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.

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...

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...

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...

‘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...

Veritas Stainless Steel Trammel Points

by Megan Fitzpatrick p. 16 These clever stainless steel trammel points (for scribing large arcs and circles) from Veritas work a little differently than my vintage set, which fit only on a fixed-sized beam. The narrow-bodied heads are open on one side, and can thus be attached to any flat piece of material up...

Sterling Tool Works Stainless Steel French Curves

by Christopher Schwarz p. 16 I like using French curves for laying out hyperbolas, ellipses and parabolas when designing furniture details. These curves are not static arcs – they are segments of the Euler spiral – and so the shapes they create have more spring and life. The typical set of French curves consists...

Kreg Precision Router Table

Simple micro-adjust feature and a solid base make this one a contender. by Christopher Schwarz page 14 Some router tables have gotten so complex and expensive that they actually rival a decent shaper. I’ve always preferred simple router tables, so I was curious to assemble and use the new Kreg Precision Router Table. Like...

Texas Heritage Woodworks Auger Bit Roll

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 16 I’ve been looking for a long time for the perfect storage and transport solution for my auger bits. For a while, they were wrapped in kitchen towels – less than ideal. I have two of my grandfather’s old canvas tool rolls, but they both have holes in them where...

Trend Diamond Whetstone Honing & Polishing Kit

by Christopher Schwarz page 16 To be frank, I’m not a fan of sharpening hand tools using diamond systems because I don’t find the final edge as ideal as one produced on oilstones or waterstones. That said, the new Trend Diamond Honing & Polishing kit (DWS/KIT/B) gets so many things bang-on correct that it...