• Scam Alert. Members are reminded to NOT send money to buy anything. Don't buy things remote and have it shipped - go get it yourself, pay in person, and take your equipment with you. Scammers have burned people on this forum. Urgency, secrecy, excuses, selling for friend, newish members, FUD, are RED FLAGS. A video conference call is not adequate assurance. Face to face interactions are required. Please report suspicions to the forum admins. Stay Safe - anyone can get scammed.

Rules How to contribute - Example

Kindly written and donated by @CalgaryPT, below is a reference writing guideline for the learning library.

While the below guideline focuses on tool reviews, it serves as a great reference of the quality of content which is required to publish content to the learning library.

All content posted to the learning library will require moderator approval before it appears in the library. This moderator review is an opportunity for our volunteers to ensure content contributed to the library abides by forum terms and policies.

While we will not have any mandatory rules or fixed limits to abide by, we kindly ask the following:

1) All content submitted anywhere on the forum, including the learning library must abide by the terms and policies of the forum, as always.

2) Please consider that the nature of a library is intended to create opportunities for learning and growth, and in this vein, we ask that content try to focus be positive in nature.
- The "Reviews" section, in particular, has the most potential to turn into a collection of negativity. If this happens, we may back-pedal on the concept and remove the section.
- Many folks, myself included, don't participate in this community to fling negativity around
- The moderation of something filled with cautions of evil, warnings of failures, and alerts that aim to damage reputations, each sound like a terrible headache to oversee.

3) A real library would be of little use with poor quality books; We expect some effort to be put into content contributed to the learning library.

4) Again, consider this whole section a "beta" feature. If it goes well, we'll expand. If it goes poorly, it's only two clicks away from no longer existing.
- Our hope is that the learning library follows the same pattern of courtesy as the rest of the forum.

5) Members & moderators are both asked to watch out for inappropriate content. Leverage the "Report" function as required. We're watching for the same.

A special thank you to @CalgaryPT for the following contribution:


The rule of thumb for tool reviews is to ask yourself if it will be helpful to others. Does it assist the member to make a decision to acquire the tool, or to avoid it? If your review makes them say, “This sounds like just what I need,” or maybe “I don’t think this will work for me,” then it is helpful to others. If it doesn’t—wait until you have more experience with the tool, then come back and write the review.

Comments on shipping cost, customer experience from the seller, etc., are better suited for other forums. Packaging (including boxing or crating materials) may be relevant—but only if it impacts the condition of the tool. If this is the case please include details so members know what to watch out for. But for the most part, leave it out.

The general forum Terms and Rules apply equally to tool reviews.

Some of the bullet points below may not apply to your specific review as author. In such cases, just ignore the point and answer the others.

[Once decision is made regarding moderation, insert this here.]


The tool you are reviewing may be either new or used (if it can still be found or purchased). If it is a two hundred year old tool that no one else can likely acquire without a lifetime of searching, consider writing about it in another forum.

Please disclose if any of the following applies:
  • You made the tool yourself, or it was made for you
  • It was a one-off made as a custom job (including an improvement, jig, fixture, modification, etc.)
  • You or others rebuilt the tool or machine (either fully or partially)
Advising members of these things is important because it tells others they will likely be unable to replicate the exact tool you are reviewing, and their experience could be very different than yours.


  • Model Number - Without this others can’t find the tool or compare it to similar products.
  • Advertised Price* - Please list typical price and state if new. If used, advise of condition and price you paid (if you are comfortable doing so).
  • Availability - Let us know if the tool is tough to find, in which case please supply link, contact info, etc.
  • Country of Origin - For some people, this is a deal-breaker, but it is important to keep in mind words like “Made In XX,” “Assembled in XX,” etc., can all be misleading.
  • Documentation - Advise if user manuals or instructions were a problem due to poor translation, lack of / incorrect information, etc. If tool is used, and you need to have a manual to operate, this can be important for members to know ahead of time when searching for the tool.
  • Parts - If you have done research into the availability of parts such as replacement blades, leadscrews, etc, please share that here. This is especially important in the case of used tools.
  • Accessories - Everything from circle cutters to carrying cases, please include what comes standard and what’s available as an essential option that members should consider. You don’t need to list optional bells and whistles members aren’t likely to want.
  • Features - Features can make or break a purchase, so let others know if they are useful or just gimmicky.
  • Any Other Details You Feel Relevant - “Machine only available in Single Phase 220V configuration” ,“Must be attached to shop floor with anchor bolts,” etc.

* Does not necessarily reflect what the reviewer paid.


  • How long have you had the tool and how often do you use it? (Had it for a year / Use it daily, etc.).
  • Is this your first time using a tool like this? (You could be using it incorrectly, or are more skilled than most).
  • How often and for how long did you use it? (Muscle fatigue and other issues may only become a problem after several hours).
  • Are you a typical user? (If you suffer from ear sensitivities, any decibel level may be an issue).
If you have experience with other products from this manufacturer that is relevant to the tool you are reviewing, include it here. For example, The company also makes a smaller model which I have had for 10 years, and the larger one I just bought appears to be of the same good quality.


This is the part of a review that interests members the most, so don’t skimp here. Pictures are a must if you want people’s attention. If the tool is new, even a link to the product page on a website is better than nothing. But members always prefer to see it in your shop if possible. And yes—videos are even better!

Avoid phrases such as, “This tool is junk,” or “This tool is the best.” Both are meaningless unless you say why. Instead say, “The quality of the castings is poor. They are all rough enough to cut yourself on,” or “The tool feels really solid. I like that they used metal stops instead of cheap plastic ones.” If you fall into the analytical category and want to backup your opinion with measurements or test results, great.

Some suggestions to include:

  • Tool quality
  • Ease of use
  • Good/Bad design details
  • Comparison to similar tools - Is yours better or worse? Why?
  • Is the tool suitable for the purpose you bought it for?
  • Do you feel it will last a long time, or fail soon? Why?
  • What were your results of using the tool on your project? (Great place to include pics!)
  • Features you’d like to see, or could do without
  • Price point - Is it worth what you paid for it?

This is also a good place to note any lessons you learned while using the tool. For example, “If using this air compressor with a extension cord, make sure the cord is heavy duty 12 gauge. Otherwise the voltage drop will impact performance.”


When rating the tool consider everything you commented on above. Consider quality, features, price and whether it achieved the result you bought it for (important). Rate the tool on a scale of 1-5.

  1. POOR - Avoid this tool
  2. ACCEPTABLE - Good enough, but disappointed
  3. AVERAGE - Does what I need for why I bought it
  4. ABOVE AVERAGE - Does what I need, happy about the purchase
  5. GREAT - Does what I need and excels for multiple reasons. Very happy about the purchase.