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The luxury of time

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Money is usually the prime consideration when buying a new tool. However, having the time to shop is just as important.

I need a new air compressor. My current one has been a workhorse, but it has issues. For one thing, it’s really, really loud. When I got it just over a decade ago “ultra quiet” compressors were not yet commonly available, and I want to cut the noise in my woodshop.

Also, I didn’t really use it much when I first got it, so I was satisfied with its capacity. But I’m using it a lot more these days so it needs to recharge fairly frequently. That, combined with the noise issue, makes two strikes against it.

Finally, it’s broken. I’ve got a slow leak somewhere, plus one of the gauges is broken (a heavy 4-foot rule hanging on the cabinet above fell off its hook and made a direct hit on the gauge, smashing it). Sure, I could hunt down that leak and replace the smashed gauge, but as a third and fourth strike against it I’d just as soon save the cost of repair and simply replace it with a quieter unit that has a larger capacity.

But for now it still works, so that means I don’t have to buy a new one right away. Unlike the immediate urgency of a broken furnace, a car repair or a burst water pipe, I’ve got the luxury of time to look around a bit, do some comparison shopping and pick one that I’ll really like for the long haul.

The cash is already budgeted for the new machine, so having time to leisurely shop around not only means I’ll likely be happier with my ultimate purchase, but that the process will be a lot more fun.



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