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Bought on a whim 16 years ago, my barrel grip jigsaw still works smooth as silk.
With my brother’s wedding fast approaching, it became clear that the cheap jigsaw I’d inherited from my father wasn’t up the job of cutting out the pair of Adirondack chairs I planned to give as a wedding present. So I headed to the local Sears on a Friday night, arriving about 15 minutes before closing.
With the PA announcing shoppers should take their purchases to a register, I headed right to the tool department and picked out what I guessed was the best corded jigsaw they had. It was a panic decision. I hadn’t done any research or even used a barrell grip jigsaw ever before. I grabbed an ample supply of blades and planned to rough out the blanks the next morning. The jigsaw was awesome, shaving hours from the process and working smooth as silk.
I’ve had that Jigsaw going on 16 years now and it is still among my favorite tools. Not just because it works well, but also because it helped me craft a nice gift for two people I really love. My brother and his wife have held onto those chairs through three moves now and they still tell me how much they enjoying sitting in them on hot summer nights.
What’s your favorite hand or power tool? Is there a story behind why you like it so much?
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My favorite tool is my Fein Multimaster Top. It is versatil and with a good hand control you can do amazing things in a matter of minutes. I'm a tool freak and I probably own more tools that I can afford, but I like searching for quality in tools and The Multimaster had becomed the top of the top to me. I love it!!!.
My imagination -- all the power tools and hand tools serve the imagination.
My most often used tool has to be my plain ol' utility knife! Right now my favorite tool has to be my Bridge City Joint Maker Pro--unbelievable accuracy. The BCT drilling jig, the BCT HP-6V2 mini-plane and the L-N #4 1/2 plane would rank up there also. As for power tools, the most often used portable tool has to be my Makita, impact-driver-hammer-drill, and the most often used stationary tool would probably be the 30 year-old Rockwell 14" band saw, the 25 year old SuperShop, or the even older Jet 10" table saw.
I am just getting started in woodworking but right now my favorite power-tool is my Kreig portable router table with a Porter-Cable router mounted underneath. I have made so many things with this set up. So versatile and the table just goes under my workbench when done taking up no floor space.
Best hand tool is my cheap combination square. I want to get a good Starrett or Veritas some day but for now it works and no project is done without using it multiple times.
Oddly enough (to me at least), with all the planes I have restored and tried, my favorite hand tool is a small skew angled Japanese rabbet plane that I bought for $5.00 at a flea market in San Francisco. I have never sharpened it and it works unbelievably well every time. On one job I used it in an emergency to trim back an edge on a large cherry wood office wall panel and my boss asked if I'd sell it for $70.00. I am so glad I refused. It is a small wooden plane that fits well in one hand and doesn't look like much, doesn't take up a lot of room in a tool box, is light, and just works perfectly. I am always awed by it's simplicity and always go back to it when my bronze lie nielson rabbet block plane that cost $150.00+ doesn't work (which is often unfortunately).
My favourite handtool is a Lie Nielsen 41/2 handplane with the high angle frog. I am amazed at the quality of cut surface it leaves every time I use it. It is a delight to use and tune.
My favourite power tool is a 16" Laguna bandsaw. It has power to spare and runs rock solid. It has handled any ripping and resawing task I've thown at it to date.
I am in the process of building a new workbench out of hard maple. When done it will be a French style (Roubo) with a 4" thick top, quick release face vise and a twin screw tail vise. Both of my favourite tools have played important roles so far in the project.
I expect the new bench will de-throne my current favourites.
i have 2 favorite tools. my left hand and my right hand. and my general 490 bandsaw circa 1975.
My favorite tool has to be my old Rockwell Contractor's Saw. A friend who was working at Rockwell on the space shuttle project bought it for me without a motor. I added a Grainger's Dayton 2 HP industrial grade motor with a high service factor and never looked back. The addition of a Beisemeyer fence, a link belt and new pulleys when the old ones wore out and a careful aligning have made this saw a pleasure to use.
Other power tools I reach for frequently are a 12" disk sander I made, my old Rockwell drill press and my Jet 14" bandsaw.
My favorite hand tool is probably the prewar #5 1/4 Stanley plane my father gave me. It fits my hands well, it light enough to be a pleasure to use, heavy enough to handle almost any task I throw at it. The addition of a Hauck blade has turned it into a gem.
My next favorite hand tool has to be my Record vise. I use it constantly without thinking about it, because it works well and I don't have to waste a lot of time fussing with it. A General try square rates up there too. I like it because it has an 8" blade with measurement markings, combining two jobs into one.
It is hard to pick my favorite tool...The thing I go to the most is my work stool..the old knees
The tool I reach for most is my Japanese cranked-neck paring chisel which I bought - used - nearly 40 years ago. From cleaning off the tops of screw plugs to fine-tuning tenons and shaving end-grain, it can't be beat. I even use it to clean out mortices after drilling. I keep it scary sharp. An apprentice used it once despite my dire warning about even thinking about touching my tools. The dolt dropped it and nicked the blade. I damn near cried when I found out. Took me a long time to restore the edge. It now rests in my locked tool chest whenever I'm not using it.
It is hard to choose. The first thing I reach for in my shop is my wooden stool..the old knees just don't work any more. Oh, but that is not a tool..lets see..my sharp pencil is next...I guess my favorite "power tool" is my Ridgid or Poter Cable RO sander. My favorite hand tool is my @3 vintage Stanley Plane. It just whispers when I use it.
I repair homes so all of my tools are portable.
Hand tools: My little Lie Nielson bronze apron plane. My 10 oz. Stilletto titanium hammer, my restored set of #40 Stanley chisels.
Power tools. By far my Makita 2708 table saw with the Rousseau set up. I have beat the tar out of that thing almost on a daily basis and it has stayed with me for over 20 years. Second to that would be my DeWalt #705 miter saw. That's only been used daily for 15 years and still makes accurate satin smooth cuts.
Lastly would be the Milwaukee 18v drill. I have two.
I will be using all of these tools today in fact.
My favorite tool is a carpenter's tool bench my brother built as a christmas present about 20 years ago. When I was trimming my custom homes I would load it up with tools, nails and screws and carry it room to room, using it as a saw horse to cut window stool and aprons or to stand on when I needed to nail something high. (Also worked well as a lunch bench!!)
It is just about worn out. I think I'll build two this holiday season: keep one and give the other to my brother.
While I have an extensive collection of good quality hand and power tools, as well as several vintage gems, my favourite tool is probably the most simple: my cabinet scraper.
Nothing compares to the thrill of producing gossamer-thin spirals of timber while sweeping a well-honed scraper across a patch of curly grain.
The scraper is not just a finishing tool, but great for a host of tricky steps during construction of a fine piece. I keep a coarse-set scraper for hollowing out chair seats, cleaning up tenons and rebates as well as cleaning off areas of smudged pencil or ingrained dust to reveal the true nature of the grain below.
In no order of preference my:
• Lee Valley Bevel up Smoother;
• Bessey K and K Revo body clamps;
• Dozuki saw;
• Festool Domino;
• my many hand tools and machinery of both my late Grandad and Dad.
I read all the tools mentioned and aside from a few clever responses I find this discussion has me turning to my workshop and looking at these tools mentioned and really appreciating their usability and versatility. As an earlier reader mentioned I also have a favorite Stanley plane that was handed down through my wife's family and I keep it on me when I am working, but I have to say that my clamp collection is absolutely indispensable. The Jorgensons, Irwin, Jet, Bessy, bar, strap, miter, handscrew, several other brand names as well as descriptions - et cetera - I use my Irwin quick clamp collection the most for obvious reasons, so I would have to say they are my favorite. I was a bit surprised that no-one else has the same feelings as most woodworking would be goofy looking without them.
as they say - you can never have enough clamps!
I have many fine hand and power tools, but ever since I got a Powermatic 3520B lathe, it has been my favorite. My other tools support the lathe turning now! It's addictive.
The more tools I aquire the harder it is to pick a favourite. But the tool that has turned out to be the workhorse in my shop is my Skil Saw 5150. I bought it about 15 years ago and it still works like day one. I haven't found anything it wouldn't cut including some very hard 4x4 posts. Anytime I am uncomfortable about making a cut on the table saw, I pull out the Skil Saw and a straight edge and make the cut comfortably and safely. Skil may not be a popular brand amoung serious woodworkers but I wouldn't trade this saw! It may not be the fanciest or most expensive tool in my shop but I am sure it is the most used tool.
My favorite tool well if I had to pick justone it would have to be my 18V Milwaukee Drill, my wife bought me for christmas back in 2002 and mainly because I use it the most, actually I have two.
A tough question for sure. My favorite tools bar none are my own two hands. With them I am able to use all of the others and I am able to appreciate the end product on a different level. There is nothing like running your hands over a finished turning or silky smooth table top.
My favorite tools are my hand tools. Because the question asks what is your favorite tool I would have to say my Lie Nielsen #4 1/2 hand plane. It was love at first heft.
It is beautifully crafted, a please to hold and even better to use. It is a far better tool than my meager skills are capable of using, but when I am gone it will still work and be handed down to my grandsons and then to their grandsons.
It is in every sense an heirloom tool, but at the same time a true workhorse. It is great to see a tool of such quality that is still produced in our own country. Thank you Lie Nielsen.
I love my restored Stanley #6C & 7, my various Veritas planes, but will reach for the Lie Nielsen as my first choice working plane whenever possible.
Powertool-Ryobi Lithium Ion 18v impact driver-This is the must have tool that you didn't know you needed until you buy one. The impact action prevents stripped screw heads and will drive anything from delicate screws in finely finished pieces to 3" deck screws and driving tapcons into concrete
Closet 2nd-Bosch Worm Drive saw. Powerful, precise and easy to line up, makes chopping up large panels very simple.
Hand Tool-Tough decision, either my Narex mortising chisels, a great deal at 10-15 dollars each, or my starret dial caliper. I spent a summer working in a machine shop and through working metal made improved the precision of my woodworking 1000x's.
My favorite tools are the ones I cobbled together and used the most. The first being a 1939 Duro lathe (manufactured in Chicago and sold at Montgomery Wards) that I spent the better part of 2009 rebuilding after rescuing it from a machine shop in Marathon, NY. It now has a heavy oak base with about 300 lbs of concrete for stability. The lathe now works like a champ and I spend any extra minutes of the day on that machine for fun.
The next is an early 1950s 10" Delta Homecraft bandsaw that is now totally a franken-saw. New 3/4 h.p. motor, new cabinet, custom 6" milled steel riser block, and finally a new larger table and Kreg fence. It will resaw and shape large logs for working on the lathe. The original cost was $50, but all the "improvements" have quickly added up. Still I love the sturdiness and simplicity of that saw. In the past I have had a Davis Wells 20" and an Inca, but this one really feels right.
Without a doubt, I enjoy my hand planes more than any other tool in my shop. The connection with the wood is unsurpassed. It takes me back to a time 50 years ago when I watched and admired my grandfather ply his craft as a carpenter/cabnetmaker. He used his planes almost like an extension of his had. I was amazed to wath him work and this was, no doubt, the seeds of my passion. Although I have spent my working life as a software engineer, I am retired now and have time to enjoy my passion to "work wood".
Without question, my new L-N #4 and the two new carcass saws I bought a few weeks ago. See Firstlightwoodworking.blogspot.com
Just for sentimental reasons, my favorite is a 1-1/4" Witherby socket bevel chisel. It is the one that I reach for most often. A perfect sized bench chisel for working on boats.
I'd have to say my mechanical pencil & a full tablet of graph paper. Once my imagination is ignited, no matter how long it may take, the pleasure continues to the end of each project!
Precision and ease of use are the two most important qualities a favorite tool must have, in my opinion. The first that comes to mind is the Veritas MK2 Honing guide, that I purchased with three waterstones, a few years back. Or it works well with the scary-sharp system, if you prefer. There is nothing to calibrate, as its so simple. Another favorite is my Katie Dovetail Jig. I use it exclusuvely, upside down, on my routertable. Again simple set-up, by eye. I chose it over the Leigh jig because it cost $100 less and all I wanted was Through Dovetails. I will also add, Terry Hampton, The inventor/president of the Katie Jig, will talk to you, first hand, on the telephone and if there are any issues, he will help solve the problem instead of adding to it. My only problem was missing parts when I first got it. He not only sent what I needed but added some extras, for my trouble. He then gave me the company, cell phone and his private home phone numbers, if I needed them. Lastly, a year ago I built a Drill Press Table for my 16.5" D.P. Designed it as I worked on it, it has two T-tracks, with toggle clamps, a straight-edge clamp for a fence and large replacable inserts for the drilling surface. It bolts directly to the round, cast-iron D.P.table. Again, simple and well-made, out of two layers of MDF and edges trimmed with Walnut. Finish is just several coats of Garnet Shellac and three coats of paste wax.
"A legend in his own mind."
Allright. I'll bite. But, bear in mind that I am still new to woodworking, so hold your chuckles and guffaws until after the presentation, please...
My favorite power tool would have to be, hands down, my Skil Bench-top Drill Press. Why? Because I can't drill a straight hole with a hand drill to save my life!!! I'm sure I'll get better with practice, but until then, the Drill Press lets me make consistent, repeatable, and (most importantly) STRAIGHT holes each and every time.
My favorite hand tool is, right now, my coping saw. I have found myself doing a lot of non-linear cuts lately (jigsaw puzzle shaped flooring for the patio, for example), and this cheap little saw lets me whip through them. I liked it so much, in fact, that I bought another one to use in my garden (for trimming trees and shrubs). Works great.
Thanks for the good question. While evaluating my various tools old and new, I almost overlooked the old 10' Stanley Powerlock hanging from my pocket. Inherited from my father and sporting a recent right to left reading blade, it's the tool I keep most ready to hand.
My favourite tool is my 1" Japanese chisel, i have lost of fun sharpening it accessionaly it just stays so long sharp.
I bought it when i was i Japan, only one so that i could see if it is better, with some saws and a hammer.
i had only 1/4 of a hour to go and get them.
Next time i buy lots more.
I agree that it's tough to choose a favorite tool. But, after some consideration, I've settled on my brain, even though it's probably the least-capable tool in the shop.
Its hard to choose my favorite hand tool. My Starrett combo square has been with me a long time and still as dead nuts as day one,but i love my Veritas low angle block plane too.
My favorite power tool has to be my Powermatic Table saw. Its powerful and precise down to the 128 of an inch. It took me a while to get it set up this well but it stays put and when cutting I rarely even need a tape with the exception of dados.
My favorite tool would be hard to choose as just to say tool covers a lot of territory, especially for me. You see I have tools I have bought, tools I have inherited and tools some very special people have given me.
Since this blog asks which is my favorite, I have to choose , so I will choose the Rockwell cabinet saw my father and uncle bought in 1948 or so when they started their construction business. I inherited it when my uncle passed.
This is the saw I learned to use when I was only 12 (I'm 64 now). It is the tool which I was taught to respect most and became the most valued for it's capabilities as well as it's sentimental value nowadays. I fully intend to pass it on to my son in law ( had 4 daughters), thats why I completely rebuilt it three years ago. It is a 110 v saw which can rip 10/4 hard maple stock with NO strain. I have outfitted it with a thin kerf blade and have all sorts of jigs and fixtures, sleds, etc. to make it a workhorse. I even have a router table on the right side extension, which makes a potent shop in a small space. My next upgrade is a dedicated dust collector with a cyclone on it. LOVE THIS SAW!!!!
My favorite hand tool is a toss up between my little Lee Valley 4" double square (easily the most used tool in the shop) and a set of Lie-Nielsen bevel edge chisels I stumbled onto at a flea market for pennies on the dollar (what they were doing at a flea market, I'll never know).
My favorite power tool is my 1971 Northfield 12" direct drive jointer. Nothing is built better, and I can still get parts should I need to.
My favourite is a 150mm stainles rule from Axminster (UK)
It costs £0.89, and is usually in my pocket. Or somewhere else, which is why I bought two.
Second favourite is a 3-inch engineers square from the same people.
hand tool or power tool, so many to choose from: Power tool I'd have to go with my Porter Cable 3 1/4hp router in router table for its power and versatility. Favorite overall? Well have to go with my 21" wooden jointer plane purchased for $5 on Ebay. After a little tuning, hone and sharpen the blade this plane simply sings through wood making piles of gossamer shavings. Can't beat the feel of wooden plane in your hand, the sound and feel of one that is well tuned which effortlessly does the job it was designed to do.
Great question :)
Handtools - After a good long think, I think this has got to be my shoulder plane - a Veritas large. Its just *nice*. Proper and heavy. I like the set-screws for the blade, the depth adjuster is nice. Feels nice to use. Its sneaked up on quite a few joints, and, because its good and weighty its used for shooting small mitres more often than the other planes. Very close second is the #4... Very very close other second is a Japanese dovetail saw (splitting a pencil line is normal ;p) And there are other close seconds..... 8)
Powertools - think this must go to the precision bullies in the shop! This one must go to the routers. Split vote: Makita 3612 for handheld use, and the orange gorilla (Triton) mounted under the table.
-- ps. I have room for more "close seconds" in the handtools department!
I agree with Senomozi about the Lee Valley double square, and would add the Lee Valley / Veritas Saddle Square and Sliding Square to that list. No projects gets done without these handy measuring and marking tools.
My favourite hand tool is a Krenov style smooth plane I made myself. Now that I've figured out how to set the blade, I get consistent whisper thin shavings. Another favourite is a an old infill plane with an Alex Matheison blade that belonged to my Grandfather. He was a cabinet maker from Sweden who moved to Vancouver, BC in the 1920's. I never got to meet him as he passed away before I was born. I often wonder what stories he could have told me about the plane.
My favourite power tool is my Delta 14" bandsaw. By far the most versatile machine I own.
Definitely a pair of Disston panel saws (one rip, one x-cut) that have been passed down to me from my great grandfather. They were originally used by both my great grandfather and grandfather, who were contractors, to build many houses here in MI. I have any number of power and hand saws at my disposal, but nothing gives me more satisfaction than the connection to my past I feel when I use these saws. I cherish them and can't wait to pass them along to my children.
My favorite tool is my Lee Valley 4" double square. I keep it in my apron and I probably use it 50 times a day to setup bit/blade height, distance to the fence, laying out joinery, ensuring stock is milled square and so much more. It is almost as useful as a pencil!
My favorite hand tool is my Veritas Bevel up jack plane. It is my first "premium" hand plane and it work like a dream both when smoothing wide boards, shooting or using as a large smoother or small jointer. It really is a "jack" of all trades in the plane world. My wife had actually bought me a Rigid oscillating spindle/belt sander for Christmas and after much deliberation on what I really wanted, I returned the sander to HD and bought the jack plane. No regrets!
My favorite power tool is my Rigid TS3650 table saw for its built-in lift system, great fence, power etc. A great product all around.
My favorite hand tool is my Lee Valley Veritas Bevel Up Smooth Plane. It's nice to look at, and in use it says "No" to tear out on highly figured woods. Leaves a smooth surface that needs little or no sanding.
My favorite power tool is my Steel City 14" Bandsaw. Runs smooth and does a great job. Has good power and doesn't take up too much space in my mobile necessary shop. Still learning some of the ins and outs of it, and it's been a great experience.
My favorite tools are the ones that got handed down to me by my father-in-law when he passed away last year. He was notorious for using them so much, and because of that, I have had to do full restores on a lot of them. I like those old, broken tools so much because it tells a story about the father in law I never knew, who was already on the downward slope of dementia when I met my wife. Among my favorites are a mix of hand and power: A Stanley #4, and a circa-1960 DeWalt Powershop 1400 (radial arm saw). Both are older than I am, but restoring them helps me know his life a little better. I have gone to great lengths to ensure they stay in good condition, and would sell the coolest, most useful whiz bang tool in my shop before I would even think of parting with any of those. A unexpected side effect is that I now have a love for restoring old woodworking (and some non) tools, including the Atlas 10" lathe I bought for cheap at a swap meet.
Kezurou-kai Mini, or NYC KEZ for short, is a gathering in which craftsmen and enthusiasts come together to celebrate Japanese style woodworking.
The Shakers had this diminutive design pegged
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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