Whenever Woodpeckers comes out with a new tool, imitations quickly pop up on Amazon at a fraction of the price.
Often, the copycat companies simply take Woodpeckers’ product images, photoshop out any Woodpeckers logos, and upload them to the Amazon marketplace listings as their own.
The Woodpeckers Auto-Line drill guide is one such example where there are fake products being sold on Amazon. The Woodpeckers product is priced at $260, and the copycat products range from $33 to $52.
I can understand the appeal of these copycat products – they offer huge savings compared to the original products. But, they’re NOT very similar products.
You don’t actually know what you’re going to get, as the copycat products are using edited versions of Woodpeckers’ images, instead of their own product photos.
A couple of ToolGuyd readers took a chance on these products recently.
I bought a cheap Chinese copy online and did not know about the Woodpecker tool at the time. Big mistake. All the red parts except for the collar and hardware is molded plastic. It’s too flimsy, the two guides can be twisted by the sliding chuck plate out of alignment. Not even worth the $45 I paid including shipping. There is a reason the Woodpecker is priced at $220 being all-metal and accurately made.
The Amazon reviews are less than favorable:
Sockets for guide rods have huge tolerances. As a result – vertical guide rods cannot be aligned to provide consistent 90 degree angle. In general – product does not look anything alike as shown on the pictures. Will be returning.
Don’t buy!!! It’s a piece a scrap!!!
Had to wait almost one month to receive product. Looked good and assembled easily. However; China used plastic instead of cast iron to hold the chuck bearings. ONE!!!! HOLE!!! : bearing heat melted chuck holder and I had to cut chuck free in order to retrieve my bit. Can’t return because of what I had to do. What I said: Great idea- Horrible engineering
Here are some review snippets for a knockoff square:
Ruler markings are not accurate. Do not buy
Mine arrived out of square!
Needs better quality control: The tool is square and the holes are accurate. HOWEVER, the marks on the ruler are NOT accurate.
Holes are too small mechanical pencils don’t work
Is this a joke? I know it is not the “big red” but brand, but even at this point they could institute some resemblance of quality control! Not one line is square and not one of the holes actually line up with the increment marks. Guess if you want quality you have to pay for it.
I know that many of Woodpeckers’ tools are priced at a premium, and some at a steep premium. I have purchased a couple of their core tools, and sought out alternative designs for Woodpeckers tools I just couldn’t justify the price for. Rockler, for example, has a well-regarded drill guide, and occasional discounts and coupon codes make it much more affordable.
Some people are buying the knockoff tools because that’s what they come across first, not knowing they’re knockoffs, and others take a chance in thinking maybe they’ll be similar to the much higher priced Woodpeckers, maybe at least in functionality.
Admittedly, there are some types of products where imitations could potentially work as well as the genuine Woodpeckers tools, but you’re always taking a gamble. Who’s to say that the copycat companies won’t change their quality once they gather some positive reviews?
My typical policy is to not mention knockoffs at all. In my Woodpeckers posts, you’ll see links to the Woodpeckers tools and maybe alternative products, but never the fake copycats sold at Amazon and other marketplaces.
I won’t link to those fake products here, but I felt compelled to share the recent reader feedback and other reviews I found on the online marketplace listings.
With the online listings, should the copycat products rack up enough negative reviews, they might simply relist the products and start over.
I won’t judge anyone that knowingly buys knockoff tools, but it’s not something I would encourage. Buying knockoff products is always risky, but this has proven especially true when dealing with layout tools and woodworking accessories where quality and tolerances matter.