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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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...

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Milwaukee ‘10IN1’ Ratchet Multi-bit Driver

By Robert W. Lang Page 18 Screwdrivers are more of a necessary evil in the shop than a tool about which to get excited. In today’s world you need to be prepared for a multitude of head styles. Standard, Phillips, square-drive (known as “Robertson” north of Lake Erie), Torx and Allen heads all might...

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Excalibur Deluxe Router Table Kit

Four corner-positioned lift screws raise this design above the competition. by Glen D. Huey page 14 The Excalibur Deluxe Router Table Kit (#40-200) from General International is a complete shop setup that was introduced in late 2012. In adding the kit to our shop, we were reminded of its outstanding features. The major components...

Jet 719200 Wood Lathe

Playing with the Jet 719200 Wood Lathe

My first week on the job and I get to have some fun playing with the new Jet 719200 JWL-1221 Wood Lathe. Actually, I’m reviewing the lathe for the October issue of the magazine but it sure seems like playtime. I’m not much on mini/midi lathes but this thing is pretty well built. Coming...