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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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...

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‘Bench Duck’ – New Workholding from Veritas

At the HandWorks show in Amana, Iowa, last month, Veritas introduced publicly its newest innovation in workholding – a cam-lever hold-down that to me, looks like a duck. So until I’m told the official name of the tool, I’m calling it a Bench Duck. (I’ll likely call it that even after I know the...

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Tool Test: Infinity Shrinks the Dado Stack

'Dadonator Jr.' is small in size but big on performance. By Steve Shanesy Page 14 Regardless of what you may think, size doesn’t matter – at least not when you’re talking dado stacks. Infinity Cutting Tools’ 8" “Dadonator” was highly touted when it was released in 2008. Today, Infinity offers the “Dadonator Jr.” It’s the same tool...

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Tool Test: Amana Countersinks Conquer Burning & Marring

By Steve Shanesy Page 14 Amana Tool has four new countersinks with various-sized drill bits and non-marring depth stops. Each countersink has twin carbide-tipped flutes, and these are the only countersinks in the industry with this feature. Carbide-tipped flutes allow the bit to cut cleanly and last longer when working with hardwoods, plywoods and other engineered wood...

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Tool Test: Clever Spyder Jigsaw Blades Make Super-tight Turns

By Steve Shanesy Page 16 Spyder, a Kansas City, Mo.-based company, has introduced a jigsaw blade with teeth on the front and back edges. At first glance, these blades look odd at best and gimmicky at worst. But after taking these blades for a test-drive, I began to understand the versatility offered by this innovation. Of...

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Easy Chuck from Easy Wood Tools

By Steve Shanesy Page 18 Four-jaw scroll chucks used in wood turning largely work the same. They have interchangeable jaws held by screws, and the jaws open or close using a geared key, a hex key or tommy bars. The jaws usually have a dovetail-shaped rim that clamps a similarly shaped tenon turned on the base...