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.

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Nova Comet II Midi Lathe

The reversible motor turns this benchtop tool into a sterling machine. by Chuck Bender page 16 Teknatool’s new Nova Comet II wood lathe is feature-packed at a price that’s hard to beat. Not only does it have variable speed, it has a reversible motor – not usually found on lathes of this size –...

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Devilish Diablo Deftly Dissects

We recently received some new Freud Diablo blades at the magazine to test (two of which will be featured in an upcoming Tool Test in the magazine). The blade is what Diablo calls its Ultimate Flawless Finish blade. It’s a 12″ diameter blade that is designed to work on fixed and sliding miter saws...

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‘Eye Muffs’ by Sells Safety

by Chuck Bender page 14 I know safety isn’t a topic that evokes that “must read” feeling in most of us, but when something new and innovative comes along, you might just want to stop and take a look. That’s exactly what Eye Muffs are – new and innovative. When I work in the...

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Magnetic-mount LED Work Light from Lee Valley

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 14 I have a perfectly good light for my workbench, on an attachment that slips into the dog holes. And, it has a magnifier, which is becoming increasingly useful. However: My bench is against a wall, so the articulating arm of the light limits how it can be positioned, there’s...

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Senco FinishPro 23LXP Headless Pinner

by Chuck Bender page 12 Fasteners that use 23-gauge pins have been around for quite some time. What stands out with all 23-gauge pinners is the almost non-existent hole left behind. Senco’s new FinishPro 23LXP headless pinner is a highly refined piece of work. Driving 23-gauge pins up to 2″ in length makes this...

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Bosch CM10GD Glide Miter Saw

by Chuck Bender page 12 Bosch does it again, only smaller, with its CM10GD Dual-bevel Glide Miter Saw. Like its big brother (the GCM12SD), this saw has a hinged-arm system that creates a smooth, gliding action when extending the saw for a cut. While the similarities don’t end there, you will find some differences....

tooltest_Smart_Bit

Tool Test: Starborn’s Smart-Bit Depth Setter

by Chuck Bender page 16 Starborn Industries has set the benchmark for driving screws. The Smart-Bit Depth Setter allows you to sink screws to a consistent depth every time. Although it was first introduced to the deck-building industry, there are a lot of features about this little tool that make it appealing to furniture...

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Tool Test: Laguna’s ‘14-Twelve’ Band Saw

A tool manufacturer does its homework to build a better band saw. by Chuck Bender page 14 The Laguna 14-Twelve band saw has the look and feel of a machine thrice its price. There’s a lot to like about this machine and the price makes it almost irresistible. Coming in at just under $1,100...

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Czeck Edge Goes Carbide

In preparing to review the new Czeck Edge birdcage awl for the February issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (find out how to get the electronic version free by clicking here), I asked Bob Zajicek (founder of Czeck Edge Tools) to also send his new Super Kadet II carbide marking knife. Because it is a (relatively)...