Quality tools usually cost more than cheap tools. At least they cost more when you plunk down the money to buy them. But are they really more expensive when one factors in the cost of replacements and time wasted when using cheap tools?
I’ve learned my lesson. Spading forks were the main learning vehicle for me, but the same principles hold true for most any tool, even outside of the garden. We came to Oklahoma with an antique spading fork. That fork lasted for almost 4 years before giving out. Then I started buying forks from local stores, each costing somewhere in the vicinity of $25 to $30. Each of these cheap forks lasted under 3 months of normal garden use. The tines bent and the handles broke.
While using cheap garden forks I spent around $30 on replacements every few months.
Then I heard about Lee Valley Tools, a company which specializes in quality tools. The first garden fork I purchased from them cost about $100. But, when I received it in the mail there was no doubt, this was a quality tool! It outlasted the cheap forks many times over. Using this fork I was able to accomplish more for the time I worked because it actually worked better.
One day I tangled with a hidden boulder and broke my quality spading fork.
I went on-line and didn’t see that model offered anymore. So I called Lee Valley Tools customer service. By the time I got off the phone I had a new, higher quality fork on order and something like $20 refund coming in the mail as the replacement cost less than the fork being replaced. That quality tool had a warranty!
Quality tools often have quality warranties.
This doesn’t mean one should abuse their tools, but it is a comfort when something happens. I have since purchased yet another quality spading fork from Lee Valley Tools. It’s nice to have a spare. There are other companies which sell high quality garden tools, but most of my experience is with this company. I haven’t felt any need to look elsewhere.
One other option for obtaining quality tools:
Check out estate sales. Many times the old tools sold at estate sales are not only inexpensive, but they’re super high quality.
Do you use a really high quality tool which saves you time and money? We’d love to hear about it!