Coes Wrenches


Tool Stories


Interest in Tools... by Todd Hughes


I think we are, while maybe not on the ground floor of tool buying / collecting, we are certainly not up to many steps from it.

I think it is very similar to what gun collecting was back in 1960 , I talk to old gun guys now and they tell me how common and cheap things were back then that now are "Rare" and priced in the $1,000s. They thought nothing about re-bluing that old Colt single action tuning it up and shooting the heck out of it after all they could pick up another for $20.

Today nice un-monkeyed ones start out at 100 times that price... Who would ever know?  I think it will be the same with tools.  Not saying that rusty no. 5 made in 1950 will ever be worth a fortune I do think some things that today we sort of take for granted like clean late 1800s saws and planes will be up there in value and desirability in a way that is probably hard for most people today to realize.  Talk to decoy collectors about how decoys were thought about in 1960 and you will probably see a similar thing.

I think the interest in tools will just continue to climb, probably more people are "into" tools now then they have been in the past 50 years .  As someone that sells lots of tools and try to keep an ear on the market I sure don't see it slowing down.  As more people get more free time and more money more will be getting into tools and woodworking and other hobby uses of tools.

The internet and eBay has probably done more then just about anything else to help it too.  What took "Work" before to find now can be found in just a few seconds on line.  I spent the day with my friend yesterday who goes to these classes to build furniture, clocks, chests etc. and he told me about the $1,000s of dollars it costs for the class, the wood, and the tools and the classes are always filled.  If there is that much interest that they can charge like this, you know the tool market will be remaining strong.

I do think right now in almost all cases the tool market is user driven, just like the gun market was in 1960 even most collectors were still users.  This will change some as tools take their rightful place with other antiques and are thought of more as an object instead of as something that was used or will be used and then you can expect prices to really take off.  I sure don't see prices ever falling.

We are still lucky in that there is still lots of stuff out there and with a little hard work and luck you can still find good and even great tools on the cheap but this is bound to change as old tools dry up in the wild... and they will mark my words!  Now really is the time to buy what you want if you already haven't and if you can put stuff away for the future. 

Don't think you will ever regret it...

Todd Hughes
September 2006

Woodworker's Guide to Wood Collection only $79.99 at Shop Woodworking

Goodell-Pratt Tools


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