Are Aldi Workzone and Ferrex tools any good?
Aldi (like Lidl) is a strange store. Not content with simply offering cut price groceries, if you manage to walk out of the store without a brand new HD TV, a WIFI-extending double power socket, and an inflatable dingy in your bag with your 17 tins of bakes beans, you’ve got more resolve than I.
The middle aisle, as it is known, is a constantly rotating stock of goodies available at bargain prices. With everything from baby toys to inverter generators, it’s not a surprise to see it often has a wide range of tools under their Workzone and Ferrex brands available to buy.
The problem with this is you can’t just pop to Aldi anytime to pick up the random orbit sander you want, instead you have to wait for it to reappear, and pick it up before they sell out. This has improved somewhat recently with the introduction of their e-commerce store, which lets you pre-order items, and tends to have stock for longer than the brick and mortar stores, but this also operates on the principle of when it’s gone, it’s gone, so if you miss it, you’ll need to wait until they feature it again.
There’s also no grantee that the drill they’re selling next week is the same one they sold last year, because Workzone and Ferrex are what’s know as private (or phantom) brands. These are brands owned not by a manufacturer or producer but by a retailer or supplier who gets its goods made by a contract manufacturer under its own label. As such, The Ferrex power screwdriver you purchased last week was likely manufactured by an entirely different company to the table saw you’re going to buy next week.
Often times it’s easy to see who the manufacturer of a product is (it will sometimes have this information available in the small print on the box), and other times it’s obvious who it might be, so you’re able to do a direct price comparison, and check the reviews of the product on sites like Amazon before you part with your cash.
But, are Workzone and Ferrex tools any good? In my opinion, the answer is yes.
As a new maker with limited budget, I’ve purchased my fair share of tools from Aldi (13 at last count, as you can see from my tools list), and so far I’ve only had a problem with one of them.
The tool in question was a Ferrex band saw, with the problem relating to the saw blade refusing to stay in place, and slipping off as soon as it started to turn. So far as I can tell, I was simply unfortunate, as I have used someone else’s Aldi band saw (which worked perfectly), and around nine-out-of-ten reviews on their own site were positive, so I guess I just got a dodgy one.
But not to fear, because in addition to their 3 year warranty, they offer a 30 day money back guarantee, and had no problem immediately refunding my money. I would have ordered another one with the refund, but seeing as I’d purchased it with money I didn’t really have, I decided I’d wait until next year.
Now, please understand that a £30 drill from Aldi isn’t going to compare with a £300 one from a brand like DeWalt. But they’re not really aimed at the same people, and for someone like me, who is a weekend woodworker and DIYer, I’m very happy to recommend Aldi’s Workzone and Ferrex products.