Power Tool Warranties and Guarantees

The subject of warranties and guarantees can be confusing for many buyers. They sound very similar but they are not exactly the same thing. Either one of them can apply to a product or both can apply and that depends on what the manufacturer offers at the time of purchase. In most cases they will offer a warranty and this is usually for a fixed period such as one year, two years etc.

Warranties typically cover only parts and what is termed workmanship. It does not cover accidental damage or normal wear and tear. Essentially a manufacturer is saying that they will guarantee the parts of your drill, and how it was assembled, but that is all. I think it is just important to understand the differences between the two especially when it comes to buying your drill, or any power tool.

What Is A Warranty?

According to Wikipedia, a warranty is:

In contract law, a warranty has various meanings but generally means a guarantee or promise[1] which provides assurance by one party to the other party that specific facts or conditions are true or will happen. This factual guarantee may be enforced regardless of materiality[2] which allows for a legal remedy if that promise is not true or followed.

Although a warranty is in its simplest form an element of a contract, some warranties run with a product so that a manufacturer makes the warranty to a consumer with which the manufacturer has no direct contractual relationship.

So if for example you bought your drill at a store, then you have certain rights for dealing with that product, if something goes wrong with it through the store. The warranty however is with the actual manufacturer and has nothing to do with the store. Most manufacturers now include leaflets with their products, advising you to fill in an online registration form so as you are protected under their warranty. That is something that we would recommend everyone does as it gives you a proper coverage.

Say for example the manufacturer offered a 3-year warranty and after a few months your drill stopped working. You could not bring that back to the store, but providing you had registered, you could send it back to the manufacturer as it is still under warranty for parts. That is why it is vital to make sure you register your product online when you get it home.

Extended Warranties

Almost all manufacturers offer what are termed extended warranties and these simple extend the number of years the warranty will apply. These can be expensive and we would only recommend considering these if you have purchased a very expensive drill. Most drills will last for 3-5 years depending on the amount of use or indeed abuse they get. Before making any decision on this, you should look at the customer service offered by manufacturers. We have done an article on this which you can read by clicking here.

We are not legal experts so we can not offer advice on warranty issues. What we do recommend though is to carefully read the small print. Different manufacturers have different terms and conditions on their warranties, so the devil is in the detail.

What Is A Guarantee?

Again according to Wikipedia a guarantee is:

Guarantee is a legal term more comprehensive and of higher import than either warranty or “security”. It most commonly designates a private transaction by means of which one person, to obtain some trust, confidence or credit for another, engages to be answerable for him. It may also designate a treaty through which claims, rights or possessions are secured.

As you can see the terminology used in a guarantee is different to that used in a warranty. The precise definition of this varies quite a lot from country to country and also from state to state. This used to be a popular term but that has now been replaced with having a warranty rather than an actual guarantee. With a warranty Manufacturers can cover off what they are responsible for which is the parts of a drill and how it was constructed an put together.

The bottom line when buying a product is first of all to understand your statutory rights under consumer law. These will always stand above any types of guarantees or warranties. Then check out the actual manufacturer and read their warranty offer and exactly what it covers.

Enda McLarnon
 

Enda McLarnon is now retired and is now enjoying writing about his love of power tools. All types of these tools are now available and they make working on projects and DIY jobs around the home a great deal of fun