Tough times ahead

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Mark Baker

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I have long held the belief that we have lived in happy times of late regarding the low cost of machines and general tools. Specialist tools have always been that and have a price premium because of the high costs of small production. Yes, that is a contentious statement, but tools have for a long while been costing less on a percentage of income basis than say 10, 20 and 30 years, and way back before that.

Modern production methods have certainly changed our world in many respects. We also have more choice now than we have ever had and that can be daunting when choosing what make to buy. So we have choice, but at what real cost? We are facing times of austerity in government spending and that is going to bite us all in various ways, meaning we have less money to spend in general. And with sales of goods suppressed we are likely to see companies in all spectrums of life struggling.

I have long contested that that the prices of tools have to go up and we have seen some price hikes recently – and I believe we are likely to see more. This will, as with the increases in living costs, have a telling toll on our spending habits and we will, by default, become more selective in what we buy. We are likely to make more jigs and kit ourselves rather than popping out to buy something to do the job.

It is said that necessity is the mother of all invention and we are seeing it here with an increase in the amount of people sending in their homemade jigs and tool ideas.

I, like others, will become more inventive and change the way I work when a tool or machine goes bang, and to be honest, this is no bad thing. It may even highlight out some new ideas for tools, equipment and working methods that have not thought of or fully explored before.

Mark

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