It’s great to get some honest critique of our newsletters, Rob offers his thoughts:
Hi David – not quite sure if I get anything out of your recent product ‘reviews’ as part of your email campaign.
Sorby, Lie-Nielsen et al. you like them, but you don’t like them, but you do (!). All very ambiguous, if to receive such emails would much prefer to see a more direct message: “This is the brand I recommend, this is its flaws but this is why I recommend it”…etc
I don’t mean to be cheeky but think it is somewhat negative to put up a product and then shoot it down without offering alternatives, or just recommending the alternative in the first place. I am, by the way, very engaged in your emails; the workshop I have just started in on a part-time apprenticeship basis uses Sorby’s…will be interested to see what they think…
Thank you for your e-mail, I am sorry if I do not make clear conclusive recommendations but it is complex, more complex that at first it appears. Mainly I do not want to support one manufacturer and place myself in their pocket. I get lots of free incentives to do just that. A recommendation from me would used and could sell the odd chisel or two.
These are hand tools they must fit YOUR hand and your pocket. None of them are perfect, I would buy Sorby chisels if I had too but I would make sure they were straight and I do already know how to sharpen. This would be a poor choice for a weekend woodie who really doesn’t want to be faffing with sharpening and only has a few hours a week to make something.
We have six tool boxes in our workshop each has a kit of plane, chisels marking out tools etc . Each has a different brand of tool from the other boxes. We encourage our students to try different brands and types before making a considered and informed choice. We tell what we can about positive and negative features of each but we are not perfect and it is a personal choice.
Good luck with your making
If you’re in a muddle about which tools to choose, or how to choose woodworking hand tools we have an article on choosing woodworking hand tools as well as a DVD explaining how to choose woodworking hand tools. We also have great email lists which offer free, independent, advice and reviews of tools new and old.
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