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Why Buy Used Woodworking Machines when you could Buy New?

Whether you’re starting a woodshop or a commercial woodworking facility, you’d like to buy most of your machinery new, right? After all, isn’t starting a new venture the best time to buy new machinery? For those who think so, thousands of dollars in machinery debt—and sometimes more—can be accumulated before a production line makes its first spindle. In today’s economy, this is considered risky investing. But isn’t buying used woodworking machines risky as well? Wouldn’t the dependability of new machines make them a wiser investment? It depends of what grade of machinery you need: light commercial grade, or industrial grade.

Industrial Woodworking Machines Versus Light Commercial Grade Machines

The biggest difference between industrial and light commercial grade machinery is price, with the former being significantly more expensive. But there’s a reason behind its expense. Unlike light commercial machinery whose useful lifespan often expires after a few years, industrial machinery can retain its usefulness for decades; a fact supported by the sale floor at most any industrial woodworking machinery reseller. But exactly how much can you save when buying used?

The most expense tools to buy new are also the most expensive to buy used. But, given the reliability of industrial machinery, buying used often results in getting new machine quality at a used machine price. So, a large CNC router with four cutter heads for advanced speed and accuracy that could easily cost you $200,000 new could cost $100,000, or less, used. Doesn’t sound like a good deal? Consider that a six-figure discount can make a big impact on a beginning company’s bottom line. And receiving the discount while buying a machine you can’t do without makes the reward even greater.

How to Get the Best Deal on Used Woodworking Machinery

It’s one thing to point up the advantages of buying industrial woodworking machinery used, and another thing to purchase quality used machinery. Industrial machines retain their usefulness long-term, but they can still succumb to improper use and infrequent maintenance. To ensure that you receive the machine you need and not a lemon, it’s best to observe the following four steps:

(1) Buy from a Professional Seller of Used Woodworking Machinery

This means avoiding machines sold by eBay merchants that can’t be verified as reputable sellers, and avoiding machines sold at auctions and business liquidations. Unless you have the expertise to evaluate a machine’s interior and exterior quality indicators, it’s best to buy from someone who does.

(2) Don’t Buy From Sellers that Have a Poor Record at the Better Business Bureau

Often, a seller’s record at the Better Business Bureau indicates its true attitude toward its customers. Companies that have unresolved customer complaints generally don’t put their customers first, while those that promptly resolve customer complaints usually do.

(3) Make Sure that a Machine has a Spotless Maintenance Record

Nothing wears out a woodworking machine quicker than poor maintenance. Until you find machinery that comes with an official service record that shows its proper maintenance, refrain form making a purchase.

(4) Inspect a Machine Firsthand Before Buying it

Because web and magazine photos show you a machine’s best vantage points, conducting a firsthand inspection is valuable for assessing its general state of wear.

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