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Before You Buy Tools, 10 Things to Know

Posted by Mike Lauritsen on

You should LOVE the tools you’re using.

You’ll be using these tools for hours at a time for several years on a project that’s costing you tens of thousands of dollars.

Good tools account for about 5% of the total cost of your project.

When “saving” on cheaper tools, remember that 90% of the cost of a project is your time. We often hear, “I wasted so much time with XYZ-tool! Yours works like a dream!”

Get a buddy who’s done it before.

People who have built an airplane before have been through the exciting and sometimes frustrating step of getting everything set up. If you need connected to a builder in your area, use VansAirforce.net, check with the EAA and call us.

Free shipping is actually expensive.

Free shipping offers mean you’re paying for it in the tool price. We ship your tools based on your needs—fast or cheap. If we do offer free shipping it’s because we messed up and it’s the right thing to do.

You get what you pay for in aviation.

It’s hard to take calls from customers who have paid money for cheap tools and now have to spend the money twice. Ouch. See #2 for some context.

Service and support are included from us.

Call and talk to the people who sell you the tools and equipment for your project. You’re going to put up to 2,000 hours into a build and we can help you know what to ask.

Your tool kit should be customizable.

Every builder and shop has different needs. You may need more equipment down the road or maybe less up front. We change our kit to fit your needs.

There are 14,000 dimples on a flush rivet Van’s RV, so use the highest-quality dies.

We could talk specs about geometry, springback technology... however, just read one of many discussions about our dimple dies on VansAirforce.net.

Tank dies are not a myth.

We made them specifically to account for the layer of tank sealant, which requires a deeper dimple to create a flush rivet. We like the way they work. We are perfectionists. We don’t develop tools that we don’t believe in and use ourselves.

Enjoy the process.

We will do all we can to get you what you need for your project.

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