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Get good tools : 49/100

Yesterday I wrote about getting a new tool: the Rogue Hoe 55 HR. This thing is made for making trails and it does a really good job. Today I used it for a while in the morning before work and again after work. In 2 hours of work I was able to cover the length of Kiss of Cactus a quarter mile loop.

The difference that the Rogue Hoe makes is startling. This first photo is of a section of trail where there is a fork. Even for me it is hard to see where the trails are:

Where’s the trail?

This second photo shows one trail to the left of the fork pretty much done. The trail to the right is started but still needs some work:

Found it!

Here is another section of trail that has been updated with the Rogue Hoe:

The reason for bringing this up is not just to show off my trail but also to talk about buying good tools. There’s nothing quite like a bad or broken tool making a job feel tedious and even dangerous. Before I bought the Rogue Hoe I had bought some ok tools. My metal rake is not a cheap piece of junk, but it is no Rogue Hoe.

My first lasting experience with this was when I got my first job out of college. I was working at the local newspaper handling the layout. My job was to build the newspaper based on the ads they had sold. I would then layout the ads and send the files to the printer. It was a pretty fun job but what I learned was why people in the printing world used Macs. They just worked.

This was in 2000 so before Mac OSX came along. While you couldn’t have multiple programs running at the same time the programs you did run worked. When you are laying out a hundred pages with a deadline you don’t want to deal with a crash.

At home I had a computer running Windows 98, and it crashed almost non stop. It was a very frustrating experience. One thing I noticed at the paper was that there was almost never a crash and no one was rebooting their computer. I was dumbfounded.

Then I bought my first Mac and haven’t looked back. This year marks 20 years I have owned a Mac and it has only gotten better. Yes it costs more than a PC but it works and its fast, and did I mention it works?

My wife is a Windows database developer. When her PC laptop died a few years ago I suggested she give a Mac Pro a try. That was over 5 years ago and she isn’t looking back either.

To a lot of people we are part of the Apple Fanboi culture, and part of that is true. However the biggest part is that we both earn a living using our home computers. We need to have dependable fast machines that get the job done. I may enjoy working with computers but I do not enjoy working on them.

Circling back to the Rogue Hoe and buying quality tools: I could have gotten a similar tool on Amazon for less than half of what I spend on the Rogue Hoe. Would I have been happy? Probably. I would not have known any better so I would have gotten on with things. However having now used a Rogue Hoe I understand why my friend recommended one. Its a tool made for being used all day. Its well balanced and just works.

Does this mean we should only buy the best and most expensive tools? No it does not! Personally I don’t want to spend anymore than I have to. However there are times when it makes sense to spend some extra money and get the good quality tool. Determining when it is that time is dependent on you, your budget, and how important the job is that needs the tool.

Workout Details

I worked on trails for 2 hours.

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