Saturday, January 9, 2010

How Tools Are Rated

I've developed this simple system for rating train tools.

A tool is rated by:
  • Skill Level
  • Utility
  • Hazard Level
  • Cost
Skill Level:

  • B = Beginner Modelers.  These are usually primary tools like screwdrivers.
  • I = Intermediate Modelers.  This is a tool that requires some skill like an airbrush.
  • A = Advanced Modelers.  This is something that takes great skill such as a lathe.
 Usefulness of the Tool:
  1. Mandatory - included in a beginner's toolbox
  2. Highly Desirable - most every model railroader has one
  3. Desirable - if you have a layout or build lots of models, you should have one
  4. Convenient - more specialized; for scratchbuilders, large layouts, scale specific, etc.
  5. Specialty - only used for very special and limited applications
Hazard Level:

     A.  Not hazardous
     B. Minimal hazard unless intentionally misued
     C. Hazardous if accidently misused and may require common safety equipment
     D. Very hazardous - must use caution and safety equipment and/or procedures
     E. Extremely hazardous - maybe hazardous even when using extreme caution

Cost of the Tool:

  • $ = less than $5.00
  • $$ = between $5 and $25
  • $$$ = between $25 and $50
  • $$$$ = between $50 and $100
  • $$$$$ = over $100
The rating for a tool will be shown in the Title such as:

Airbrush I3D$$$$

I for Intermediate level modeler
3 for level of usefulness, desirable
D for very hazardous, mostly because of the flammable paints that can be used
$$$$ for a cost of $50 to $100

If you don't agree with a rating that I give a tool, I'm glad to discuss it!  I'm always interested in your input and glad to change a rating that doesn't make sense.

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