Taunton’s 2010 Annual Tool Guide is on sale for $5 via Taunton’s home page. If you haven’t yet picked up a copy at your local home improvement store or bookseller, now may be as good a time as ever before it goes out of print.
If you’ve read previous editions of Taunton’s Tool Guide, most notably the 2009 edition, you may want to pass this one up.
Taunton’s Tool Guide, as the title suggests, is an excellent starting reference that features information about and comparisons of woodworking tools.
I have picked up a copy of Taunton’s Annual Tool Guide every year for the past four years now, and for the most part I have enjoyed the series.
The first issue I bought was the 2007 edition, and I deeply enjoyed it. Then there was the 2008 edition. I found it strange that there were a few duplicate features, but quickly let it go. But then there was the 2009 edition, which also featured duplicate content. By this time the duplicate was obviosuly not coincidental, but I hoped things would change for the 2010 edition. I was so very wrong.
I can understand there being some overlap or content duplication, but between the 2009 and 2010 edition, there were (by rough count) SIXTEEN reused article topics, some with added or reduced content, many with WORD FOR WORD DUPLICATION.
For a $10 annual special issue, I expected quite a bit more of original content. I am quite seriously and deeply infuriated to find reused stats, comparison tables, photos, and WORD FOR WORD duplication. Seriously? Fine Homebuilding & Fine Woodworking REUSED PAST ARTICLES IN THEIR ENTIRETY for this $10 annual special edition.
When I saw that this year’s Taunton’s Tool Guide was on sale for $5, I merely wanted to briefly [and objectively] tell you about the magazine and the sale. So much for that. Don’t get me wrong, each standalone Taunton’s Tool Guide issue is a very good read. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I feel cheated, betrayed, and like a sucker for coming back for more.
In this year’s Hand Tools section, there were articles on bench chisels, block planes, marking knives, and multi-bit screwdrivers. In the next Accessories section, the first article is about small clamps. All these features are duplicate from last year’s edition, and in most cases truncated as well. Instead of copying and pasting the entire Hand Tools section, why couldn’t they write about something else – anything else?
What angers me most of all is the audacity of the Fine Homebuilding and Fine Woodworking editors to reuse so much content (SIXTEEN articles) from last year’s issue. Did they think that loyal returning readers wouldn’t notice? Or am I alone in thinking that any annual special publication should be as good or better than the previous year’s?
From Taunton: “The content for our 2010 Tool Guide is selected from recent issues of Fine Homebuilding and Fine Woodworking — plus some new articles featuring noteworthy product introductions and some great gift ideas.”
I suppose that my disappointment is my own fault for setting my expectations so high and that next year I should take the above bolded claim at face value.
2010 Taunton Tool Guide via Taunton
Sorry to hear about your disappointment. Does it at least have $5 worth of coupons in the back pages?
No coupons, only advertisements.
I do not think you are being unreasonable at all in terms of the expectations you held for the annual guide – especially at it’s newsstand price. These mags charge a lot for each issue — and aren’t they are in the content business? Their sole objective is to provide compelling content to help readers “build better” (from their About Us page). If they are constantly reusing content, does that not significantly lessen their value? They only produce 6 issues a year — what’s the problem with developing fresh content. This is another perfect example of why people continue to move to blogs (such as yours) for new, compelling and constantly updated content.
This is a big trust issue for me and I can’t believe that they don’t have the ability to generate more original content for every issue. If you want to reuse so much content, call it a “Best of the Year” issue and be upfront that there is a good deal of reused content.
That’s a good point. “best of the year” sounds reasonable. If there’s no coupons then it’s not even worth $5 to me.
My great disappointment and frustration is not so much that they’re reusing content in general, but that the content has been copied from past special edition publications, most notably the 2009 edition.
When will the 2013 Tool Guide go on sale? Hope it does not duplicate the 2012 edition.
Maybe late summer 2012.
Well I am joining you in your displeasure. I picked up the 2016 guide today and happen to still have the 2015 one on my night stand. What first caught my eye was the same vacuum on the front cover. I started looking at the articles and like you, found a number of them that were word for word copies of the 2015 article (reviews and all), occasionally with a change in price on one item. I also understand that the basics of a coping saw won’t change from year to year. But at least make an effort to give value to loyal readers by not running the same article two years in a row. Give the product line a chance to change so that at least the reviews will be different even if the generic info on that category of tool is the same.
3 of the 4 “power tools” articles from 2015 were in 2016. At least they added 4 new ones (well new from 2015, I haven’t taken the time to go back to older years). Under “machines”, two of the 5 were the same, plus 2016 added one new one.
” hand tools ” had one identical article out of 4, and here 2016 actually had one less than 2015.
“Accessories” appear to be all different from 2015.