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: 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...

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Bosch Colt Router Plunge Base Video Tool Test

In the April issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, we test the plunge base for the Bosch Colt router. In this video, I show some of the features of this long-awaited base, and give some tips for using a router to make mortises. With a good fence on the router and a few clamps, you...

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Tool Test: Hock Tools Scratch Stock

By Megan Fitzpatrick Page 14 A scratch stock is a simple tool – sort of a combination of a scraper and a moulding plane – for scratching in a profile (typically a bead or other simple shape). And while it’s fairly easy to make a scratch stock out of scrap wood and a piece of thin...

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Tool Test: Bosch Trim Router Plunge Base

By Robert W. Lang Page 14 In 2005, Bosch introduced a new laminate trimmer that eventually became know as the Colt. Powerful and user-friendly, it quickly became a favorite in our shop and in shops across the country. At the time, I suggested to Bosch that they needed to make a plunge base for it. Video: Watch...

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Tool Test: Blue Spruce Firmer Chisels

These traditional tools are a throwback for a thoroughly modern maker. By Christopher Schwarz Page 14 Perhaps the last tools I ever expected to come out of the Blue Spruce Toolworks are the most traditional set of modern bench chisels I have ever used. After all, Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce has spent all of his toolmaking career...