Tool Addicts

Tool Addicts

Poll: The Next FWW Tool Test

comments (63) June 22nd, 2009 in blogs

thumbs up 63 users recommend

Help select the next tool test for Fine Woodworking magazine, like this recent review of random-orbit sanders. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Help select the next tool test for Fine Woodworking magazine, like this recent review of random-orbit sanders.

Photo: Michael Pekovich

Fine Woodworking is planning upcoming issues and wants help selecting the next tool test.

posted in: blogs, tool, poll

Comments (63)

CamanoWW CamanoWW writes: Since we are all relying more on internet access to materials on your site, it would be nice if your content was accessible by the major browsers, e.g. Internet Explorer or Chrome. Specifically, it would be nice if your videos supported both these commonly used browsers.
Posted: 3:35 pm on January 11th

Greg_Crispell Greg_Crispell writes: I agree with fsdecker! At test of cyclone dust collectors. Along with a discussion of what is required (CFM and FPM) to capture the most harmful dust.
Posted: 3:36 pm on September 18th

fdecker fdecker writes: fsdecker
With all the furniture & even small woodworking shops shutting
down I would like to see a comparison done on how much you think a vintage machine should sell for. What to look for as far as wear,are parts still available,is converting from 3Ph
to single phase to costly.
I was lucky enough to find a 12in Foley Belsaw planer molder
with a 5hp single phase motor for less then I was able to sell
my 12in Dewalt portable planer for. These machines are out there and you can still get parts for them.Some info on looking
for used machines would be helpful.
Posted: 11:00 pm on February 7th

Barton Barton writes: I mentioned this before, please review cyclone dust collectors. Many of us need help cutting through the marketing hyperbole to facts about performance, efficiency, etc. Please compare ClearVue, Oneida, Grizzly, and others. Dust collectors are an area filled with strong opinions that approach religious zeal, but what are the facts. A side by side comparison is the way to go and FineWoodworking is the right group to bring some clear, unbiased comparison to the situation.
Posted: 7:39 am on September 14th

CamanoWW CamanoWW writes: I think a test of high-efficiency (HEPA) vacuums could be useful. I haven't found any on the site so it might be a good time.
Posted: 4:25 pm on May 28th

Barton Barton writes: I will repeat a previous post by
He said it so well. I am shopping for a cyclone collector for my shop that under construction as I write this. I need guidance on the same points David stated. Thanks, Mike

How about a test of cyclone systems? It would be great to see some data that cut through the hype about which ones work and which don't. What I'd like to see:

1) 3 or 4 major brands tested (Griz, Oneida, Penn State, Clearview)

2)measurements of cyclone effectiveness, i.e. how clean does the filter stay?

3)measurements of filter effectiveness, i.e. how clean is the air after is passes through the filter?

4)Noise comparison

5)Simple cfm test to see if suction matches manufacturers data.

I would personally like to get a cyclone, but the claims and counter claims are really confusing!
Posted: 10:34 pm on May 26th

brb777 brb777 writes: I have to agree wih DavidBrum. It seems that there are major dicrepancies in what mfrs claim for exhaust speed and what is actually delivered to the power tool being exhausted.
Posted: 11:51 pm on July 17th

davidbrum davidbrum writes: How about a test of cyclone systems? It would be great to see some data that cut through the hype about which ones work and which don't. What I'd like to see:

1) 3 or 4 major brands tested (Griz, Oneida, Penn State, Clearview)

2)measurements of cyclone effectiveness, i.e. how clean does the filter stay?

3)measurements of filter effectiveness, i.e. how clean is the air after is passes through the filter?

4)Noise comparison

5)Simple cfm test to see if suction matches manufacturers data.

I would personally like to get a cyclone, but the claims and counter claims are really confusing!
Posted: 11:36 am on July 9th

sasquatch55 sasquatch55 writes: I'd like to see a review of stationary sanding apparatus, like oscillating edge sander/spindle sanders. Not the "benchtop" variety, but the serious floor units (2/3 hp 220v) sold by Jet, Powermatic, Grizzly and others.

Posted: 9:08 pm on July 8th

JamesScott JamesScott writes: I'm repeating what I've written here before, after sales performance, longevity and service are critical elements of these tool reviews.

My Delta table saw lost its belts this morning and my dealer tells me two weeks plus to get parts in Canada. This is just one small example of how the North American Tool companies have lost their way.

Don't get me wrong, I'll deal with it and I won't stew on this. But two weeks, unbelievable and unacceptable! I have a business to run and I can't allow companies that provide inadequate service to dictate how my business performs.

My next purchase may have a more European spin on things. If the North American tool companies continue on this path of providing poor products and services, regardless of them being made at home or imported, than really what choice is there?
Posted: 1:37 pm on July 7th

Tablemaker Tablemaker writes: I agree, these have all been "reviewed" to death. How about something that we don't see every year six times in all the magazines. Maybe bench top router shapers, as one above stated, how about consumables like mortise chisels, are they all interchangeable? Those of us that have been doing this for years have made our choices in small power tools. These die of old age and improved come on the market, but aside from a brake or different motor type, face it, a router is a router and once you have the one you like you know what's comfortable and needed.
I read this and other mags searching for interesting tips and information. I recently did an internet search for info about beeswax, turpentine, and linseed oil finishes, how to formulate pros, cons, and options. most of what I found was written by people that knew less about the subject than I do and they were guiding the truly lost.
ANOTHER review of the same old same old is of little or no value, this is really the one magazine that I expect to be progressive and unique. Maybe that is what the next article should address.

Posted: 12:50 pm on July 5th

WoodLess WoodLess writes: I'd like to see an article on scroll-saws. Using, maintaining,comparing brands.

Posted: 8:17 pm on June 30th

farmerbob farmerbob writes: Most tools listed above have had reviews in the last two years or so, but updates are good. One group of powertools I would like to see evaluated are the combination moulder/planers (12-13 inch) or slightly bigger.
Posted: 1:54 am on June 29th

whiteoak whiteoak writes: All the listed tools have recent reviews available. What is not avaialble is a current review of drum sanders. Admittedly this is a selfish request, as this will likely be my next purchase.
Posted: 3:51 pm on June 27th

leftistelf leftistelf writes: Air cleaners? Mid-sized air compressors? Shop vacuums?

That all blows.

Impact drivers? small cordless drivers?

That's screwed.

First, everyone has a shop vacuum, compressor, impact driver, and cordless driver. In fact, who doesn't have 2+ cordless drivers already?

Second, almost everyone has a router or three, and you know that 3hp routers have to go into a table to do the things 3hp routers do that 2-2.5 can't. So, it becomes a test of variable speeds and access from the table top...boring.

Air cleaner tests come down to sound, CFM, and effectiveness. None of which lend themselves to an interesting discussion, and the product itself really is a niche product with questionable value, except in a finishing room.

A 18" bandsaw review is like a review of cabinet saws. Expensive and not really necessary. The 16" review you did recently ruled, but that's really the limit on bandsaws for most people.

6" jointers, well , if you're not going to do a benchtop version, why not get an 8" version for the same footprint. Besides, you know that people who buy a 6" are going to want to trade up, so doing a larger jointer article appeals to first time buyers and upgraders. Maybe, do a 8" or 10" review. Or a 12" review to support the 12" benchtop planer review.

You should really do the hollow chisel mortiser review. It's an area competitor mags haven't hit recently, is an accessory that everyone doing fine woodworking plays with - should i go with a mortise chisel, drill press + corner chisel or mortiser? It's also an accessory that would fit well with the right project in the same issue. That's a home run, especially if you do some tips on selecting the right mortising bits.
Posted: 3:13 am on June 27th

Scott_y Scott_y writes: Any of the tools on the list could be good for reviews. I already have most of them though so please be sure to include TESTS of the disposable items that go along with the tools - jig saw blades, air filters, chisels, etc.


Posted: 12:14 am on June 27th

thatoneguy2 thatoneguy2 writes: Ideas:

Mortising chisels

Rasps, files.

Also, I would like an article on oil. What different kinds are there (vegetable, mineral, etc), and when to use which for what -- and when not to. This might cover lubrication, rust prevention, and perhaps finishing.

I've been reading a lot of push for wooden smoothing planes. Any FWW opinion?

I'd also like a review of the standard wester rip/crosscut saws. Does anyone make good ones anymore?

If you do 6" jointer, include the Rigid in the list. I've heard claims that it is better than Delta's.
Posted: 8:33 pm on June 25th

joe4liberty joe4liberty writes: Combo Machines - I for one like tool reviews they help me plan out purchases. I have purchased the "Tool Review" issue for the last 5 years, and must say I am disappointed (FAR too many repeats from year to year). That said, I saw this list and like the others thought, "my gosh you've reviewed these tools these to death!", then I thought; "What I really want, they'll never do - Combo-machines", but then I read the posts, and saw Judgewood, SeaJay, Craftique, Nickedfinger, all asking for the same thing. Maybe I'm not the only one who wants to "do it all" yet figure out how to do it out of a 2-car garage. I don't know if I would want a Shop Smith (think I'd prefer a more heavy-duty machine), but I sure would like to see it up against Mini-Max, Felder, Hammer, Robland, etc. side-by-side, so that I can make that decision based on the features, pros and cons. So there it is, PLEASE review combo-machines.
Posted: 5:47 pm on June 25th

AsaC AsaC writes: Thanks, everyone. The tools on the list were just a few suggestions, all being relatively popular tools we haven't reviewed in a long while. I'm glad folks are using the comment feature to let us know what we missed. That was the plan.
As you can see, people's needs are quite varied. That is one of the challenges of putting together a general-interest woodworking magazine ("fine" or not). But I've seen a few things mentioned over and over, from used tools to sharpening stones to hand tools. Your comments will definitely factor into our decision-making. By the way, we are already working on an article that teaches people where to find used machinery, and what to look for to make sure you don't get a lemon or get in over your head with rehabbing.
Keep the good comments coming.
--Asa Christiana, editor
Posted: 10:46 am on June 25th

Kent2 Kent2 writes: I would suggest an updated combination machine review. Most of the reviews of these on the site are outdated.
Posted: 7:48 am on June 25th

HappyHacker HappyHacker writes: I am not interested in options listed. Like other members I am more interested in techniques, making my own, where the value point is on the price curve, long term performance and some of the more interesting tools. Re the comment of overpriced Fein accessories, I agree they are expensive but I have not had any problems with longevity and it is a wonderful tool. I have had many cheap tools and have now got some expensive ones both hand and power, the expensive ones make things so much easier, although I still have some cheap tools for occasional rough use where I can accept their poorer performance.
Posted: 6:26 am on June 25th

waterwax waterwax writes: There are many good suggestions posted. One item of curiosity is whether the combination jointers/planer tools perform as well as those purchased separately. However, there are manyother tools already rated in FWW and elsewhere. I do think the most important aspect are indeed jigs and enhancements made with tools. Example: how to make a jig for a 30 degree or 45 degree incline on a Hollow mortise chisel. I saw a New Yankee Workshop episode where Norm did such a thing and it was only a 2 second pan on the camera so it must be a guarded secret for the pros. It doesn't stop there such as rather than buying a drill press table but make one even for the shorty 12 inch models. Techniques with these adjunct additions I think is a must such as making a small gooseneck curve not for the hefty and big Highboy's with a shaper but one done on a router table. Some of us like to make smaller versions or spin offs like a small mantle clock or make one to hang on the wall. One unique idea is making an index jig for a router table where a cylindrical piece of wood could easily be routed for flutes and other embellishments instead of some of us who have lathes but no index plate or cumbersome router jig mounted on the lathe. I know these ideas especially the latter someone has made on their own. Raised panels and especially finishing topics below I believe have been over done. There are a plethora of articles on finishing not to mention books and opinions abound as to period finishes, using a small linseed oil then shellac etc. Coloring of wood well over done with 2 step processes, one step, shellac, chemicals, natural plants, mordants, dyes, stains, transtints etc. One major overlook is gilding with gold leaf being the exception. There are new technologies such as patinizing brass and metals as well as using ingredients to patinize wood where a metal base is painted on and various chemicals or formulas premade are used to achieve various outcomes. Brass, silver and other inlays I believe have been covered. These are just my thoughts and opinions that may be interesting to others so if anyone agrees with one or more of my topics by all means include them. What's great about this forum is that new ideas abound and the editors ought to consider our suggestions because honestly some issues are lean in content and plain boring with the exception of advetisements.
Posted: 10:36 pm on June 24th

rambler7 rambler7 writes: i would like to an heads up between the new delta table saw and the sawstop
Posted: 10:06 pm on June 24th

JoeW JoeW writes: I get tool reviews elsewhere. I'd like to have FW concentrate on the "how to" side of things. Design, how to build, how to make jigs and fixtures that will make my drill press and benchtop hollow chisel mortiser easier to use.

More Bob Flexner ideas on finishing.

As suggested by another responder, tell me more about what I get as I move from cheap to expensive tool solutions.

How about comparisons between manual and power tool approaches to woodworking, like hand planes vs: power jointers.

More info on Google Sketchup and its application in woodworking.

Clever ideas on workshop layout, storage and work surface solutions, to challenge the "same old" ideas I've been reading for years.

More information about the wood we use. Tables, charts, graphs so we can readily see the differences.

Does anyone make a really good line of dust collection fittings? If so, tell me about their products. I'm tired of fittings that don't fit, clamps that don't clamp, left and right hand threaded hoses that don't play well with each other, worthless blast gates that quickly jamb and fail, and more.

Along those same lines, how about a critique of other things we have to use that don't work. Measuring devices that are inaccurate, drill bits with high levels of runout, screws that snap off, etc., etc.

From 2005 through 2008 I restocked and re-outfitted my workshop. Guess which manufacturers' products were most frequently sent in for warranty service? Those made by the high-end manufacturers with high-quality reputations. How about a survey aimed at divulging product quality and reliability?
Posted: 10:01 pm on June 24th

jaxon3 jaxon3 writes: I,Too,like many others,suscribe to FWW to learn new methods
of working on projects for experienced woodworkers. I don't
have a large budget for tools as I already have most on the
list,with some exceptions. Most woodworkers get several other
magazines that are always reviewing tools.Let them do it,and
FWW stick to showing how to DO Fine woodworking!
Posted: 8:09 pm on June 24th

sledge sledge writes: Hi,
I have three of most tools that go from good-better-best. I purchased them over many years and as one either became caput or my ability to purchase a better quality tool I purchased another. I would like more tech info about repairing tools.
The comment about building your own equipment struck a chord with me as I have a 5HP compressor that I made from parts and feel it outperforms most others available in stores at about double what I paid. Why not have your tech staff build a compressor that would be more woodworking specific. Perhaps your tech staff could build a dust and chip collection system from scratch rather than just comparing store bought systems. Even recommendations for adapting store bought systems to integrate into an overall shop collection system.


Posted: 7:33 pm on June 24th

JTSteve JTSteve writes: I agree with what seems to be the majority: pretty boring stuff. I would like to see reviews of less than common tools that are new and unusual or ones that maybe aren't as popular as they used to be, such as the radial arm saw. Include reasons why they could be useful additions to a small shop like most of us have.
A suggestion for new tools would be a comparison between sanders like Stockroom Supply's Vdrum sander and the Sand-Flee. Both are a significant investment for something that I have no experience with.
I would like to see the magazine post a notice that they are going to do a test on specific products and ask for reader input on the specific items that can be included IN the article, to see how user input compares with the editors' conclusions.
Posted: 7:06 pm on June 24th

Eric_C Eric_C writes: I agree with a previous poster who mentioned that a vertical evaluation of the trade-offs when moving up or down the price scale would be more useful than the typical horizontal evluations where several examples from the same price point are compared head-to-head. Examples would be c
1. omparing the quality of cuts, ease of set-up, size capacities in moving from table-top to contractor to hybrid to cabinet saws.
2. comparing stand-alone to bechtop mortisers to mortising jigs utillizing a router.
3. Comparing the smallest lightest planars (12.5") to the next size (13") which is usually a big price jump. What would I get?

When I buy anything significant I go under the theory that the cost/value curve starts out rising steeply(the lowest price choioce usually has minimal value), then turns a corner and begins rising more slowly, never levelling off. Spending more $ yeilds more value., but less and less value the more you spend. Tell me where the elbow is.
Posted: 6:54 pm on June 24th

donalex65 donalex65 writes: none of the tools listed interest me either , and i echo the people who asked for a comparision based on the actual tool buying type decisions we have to make every time we buy a new tool , namely how high up the size and price scale do we have to go to get a quality tool that fits in our shop and budget that will adequately handle what we need to do with it. It seems to me that a whole lot of us are dealing with pretty small shop space and limited budgets, but at the same time do not want to compromise on quality and function

to me a useful tool review needs to include information like quality of the parts of the tested item, difficulty in setting the tool to operate as it should, and how does it compare in function, fit and quality to the next models up and /or down the scale size and price wise
I am also of the opinion that the title "fine woodworking"
implies a level of information that is a cut above
Posted: 3:24 pm on June 24th

howlin33 howlin33 writes: Like many of the other postings, I look toward FWW for articles on advanced techniques and "out of the box thinking", let the lesser magazines do the tool reviews. If you feel you need to do the reviews, do compairatives on the larger tools that many of us put months and sometimes years of research into, because we only have that kind of money to spend once and can't afford to make a bad purchase. I also like the reviews on expendables that make out projects from good to great. Who wants to purchase 15 different quarts of top coat.
Posted: 3:18 pm on June 24th

Gyro Gyro writes: After building my own shop air cleaner, I can't believe anyone would spend the money to buy one. Having a test on one is a waste of time compared to testing a tool that you cannot build yourself.
I have about $50 into materials for mine and it moves over 1300 cfm. I just used a gable vent fan from a hardware store that cost less than $50, a standard 20"x20" and a 20"x20" HEPA filter stacked on top of one another, 1/2" MDF I had laying around, a switch box, a chain pull switch, some hooks for the box and ceiling and some lightweight chain leftover from some fluorescent lights. After seeing mine, my woodworking friends wish they didn't spend their hard earned money on the commercial units they bought.
If we need a tool test on something, it is not on a tool we can build ourselves.
Posted: 2:45 pm on June 24th

saschafer saschafer writes: How about some real investigative journalism? Rather than Yet Another In-the-Shop Review, give it a little more oomph. Someone else mentioned air cleaners. Well, there has been some discussion, here on Knots and elsewhere, that the remote control on the Jet air cleaner is incompatible with fluorescent lights. That seems like a pretty signficant limitation to me. Do other air cleaners have the same limitation? What does Jet have to say on the matter? The FWW editorial staff ought to have enough clout to get the real scoop from the manufacturers. And if the manufacturers aren't willing to talk on the record, well, that's real news, too.

Posted: 1:48 pm on June 24th

CompleteRookie CompleteRookie writes: I was going to vote but I looked at the choices and was very disappointed. While all those are nice, for me the VITAL one is a table saw. That being stated, a good review of the multi-purpose machines.

Reviewing a sander is nice, but since these don't cost too much, the impact of buying a bad sander is minimul. Compare that to the cost of buying a bad table saw?

Posted: 12:52 pm on June 24th

Maupin Maupin writes: I am not particularly interested in what someone else thinks about a tool, especially if the report never takes a stand and selects the best tool. This seems to “table stakes” for woodworking magazines, they all have tool reveiws. To some, this may be considered good reading, but I have worked with tools long enough to know what I want in a tool. There are so many ways to find out about tools that I do not even bother with your Tool Review articles Researching new tools is the best reason I can use for going to my Woodworking and Hardware Stores.

Fine Woodworking is the place I go to learn new methods and materials for woodworking. Articles about how to do different steps in a project are the main reason I read your magazine. I expect to get a through, well illustrated article on a project or method of performing an operation. Whenever I am planning a new project or wanting to learn a new technique, Fine Working is the first place I look! Your articles have always gone into more detail, and demonstrated the “Professional” thinking and methods. Please stay with what you have always done best and continue to maintain your position as the “Fine Woodworking” source. Do not drop down to reveiwing tools like other magazines do almost monthly.

Posted: 11:46 am on June 24th

scottwiz scottwiz writes: How about a test of any tool made in USA to the cheaply made Chinese brands.
Posted: 11:45 am on June 24th

mstrrktek mstrrktek writes: I was rather disappointed in the selection of vote items for the tool test vote. Most, if not all, of them have been done fairly recently. The only one that I don't believe has been, is the air cleaners. My First Choice would have been the multi-purpose tools that are now competing with the WAY OVERPRICED Fein Multi-Master. You know, Bosch, Dremel, and I believe there are at least 3 others. This would necessarily, and almost more importantly, include the available accessories and blades, and their interchangeability. I'm just kind of tire of hearing about the $35-$40 blades (or more) that Fein is pawning off. These are the ones that last about an hour while cutting oak flooring.
That's my 5 cents (inflation from 2 cents).
Posted: 11:35 am on June 24th

nickedfinger nickedfinger writes: I would like to see an article on the Shopsmith. I have one that I bought from an estate and would like to know more about it, accuracy, etc. It looks very sturdy and I know there are a lot of them out there. Most Woodworkers "turn their noses up" when I mention it. I grew up on Delta Tools, 1940-50 vintage and am just setting up my own shop and would like to know if the Shopsmith should be a part of it or not.
Posted: 11:28 am on June 24th

craftique craftique writes: I too, am not particularly interested any on the list.

I have never seen an article by anyone on multi-purpose machines, like the Shopsmith or Total-shop.
I have used a Shopsmith since 1959 and have built stuff at least as good as anything coming out of a big shop full of individual tools.
Posted: 10:43 am on June 24th

Rambler Rambler writes: I would like to see a tool review of drum sanders. The small shop, single drum type. closed versus cantilever models. These seem to be very popular based on the price increasing so much in the last few years. I am getting to the point in my abilities that I need to surface home cut veneers and these seem like the best method.
Posted: 10:35 am on June 24th

Seajay Seajay writes: Much like the other comments, I believe this is not a very good list. It wouldn't hurt to include some write in capability. I understand that the ability to provide comments gives you the ability to receive additional input. I hope you take it as valuable input.

My personal pet peeve is that none of the magazines provide any information on tools like Shopsmith. I have had mine for over 25 years and I can still get support and parts for it. Yes it is an initially expensive purchase, but how many tools have the ability to provide support for their customers? Also, I didn't have to toss it out because it wore out.

This is also true of their other tools such as bandsaw, jointer,, etc that can be used either as an attachment to the Shopsmith or as a stand alone tool, yet again, magazines do not provide reviews of those tools nor include them in tool tests. Why not? Space is also a great concern for many woodworkers and Shopsmith helps with that issue. There are many Shopsmith owners out here who love our tools and would like to see them included in the reviews.

Posted: 9:40 am on June 24th

RalphBarker RalphBarker writes: I'm interested in mortisers, but limiting the comparison to benchtop models is much less interesting. I'm more curious about whether floor models are worth the added expense. In other words, my suggestion is to consider the real buying decisions people make when determining the scope of a tool review.
Posted: 9:28 am on June 24th

velbloud velbloud writes: I agree with others, please do not review things like sanders, cordless screwdrivers etc. The product selection will be diferent next year anyway and your review will be useless then. There are numerous other reviews on the net and in other magazines.

If I had to choose from your list I'd vote for the one about small portable tablesaws. I am unfortunately forced to use one of these, can't have the big models. In'depth review would be helpful though.

Another interesting one not in the list might be about cyclones. There is always a heated debate about ClearVue, Oneida or PSI quality and performance. You've done similar portable dust collector review in the past that actually measured the CFM etc. Why not cyclones? They are quite a big investment for many people and I am sure they would like to make as good a decision as they can. And there are huge price diferences too.

Posted: 9:11 am on June 24th

ErickO ErickO writes: I'm going to be the voice of dissension and say that I do appreciate the value of a good tool review. Several of the tools I've purchased have been as a result of what I've read in magazines and I can say that I've been very satisfied with my purchases as a result. However, I must emphasize that the review must be thorough, and incorporate not just a regurgitation of the specs, but also a detailed summary of the benefits/disadvantages of how the tool is used in day to day tasks. Your magazine has always prided itself on the "finer" aspects of woodworking. Make this your mantra with regard to the tool reviews as well.
Posted: 8:47 am on June 24th

pickens pickens writes: Perhaps I've missed where this is, but it would be nice to have a place on the website or a short article in the magazine at the beginning of each year that lists the upcoming tool reviews. A couple of times I have made a tool purchase, only to have the class of tool reviewed the following month. I don't know that the review would have changed my purchase, but it would sure have been nice to have had a bit more information. If I'd have known in advance what reviews were upcoming, I would have likely waited before my purchase.
Posted: 8:45 am on June 24th

ronaldsauve ronaldsauve writes: I'd like to see a head to head test of the Sawstop and Unisaw cabinet saws as well as the Sawstop contractor and Delta contractor saws.
Posted: 8:24 am on June 24th

ChimeWind ChimeWind writes: I also would like a review of the longevity of these tools and the after warranty service and support. Really tired of cheaply made parts that fail within a year like the push-button switch on my shop vac.
Posted: 7:48 am on June 24th

lwj2 lwj2 writes: I picked 18 inch bandsaws, however, I'd also like to see a review of hand saws, including some antique saws from the mid-to late-1800s for comparison.

A serious review including how comfortable the handles are for extended usage. Cutting a 2x6 or two doesn't -- pardon the pun -- cut it.

Leon Jester
Roanoke, VA
Posted: 7:29 am on June 24th

jcwnr jcwnr writes: I am not interested in any of the listed prospects. This has been done so many times. In any of the woodworking magazines I subscribe to, I look at the pictures, see what 'won', say "that's nice", and move on never reading the text anymore. I would rather you use the space, effort and resources presenting a project I can build. Best regards, Joe
Posted: 7:19 am on June 24th

JamesScott JamesScott writes: These reviews are nice, but really don't tell the whole story.

Fine Woodworking has tried to highlight the distinction between the quality of different tools and their brands over the years. But there is nothing worse than blowing 500 or more balloons on a miter saw just to have a cheap 50 cent switch put you out of work for the day while you get it fixed.

How about follow-up reviews on these products? A review of the longevity of these tools and the after warranty service and support. A sort of Redbook for power tools. That is where the true value of a tool lies.

I just had the third switch go in my 100 year old name brand 12" miter saw and it'll be one of those cold days before I go through that frustration again.
Posted: 6:49 am on June 24th

hmk hmk writes: Please consider adding to the list aftermarket table saw blade guards/dust collection
Posted: 6:35 am on June 24th

TomG TomG writes: Instead of a particular tool, rate something all woodworkers have to deal with: retailers. I've had good experiences with Woodcraft, and uniformly horrid problems with Amazon. Granted, such a review would be tough for just one expert to do tests and ratings like you normally do. Instead, polling readers and collecting anecdotal evidence would be the way to go. One advantage is that it would involve readers as active participants - generating interest and excitement about the article. I hope you will be able to do such an article in the futrue.

Posted: 6:29 am on June 24th

PlaneAround PlaneAround writes: I, too thought your list didn't touch upon anything that I was interested in. How about covering some hand tools such as smoothing planes or block planes?

Marty from Ottawa, ON, Canada
Posted: 4:52 am on June 24th

Kentthesawyer Kentthesawyer writes: 3 phase motors are significantly cheaper than their equivalent HP single phase motors. However, for most of us, getting 3 phase power from the pole to our home is cost prohibitive.
3 phase rotary converters are an option but some 10 HP converters won't start a high inertia 10 HP load (planers for example).
How about a tool test on 3 phase converters?
Please include some typical utility hookup charges / monthly charges, 3 phase options for the home shop, load matching, etc.
Posted: 3:57 am on June 24th

Better_Tool_Reviews Better_Tool_Reviews writes: I'd like to see head-to-head tool reviews of new vs. good condition used machines like tablesaws, jointers, drill presses, planers and mortising machines, since many professionals and hobbyists alike opt to buy quality used machines instead of shiny new ones (from the advertisers in woodworking magazines). For example, why not pit a '60's or '70's Unisaw or Powermatic in good condition against the current lineup of cabinet saws? I think FWW has lost credibility in recent years by gearing product reviews to new tools touted by FWW's current advertisers -- that's the perception, anyway. So much of what's being sold today really falls into the category of "disposable". Contrast that with the venerable quality of older US, Canadian and European machines that, with basic maintenance and occasional bearing changes, can be passed down through generations. Just my .02 cents.
Posted: 2:55 am on June 24th

kmilder kmilder writes: Like Rambak, I too have subscribe from the first issue. I also agree with rambak's comments and others who lamented about Fine Woodworking's "me too" selection of tools to test. Why redo tests done by other magazines?

I like rbsrig's suggestion to test sharpening stones. It would be interesting to see a head to head test of Shapton, Norton, and DMT as well as others. Also, for purely parochial reasons, I will vote for testing air cleaners only because acquiring one is near the top of my next-to-purchase list.

I'll also add to rbsrig's list (although other mags have done dust collectors):

Wooden planes
Oscillating drum sanders
Clamps (although I vaguely recall tests done by another mag)
Wood conditioners/sealers (not a tool but worthwhile)
Abrasives (same reasoning as above)
Finish applicators: Brushes (foam, bristle), etc.
HVLP sprayers (another item on my purchase wish list)

Posted: 2:41 am on June 24th

judgewood judgewood writes: I agree with the other posters. This list of tools is quite tired in this, and other, magazines. It's all been done, and done and done before (many quite recently I might add . . .)

What about a review of European combo machines? Though a smaller audience of owners, It is one area that gets very little coverage in any of the magazines. Since the last time you covered the area, the machines have changed considerably.

Posted: 2:13 am on June 24th

lucjul lucjul writes: I was disappointed in the list as well. I would like to see a tool test on stationary planers, 15" and larger.

I agree with rambak... 6" jointers again...really?!

Posted: 2:01 am on June 24th

rbsrig rbsrig writes: I agree with others. The tools in the list have been covered many times. How about dust collectors, drum sanders, and hand tools such as router planes, rabbit planes, marking guages and a comparison of sharpening stones.
Posted: 12:28 am on June 24th

offseid offseid writes: This is an odd list. Eleven choices. No hand tools. And not even all of the items above are "tools"!

I'll abstain.
Posted: 11:47 pm on June 23rd

offseid offseid writes: This is an odd list. Eleven choices. No hand tools. And not even all of the items above are "tools"!

I'll abstain.
Posted: 11:47 pm on June 23rd

rambak rambak writes: As A subscriber since the first issue I have been thinking of not renewing as the issues have progressively gone fron fine woodworking with tips and plans to a run of the mill non esential same as all the other "woodworking trash" Is there a need for a tool testing ? give us more of the how to or creative information. Would like to hear form someone in charge....
Posted: 7:12 pm on June 23rd

JasonRevzon JasonRevzon writes: But Tom, what about price?
Posted: 5:21 pm on June 23rd

msteroftheuniverse msteroftheuniverse writes: For your next head-to-head test I suggest Best Woodworking Magazine Editor, Judged on the following characteristics:

Ease of Use
Available Options

Posted: 2:29 pm on June 23rd

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If you enjoy woodworking then you probably also suffer from an addiction to tools. Whether you collect hand planes or seek out the latest and greatest in power tools, our expert tool addicts will keep you in the loop with news, reviews, and commentary on the latest in woodworking tools.

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