I am often asked about ToolGuyd’s review policy. Rather than keep repeating myself in emails, I figured I’d just outline everything in a post.
Does ToolGuyd Charge a Fee for Reviews?
Does ToolGuyd Charge Fees for Videos?
How Do We Choose Which Products to Review?
We typically review tool-related products of personal interest or interest to readers.
Which Products Do We Not Review?
We do not review tools beyond our familiarity and comfort zones, such as jackhammers, portable electromagnetic drill presses, etc.
We also avoid reviewing tools that are obviously flawed, poorly designed, or of extremely poor quality. With limited time we can’t waste any effort on products we greatly dislike.
Do We Accept Free Review Samples?
Yes, but we also turn down a fair share. We have limited time and resources and can only spend time reviewing products of greatest perceived interest to our readers.
We have all the tools we need and can afford to buy anything else we need for non-editorial use. We don’t consider review samples as handouts, compensation, or freebies. Review samples are just that – product samples that we test for the sake of review or content creation.
It’s a sort of a win-win-win process: readers benefit from our reviews (or are at least entertained), we benefit from satisfied readers that stick around and make posts and reviews worth writing, and brands benefit from exposure.
Are We Worried that Bad Reviews will Result in Burned Bridges?
Not at all. The thing about bridges is that there are multiple ways to get to any given place. And there are still many other places to visit. Some brands and retailers want nothing to do with us and we still write about their products. Others similarly want nothing to do with us and it frees up our time to write about others products and topics.
Quite simply put, we are most concerned about ToolGuyd’s readers and reputation, not how much any given brand or store likes or dislikes us for what we write. We would rather maintain our integrity and readers’ trust than give in to marketing bullies.
Punitive retaliation is not acceptable in any form against us, and it’s not something we practice either.
You won’t ever see “sponsored” reviews on ToolGuyd. That’s called advertisement in our book. Some publications – even some major ones – have been compromised, and it is blatantly obvious. But not us.
Our readers appreciate our attention to detail and commitment to truth and accuracy, and we believe most brands do as well.
We will never sell away our integrity for what would amount to pennies in the grand scheme of things.
Do you let others upload your YT videos?
No. I might make a rare exception, but generally I do not let others upload TG videos without explicit permission.
No political talk but yet political ads ?
Currently the ads are powered by Google Adsense, which means they sometimes show you ads they think you want to see.
Political ads should NOT be showing. Right now the following categories are blocked: cosmetic procedures, dating, drugs & supplements, get rich quick, politics, references to sex and sexuality, religion, ringtones & downloadables, sexual & reproductive health, weight loss, gambling & betting.
In the past 30-days, 52.6% of ads have been related to building construction & maintenance (mostly hardware and tools related), industrial goods and manufacturing, and home and garden.
I’m not sure what you’re seeing but I’ll file a complaint with Google.
Very good, I understand. It was an ad with Obama’s picture and a vote button, good job : Yes or No. Never looked to see where it went.
Keep up the good work, seems to be more folks commenting these days, congratulations.
Thanks! I’m certainly trying to keep things fresh and informative.
How about total disclosure at the end of a review? As in specifying whether you bought the tool, was loaned it, was loaned by the company, given it by the company, etc.
That policy is already complete; how about adding the cherry on top?
Such information has always been included at the bottom of all reviews*. The font is one-size smaller to differentiate the disclosures from the actual review content.
*Every now and then I do forget but even then I usually catch and correct omissions very quickly. I sometimes leave out details for tools that are purchased out-of-pocket, but have been getting better about that.
I am a firm believer in transparency.
Keep up the hard work, this is still how i get the latest and greatest info on tools without compromised views!!!
Keep up the good work.
While I have little interest in some of what’s being reviewed on your’s and other tool blogs – there is more than enough to keep me coming back to take look fairly often. One observation I’ve made over many years is that there is no perfect tool and that one crew may swear by a particular tool while another crew will only swear at it. Sometimes this is because of diferent applications – but it may just be personal preferences or expectations. What I like about your blog – is that I think I’m getting an honest set of first impressions based on an actual attempt to check the tool out. While this may not be a substitute for long-term use testing – it may be enough to help me decide what (and how many) I might want to purchase to try out – when I’m looking for something to improve productivity, enhance safety etc. The comments you get are also often helpful – but I do see some folks who seem to comment about tools that they probably have never put to use.
Thanks! It can certainly be a challenge at times.
The problem with extended testing is that, beyond the first couple of hours of use, test methods grow increasingly complex and the results less consequential.
I suppose it’s like eating a burger at a new restaurant. The first few bites tell you most about whether it tastes good or not. A few more bites might give your more insight about the flavor. Finishing the burger will give you the best sense of whether you enjoy it or not. Eating another 10 burgers might give you additional insights but for the most part not really.
I also enjoy and occasionally learn from comments. I cannot always respond each and every one, but I do read them all.
It’s not so much about eating more hamburgers – as in your analogy – although testing many samples of the same tool side-by-side might give some insight into quality control. It’s more that many products exhibit failure rates that can be plotted over time and often follow a pattern that is known as a “bathtub curve”. To understand what can be expected on a statistical average you would need to test a statistically significant sample of randomly selected (probably from different production batches) tools over a long enough period to understand how many suffer from “infant mortality” and at what number of hours of typical use the tool wears out from “old age” . If you purchase items as part of a “fleet”(we sometimes buy dozens of tools at a time – but this might not be a statistically significant sample) you can start to get some sense of this phenomenon – and sometimes the “right-out-of-the-box failures are few or non-existant (maybe because of good design and good QA/QC in manufacturing) – and the flat part of the bathtub curve lasts long enough that the fleet of tools are fully amortized before they hit the dustbin. All of this discussion is not to denigrate what you do – or to imply that your doing long-term or fleet testing would be practical – it is just to point out that even the best analyzed first impressions are just that – but are nonetheless quite usefull to this reader.
Along a related vein – looking at tool reviews on sites like Amazon – if you believe the legitimacy of the reviewers – sometimes also provide different perspectives – with patterns emerging over time as more and more comments accumulate. These can also be helpful – as long as you can adequately “read between the lines” and decipher how the comments fit in with your own needs – and whether model changes or manufacturing “improvements” render some of the comments obsolete. Not surprisingly – some comments on the same tool may have widely divergent points of view.
Well, I meant more hamburgers as in using the same sample over and over again to see if the results change. Multiple samples would be like visiting the restaurant numerous times.
I have considered simulating long-term use of a product, but concluded that i) it would be extremely difficult to do, ii) it would not be a reliable measure of what different types of users might experience, iii) a lot of effort would produce very little added value to a majority of readers.
I find nothing offensive or negative about your points and arguments. For that matter I always enjoy your comments and frequently learn something from them. In this case, I’m introduced to the bathtub reliability curve.
Even tools that you haven’t reviewed, but talked about in the comments have come with good, solid info.