A recent survey of Tools of the Trade readers offers some revealing insights into tool-buying habits today, along with a few surprises about the state of our industry.

For example, 96 percent of readers surveyed now use the Internet, and 64 percent have viewed Web videos or attended webinars for work-related purposes. A full 81 percent of the tool users said they want to see more tool or product demos online; 72 percent are looking for installation or training videos. Up to 24 percent of our readers are online five to 10 hours each week, while as many as 19 percent log on more than 10 hours a week.

Not surprisingly, almost all the readers canvassed are "active" tool buyers, meaning they are in the market for new tools on a regular basis. As many as 72 percent say they have visited a tool manufacturer's Web site, and 80 percent purchased a tool as a result of reading reviews in Tools of the Trade. Our tool tests, product reviews, and new product information top the list of reasons for reading the magazine.

Sixty-seven percent of our readers have more than 20 years in the construction business, and 39 percent of those have more than 30 years experience.

Nearly a third of those surveyed said they purchase their tools at "big box" home centers. Nineteen percent buy at specialty tool stores, 17 percent through the Internet, and 13 percent at lumberyards or from other suppliers. Over half (51 percent) of our readers spend between $1,000 and $5,000 on tools annually, while 15 percent invest more than $5,000 to retool each year.