The Business of Construction – The Lessons of Purchasing Cheap Tools For the Trade

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Anyone who has ever been in the construction industry, or has run a small business using tools, knows that there is a big difference between the tools of the trade, and the tools you can buy for small jobs around the house as a consumer. The durability, safety, and price are completely different. Although the tools are used for essentially the same type of job, you will note that a ratchet set might be good for building a barbecue that you just bought at Home Depot, but it won’t work too well, for too long if you are working on a farm equipment.

This issue is that if put too much to strength into the ratchet, it will break, and it’s not just the ratchet-sets for $29, with 40 pieces, which come at of some country in Asia, there are other manufacturers in other parts of the world that also sell to the US market. The reality is it can also be dangerous using such tools, because when they break they often catch the operator off guard, or the event of an electrical tool they can catch fire, or break themselves apart – and don’t laugh, it’s happened to me, and if you’ve been in construction for any length of time, I am certain this has happened to you as well.

Now normally, it will not cause an injury because you jump back and throw the tool on the ground. And you curse and swear, and promise to never buy another cheap product again in your life, but that’s hard to do considering the very low cost compared to the other professional tools. One trend we are seeing is that many smaller subcontractors are hiring labor that doesn’t know the difference, doesn’t care, or are just buying a tool for one or two jobs. They end up buying the cheap stuff and paying for it later.

An Interesting White Paper to read on this topic, one which was actually featured in Commercial Construction Management Bulletin Magazine is; “Why Using Consumer Hardware Can Cost Your Business More in the Long Run,” by Motorola Corporation. The paper is designed to help “companies which are investing in mobile technology, consumer-grade PDAs and smart phones, which have undeniable appeal, but it’s much wiser to invest in rugged, enterprise-grade devices otherwise it will cost your company more in the long run.

You see, the reality is that the tools now are getting more high-tech with laser levelers, plasma torches, and all sorts of tricky electronic gadgets. They save time, and help with the precision that is often needed for quality job. But don’t buy the imitations or cheap stuff, or you’ll be sorry and you’ll have to buy them all over again, thus, you’ve wasted your money. Please consider all this.

Source by Lance Winslow

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