With the tagline of “the ultimate manuals library,” it’s got a lot to live up to. The site claims to have almost 2 million PDF format manuals for 1.4+ million products; and users can upload new/missing docs when they create an account (or use Facebook sign-in). The real reason to consult it: it’s got the goods. I found all five product manuals I wanted here with a search—even the obscure snow thrower. It should be your first stop when you go looking for a manual, even before the manufacturer’s website.
This bare-bones site has a Google-esque approach, saying to “search your device brand and model” in the initial search box. It was able to find the instructions for one of my items—the Epson Scanner—and that was it.
This site makes it clear up front you can upload manuals; there’s also an easy-to-navigate manufacturers list right on the front page. The problem is, it threw a lot of errors during what should be simple searches. Narrowing things down using the listings by manufacturer helps, but takes longer, and still didn’t lead to the products on my list. I found the scanner again, but that was it for specific matchups.
Packed dense on the home page like a news site more than a database of user instructions, User-Manuals.com also allows account creation, mostly because it has an e-commerce component, trying to sell you user manuals. While that means typically getting a perfect digital version—not just a scanned-in bunch of pages—it’s pricey to pay $4.99 to $7.99 for a book you didn’t think enough about to keep in the first place. Plus, I found none of my items in the listings here.
ManualsOnline.com is when the sites start to look professionally put together. The site claims to have 650,000 owner manuals from all the top brands in its database. You can search by category, even join to create an account (or log in with Facebook credentials) so accessing your most-used manuals is easier in the future. And while the search results are nice in showing a quick thumbnail of the first page of the manual, I still only found one out of the five items with search.