How to Save Big Bucks on Tools

First, find out the cost of new before you buy. Though savings are 10 to 40 percent, you may only save $10 and wind up spending more than that on shipping.

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My cheapskate coworker, Gary Wentz, loves two things: power tools and saving a buck. If dumpster diving were an Olympic event, I’d want him on Team U.S.A. Naturally, you won’t find a guy like him at the home center paying full freight for tools—no, sir! Gary goes online and buys factory-reconditioned tools and, according to him, he hasn’t been stung yet. Some have been returned because of a mechanical problem or just a dent in the case. Whatever their histories, the tools have been inspected, tested and repaired if necessary. Most are covered by the same warranty as a brand-new tool.

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Gary has bought at least a dozen tools in the last few years, and all have performed flawlessly. Here are his shopping tips. First, find out the cost of new before you buy. Though savings are 10 to 40 percent, you may only save $10 and wind up spending more than that on shipping. Second, if you find a bargain, grab it. Supplies of any specific model are limited. To find the tool you want, go online and search for “reconditioned tools.” — Travis Larson