More in Power Tools

The Value of Old Tools

Help with figuring what old tools are worth


I own a ½-inch electric drill that belonged to my father. I'm 72 years young now, so the drill isn't exactly new. It still works, but does it have any monetary value?
-Thomas Mealey, Atkinson, N.H.


Kevin O'Connor replies: I found lots of information on the Internet about collecting, restoring, and valuing hand tools, but not much in that vein about power tools. I guess they just don't have the cachet of, say, a colonial spokeshave. Maybe they will some day.

You can get quick feedback about the worth of a tool by seeing what similar tools are selling for on Internet auction sites like eBay. Online forums that focus on old tools, such as, are another good place to look for answers. So is the Smithsonian Institution, which knows a thing or two about collectibles. Its website,, contains plenty of ideas and resources for determining the value of old objects.


TV Listings

Find TV Listing for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.