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Our Methodology

The start of each new project is always exciting, especially if you have a brand-new set of tools to try out. At Don’t Waste Your Money, we know that hardware stores are jam packed with products that can make your next project smooth sailing. Our goal is to narrow down the selection to the absolute best in each subcategory so that you can get started as quickly as possible.

Effectiveness is only one of many factors making a tool useful. If you’re buying a new cordless drill, you’ll want to know that it will get the job done, of course. That means knowing as much as possible about the project you’re tackling to ensure it meets your most immediate need. But you’ll also wonder how long the battery will last on a full charge, as well as how long overall that battery will last before you’ll have to replace it with a new one.

There’s also the convenience of the items you’re interested in buying in the tools category. If you’re purchasing a drill set, for instance, a bag to store it in can come in handy. For items that use a power cord, you’ll want information on just how far that cord will reach, which will help you know if it will work with your current work setup.

Durability is an important factor in tools, and our review team pays particular attention to how long a product will last. This is especially true of pricier products where you’ll want to make sure your investment will pay off. Our team not only looks at a tool’s build to get that information, but we also research reviews from customers who have had a tool for a lengthy timeframe in order to ensure a product not only works right out of the box, but also will work two, three or even five years down the line.

Our goal with each product we review is to get as full a picture as possible to make it easy for you to make a decision. We not only consider our own well-informed opinions on these products, but we also look at what other expert reviewers are saying. In addition to checking in with customers on the longevity of specific products, we also consider their advice on how a product works, factoring it in with the other information we gained while researching a tool.

When you visit our site, you’ll see the top four products in each subcategory to help you narrow down your options. If you’re searching for the best tool storage option, for example, you can choose from the various subcategories within the tool section of our site and decide whether you want a cabinet, toolbox, bag or bin. Under cabinets, you’ll find the top four products we determined to be the best in that subcategory, and you can look at each of those items to decide which bets fits your own needs.

By trusting Don’t Waste Your Money as a reliable research tool, you can save time in your search for the perfect products for your upcoming do-it-yourself projects. Instead of spending your weekends in the aisles at your local hardware store, you can find exactly what you want and have it on hand, which means spending your weekends getting things done, rather than gathering resources to get started.

Our Trusted Process

Whether you’re shopping for a hammer or a sawhorse, there’s no shortage of manufacturers interested in winning your business. That means the relevant aisle at your local hardware store is filled with products. But too many choices can be overwhelming, making it tough to know if you’re making the best choice for your upcoming projects.

That’s where Don’t Waste Your Money steps in to help. Our team of more than 20 investigative journalists thoroughly review up to 15 products in each subcategory. That means we’re looking at numerous drills, wet-dry vacuums, screwdrivers, benches and whatever other product you might be buying to create a section on our site that helps you. In addition to our own independent research, we also read a variety of other expert reviews, as well as customer feedback, on a specific product before we issue a rating.

The rating we issue for each product is numerical, based on a range from 1 to 10. We search not only top consumer-oriented sites, but also niche specialty sites for certain products, weighing ratings based on the reviewer’s credentials. After gathering those scores, we select the top four in each subcategory and present those to you, the consumer eager to get started on your next project.

The sites we visit as part of our research include the manufacturers’ sites, well-known consumer publications, and smaller sites that have a very specialized expertise. This helps us locate hardware experts who know what goes into making a sturdy, reliable tool. Our score represents the most comprehensive view of a product we can get in order to make sure you have all the information you need.

To make it even easier for you, our expert team also awards two distinctions in each subcategory. One product is awarded Best Overall, while another is named Best Bang for Your Buck. You may still want to use your own personal preferences to choose from those four, but at least you’ll see what our reviewers think so that you can make a more informed decision.

In addition to the Best Bang for Your Buck and Best Overall awards, we also have a Don’t Waste Your Money Seal of Approval. When you see this seal on a product anywhere on our site, you can proceed with confidence, knowing of all the products we’ve tested, those are the ones we’ve found to be the best. This can further help speed up your section process, possibly even giving you some new ideas for tools to add to your collection.

When you visit Don’t Waste Your Money before purchasing a product, you’ll know you’re getting the best information possible. Our goal is to put our expertise to use to help you, whether you’re working on a specific project or you’re building a tool collection for whenever you might need to repair something around the house.