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Every tool manufacture gets back broken or defective tools. Sometimes they are deficient in manufacture, other times customer s actually break them ( often but claim otherwise), regardless of the reason, tools break and very often manufacturers take them back.
So, what do they do with these tools you ask? Well, some are destroyed, others used as parts and others still are refurbished for re-sale. In the industry they are called “refurbs”, and they are often retailed at 30% - 50% less than new-in-box (NIB) tools. Depending on the manufacturer and the tool, there may or may not be a warranty with the tool and if there is it may or may not be the same as the NIB tool.
The real question for most woodworkers is “are these tools worth purchasing”?, and the quick answer is yes they are, but there are a few things to watch for.
Some refurbs come in brown packaging while others come in what looks like new original boxes. Either way, they are still refurbs and there are 5 important things to look for, such as ...
1 – Most important – is the tool a brand name, well recognized tool brand or is it knock-off or lower quality made tool. If the tool is a brand name tool, like Makita, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Delta, Ridgid and so on, it is probably a good buy. Walk away from brand names that look and feel cheap and are names that you don't recognize, unless you are willing to risk your investment.