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January 26, 2006

Chicks and Tools

And_loving_it_small Cool new female figures (not the kind at the gym):

Canadian women will make $30 billion in home-improvement decisions this year.

- Business Edge Magazine

·        This year, 80% of women plan on doing some home-improvement project, and 75% of them will do it themselves

·        Women initiate 80% of all home improvement projects

(Lowe’s study, 2005)

·        Single women are the fastest-growing group of home buyers; single women now purchase 1 in 5 homes (twice the rate of single men, who purchase 1 in 10 homes), and 57% of single women own their own homes.

·        Women influence purchase decisions in 80% of home improvement sales

·        According to a 2003 Ryobi survey, nearly 90% of women polled said they would be happy to receive a power tool for Mother’s Day.

·        In 2003 at amazon.com’s hardware site, Mother’s Day sales of power tools equaled Father’s Day sales.

(Home Improvement Research Institute)

·        According to a Home Depot poll, 80 percent of women said they planned to do some type of home-improvement project in the next 12 months.

·        Sixty-eight percent of the women said they would prefer to spend leisure time working on a home-improvement job rather than shopping.

·        65% of women undertake home improvement projects, compared to 75% of men. 

·        Women’s attitudes toward home improvement are as positive as men’s attitudes.

(Mintel International Group Ltd.)

Women and Tools

·        83% of women said that working with tools makes them feel independent; 50% said it makes them feel empowered.  Only 3% said it makes them feel unattractive.

·        87% admire home repair proficiency in other women; 48% admire home repair proficiency MORE than fashion sense, investment acumen, career success or homemaking skills in other women.

·        Three out of five women (60%) would rather receive an hour of advice from Bob Vila than Dr. Phil

·        69% of female homeowners consider themselves at least somewhat handy

·        61% of female homeowners enjoy home maintenance and repair projects

(Sears Roebuck and Co – Women and Home Ownership study – July 2004


Blake Keithley

Nice column. It does bring up one of my pet peeves, "Women's Tools".

For the life of me I do not understand the concept of "women's tools" I happened to sell tools for a home center for 4 years and a tool store for a year. To the best of my knowledge a nail or a screw is unable to tell if it is being pounded or torqued by a male or female tool. The home center even had a program that had women selling women, "women's tools". This happened to feature a cheap brand and cheap lines in that brand of tools. Tools that with limited use would last just past the warranty date, had no power, making the work experience un enjoyable.

Women do not help. When asking for tools there is common theme I don't need a tool that powerful or that expensive or "my husband, S/O has those tools". At times it could be frustrating as well as rewarding. It took me 50 minutes one time to upgrade a woman $20 dollars to a professional cordless drill that was being clearanced. A month later I was able to ask her how she liked her drill. The corresponding smile and product endorsement was worth it.

The answers to all those myths that perpetuate the larger myth of "womens tools" are these.

Women are entitled to buy quality just as much as men. Just because your a woman does not mean you have to buy cheap tools that will not make your work enjoyable and then break making your purchase value less. Do not let people rip you off with cheap products because' You are a "woman"

Buying quality tools that will make your projects easier makes your project enjoyable and builds your confidence. Let's face it nobody likes to work. We all want to have fun. It is human nature.

I once sold a professional router to a woman who was making round tables. At the end of the presentation I was told If that was the router I suggested that would be it because " you sold me my Bosch Jigsaw and that's the best purchase i have ever made" The sabre saw project went well and she moved onto bigger projects. Now had she been roped into a " women's tool" She probaly would not have had a good time and just quit.

Women can do any project men can. A picnic table does not know or care who builds it. A co worker one time thanked me for selling his wife a Porter Cable biscuit joiner. At the time it was a 100 dollar upgrade from the "homeowners" tool she was going to buy. She then built her own kitchen cabinets and saved the family about 5k dollars or more. That was a 100 dollars well spent.

If your refinishing furniture or saving period molding you can do it all by hand and spend weeks of arm breaking labor doing it or you could spend about 100 bucks for a good detail sander, have a blast and save all that time to have more fun.

Time is a primary reason to buy good tools. I once stopped to admire a tradesman's mostly hand built portable table saw/miter saw set up. He could rip sheets by himself, set up two routers to make cabinet doors or shape molding. It featured a 17 year old professional miter saw that was still keeping, keeping on.

Now a tradesman like that can take a cheap tool and because of years of experience make it work and get the project done. For us mere mortals we don't have that kind of experience base and we have a limited amount of time. We mere mortals need tools that work, and make our job easier because we primarily work on the weekends. Days saved are actually weeks saved.(and in bathroom remodels that's very important).

"My husband, S/O has those tools"


When buying tools women should: Not sell themselves short; Not Let Anybody Else Tell Them They Do Not Need Quality Tools Because Of Their Gender; Shop for comfortable quality tools; keep an eye out for clearenced professional tools.

Tools and their use have separated man from the other animals for millenia. Tools are not gender specific. So buy good tools and go have a great time!

The comments to this entry are closed.


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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie