Use ’em, or replace ’em

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Sometimes, old neglected tools don’t work so well when you dig them out. Sometimes they work fine… but you should still get rid of them.

I talked last time about my old framing nailer that really disappointed me when I tried to use it. After years of sitting idle it performed so badly that I retired it permanently. I have other old tools, however, that work exactly the way they’re supposed to. The trouble is that they work exactly like they’re supposed to several years ago, and industry advancements have long since passed them by.

Case in point – I have a 12-volt impact driver that I got at least 15 years ago that still works fine. But it has a single speed range, no torque adjustment, it’s an awkward fit for my hand, it’s way too powerful for most of what I do, and weighs about 4 lbs. Heck, no wonder I never use it.

But I just finished writing an article on impact drivers, which afforded me an opportunity to try out some current ones. There’s just no comparing them -- it’s like they’re not even the same tools. A particular favorite of the ones I tested has four speed/torque ranges, a special mode perfect for woodworking tasks, and feels great in my hand. They real kicker is that this 18-volt driver is smaller and weighs more than a pound less than my old 12-volter.

What’s the sense of even owning a tool that’s so outdated that you loath to take it out? Here, let me answer that for you: It makes no sense at all. I’m going to give that oldie away to someone who might have an occasional need for it, and replace it with that brand new one I know I’ll enjoy using often.

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