In this blog post:
I discuss the basic tools every modeler/gamer will likely need (or you'll end up with them eventually). However, I didn't mention the vast variety and disparity you can find when searching for these hobby tools.
A common mistake amongst new modelers/gamers is that they frequently buy hobby tools from the manufacturer of their chosen game(s). This is frequently a HUGE mistake. It's normally because the newer gamer isn't aware of the market.
General rule: Do not buy branded hobby supplies from the manufacturer of your chosen game.
Let's look at the Games Workshop hobby knife.
A quick glance and the casual gamer will say "Hmmm, looks an awful lot like a run-of-the-mill X-acto knife." It even uses X-acto branded blades.
X-Acto is "the" name in craft knives. Has been for decades. They're nothing special, but they're reliable and they work.
X-Acto Knife Cost: $3.40-$5.20 (depending on retailer)
Games Workshop Knife Cost: $32
Yep, you read that right. $32.00 USD. For an X-Acto knife which is available for almost 10% of the cost. X-Actos can be purchased in large sets with numerous handles and dozens of blades for $20-25.00.
How about the pin-vice drill --- a common tool which uses various bits to allow you to hand drill small holes into models (for all types of purposes).
The Games Workshop branded drill? $26 USD. Available from other retails, all day long (yep, on Amazon) for between $7-12 dollars.
Games Workshop "PVA Glue"? News for ya...it's Elmer's Glue (and is not quite as good as something like Elmer's Wood Glue Max - my preferred glue). Pay $8 USD for 4 oz. from GW or $12-13 for a gallon from Elmers.
In closing, if you're new to the hobby, do not pay extra for something just because it has a brand name on the label. This is the usual retail trickery and you get nothing better for your money. This is an easy way to throw out a lot of money for no reason. I picked on Games Workshop here because they're one of the most egregious practictioners - but you'll find the same stuff from many companies. Skip all that nonsense, find the type of product you need and do a little research. Your hobby tools will last you 10-15 years if treated well, so just look a bit harder before you plunk down the cash!