I just wanted to check in with everyone, to see how you feel about ToolGuyd’s holiday season deal coverage so far.
I started off the season wanting to consolidate more deals in fewer posts, potentially with a singular place to put everything, but it’s been a bit difficult to do that in an efficient manner.
So, what I’ve been doing is i) updating the Black Friday deal guides and working on more, ii) featuring the biggest or more interesting deals in their own posts, and iii) combining deals when there are deals of the day and new minor promos worth sharing about.
I have been doing as much work as in previous years – if not more – but with less commentary, which is what I’m a little worried about – hence the request for feedback.
For example, I crammed new noteworthy deals into Friday’s deal post roundup, whereas in previous years many of the minor deals would also have received their own discussions. But as you can see in the comments count (16), there’s not a lot to talk about, and so would those deals have really required greater discussion in their own posts?
Although I haven’t found a way to easily update already-published deal posts at a steady cadence, a series of shorter combination posts seem to have been doing the job while also leaving space on the front page for other types of content.
At the end of the season, I’ll see what I can do to combine everything for archive purposes.
There are 12 days until Thanksgiving, and 16 days until Cyber Monday.
Are you guys happy with the way things have been going? What do you want to see more of?
Do you have any deal requests?
While I may not be assiduously scanning your deal posts – I have been looking and availing myself of some Christmas gift shopping bargains. Thanks for the heads-up about the Toughbuilt worktable (bought 2 this morning at my local Lowes).
Regarding other “shopping season” content – you seem to be very organized – I assume seeking to compartmentalize the deals to make it easier for readers to find what’s of interest. From my perspective, the volume and content of your posts seem excellent – but I’m not sure how much sleep (and family-time) you’re getting.
Many different things factor into the tool deals arrangements, but easier present and future referral has been a higher priority, as well as maintaining tighter control over post count and type.
The Dewalt DW735 planer, which is not on sale this year, is a great example of this. https://toolguyd.com/?s=dw735 There are 7 separate deal posts cluttering the archive. Multiply that by the number of repeat deals, and things get messy.
I have been referring back to earlier years’ deals for price comparisons and selection reminders, and the format I switched to last year seems to help a lot with this.
Compartmentalizing is a good way of putting it.
Instead of posting separately about say all of the oscillating multi-tool deals as I find them, I’ve been grouping things together, either for a section in my upcoming index post, or standalone post.
The downside is that it takes as much if not more effort. The bright side is that I know what needs to be done, which leads to less stress about unknowns.
With regard to sleep, let’s just say that things usually start to normalize the week after Thanksgiving.
I noticed earlier today that Rockler has the DeWalt planar combo on sale right now
It’s not much of a deal (yet?) at $749 + $50 shipping.
Stuart, I check your holiday tool coverage several times a day and I’ve used the intel to score a couple of great deals. I find it easy to scan your findings but I’m sure it’s not easy for you to accomplish. Thank you. The only bummer was finding out that the link to the Home Depot offering for the Milwaukee Fastback 6 in one knife showed product unavailable for the awesome price of $9.98!
Argh. There’s now the question whether that FastBack sold out, or if it’s a Black Friday-advertised deal we weren’t supposed to know about ahead of time. I suppose pulling down a listing (temporarily?) is better than raising prices, leading to buyer’s remorse once deals are activated. Or at least that’s all what I assume happened.
I’ve been scanning and it’s pretty easy to see where the deal post left off the prior day so you don’t end up scanning multiple times. I will say that my brain liked the method of years back where you would toss up 8 posts a day highlighting individual good deals. Not that they’re not contained in the existing consolidated posts, just not as quick to see what you may want/need. …and I tend to read all of the posts you put up so even when it’s a deal on something I’m not interested in I like reading the post/comments to see what I’m missing out on.
Regardless – it is clear that your efforts are being spent and it is valuable and appreciated. Less commentary, but already starting to empty my wallet for the 2022 season!
Regarding the indexes, I’ve been pivoting towards republishing them with major updates, along with a single “last updated” notice. Keeping track of changes when I might only add a post or two a day seems unproductive and became difficult to do.
I updated the Home Depot post with the latest “Black Friday savings” ad, and that prompted a republish-type of update where it’s now back at the top of the front page. I intend to do the same with the others at a pace of one a day or so.
The problem with my older approach is that great deals were very quickly pushed down the front page.
When I included “read more” links into roundup-style posts, pointing towards the deeper discussions, barely anyone referred back to them.
I’m still going to highlight good deals in a “Best Black Friday” index that ties everything together, but without so much of the “read more” posts.
The better deals will still be mentioned in more detail.
A big part of the reason for longer deal discussions is because it sometimes feels more obligatory than necessary. As ToolGuyd has affiliate relationships with different retailers, I tend to feel it necessary to explain the what and why behind deals, lest they be potentially be seen as “click on this and earn the channel some revenue” efforts. That also led to a LOT of duplication efforts in the past – with the DW735 again a great example of this – https://toolguyd.com/?s=dw735 .
Those 8 deals a day were hectic, but more than that the information was buried quickly. I would expand the number of posts visible on the front page and subsequent pages, but that can only do so much.
What also happened is that if you saw say 8 posts, numerous others didn’t make the cut.
Ridgid came out with a new 18V OMT kit earlier this year https://toolguyd.com/ridgid-cordless-oscillating-tool-kit-r86241k/ . That kit was $79 and is now $139.
They now have a 2-battery kit for $99. I would normally have an entire post about this, but that doesn’t seem to be the best use of time, “ink,” or “paper.” A link and maybe one-line of context/info in a deal roundup post seems like it could be as helpful as anyone is looking for this time of year.
If you’re emptying your wallet, just think about how much money you are saving! =)
You’re doing an awesome job as usual, Stuart. I thought last year was a good improvement on the past, and so far this year is even easier to follow.
Thank you, I appreciate it!
That’s been the goal. I figure since last year’s format is so easy for me to refer back to now, it will hopefully make this year’s deals easier to follow right not and in the future.
Great Job. Thank-You!
You have a very good and relevant overall web site – that is well maintained and useful.
I worry you won’t make it across the finish line.
Appreciate the tons of information. As others have mentioned highlighting the updates, while hard, helps given how much info has been posted.
It’s not easy, but I will!
It used to be that the 2 weeks before Black Friday burned me up because there were so many adscan leaks, deals popping up in stores, and everything was very fast-paced all at once.
The first 2 weeks of November used to be more casual, with discussion of the “secret” gift center deals that were tied to maybe 85% of the deals that would be advertised for Black Friday.
Now? One of the benefits of last year’s approach, and how I refined it for this year, is that I know what needs to be done. There’s less of a need for “hey, here’s a Black Friday deal that’s already live!” discussion, and more a need for “here are all of the deals that are live now that you might be interested in.”
As usual I do expect to run out of deal-hunting steam after Cyber Monday.
This is a hectic time of year, but I love the excitement.
Great job – as always!
Great job Stuart, as always.
This is one of the best blogs (?) I read. I look foreword to it every day after walking dogs and sitting down and for coffee. I’ve bought numerous items because of your posts.
The current postings re the holidays is great. I don’t know what else could be expected
“One of the…” ?! *note to self – gotta try harder!*
I always have to ask if I could be doing things better, but it’s especially helpful for me to ask once my approach has been tried and presented to readers.
5 years ago, I might have asked “how’d I/ToolGuyd do this year,” and people would say “the best ever, don’t change a thing!”
If it’s hard for me to think of ways to be better, it’s definitely going to be difficult for readers to think of ways they could be better served – unless there’s something super-obvious.
But it’s clear that last year’s approach was better than 5 years ago. This year my goal is to refine upon that for greater efficiency and reference, but it’s not easy to know if the “older way” is missed.
Doing things differently is not always an improvement, which is why I have to ask when there’s still time to rethink things and tweak the approach.
Great job and great website! Keep up the good work.
It’s great Stuart as always! I definitely come here as my ultimate source of truth for honest reviews, tool related news, and deals. If you post a commentary saying that a deal is so good you think it might be a major pricing mistake, I’m all in! I appreciate when you compare deals across stores and say which of the very similar kits has the best quality tools, that’s always helpful. Thanks for all your work!
Part of the reason I was so excited about those the deals of the day the other day was because the prices were shockingly low, and the other part was because I was realizing all this at 4 in the morning when writing up the post.
I’m still going to break down the biggest, best, and “run, don’t walk” types of deals.
My favorite are the individual posts highlighting the best deals, but I’m certainly not going to complain about anything. You’re doing an awesome job.
So far, so good.
How abouy ace? I just received a promo ad from them. Looks like some good coupons and deals .
I usually peek at Ace, but they tend to be a much lower priority due to much lower reader interest.
There are some promos coming up – I’ll try my best to include them in deal roundups at the least.
Looking at ToolGuyd’s archive, the last time I posted about their Black Friday deals was in 2017.
It’s good, I appreciate the deal aggregation.
If I’m honest, sometimes in the past I enjoyed the more “stream of consciousness” commentary, but I find the consolidated posts more useful long term. I find myself referring to them occasionally as a price reference, and it’s nice to have it laid out nicely.
I deeply appreciate your analysis. Thanks to your post, I got a great deal on a new drill set that I needed at Ohio Power Tools. Much gratitude!
Great coverage and easy to navigate. Excellent work. Thanks.
So far it’s been great. Can you pin a post to the top just for people to comment on deals that may not have already been covered. It can be challenging to find the appropriate post to comment and then the comment may get buried.
I had the updateable post in mind for that, and linked to it at the top, but there wasn’t a lot of discussion and it was difficult to keep up with updates.
Off-topic deals in specific deal discussions can be a little out of place, but some people do it and it catches my attention. Deal roundups might be more appropriate.
I’ve also been getting alerts via email and DMs. Even when I’m already aware of a deal, alerts or comments can clue me in about what might be of greater interest for more immediate focus.
Even with the roundups and indexes I’ve been building, very many deals still don’t make the cut. For instance, Home Depot has a couple of thousand “special buys” right now. I cannot/will not even cover everything on the sales floor. The focus is on what I’d buy, and maybe what readers are especially interested in, on top of that.
I’ll try to find a place for requests/add-ons, but it’s hard. One reason I don’t have that this year is because I’ll still see alerts and shared information via email, DM, and comments. Having a centralized place for it doesn’t work very well unless it’s very clearly a centralized place for things like that, and even then not everyone will see or pay attention to it.
That’s one of the reasons comments are locked on the index pages. If a comment from the end of October or early November referenced a deal of the day but doesn’t convey that well enough, I’ll get emails during Thanksgiving weekend “why can’t I get that deal?”
(The other reason for not allowing comments is to ensure faster pageloads. I added 23 images to the Home Depot page yesterday, with the “Black Friday Savings” tool-related ad pages. The comments section can add non-trivial amounts to page loads and times.)
keep up the good work
I like the consolidated posts for the brands and the stores, and I like when you highlight an exceptional deal(s) in their own post. For example, not sure might eye (and wallet) would have been drawn to the M12 Rocket light + battery deal for $140 if it had just been in the Home Depot index. I like what you are doing this year!
As for requests for deals, I’m looking to replace my aging ShopVac with something new. 12 gal is a good size for me, but if nothing else pops up this season, I might end up getting the 16 gal Ridgid at HD for $70. Just looking for a smaller, high quality model as my first choice.
There’s also a 12-gallon NXT vac on sale for $80. It’s $10 more, but comes with a couple of extra accessories, and if the size is better suited for your needs it might be the better buy.
The construction also looks a bit different. For instance, if you look at the side latches, the 16-gallon model looks cheaper to me. It also has fewer accessories out of the box, suggesting it was specifically made as a budget-minded SKU.
As both are rated at 5 Peak HP, the 16-gallon has greater capacity, but all signs point to the 12-gallon being a better deal for just $10 more.
I haven’t seen any other shop vacuum deals this season yet.
With the M12 Rocket light deal, I know by now what readers tend to like. =) I also pay attention to the “oh, I missed this deal, I’ll be on the lookout for the next one” types of comments.
That’s also a benefit of how I started doing things last year – it’s easier for me to refer back for pricing history.
Not your fault Stuart, but Flex tools needs to get in the sales season!
There are some Flex specials going.
Lowe’s has a “free gift with purchase” of several Flex kits. There is a list of 6 items to choose from: a 2.5ah batt, LED worklight, jobsite radio, jobsite blower, fan, or 1.6gal wet/dry vac. The also have a few of the kits marked down, like the 1/2in drill kit with 2 batts for $179 instead of $229.
Acme has better offers in my opinion, they are offering a free 5ah battery with most kits. Also they are offering a free tool with the 6ah Stacked Lithium starter kit. That’s a pretty good deal as the list of free tools has few exclusions and that kit also comes with a very good charger.
You’re doing a great job! You have only cost me about $500 this season. So far! JK! I have been able to make a few good buys. Your format makes finding things of interest easy, while letting me move past things of little interest.
Possibly my favorite purchase so far is the Milwaukee Rafter and Trim Square bundle. I looked at it once and passed it up. I only have about 6 speed squares scattered around. But I don’t have a little trim square. Well, I do now! I love the finish and engravings on these. And made in the USA! I have the trim square sitting on the table next to my recliner, so I can look at it and hold it. I am pretty easily amused!
Thanks for your efforts, Stuart!
Thanks – I’m certainly trying!
The Milwaukee squares are definitely excellent! I bought a few of the magnetic and non-magnetic ones.
The only thing I would caution is that you check the squareness of the small trim square. A reader brought up an issue, and I saw what they were talking about. I talked to Milwaukee and they weren’t aware of any issues.
Basically, the smaller one is square enough for use as a square, but isn’t perfect enough – in a reader’s experience and my double-checking as well – for calibrating machine surfaces against.
This was a year or two ago, I’m not sure if the same is still true. But, it’s always worth checking the squareness of ANY square.
The larger one was perfect. I use my trim square without any hesitation, but I don’t use it for machine blade or fence calibrations.
Excellent effort. Much appreciated.
Thanks very much for the postings Stuart and keep it up if you can. Unfortunately my shop is full of tools – both hand and power tools so I don’t need anymore. I’m just waiting for more sales on the DeWalt small parts organizers.
More sales on the Dewalt shallow organizer are unlikely, but I’m watching for it.
Stuart I thank you for what you do. I think long hours this time of the year. I look at your web site every day. Like a reader said I have most tool I need, but I watch the postings in case I see something I WANT…
Great job. I find it easier to look this year. In the past I got fatigued from the rate of posting. The organization is better and for me, far friendlier. I appreciate the work you do, thanks!
Good job. A bought a few things you listed on the deals thread
I might also add, that Amazon has deals on a few sizes of Knipex Cobra pliers, the 10 inch was only $3 more than the 5 inch and the 7-1/2 inch less than $2 more. While the 5 inch are great for pocket carry, the 7-1/2 are discounted more, and fit in a standard pliers pouch for edc, and the 10 inch are far more substantial and open much wider. The larger sizes weren’t discounted much when I got mine but the 10 inch were almost half off.
Knipex’s Pliers Wrench and Cobra prices are tricky – it’s often the case where the prices aren’t proportional to the pliers sizes.
I convinced myself a while ago that material costs are only part of the equation.
I saw the recent prices, but wasn’t convinced they were low-enough to mention, whereas the 5″ was on sale for a bit lower than I’ve seen it in the past.
Discounts on the smaller sizes tend to be a lot rarer. For broader Cobra or Knipex deals, I’m still waiting to see what KC Tool’s discount and special buys will be.
I’ll take another look at 7″ and 10″ prices though – it seems the discounts have changed since I last checked – thank you!
I appreciate the layout of this year’s content as I am in hunting mode during this season. I wanted a DeWalt 20V router and I found the deal I wanted immediately ( batteries with free tool). Now I’m hunting for consumables – saw blades, sandpaper, bits… With your help I have managed to get a year’s worth of supplies dirt cheap a few times now.
I have no complaints, and little to suggest for improvements. This is my go-to site during deal time, and will remain so until you retire (scary thought!)
Thank you – I’m glad to hear it!
Regarding consumables, there usually aren’t many sales right now except for the typical assortments, but I will keep looking.
Who knows what the internet will look like when I’m anywhere close to retirement age! It’s definitely scary to think about, which is why I try to focus on the here-and-now and year or two ahead at most.
I like the Milwaukee reciprocating blade set for $19.97. 15 metal cutting blades, 3 wood with nails blades, and a pretty nice case. And made in USA! This is perfect for me, as I use a reciprocating saw mostly for metal cutting, with occasional demo work. I may pick up another set.
Doing well Stuart. I have more tools than I need or I’d be more excited about the deals. About the only things I’m looking at is a right angle die grinder or pipe polisher and storage.
Everything’s great as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know how you keep up but I really appreciate it! If I had a complaint it would be that there’s too many tool deals but who would be foolish enough to do that? Thank you!
I like the changes. I was able to find dewalt storage deals. I ended up buying the Husky connect ones – better pricing per bin.
One improvement could be to better delineate the old post from the update so it is clear what is new.
Still looking for a a socket set with metric and sae like the Ryobi $25 one. There was a 45 piece Tekton set that might work but now out of stock
That was the difficult part – it’s easy to highlight newly added sections. I’ve been adding new deals to the roundups and then adding those into the index posts.
And so, if you’ve seen the index posts, and you’ve seen the deal coverage every few days, you shouldn’t be missing much.
I plan on updating doorbusters deals, but that’s over the course of maybe 2 days where I can easily separate new and newer additions. Over the course of a couple of weeks, flags or highlights get clunky to add and remove.
Basically, I agree with you, but there’s no easy way to do it.
$25 isn’t a lot to work with. There are more options close to $50, which typically buys a ~90-100pc set with decent socket selection and bunch of misc add-on bits and such.
HD and Lowe’s should have a couple of options by Husky, Kobalt, and maybe Craftsman.
I’ll keep my eye out, but I can’t recall a time when I ever saw a good set for $25-ish. There are usually specialty sets, such as the Gearwrench Microdriver, but that’s about it.
Great job as always. Thank you!
Doing a great job as usual. I visit the site everyday. My wife doesn’t think so; so must be perfect. I’m only $300 in the hole so far. Really appreciated the Milwaukee M12 5 piece set at HD.
As far as requests: I always love the nice deals on higher quality tools, like KCTool German deals. Would love to see more woodworking deals like Highland Woodworking, Lee Valley, Woodcraft, and Rockler deals. The big box stores repeat a loT of starter sets, which is less fun.
Always love new tools…
I also LOVE your reviews when you spotlight a tool.
Thanks for all of your efforts!! Appreciate the integrity; most valuable to keeping me coming everyday.
I’ve included KC Tool the past couple of years, and always end up buying something.
I still check and try to include some of the others when I can, especially for specific deals such as parallel clamps, which are a common deal request.
I’ve bought from Highland Tool sporadically in the past. I’m on their emasil list as a consequence. The thing is, however, that they don’t seem to go in for sales as much as other retailers. If I get an email from them about a BF sale – I’ll try to share it on TG.
With Lee Valley – if they do what they’ve done in the past years – a look early on Cyber Monday might spy some “blemished” tools on sale – and some gift cards being sold at discount.
Rockler and Woodcraft – will also probably be having some BF/CM promotions that might suggest getting on their mailing lists. Not knowing what woodworking that you do, I might also suggest looking at:
Thanks. Great suggestions
The results of your efforts are very well appreciated – thank you! It’s all well organized and your comments are concise and helpful. I imagine the level of effort, data and organization you do “behind the scenes” to put forth such a product which deepens my appreciation. Well done.
I’d also like to make the point that many members of your audience are helpful as well. Their years of experience and insightfulness are also very appreciated. Thanks, guys.
I have no suggestion regarding an improvement to the way you’ve set up the BF sale information. I’ve adjusted to the way you’ve organized the information and find it quite helpful. In my personal BF bookmark list, I have additional resellers and product search links to complement what you’ve done. It’s covered for me. Nice.
Now I’m hoping the items I’m looking for go on-sale to the point that I’m motivated to pull the trigger on the purchase (via your link, of course).
Thank you, Stuart.
I really appreciate the layout this year with updates at the top for deals of the day.
Keep up the great work.
I kept in mind your comment about looking for the best deals. I saw a M12 5 tool set for $199 with 1.5ah batteries and another that was the same set but with 3ah batteries for $279. But you can also buy a set of 3ah batteries for $79 on their own, so you can get the $279 deal but with 2 extra 1.5ah batteries for $1 cheaper if you buy 2 items. Just thought I would pass this little nugget along for other readers to keep in mind.
Like you said Stuart, it pays to check if the deal you are looking at is the best one out there.
Again, thanks for all the hard work, I definitely check out the site on a daily basis, if not more frequently.
The Amazon deal on the Goodyear retractable air hose has expired. It now sells for almost 100 more https://www.amazon.com/Goodyear-L815153G-Retractable-Compressor-Rubber/dp/B01GFA35N2?tag=toolguyd-20
The Amazon deal for the 6” Knipex Pliers wrench is beaten by 10 bucks in a different listing (in the Knipex store) KNIPEX 86 03 150 Pliers Wrench, 6-Inch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005EXOJZK
Thank you! I made the changes.
The frustrating part about Amazon is that deals have been going in and out of stock, and prices have been changing back and forth. The hose reel could be out of stock, or it could be suppressed to conserve stock for Black Friday weekend, which is what some retailers seem to be doing.