1. Pick the tool up and hold it in your hand. Do you have to stretch your hand to reach the handles? Is it comfortable?
2. Check for quality. Loose parts and lightweight metals will not hold together for long.
3. Are the tool’s joints loose or snug fitting? Are its pins tight and well seated? Are there plastic parts? Snug joints, tight pins and all-metal construction are essential.
4. Try to find smaller versions of good-quality tools if you can.
5. Buy well-made tools that have a warranty and a good reputation behind them. Do some research before making an investment. In my experience, many store clerks have little knowledge of or familiarity with the products in the tool section, so don’t depend on them to answer all your questions.
This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.