Woodworking Tools - Choosing The Right Tools To Suit Your Needs
I have a confession to make. I love woodworking tools!
On more than one occasion, my wife has told people that if our house were on fire, the first thing I would drag out is my table saw! That is not exactly true (the first thing to come out would be my 1967 Pontiac Firebird!), but my tools certainly are important to me. I have gotten a great deal of satisfaction over the years from building things with them, and I can't imagine life without my tools. Having the right tool to accomplish what I want to do just makes life easier and more enjoyable.
The purpose and goal of this website is to help you choose the right woodworking tools to suit your needs.
I want to provide you with information, specs, and honest reviews of woodworking tools from a woodworker's point of view. Not from a professional's viewpoint, but from someone who thoroughly enjoys working with wood as a hobby and is on a budget.
Quality tools are a joy to work with. They just feel right in your hands, and can give you years (or even a lifetime) of reliable service. When a piece of equipment works as it was intended every time you pick it up or turn it on, it allows you to focus on the project at hand and get more done in less time. Quality tools can often give you better results than inferior tools, requiring less time sanding, sharpening, reshaping, or reworking the wood.
That being said, I am also a fan of saving money wherever you can. Using woodworking tools of inferior quality is often an exercise in frustration, but spending extra for a professional quality tool "just because" isn't the smartest thing to do either, unless you have a surplus of funds. I rarely advise buying anything that is the cheapest model available. My general advice is to buy the best quality tool you can reasonably afford. But you have to weigh your options and your needs.
Not everyone needs the biggest, baddest, most powerful and expensive thingamajig on the market. For instance, for many folks an inexpensive $50 cordless drill will perform just as well and last just as long as a $200 professional cordless drill will.
Sure, the more expensive version may drill more holes between charges and power through the hard stuff in half the time. But if the less expensive drill will do what you ask of it without complaint, that extra hundred and fifty bucks could be spent elsewhere, maybe on a cordless trim saw and a jig saw to go with the drill!
I own a wide variety of tools, ranging from cheap, homeowner-grade stuff to "the best you can buy" automotive tools (I was an auto mechanic in a former life!). I have to admit, most of my woodworking tools are "middle of the road" quality. Not the cheapest ones out there, but certainly not on par with professional grade equipment designed for daily use. Most of them have served me quite well.
I also have to admit that I am a "research junkie". When I get ready to buy something new, be it a tool, a home appliance, a computer, or anything that is either a) expensive, b) something I will use frequently, or c) something I expect to have for a long time, I tend to research it to death. It drives my wife crazy!
When I decided to replace my old, worn out, not-so-trusty–anymore chain saw, I spent a couple of months reading up on all the different specs and people's opinions on chain saw brands and models before I decided on one (a Stihl MS 250 - please, no hate mail from the Husqvarna crowd!). The same thing when I bought my wood lathe, and miter saw (and rotary hammer, and mig welder, and digital camera, and ...). I like to compare features and specs of different woodworking tools side by side, so I feel like I'm making the best possible choice to suit my needs.
Sometimes it takes some searching to find all the information I am looking for, and I often end up compiling info from several different sources. Believe it or not, I frequently create spreadsheets with all the specs and features of the different models of whatever it is I am looking at buying. My aim here is to compile as much info on woodworking tools as possible all in one place, so you don't have to search far and wide to find what you are looking for. I will be offering reviews and specs for table saws, miter saws, band saws, drill presses, routers, chain saws, sanders, planers, jointers, wood lathes, you name it!
At the moment, I will only be doing reviews for tools that get average or better owner ratings from retailers and on the various woodworking forums. There are too many good woodworking tools out there to spend time writing about poor quality stuff. However, don't take that to mean that a tool is of poor quality just because it isn't listed here! I may just not have gotten to it yet.
In the future, I will also be providing info on woodworking plans and projects, and maybe even show off a little of my own work when I have something I'm proud of. Who knows, maybe I'll make a video or two showing different techniques, too. Although I might better film my Dad, since he is more skilled than I ever hope to be!
It will take a while to cover all the different types of woodworking tools out there, so bear with me. Pages will be added to this site on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis as time allows, and I will provide actual owner reviews when possible. So check back often, and watch as we grow!
- Table Saw Reviews By Brand And Model
- Table saw reviews for many popular models - see what actual owners are saying before you buy. Table saw ratings compiled from many different sources.
- Bandsaw Reviews | Ratings for Woodworking Bandsaws
- Bandsaw reviews - see what actual owners are saying before you buy! Ratings for several brands of woodworking bandsaws compiled from many different sources.
- Wood Router Reviews | Top Woodworking Routers
- Wood router reviews for many popular models, compiled into one resource. See what actual owners are saying before you buy. We've done the research for you.
- Wood Turning Lathes - Actual Owner Reviews and Ratings
- Find out which wood turning lathes get the best ratings. Wood lathe reviews are gathered from many sources online and compiled for easy comparison.
- Woodworking Planer Reviews | Features - Specs - Owner Ratings
- Woodworking planer reviews – see what actual owners are saying! Benchtop planer ratings as well as stationary models, compiled from many different sources.
- Bosch Table Saw Review - Bosch 4100 and GTS1031
- See what actual owners are saying about Bosch table saw models. Reviews gathered from multiple sources and compiled, all in one place for easy comparison.
- DeWalt Table Saw Reviews | Features, Specs, Owner Ratings
- There are currently 3 DeWalt table saw models, the DW745, the DW744X, and the DW744XRS. All get great overall reviews, but no portable table saw is perfect.
- Grizzly Bandsaw Reviews | 14" Woodworking Bandsaws
- You can't beat the value you get in a Grizzly bandsaw. Here we list their 14 inch woodworking bandsaws with features, specs, and actual owner reviews.
- Dewalt Router Reviews | Features, Specs, Owner Ratings
- The Dewalt router lineup has 14 models to choose from, and most get really good ratings. Here are actual owner reviews compiled from many different sources.
- Jet Mini Lathe Reviews | Features, Specs, Owner Ratings
- Each of the Jet mini lathe models get great reviews, and are often recommended as a first lathe. The Jet mini wood lathe is quiet, smooth, and built solid.
- Dewalt DW735 Planer Reviews | Features, Specs, Owner Ratings
- The Dewalt DW735 planer has become the benchmark for portable planers, but it isn't perfect. See what owners are saying about the Dewalt 735 planer.
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- The Woodworking Tools Blog keeps you up-to-date with all additions and changes to the WoodworkingToolsEtc.com Web site. Subscribe here.
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