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.

robin wood axe

Robin Wood Axe for Carving (and More)

As a bowl carver, I am frequently asked about recommendations for beginner sets of tools. Though the Robin Wood Axe is always on that list, it’s not just a beginner’s axe. Weighing in at 1 pound, 9 ounces, it is a midweight carving axe, and considerably lighter than the Gransfors Bruks...

Microjig Matchfit Dovetail Clamps

A lot of the work in any machine-oriented woodshop revolves around creating and improving jigs. While I’ve used hold-down and F-style clamps in most of my shop fixtures, the Microjig Matchfit Dovetail Clamps offer a new means of integrating adjustable clamping into a jig, securely and out of the way of...

Veritas combination plane

Tool Review: Veritas Combination Plane

A plow plane is a joinery powerhouse in the hand-tool shop. Not only can you plow grooves with it – you can, if necessary, use it for rabbets and tongues, though it’s a laborious tonguing process. Enter the combination plane – a plane that excels at grooves and has changeable cutters for...

Kreg Accu-Cut Turns any Circ Saw into a Track Saw

by David Lyell page 16 In my shop, the track saw doubles as a second table saw – and if you’d like a low-priced alternative to a track saw, consider Kreg’s newest offering: the Accu-Cut Circular Saw Guide System. This jig uses set screws to attach a sled to the top...

Oneida Dust-Free Router Hood

This respiration-protection attachment lives up to the claim of its name. by Megan Fitzpatrick page 14 While I appreciate the versatility and power of a handheld router, I often turn to other tools for its typical tasks, in large part because of the dust and noise a router creates. While it...

OmniSquare

OmniSquare Multi-function Layout Tool

This clever and inexpensive milled aluminum square functions as a try square, miter square, bevel square, T-square, combination square and (in a pinch) a compass (the compass function would work better were there a groove on the end of the blade in which to set a pencil, which the maker mentions,...

Walke Moore Compass Guides

by James McConnell Designed as solid anchor points for placing compasses and dividers on the edges and corners of boards to mark curves, two of these Compass Guides from Walke Moore Tools allow you to make perfect circles or arcs anywhere on projects without fumbling to align a compass leg. (The...

axe carbide lathe tools

Tool Test: Axe Carbide Lathe Tools

Fit, finish and registration flats combine for a solid turning experience. by James McConnell page 18 If you feel like wasting an entire afternoon, just type “carbide vs. high speed steel turning tools” into your favorite internet search engine. If you would rather spend that time making something beautiful and functional...

deburring wheel

Tool Test: 3M Convolute Deburring Wheel

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 20 Someone saw this deburring wheel on Instagram and clued me in to it; sold. It’s really a metal-working tool for knocking off sharp edges and small bits of metal. But if, like me, you have rusty old tools sitting around your shop (say inherited chisels that...