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Trades Skills Types


 What Type Are You?

Written by Ralph Mroz

I don’t mean your personality type, or your sexual type, or your astrological type.  Someone you know probably cares about those things, but what I’m referring to is your trades skills type.

Trade Skill Type 1

Are you a homeowner with no background in the trades, who still tackles the occasional DIY project?  You’re a Type 1.

Trade Skill Type 2

Maybe you’re someone who has some skill in one or more trades.  Maybe your family was in the trades; maybe you worked in them summers during school. You know your way around a couple or several of them, but you’re no expert.  You’re competent at a lot of home improvement projects, but you also know when to call in a pro.  You’re a Type 2.

Trade Skill Trade Skill 3

You might be a licensed tradesperson who works in a local shop that gets all kinds of gigs.  One day it’s residential remodeling, another day it’s an industrial job, yet another day you’re doing new home construction.  You’re a Type 3.

Trade Skill Type 4

Or maybe you’re a production professional who does the same job – the same specialty within a trade – every day. For example: a production framer within the carpentry trade. You’re a Type 4.

Trades Skills Types Grid


  Type 1


Unskilled DIYer

Type 2


Skilled DIYer

Type 3


General Pro

Type 4


Production Pro


Works on


Own property


Own property and friends’


Varied clients’ properties


Large developments


Trade background


Little to none


Some to significant







Jobs done


Many trades


Many trades


All aspects of a trade


One aspect of a trade





Ease of task

Save money


Save money

Have fun







Tool Collection









All needed for their specialty


Tool use


Some tools

Seldom used


Varied tools

Used often


Many tools

Used daily


Fewer tools Used continuously


Tool quality needed




Value and good





(c) 2018 Ralph Mroz

Your Trades Skills Type

Your type – your trades skills type– determines the kinds of tools that best suit you.  We’re talking tools of all kinds here:  power tools, hand tools, tool boxes, and so on…even the work clothes that best suit you.

Which Tool Matters?

Does a Type 1 or Type 2 homeowner need a top-of-the-line circular saw?  No, they don’t.  Depending on how much use they will give it, they are best served by inexpensive to moderately-priced models, and features are more important than high-duty-cycle reliability.  Conversely, should a Type 4 production pro save money by buying an inexpensive house-brand tool?  No – that’s false economy.  To them the few features they need and long-term reliability (and probably warranty and service) are the most important things to consider.

Why Does This ALL Matter?

So why does this matter? Who cares what your type is?  Well, you do, and the manufacturers should.  If you believe all the hype, you’d never buy anything but the top-of-the-line tools…because, you know, they’re the best!  But in reality, if you know which segment of the tool-using market you’re in you can make better choices based on the use the tool will get. Manufacturers can probably make even better use of this type segmentation.  If you went into your local tool store and right there on the box it said “For Type 1 and Type 2” or “For Type 2 and Type 3”, the sales process – the process that matches customers to products – would be better and more efficient – for both the consumer and the manufacturer. Retailers can benefit, too.  If they have appropriate buckets into which to put you, they can more easily help you select the right tool.  Think how much smoother, and more satisfactory, if both sides of the sale used this terminology.  You’d walk into a tool store, tell the sales person, “I’m a Type X and I need a (tool)” — you’d both know what you were talking about.

Self-knowledge is a good thing for everyone.

About the Author ~ Ralph Mroz

The son of an electrician, Ralph grew up in the trades, literally with a screwdriver in his hand. He worked various construction jobs summers while in high school and college.  He absorbed enough from the tradesman that were part of and always around his family to renovate the five homes he and his wife have lived in, while always knowing when it was smart to hire a professional.  His favorite tool is the hammer; he really likes hammering nails although he realizes that hardly anyone does anymore.



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