Buying and selling vintage tools online is difficult. Unless you have the right pictures at the right angles, you'll have no idea what to expect. When it comes to older tools, often they've been sitting in garages or barns for a time, they've been manhandled, forgotten, and abused. All of that can be difficult to condense into a description to sell online, so it can be helpful to come up with a 'grading scale' to use for these old tools. Things that have been better kept are worth more, but keep in mind that we are not collectors asking collector prices. We use these tools on a near-daily basis and teach all of our students to do the same, and our pricing is heavily based on usability. We won't sell a tool that we don't believe can be used.

Below you will find the Fine Tool Journal's classification system. We try to abide by it.

Category Usability Finish Wear Repair Surface Misc.
New Totally Metal - 100% Wood - As mfg'd None None Metal - no rust Wood - surface smooth, edges sharp "+" indicates original pkg
Fine Totally Metal - 90-100% Wood - 80% original or old finish Minimal None Metal - trace of rust, some dark patina o.k. Wood - surface smooth, edges slightly rounded Makers marks, if present, clear and easily legible
Good+ Yes - may need tuning Metal - 75-90% Well patinated appearance Normal Minor or none Metal - light rust Wood - minor surface stress, edges good A few dings and/or scratches are o.k.
Good Yes - may need serious tuning Metal - 50-75% Wood - pleasing patination, may have some stains Normal to moderate Minor, but correct Metal - light rust, some minor pitting Wood - minor chips, shrinkage cracks This category represents average, as found condition
Good- Probably Metal - 30-50% Wood - some patination; staining or discoloration prominent. Refinished Moderate to heavy Correct Metal - moderate rust, moderate pitting Wood - warping, chips, minor splitting This category definitely indicates a problem, although the general integrity is o.k.
Fair Probably not Metal - 0-30% Wood - extreme discoloration, poor refinishing Excessive Major, improper or missing parts Metal - moderate to heavy rust, serious pitting Wood - warped, split, large chunks out, major cracks Normally not suitable to add to a collection, may be good for parts
Poor No n/a Excessive Damaged, missing major parts Metal - heavy rust, major pitting Wood - rot, rough surface, glued splits Only useful for parts or raw materials for the repair of better condition tools.