Buying tools (the right ones!) is probably one of the most difficult things that a lutherie novice has to deal with in the beginning, or at least it is for me!
Let’s be honest: there are so many tools available, at so many different price levels, that it is very easy to start buying everything that you think will be useful, but you will quickly discover that:
- you do not need most of the tools you bought
- you are almost bankrupt 😱
I find that one of the best advice that I have been given is: buy a tool that you need when you need it.
That is what I have been trying to do so far. Now, that sounds easy, and probably for a normal person that likes something and just buys it without thinking too much about it is easy. But, unfortunately, I am not like that. 🙄
When I have to buy something I take literally a life to make a decision. I first have to understand how the tool works, what characteristic the tool needs to have, what makes a tool good for my scope. Then I start comparing tools of different quality (and price levels), and I have to weigh down if I am really saving money by buying a cheaper tool with respect to one that is more expensive. Usually, though, I end up buying something that on the high end of the quality (and price) scale. 😅
I believe that, with woodworking tools, the “buy cheap, buy twice” philosophy is more than ever valid.