Before completing a project, you must have the right tools. Often, this means going to the hardware store to get the equipment you need. In this area, you will generally have two options. You can either purchase a new tool or a refurbished tool.
This can often confuse people, as both options can appear very similar at first glance. Yet, refurbished equipment is available at a huge discount.
So, are refurbished power tools any good? Generally, the quality of the tool can depend on where you purchase it from. In the clear majority of cases, a refurbished power tool will be in excellent condition. When compared with a new tool, the biggest difference is the price. Refurbished tools will often be significantly cheaper than a new piece of equipment.
A refurbished tool is also known as a reconditioned tool or factory-reconditioned tool.
So, a refurbished tool can be a great option. But why is this? What makes these tools so different from new tools? How can you be sure that you’re getting a high-quality refurbished tool? Let’s answer these questions through a deeper investigation into this topic.
What Is The Difference Between A Refurbished Tool And A New One?
Let’s start by getting a good understanding of what they are and why they are less expensive.
To answer these questions, let’s use an example that explains the refurbishment process. There are some instances you might purchase a new tool that has a defect. For example, the LED light on a drill might not work. Using the warranty, you return it to the factory for a refund.
Once in the factory, the manufacturer needs to figure out what went wrong and try to solve the issue if possible. In some cases, this will be fairly simple. In others, it will require a more in-depth investigation. Returning to our example, the wiring for the LED might have a fault.
The manufacturers will then be able to solve the problem. In this case, they can re-wire the LED light. After the problem is solved, they will re-test the product. This makes sure that there are no other faults that need to be addressed. Assuming it passes these tests, it can be repacked and put back onto the market, as a refurbished tool.
If you are purchasing it from a trustworthy retailer, they will often test the product themselves, before they put it back into stock.
By the end of the process, a refurbished tool will often be indistinguishable from a new power tool.
Because of the previous owners, there might be some cosmetic issues, like scratches on the paintwork.
As a result, refurbished tools will often be sold at lower prices. In most cases, you will be able to get a discount of at least 20 percent when you purchase a refurbished product.
So they are a great deal if you ask me.
This heavily discounted price can make them a highly attractive product, especially when compared to the cost of purchasing a new tool.
But, before you spend any money, you should make sure that you are getting a high-quality product. Let’s look at some of the ways that you’ll be able to do this.
Where Should I Purchase A Refurbished Tool From?
When shopping for a refurbished tool, you should make sure that you are only using a trusted retailer. This will give you the confidence that you are paying for a high-quality product.
As we mentioned, a good retailer will test refurbished products before they put them on the shelves. This is a great way to find any lingering defects and get them fixed.
You should also make sure that the staff has a good understanding of what they are talking about. If something goes wrong, will they be able to help you pinpoint the problem and correct the issue?
Another way to measure how trustworthy a retailer is by looking at the types of products that they are selling.
When shopping for a refurbished product, make sure that it is coming from a well-known manufacturer. This will give you the confidence that they have done a good job fixing the problem. This can often be shown by a manufacturer that can provide factory certified products.
I’ve compiled a list of retailers and outlets that sells refurbished power tools online:
- CPO DeWalt [only DeWalt]
- CPO Milwaukee [only Milwaukee]
- CPO Outlets [multiple brands]
- Factory Authorized Outlet [Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, and many others]
- RFB Direct [Makita, Metabo, Black and Decker, and so on]
- ACME TOOLS [Bosch, Porter-Cable, Ridgid and many more]
- ToolBarn [multiple brands]
Make Sure To Get A Strong Warranty
Once you’ve found a good retailer, you’ll need to consider what product to choose. In this area, it’s essential that you choose one that can offer a strong warranty.
While any problems should have been corrected, there are some cases where something might have been overlooked. Remember, even brand new tools can develop issues after being used for an extended period.
To make sure that you are protected, look for a product that comes with a strong warranty. This will allow you to find something that will be highly durable, lasting for several years.
In most cases, a new tool will have the same warranty policy as a reconditioned tool. When you spot this, it shows that the company has a lot of faith in its reconditioning process, and assures you that you are purchasing a high-quality product.
You might also want to choose a retailer that has a strong returns policy. This will give you strong protection. For example, if the device doesn’t work as promised, or the cosmetic damage is too extreme, you can be assured of a refund.
Inspect The Tool Before Purchase
By now, you should have found a tool that is from a trusted retailer and has an attractive warranty.
But, before you make a purchase, there’s one thing that you need to check before you buy it. The condition of the tool itself.
As mentioned, in most cases, they will look and act like a new tool. However, you should still inspect before you buy. This can help you discover potential issues.
When looking for a good tool, you shouldn’t be afraid to open the box and inspect the tool. Specifically, look for any scratches or dents. In most cases, these will be fairly minor.
However, there are some instances where there can be some more serious issues. A common complaint is that the previous owner has carved their name or initials into the device. For most people, this can be an annoyance. This is especially true if you are a tradesperson, as it can make you appear unprofessional.
If faced with a problem like this, you should consider the way that you address the issue. In most cases, this won’t affect the functioning of the machine. So, you might want to look for a lower price to compensate.
So, Should You Get A Refurbished Tool?
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the refurbishment process and how it works. We also looked at some of the ways that you can purchase a refurbished tool with confidence.
To recap some of the most important points:
- Refurbished tools have been checked by the manufacturer, had their issues corrected, and been returned to the market. Because they are used, they often offer a 20 percent discount to make them more appealing.
- You should only purchase refurbished tools through a trusted retailer.
- Always check the warranty and returns policy, so you can get a refund if you develop issues.
- Before you buy, inspect the machine to determine the amount of cosmetic damage.
Hopefully, this article has been of help to you. Thanks for reading and good luck with your upcoming projects.
Cheers tools owners!