The right way to brag

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Hyperbole is great for blockbuster movies, but the best way to boast about a woodworking product is to back it up with results.

All products are endlessly overhyped. They’re the greatest, the best, the most fantastic or – inevitably – “the ultimate” this or that. (Grammar lesson for today: “ultimate” means “last,” not the greatest.)

It’s one thing to hype in advertising where, in all honesty, you’d expect it. It’s another to put it all over the product inside and out. That’s why I think this is the most effective boasting I’ve ever seen:

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That came with my new Tormek sharpening system, and it really says it all. No starbursts on the packaging, no exclamation points all over the box (well, there’s one, but it’s small), and no exaggerated claims. OK, yeah, the word “ultimate” is on the box (grrrrrr…), but I’m going to forgive them for that. Just this once. The very idea of including a package of bandages really says how confident they are that their product will give you sharp tools.

It’s even a subtle boast when you think about it. The package is small, and the single exclamation point (grrrrrr…) is tiny. But the bandages pretty much say, “Here, you’ll need these,” which, well, pretty much says it all. Don’t say they didn’t warn you.

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