Choose wood- or coated metal-handled tools – they are the best value for money

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Wood-handled tools are strong, but not too heavy. Look for handles with a close and tight grain, that have not been painted – painting can be a sign of inferior wood cover-up. Look for Ash or Hickory (they are the most durable), but avoid Douglas Fir. Avoid fiberglass and tubular steel handles – they are much more expensive, and heavy, and really only needed by professionals. Although catch-phrases can be confusing, words like “single-forged,” “solid socket,” “stainless steel” and “tempered” are generally good indicators of quality tools.

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