Brand Loyalty

Where it comes to shopping, I am quite the typical sort of male. When I find something that suits my purpose, I stick with it. Whether it be the brand of jeans, the shampoo I use, the boots I buy, the tools I use. Deviation is rare, and provoked only because of extenuating circumstance.

What I have been finding over the course of the past decade or so in particular, that it is worth challenging my rules for choosing tools, and using brand quality as my determination rather than price.

Each time I have done this, I have not regretted the decision, each and every time I have used the tool ever since (and by that I mean, every single time I use the a quality-branded tool I remember to be grateful I chose to spend enough to secure the brand name). Whether that be the waterblaster I was using today (Karcher, purchased for the quality of brand) that replaced a GMC model I had previously (purchased because of price), ROS (now a Festool, rather than Triton), or garden equipment.

I’m becoming increasingly brand-loyal, and once I have found a brand of product that I trust and respect, it will be hard to shift me away.

As much as this represents (in some cases) a significant investment, in time I forget the cost and am left loving the quality.

Without trying to be comprehensive with the list, these are some of the brands I turn to by default:

Festool
Incra
Woodpeckers
HNT Gordon
Tormek
Carbitool
Teknatool
Hamlet
Stihl
Husqvarna

Now, have a look at the list again, and notice what is in common- such as stores that don’t stock the product, countries not involved in manufacture etc.

I do know how this list looks- I have been at the end of the spectrum where GMC was the brand of choice (and often more by cost-necessity than actual choice), and then I found myself in a position to afford Triton (before GMC got their hands on it and destroyed it), and I commenced the walk on the path towards greater and greater quality.

Take a product like the Tormek T7. I’d have argued against the need for one over the other, cheaper brands as well, until I got one for myself. Now I wouldn’t go back, or perhaps better to say I would make the same choice if I had my time over (especially when there is a promotion running for free wheels for life, or a free axe or something- nothing like a bonus when the decision is already made).

Of course we can’t afford every perfectly branded tool so there will always be compromise, but it is worth aiming for the quality brands wherever possible. You remain remembering the quality long after the pain of the cost has faded.

One final point- I was out in the garden the other day, and made a decision I needed some new garden power tools. I made the decision to go Stihl simply based on brand, researched the range and made some tentative choices. Before locking it in, I went to Bunnings to look at the equivalent, and was faced with cheap brand after fluro colour scheme. And the price was not that much different to the Stihl. So it is worth checking out the quality brands- sometimes they are not that much more expensive than the cheap crap. And the customer service is a ballpark removed from the box store.

3 Responses

    • “Now, have a look at the list again.”
      I did so, and recognize brands that have top-notch reputations, but which, generally speaking, I cannot afford, the most obvious one being Festool. For Festool, I would substitute Makita, Metabo and Dewalt. On the price/quality relationship, I feel they are better value, and they certainly work well enough and reliably enough for me.

      • I’m sure I wouldn’t disagree with you, but also can only speak from experience. I have had a Dewalt angle grinder for about 12 years, with no complaints (the rubber around the outside of the flex where it enters the tool has been perishing for a few years, but that would be my only complaint, for what was a $100 grinder.

        Not having owned Makita or Metabo at all, I cannot speak for their range- I’d be quite happy with some of their tools if that is anything to go by.

        I still have a Bosch (green) corded drill. I’ve given it hell over the years, and it is still running to my amazement (not that it should have died being Bosch, it should have died because of what I’ve done to it!)

        Where it comes to Festool, I never thought I’d ever own any of it, but little by little I’ve added to the range. I was given my first tool from a friend overseas (pretty cool of him), bought the ROS, then the rest came from work I did- I chose to be paid in Festool rather than in another method, so I was very fortunate in that regard.

        I always try to present an honest viewpoint, and leave affordability up to the individual. And people’s capacity does change over time too. 5-6 years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed forking out for a Festool ROS for example. Now I won’t by one that isn’t. Your mileage may vary.

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