiences with tool shopping.
Q: What was your last major tool purchase?
All tool purchases are major. Our last replacement was a Stanley-Bostitch trim nail gun, and before that, our last new tool purchase was a Porter-Cable electric handsaw.
Q: Why did you add the electronic handsaw to your collection?>
I was looking for something like that to come out. We needed it for the undercutting of doorjambs as well as for close cuts on things that you just can’t get to with a reciprocating saw. I saw the tool at a demonstration put on by the Chicago NARI chapter, and I liked the concept of the tool. It had apparent strength and was well built and reasonably priced.
Q: What tool couldn’t you live without?
I would say it would probably be our compound miter boxes. Without that, you can’t make several types of cuts, and you’d have to go back to an older way of cutting, which doesn’t work as well. If we lost a nail gun, we could always hammer by hand.
Q: What advice do you have for other remodelers for tool purchasing?
Shop around. We’ve found that it really pays to look. Also, don’t sacrifice the quality. If you want to do a good job, you have to have a good tool.