Tool Longevity

Tool manufacturers have been somewhat of a mystery to me for many years. Having used many of their tools, I have noticed some peculiar things about them. There are tools out there that, I am sure, have taken their design teams months, if not years, to develop. Then after only a couple of months of use, screws have gone missing, something has loosened or parts have broken. With spares almost impossible to locate, this expensive tool is all but unusable. This tool was manufactured to high standards, and worked very well at what it was supposed to do. Unless you were the only one using it and took exquisite care while using it, it should have lasted an eternity.

As another example, this particular tool was inexpensive, it had all the criteria you needed and flaws you decided you could work with. Only, after using it for a while, you realize that the manufacturer had made a bad choice in fastener or washer, the tool lost its accuracy and then was finally rendered unusable. If the manufacturers had actually studied their choices of fasteners or washers when they built these tools, they would have found replacements far more suitable, they would not have increased the price of the tool, and the tool would have been useful for many years.

Is it planned obsolescence, is it lack of insight by the manufacturers or maybe they’re simply not concerned with how the users of their products deal with these shortcomings. This could be because, either they feel their product is good enough to sell on looks alone or that on some unknown basis, there’s no other product out there that will compete with them.

In Comparison ARC MASTER products are built to last.



The radius gauges fold down to approx. 5.5” x 16”, and because of this, I added notches on the contact arms to be used as indicators to ensure the arms are fully extended.

2Radius Gauge

Radius Gauges

The fasteners I use for the hinges are semi-tubular rivets, smooth from top to bottom to reduce friction and wear, and are .002” smaller than the hole they’re in, to reduce any unwanted motion. There are nylon washers on all sides to provide smooth frictionless action.