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.

EZPinchSticks

Tool Test: EZ Pinch Stick for Checking Square on Glue-ups

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 16 “Pinch rods” or “pinch sticks” are, at their most basic, two thin pieces of pointy material that are held together loosely enough at the center to move, but can be locked down. Put a point corner to corner in a carcase, lock the sticks, then check that setting against...

Craftsman 10" Miter Saw

Craftsman 10″ Sliding Miter Saw

This inexpensive compact saw performs surprisingly well. by Christopher Schwarz When sliding miter saws first hit the market, they could cost as much as a decent table saw. So I was shocked when I saw the price tags on the new line of miter saws by Craftsman (starting at less than $200). Surely they...

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Grizzly 12 1/2″ Benchtop Planer

Lightweight but solid, this two-knife model is a decent starter machine. by Megan Fitzpatrick p. 16 I admit to some skepticism as I unboxed the Grizzly G0790. This benchtop planer has only two knives, and at just $285 (plus $49 for shipping), I wasn’t expecting to be impressed. And while I’m not completely blown away by...

1512-TT-2-VesperDoubleSquare

Vesper Double Square with Mini Blade

by Christopher Schwarz p. 18 Many of the difficult measuring jobs we face are too big or too small for us to accurately assess. For big jobs, I end up making my own giant wooden straightedges or try squares. For the tiny problems, I reach for the Vesper Double Square. This beautifully machined adjustable square...

1512-TT-2 AugerIMG_1289

Jennings-pattern Auger Bits for Braces

by Christopher Schwarz p. 18 Finding good auger bits that work in a brace is almost impossible in places of the world that don’t have a lot of vintage tools (such as the Midwest and West). And even if you do manage to get some of these bits, they are frequently bent, misfiled, used...

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BT&C Hardware Store Saw

More than just a saw, this tool offers (useful) infomercial-like functions. by Christopher Schwarz page 14 I’m not a fan of multi-tools. In my experience they are marketing gimmicks that do nothing particularly well. But the new Brooklyn Tool & Craft Hardware Store Saw is a huge exception to that rule. This short panel...

1511nailgun

Ridgid 18-volt ‘Hyperdrive’ 18-gauge Brad Nailer

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 16 If you’re working with access to electricity, it’s easy to plug in an air compressor and run a hose to a brad nailer. But if you’re working on a site with no electric, or your compressor hose is too short for the task, well, a cordless nailer is nice...

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Lie-Nielsen Toolworks Honing Guide

by Christopher Schwarz page 16 Since the mid-1990s I’ve been married to my inexpensive side-clamp honing guide, sometimes called an “Eclipse” guide after the firm that developed it. So when Lie-Nielsen Toolworks began showing its side-clamp honing guide around, I resisted even picking it up – I don’t like to mess with my sharpening...

mitretooltest

‘The Secret Mitre Dovetail’

David Charlesworth’s new video is groundbreaking instruction. by Christopher Schwarz p. 14 The “secret miter” dovetail is considered the most elegant and difficult of all the dovetail joints to make. As a result, many woodworkers hesitate to even attempt the joint, which can seamlessly wrap the grain around a furniture carcase to a beautiful...