How Do I Review
So far all of my "reviews" apart from one have been using tools I have purchased with my own money so I feel very happy giving opinions and feedback. There is a good chance I'm going to have a shot at reviewing a product sent to me for my thoughts. To save having to write up a disclaimer about me and how I review every time I review something I thought I would write a short post about me and how I hope to go about it. Then, if anyone wants to know what direction I'm coming from they can find it here.
About me? I'm a trained Carpenter and Joiner and have done nothing else since leaving school at 16. My apprenticeship was three years and I learnt with a combination of hand and power tools. I was born in the early 1980's so only working with hand tools was something reserved from hobby projects. Having said that hand tools are used daily, saw, chisel, plane and mallet are as useful now as they ever have been. By nature I find it hard to be overly critical, I like to be positive and constructive. If I do have an issue I will try and explain it in a simple way so you can decide if my issue is your issue. Remember also that any review is bias, as hard as I might try it's likely that I will be no less bias than the next person. Also to truly get to know a tool a long term view is needed, a good few months is ideal but more than likely if I'm sent something a few weeks is the best I'll do. I won't pretend to have all the answers and what would be really good is for others to share their thoughts, even if they are completely polar opposite.
What will I focus on? If it does what it says it will that's all you can expect of anything and if it does some more besides that's great and I'll mention it. I won't be doing a top trumps style session on edge retention or weight. Spec sheet comparisons can often be misleading. How something fits into the daily workflow is of more interest to me. Value is a difficult circle to square but I will try and suggest if a price is "fair" or not.
Will I get paid and keep stuff? I don't want to be given anything, whatever I get sent I will send back. I don't want to be paid, to do so would be an "infomercial" and I have no interest in doing that. I also won't be banging the drum on what is the "best". Best can be a disposable term. The next new thing can dispose the previous "best" which could carry a message of "time for and upgrade". The thing with most woodworking tools is they are more than able to last many of our lifetimes so my thoughts would be based on concepts of long term use.
Why do I want to do this? Almost selfish really, trying stuff out is a treat! I don't make it out to shows and I don't own very many new tools so for me it's fun. I'm not sure you're going to see many reviews as I don't have much clout so don't expect to be bombarded with new stuff, but when you do at least you'll know where I'm coming from.