Investing in Value Tools

I often see value in something that is priced very attractively.  My brothers tease me about being a cheapskate.  I just have a different perspective, I guess.

Last winter I wrote about a great Craigslist find, my first electric saw.  It was a Black and Decker jigsaw.  I hispanic gentleman in a trailer park had it listed for $20 and I talked him down to $15.

The saw was great to me.  It made my Chicken Plucker, Apple Grinder, Cider Press and many other smaller projects as well.  Notice that I’m using the past tense here.

During the last few cuts on my cider press, the trigger lock got stuck in the “ON” position.  I had to unplug the saw in order for it to turn off.  It just required better planning on my part.  I had to set it down on the floor between each cut (watch out for that cord) and unplug, rather than just letting go of the trigger and setting the saw aside on the work bench.

A few months later I started my next project, doing the same thing.   I also noticed that the saw motor was getting bogged down while cutting.  It was as if these 2×4’s of white pine were made of oak or ash.  It was slow going.  I started to get fed up.  I pulled the entire thing apart and fixed the trigger lock.  On the very next cut, the trigger lock got stuck again.  The saw eventually stopped working.

I did perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death and to see if I could fix/resurrect the saw.  Diagnosis: it’s busted.  Beyond my capability of repair.

Welcome the newest member of the family: A brand new Black and Decker 4.5 Amp Variable Speed Jigsaw.  Thats right, folks, I broke down and bought a new one!  I was surprised to see that they were only $30.  And notice that nice color – my two year old won’t be losing that one in the weeds any time soon!   I still got lots of use out of the old one, but I know this one will be around for many years.

I guess the moral of this funny story is: beware when buying used power tools!

Thanks, Robert.

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