Why Cheap Tools Are More Expensive Than You Think

When you go to any hardware store, you’ll see cheap tools and expensive tools.

Which tool should you choose? Well, contrary to what you might believe, cheap tools may end up costing more in the long run.

Today, I’m going to explain why cheap tools could actually be more expensive than you think:

You may be at a higher risk for musculoskeletal injuries

If cheap tools were well-designed and made from high-quality materials, then they wouldn’t be cheap tools.1

When you buy cheap tools, you’re sacrificing things like ergonomics. Anytime you use a tool repeatedly throughout the day, certain parts of your body will become sore. When you use cheap tools – which rarely use good ergonomic practices – those body parts will become sorer sooner.

Think of swinging a hammer or turning a screwdriver. Both of these actions will inevitably cause pain in your hand eventually. But with cheap tools, you’re more likely to experience pain sooner and develop more serious musculoskeletal injuries.

A CDC study found that “a large number of injuries known as musculoskeletal injuries are attributable to hand tool use in occupational settings.”

Cheap tools can significantly reduce safety

The other dark side of cheap tools is that they could reduce safety at the workplace.

Obviously, when safety is compromised, it costs the entire workplace. An unsafe workplace is a bad workplace, and you don’t want someone with cheap, poor-quality tools to injure another employee. Most cheap tools won’t explode when used in heavy duty situations, but they certainly have a higher rate of failure than high-quality tools.

The blade of that screwdriver might not snap off when you apply some torque. But you don’t know that for sure when you’re using cheap tools. They could bend, break, snap, or warp at any time – and that reduces efficiency.

Poor-quality tools could also reduce workplace efficiency

Of course, cheap tools cost you more than just efficiency. Cheap tools need to be replaced more frequently, which can have a negative impact on workplace efficiency. Are you going to get less work done because your coworker is using a cheap set of tools? Or are you going to force your coworkers to be less productive because you purchased cheap tools?2

Ultimately, cheaper tools could lead to subpar job performance and quality. Even if you get the job done on-time, your cheap tools may have caused a number of mistakes along the way.

Other potential costs of cheap tools could include:

-Weak battery life, poor battery performance, and more frequent battery replacements

-Potentially hazardous materials or substances used to manufacture the tool, like low-quality metals from developing countries

-Increased maintenance costs to keep your tools operational

-Increased replacement costs because your tools fail more frequently

Ultimately, if you have the money, then higher-quality tools are a smart pick. They’re an investment for life. Cheap tools may cost less today, but they will almost certainly cost longer during the long run. Keep that in mind the next time you browse for tools like blades, drill bits, or hack saws.

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