The Best New Tools 2009: Winner's List

The last newsletter of 2009 had a piece on the “Best New Tools” for the year. The list was of the runners-up , seven tools in all , not the actual winning tools of the year. That list is included in our December 2009 issue (#180) and yes, we hope you order a copy of the magazine (this is a business, you know).

But there’s lots of other great information, projects and reviews included in the issue (seamless curved panel glue-ups, a large Shaker-inspired bookcase, making and using shooting boards and more), so we’ve decided to post the  “Best New Tools 2009” for everyone to read, free.

In the list, you’ll find more than the top 10 tools. We go the distance to name 12 items that are standout tools, for which many of you will have room in your shops. Get a closer look at a slick new wagon vise that works as good as it it looks; a mallet that’s so eye-catching you’ll be tempted to set it on a shelf to simply look at (but it’s too great a tool not to use every day!); and a block plane with such sleek, race-car-like lines that it could make the field at a Formula One race.

The list has you covered for all types of saws, too. Read about a new table saw, band saw and miter saw for you power-tool users. And if great-looking hand-tools tend to elevate your blood pressure, get more information on a couple dovetail saws that might necessitate an increase in medication. And not to be breezed over are a joint maker for mitered sticking, an impact driver that allows you to select the settings and a sticky tape with a higher purpose.

Click here to read the article. And by the way , if you have used these tools, let us know what you think. They made our list, but will they find their way into your shop?

– Glen D. Huey

4 thoughts on “The Best New Tools 2009: Winner's List

  1. Jonas

    I just checked the eccentric toolworks homepage, but ordering of the DT saw is closed.
    So I think that I might give the Veritas a try. I have been at Rob Cosmans site, but I am afraid that the saw is to expensive for my needs.

  2. Mike Halporn

    Lee Valley Block Plane,

    I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t say, but based on my other Veritas planes (my Low Angle Veritas Jack Plane is my all time hands down no if and or buts favorite) and can’t expect anything but the best from this one too. Although it looks like the design came straight out of NASA’s labs, I’m not going to spend $300 on a block plane. I might consider the black faced version for a hundred less though.

    I’ve had their dovetail saw for a year already and I like it especially the price. Last wood show I went to Rob Cosman was showing his new DT saw and it was the sweetest thing I ever tried, but even so, I’m not prepared to spend $300 for on as hand cut DT’s are more a diversion for me than an ongoing practice.

    At the same show, I did try for the first time the Wenzloff and Lie-Nielson and IMO they did not even come close to comparing with Cosman’s saw. At the same time, and this isn’t saying anything bad as they’re still fine tools in their own right, I feel my Veritas DT saw is just as good at less than half the price, certainly for my skill level at least.

    Also, Lee Valley announced two new saws complementary to the original, one a 15? point cross cut and one a 20 point ripper which they’re promoting for DT’s in thinner boards, and I’m going to buy both of them. They’ve got a heck of a deal on if you buy all three at once, but if you already have the original, they’re also pricing the new pair very attractively if you buy the combo.

  3. Mark Rasmussen

    I’ve purchased two of the items on the top ten list, and I agree that they’re great tools. I own the Sawstop contractor saw, outfitted with the mobile base and the extended fence, just as you show in your photo. I love it. It replaces an old Craftsman contractor saw that I considered possessed by the devil – I had two kickback accidents using the Craftsman that caused me to consider woodworking without a tablesaw as a safer option than continuing to work with it.

    I adore the table saw. It is well powered, easy to set up, easy to use with it’s beisemeyer style fence, accurate, it does not lose power in heavy cuts, and most importantly, I feel safe using it. I consider the integral splitter as important as the electronic Sawstop mechanism. I plan on adding a router station on the right, where the additional wing resides, sometime in the future. All in all, it’s worth every penny.

    I also own the Benchcrafted Tail Vise, and installed in on a bench that I built this past summer. I found the quality to be outstanding. The weight of the vise itself spoke volumes about the overall quality, this is not a vice that was drug out of a foundry and cleaned up quickly, this is almost a work of art.

    I had more trouble installing it that I expected, but I think that’s a function of my inability to install the end cap exactly where I wanted it. I found that I had to go back and build another end cap, install it first, then slide the part of the vice that runs on the runners back to the newly installed end cap, and drill from there. It still binds up a bit when I get very close to the fully open position on the vice, but I haven’t had a need to use it yet in that position, so it’s not a problem.

    What I have found is that the vice does exactly what I wanted it to do and does it well, which is to hold wood securely without undue effort, or having to go back and retighten the vice every so often. It excels at it’s one task, and that makes all the difference. I don’t have to think about whether or not the wood is being held securely, which frees me to think about the woodworking. And that is liberating.

    As an aside, I also bought the Benchcrafted Glide Leg Vice, and have been equally impressed with it. The installation on that vice went better also. Perhaps I’ve just gotten better at installing vices on my third try…

  4. Gye Greene

    RE: "yes, we hope you order a copy of the magazine"

    O.k. — I subscribe to WW Mag, but not to PWW. And I hear that they’re merging.

    Do I then need to order this issue of PWW?

    Thx! 🙂

    –GG

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