It can be a minefield when gauging used tools prices but hopefully this will help you when buying used tools.
There are many factors prices fluctuate and this can can be affected by needing a specific tool at a certain time. Lets face it, if you are a carpenter who has just broken a No:7 plane and you need to replace it quickly you have two options, buy new one at high prices depending on manufacturer, buy a standard used plane or buy a good reconditioned version similar to those sold here that will compare with the very best available today.
- Supply & Demand – This is a very important factor when you are trying to to assess used tool prices as there are times when certain tools are harder to find. Unfortunately it’s not a case of going to the local wholesaler to buy more stock. Collectors similarly have to compete for those rare pieces when they come onto the market.
- Rarity – Originality adds to prices but having said that if a tool has been used it’s likely it has been cleaned etc in its lifetime, usability has a bearing on the final value. Rarity can vary from dealer to dealer and they generally influence the market value.
- Condition – Original unused boxed items are far more rare and command the highest prices than used tools, however once used the condition should reflect the tools ability to work to an optimum standard. Factors such as wear, pitting, rust or damage all play a factor in the actual value.
- Reconditioning – This is extremely important when trying to assess prices as a tired version of something usually fetches a much lower price. Reconditioning of tools should to be done with competence and with a degree of accuracy ensure they truly fit for purpose and cleaning them is only part of the process. Good reconditioning takes time and does add value however if it is undertaken poorly this can be detrimental to the tool’s value.
- Originality – This typically affects items with multiple parts as it’s often the case that parts are replaced over the years and what you think you are buying turns out to be a collaboration of various parts. Woodworking planes are especially affected as many sellers of tools will use anything that fits to make up a complete plane.
- Comparable to new equivalent – Craftsmen know the difference and companies such as Stanley don’t make tools as well as they used to, this is probably why modern companies such as Lie Nielson & Clifton have become renowned for quality. Old Stanley USA items were compatible to these back in the day but offer great value when reconditioned correctly. Compare Plane Prices