I like tools, I always have done and I still regularly use pliers, wire cutters and a ball pein hammer that I bought when I started my apprenticeship in 1967. I bought my first power tool in the mid 1970s which was a British made, two speed, 420W Wolf Sapphire and which, believe it or not, is still my only ‘go to’ corded drill.
Wolf and other power tool names (remember the old Stanley Bridges drills and Arcoy Dovetailer?) have long since gone to the wall and have been replaced by the new kids on the block, such as the Makita, Festool and Hitachi brands. One such maker is, of course, Bosch and we stock a huge variety of their power tools, both with tails and without…those are the ones with the new fangled battery things, although the Luddite in me suspects they’ll never take off!
Seriously though, the Bosch range, unlike some other brands, is deliberately split into two quite distinct areas: the lean green tools pitched at the DIY spectrum of users and the tougher, steel blue stuff ranged squarely at the big booted, multi-tool-belted, check-shirted trade users (see, I was paying attention the other night watching ‘The Company Men’).
The green stuff is built to a less demanding specification, as they’re intended for occasional use at weekends to cut the odd bit of shelving or to drill a few holes in the wall to hang a new cupboard. They’re not expected to last quite so long and, as a consequence, they don’t stretch the pocket quite so unnervingly.
Bosch blue tools, on the other hand, are built to an altogether more rigorous standard, designed to go the distance and do the job in a multitude of different trades. However, that didn’t prevent me from burning out the motor in one of their corded drills a few years ago; but my guess is that it was an exception to the rule.
Whilst it’s great to own top quality gear, there’s a convincing argument to suggest that a trade user might not necessarily want to load his (or her) van up with the latest, all singing, all dancing, hi-tec blue Bosch power drill, for example, when a much simpler, cheaper, green one will do the job just as effectively.
This idea might be even more appealing when a green drill has been bought for one job and if it burns out or, Heaven forbid, some light fingered ‘colleague’ takes a shine to it (and it’s been known to happen), it’s not too exorbitant to replace it. To do the same with a Festool would cause me to shed some tears together with a distinct sucking of the teeth as the credit card was handed over.
This trend was noticed at first hand some years ago when the current AxHQ was being constructed and it caused some comment amongst the staff at the time. It would be extremely interesting to hear your views on this issue, not just as a trade user, but also if you use power tools for any application, be it on site, at home, college or in the workshop.
If you’d like to contribute to the conversation, please pitch in on our Facebook page or at the end of this entry and as Jim Rockford would have said “leave your name and number. I’ll get back to you…”