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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How to Read & Write Tool Reviews, Part 3

For experienced woodworkers, it’s easy to ignore tool reviews and say: “I just buy the brands that have served me well.” But what if you know little about the different brands? When I was growing up, Skil made fantastic circular saws. Black & Decker made good drills. Craftsman put its name on some good...

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How I Read Tool Reviews (And Write Them), Part 2

Most tool reviews aren’t really reviews. They’re press releases dressed up with a lab coat and a clipboard to look respectable. For experienced woodworkers, these faux-reviews are easy to spot and ignore. What are the signs? They’re missing key information about the tool’s place in the market compared to its competitors. Even more telling,...

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Earlex SprayPort 6003

This turbine-driven gun produces a good finish at a good price. by Robert W. Lang page16 I first became aware of High-Volume Low-Pressure (HVLP) systems about 20 years ago. At the time, it seemed like a great idea – reduce overspray and eliminate the need for a massive air compressor chugging away. Since then, I’ve...

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Jet JWBS-14SF-3 Band Saw

by Chuck Bender page 18 The new 14″ steel-frame band saw from Jet is nothing less than heavy-duty. With its 3-horsepower, 220-volt motor, this saw is built to handle just about anything you can throw at it. The one-piece frame makes this band saw extremely rigid for tough cuts such as resawing wide boards...

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Shenandoah Tool Works Birdcage Awl

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 18 If you’re in the market for a birdcage awl, this Shenandoah Tool Works version offers a stylish twist – that is, the hand-forged 01 steel shaft is actually twisted during manufacturing. While this aesthetic touch has no effect on performance, it looks nice – and one could argue that,...

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Hammer K3 Winner

Get European accuracy and quality at a great price. by Chuck Bender page 14 Most woodworkers only dream about owning a European sliding table saw. The size and price tend to be limiting factors, particularly for those not making a living from their woodcraft. The Hammer K3 Winner series of table saws breaks new...

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Angle-Ease Router Base from Woodhaven

By Chuck Bender page 16 A router table that tilts opens up vast new worlds when it comes to making mouldings. The one feature that I love about the Angle-Ease (from Woodhaven) is its ability to tilt. This lift gives you the ability to make complex mouldings with a router that are impossible to...

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Customizable Bevel-down Planes from Veritas

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 16 We don’t typically include tools in this column that we’ve not actually tested, but we’re making an exception for these five new bevel-down planes from Veritas (Nos. 4, 41⁄2, 5, 51⁄2 and 7 in the Stanley numbering system). I got a preview of these at Lee Valley Tools in...