What tools to bring to the Philippines

As I trawl round the hardware stores looking for tools and parts I need for my various projects I begin to grumble at the inferior goods on offer. Much of it is second hand, things like compressors get stripped of their accessories to be sold as a second item and more importantly most are well above the price of new equipment. I don’t mind buying second hand but I don’t want to be paying more than something is worth especially when its going to cost more than it would do new. Things like re-spraying equipment and selling as new is common practice. There is no standard in fact I was in Gaisano mall a few months back and came across a children’s slide sold as new which was worn in from the amount of use it had by its previous owner.

So best advice I can give is bring things in piece by piece slowly. There are many food items missing from the Philippines as well so I often ship in things like Beans and sausage, Frey Bentos pies etc. And throwing the odd tool in each box isn’t really going to bother anyone. But I just wanted to put my wish list together as no doubt you will be wanting the same!

A compressor is currently at the top of our list as it offers multiple uses from spray painting, air for tyres as well as the additional tools such as air nailers, ratchets, sanders etc. The Philippines has terrible electricity that often spikes and suffers with low voltages. This has caused several of my tools to stop working completely due to electrical damage from the mains. Installing an AVR (Auto Voltage Regulator) could help address the situation except I have 4 buildings and not all in the same area. So having an AVR on the compressor would be a sensible option as everything attached to it has Air not electric. I would recommend getting the bigger unit over small due to noise levels every time it needs air pumping also check the pressure that its suitable for the air tools you want to use. How much is something like this locally? P12,000+ with NO ATTACHMENTS so you can see why bringing in your own which is also brand new makes sense.

A sander is also a piece of equipment worth bringing in purely because of quality. I see unbranded cheap sanders here for the same price as a DeWalt which is a bit irritating when even if you find DeWalt here its often fake and obvious ones at that due to the different colour of the the units as the dye hasn’t matched the originals.

Having a good sander isn’t only handy for projects around the house but it also comes in handy for any refurb work to save time rubbing down and at less than $60 well worth buying.

Even a cheap table saw has its value as you can see this one is $130 but one I am currently looking at here which isn’t much better is P18,000 the reason I need it is that I am looking to construct our own kitchens as well as hopefully sell a few to people we know who are developing properties so can sort of justify the cost as it will take 2 months to bring one from the UK. Also the 10” blade on this one does limit its uses but for the hobbyist is perfect and even a craftsman most jobs will accommodate.

Why aren’t there any cordless drills on the list? The reason being I brought several already and the voltages in the Philippines has damaged the battery packs. They were DeWalt and Makiti tools which to say I am annoyed about is an understatement as they cost around £500 all together and now just junk. I would go with Air or a cheap electrical drill if you can get away with it otherwise you will need an AVR to protect the battery and charger. I do have a bigger wish list but have managed to obtain drawings and plans of how to make a lot of the things I need. A wood turning lathe, scroll saw, bandsaw, thicknesser/planer so will do with the stuff in the pictures for now but hopefully within 18 months should have a full woodworking shop churning out various things. The odd thing is there are skilled people here yet everyone seems to by inferior Chinese and Japanese surplus rather than crafted goods which is why I am looking at things that “make sense” e.g. building beds, kitchens etc. that will be cheaper if not the same price of the inferior imported junk. On top of that once setup the container home projects will be a lot easier to do.

Important last note to all DONT LET ANYONE USE YOUR TOOLS!! if you go to the hassle of setting things up keep people away from your gear as generally locals do not care about damaging things on top of that if they break it they won’t replace it so simply tell them to go elsewhere as your neither a charity or a hire shop!

0 comments for “What tools to bring to the Philippines

  1. david
    February 17, 2011 at 3:43 am

    thats a great tool list. wow the brown outs must play haveck on stuff. i follow pinoyboats alot. and most go to sulit alot. most of them also say that the chinese stuff is cheap. and breaks easy. here i usually buy cheap tools. but the bonus part is that they do include brush’es for the motor. so that extends to more life abit. for me a wish list woud be a planer and a table saw. but if i had a choise i’d go table saw. that wil be a big cost item. if you want a good one. the up side is it should last a life time. and it will build many thing’s not just boats.

  2. Tropicalpenpals
    February 17, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Hi David,
    agree table saw is on the list and I am looking at one locally purely because I could do with it today. Planer I already have but the electric is a major issue here and back in the UK I used to have a 3phase Morticer,thicknesser,planer and table saw in one even though it was over 25 years old and made the lights dim when it got up to speed it was good for another 70 years.. problem is most of the gear these days is lucky to last 5.

  3. Steve
    February 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the list……at least I now know what I should get!