A Better Spear

I think many people – probably myself included – don’t appreciate the difference an improved toolset can make in the performance of tasks you truly care about.

While “it’s a poor craftsman that blames his tools” is true to a degree, it’s undeniably a union. All hammers aren’t the same. Every time I’ve made a small but reasonable investment into a better tool for something I do frequently, it’s made enormous improvements.

I camp regularly; getting a good pair of boots was worth many times the price. The same ended up being true when I upgraded my cold-weather gear in general. For household projects, my “suburban dad” toolset is extremely decent and works great. Even things like a better chair can improve your writing.

I think you should only ever buy two kinds of tools for any given task. Type 1: the absolute cheapest available. Buy that when you aren’t even sure if you want to do the task yet – you want to learn it, have a low-risk way to make mistakes, and get a sense for what improvements you’d like to see. Type 2: The very best available. Buy that once you know that you’ll be doing the task many more times for an extended portion of your life – buy the best once.

Skip everything in between.

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