Guide to Antique Tools Value

It might be time to consider antique tools value if you find yourself rummaging around in your garage and come across a rusty old saw that your grandfather gave you years ago.

Antique Tools Value
Like any other type of antique, antique tools value depends on availability and condition. The more common the tool, the less value the tool will have. The better condition the tool is in, the more valuable the tool might be. And, while online auctions tend to even out selling prices nationally, you might find that antique farm tools that originated in the Midwest might fetch better prices in the Northeast and the Southwest than they would have at home. This is simply because there are more of these types of tools readily available in the Midwest than in other parts of the country.

Another factor that can add to the value of antique tools is provenance. Provenance is the story behind the tool. Documentation of who owned the tool, particularly if that person became well-known or was an acknowledged collector, can add to the value of the tool.

Vernon Ward and the Fine Tool Journal developed a rating system for tools that is commonly used today to help establish values. The Fine Tool Journal Classification System rates tools as follows:

  • A new (N) tool doesn't have any wear, doesn't have any rust, has not had any repairs, has all of its original finish, is completely useable and has its original packaging.
  • A fine (F) tool has some minimal wear, hasn't had any repairs, has only trace rust, has at least 90 percent of its original finish and is completely usable.
  • A good + (G+) tool has wear that is appropriate for its age, has only had minor repair or no repairs at all, has light rust, has between 75 and 90 percent of its original finish and is usable.
  • A good (G) tool can be used, has normal to moderate wear, retains 50 to 75 percent of its original finish, has light rust, may have had a minor repair and might have some nicks or scratches.
  • A good - (G-) tool has 30-50 percent of its original finish, can probably be used, has moderate to heavy wear, has been repaired, might have some chips and has moderate rust.
  • A fair (Fr) tool can't be used, has excessive wear, has only retained up to 30 percent of its original finish, has had a major repair and has moderate to heavy rust.
  • A poor (P) tool, can't be used, doesn't have any of its original finish, is damaged and has heavy and excessive wear and rust.

Your rusty old saw may be considered to be in fair to poor condition. This means that it probably would not have a whole lot of value to a tool collector. However, there are people that buy tools simply because they look old and display them in their garages, homes or gardens. You still may be able to get a few bucks from one of them.

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