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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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)...

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The New Bosch CM10GD 10″ Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw

Bosch has done it again – only smaller. Its new 10″ dual-bevel glide miter saw has more in common with its big brother than just a blue motor housing. In 2011 Bosch changed the face of miter saws with the GCM12SD 12″ Glide miter saw (read Glen Huey’s review here) which takes up less...

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Highly Recommended: Blue Spruce Joiner’s Mallet

Since leaving Popular Woodworking in June 2011, I have avoided writing tool reviews. In fact, I have been thrilled to focus my attention on other things. But I am coming out of retirement momentarily to discuss a tool that I have been waiting years – yes, years – for: the Blue Spruce Toolworks Joiner’s...

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Tool Test: Festool Carvex PS 420 Jigsaw

by Chuck Bender page 18 From the December 2013 issue, #208 Festool’s Carvex jigsaw has innovation written all over it. How much innovation? These jigsaws are available in both corded and battery-powered (due out late in 2013), and you can choose between a D-handle or barrel-grip design. Plus there’s an accessory angle base that...

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Tool Test: Wood Owl ‘Nail Chipper’ Auger Bits

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 18 From the December 2013 issue, #208 I’ve built a couple workbenches – and helped to build a couple more – and have drilled 3⁄4″-diameter holes for dogs and holdfasts variously by hand with a brace and bit, with an spiral-upcut bit in a router and with a combination of...

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Tool Test: Powermatic PM1000 Table Saw

This saw packs a professional punch for your home workshop. by Chuck Bender page 15 From the December 2013 issue, #208 Powermatic’s new table saw isn’t over-shadowed by its big brother, the PM2000, and it can fit into your home workshop without the added fuss of rewiring your home. Straight out of the crate...

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Tool Test: Eco Series Spray Systems by ASI-HVLP

By Glen D. Huey page 16 The name ASI-HVLP may be new to you, but when you discover that the company behind this new brand is, in fact, Apollo Sprayers (which is credited with bringing HVLP to the amateur woodworker market) all questions are answered. The Eco series – designed specifically for small shops...