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.

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...

buck bros chisels

Tool Test: Buck Bros. Professional Wood Chisels

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 20 If you’re frugal when it comes to tool purchases, check out the U.S.-made Buck Bros. “Professional Wood Chisels,” available at Home Depot. A set of three (1⁄2″, 3⁄4″ and 1″) is less than $20. (I bought several sets from three locations for comparison purposes.) While nowhere...

J. Wilding Hollow & Round Planes

Simple and functional, these moulding planes perform as they should. by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 12 Jeremiah Wilding is relatively new to the wooden planemaker brethren, but his planes perform as if he’s been making them for decades – and he’s offering them at a price that won’t break the bank. I...

Beadlock Pro Joinery Kit

by David Thiel pg. 14 I looked to the Beadlock Pro recently when I found myself needing four loose-tenon joints for a project – I wanted an economic but quick solution, and didn’t want to make a router jig. The Beadlock system, which cuts mortises up to 31⁄2″ wide, uses a...

Veritas Mortise Chisels from Lee Valley Tools

by James McConnell pg.14 The Veritas (Lee Valley) mortise chisels are awesome in every sense of the word. They’re big, heavy and can plow through a mortise in just a few good passes. The size, shape and substantial thickness of the blades bring English “dagger”-style mortise chisels to mind, while the...

‘Drawer Making and Fitting’ Video

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 14 Well-made and well-fit drawers are a calling card of the best furniture makers; David Charlesworth’s video “Drawer Making and Fitting” (Lie-Nielsen) can help you achieve such mastery in the high-end English Arts & Crafts tradition. What this means is drawer construction with excellent materials, perfect joint...

Lee Valley Small Double Square

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 14 A diemakers’ square with a narrow blade is an excellent tool for determining minute problems with your joinery, allowing you to get in between narrow dovetail pins, for example, to check for sloping walls. But a true diemakers’ square (on which the blade angle can be...

Crowned CBN Grinding Wheel

by Megan Fitzpatrick pg. 16 We’ve been using Norton 3X Super Cool ceramic alumina oxide wheels on our dry grinders since we first reviewed them in 2006; they cut fast and don’t easily overheat a tool’s edge – that means you can get your heavy grinding done fairly quickly, because you...

Toothed Planing Stop from Benchcrafted

by James McConnell pg. 16 Most woodworkers have the skill to engineer a makeshift planing stop from a block of wood and a bit of old saw blade, but the precision engineering and price point of the new toothed planing stop from Benchcrafted beg the question: Why would you want to?...