Tool Reviews

A woodworker is only as good as his tools. In a world with enough woodworking tools to fill entire big-box stores, it’s important to know what you should buy (and what to avoid) so you can produce the best pieces possible and save money. Our tool reviews are different. Rather than use pseudo-science, we use the tools in the shop (we’re all experienced woodworkers), and report back how they perform. So whether you are in the market for a new set of chisels or a powerful table saw, we’ve got the best tools covered.

OmniSquare

OmniSquare Multi-function Layout Tool

This clever and inexpensive milled aluminum square functions as a try square, miter square, bevel square, T-square, combination square and (in a pinch) a compass (the compass function would work better were there a groove on the end of the blade in which to set a pencil, which the maker mentions, but leaves up...

Walke Moore Compass Guides

by James McConnell Designed as solid anchor points for placing compasses and dividers on the edges and corners of boards to mark curves, two of these Compass Guides from Walke Moore Tools allow you to make perfect circles or arcs anywhere on projects without fumbling to align a compass leg. (The round center guide...

axe carbide lathe tools

Tool Test: Axe Carbide Lathe Tools

Fit, finish and registration flats combine for a solid turning experience. by James McConnell page 18 If you feel like wasting an entire afternoon, just type “carbide vs. high speed steel turning tools” into your favorite internet search engine. If you would rather spend that time making something beautiful and functional on a lathe,...

deburring wheel

Tool Test: 3M Convolute Deburring Wheel

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 20 Someone saw this deburring wheel on Instagram and clued me in to it; sold. It’s really a metal-working tool for knocking off sharp edges and small bits of metal. But if, like me, you have rusty old tools sitting around your shop (say inherited chisels that haven’t been used...

buck bros chisels

Tool Test: Buck Bros. Professional Wood Chisels

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 20 If you’re frugal when it comes to tool purchases, check out the U.S.-made Buck Bros. “Professional Wood Chisels,” available at Home Depot. A set of three (1⁄2″, 3⁄4″ and 1″) is less than $20. (I bought several sets from three locations for comparison purposes.) While nowhere near the fit...

J. Wilding Hollow & Round Planes

Simple and functional, these moulding planes perform as they should. by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 12 Jeremiah Wilding is relatively new to the wooden planemaker brethren, but his planes perform as if he’s been making them for decades – and he’s offering them at a price that won’t break the bank. I tested a J....

Beadlock Pro Joinery Kit

by David Thiel pg. 14 I looked to the Beadlock Pro recently when I found myself needing four loose-tenon joints for a project – I wanted an economic but quick solution, and didn’t want to make a router jig. The Beadlock system, which cuts mortises up to 31⁄2″ wide, uses a standard drill bit...

Veritas Mortise Chisels from Lee Valley Tools

by James McConnell pg.14 The Veritas (Lee Valley) mortise chisels are awesome in every sense of the word. They’re big, heavy and can plow through a mortise in just a few good passes. The size, shape and substantial thickness of the blades bring English “dagger”-style mortise chisels to mind, while the overall shape and...

‘Drawer Making and Fitting’ Video

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 14 Well-made and well-fit drawers are a calling card of the best furniture makers; David Charlesworth’s video “Drawer Making and Fitting” (Lie-Nielsen) can help you achieve such mastery in the high-end English Arts & Crafts tradition. What this means is drawer construction with excellent materials, perfect joint layout for the...