Tool Tests and Reviews

  • Mafell Erika Pull-Push Saw

    Powering an 8 7/8-inch Mafell blade, the Erika can rip like a table saw and crosscut like a sliding compound-miter saw.

     
  • Bosch PS32 Drill Driver and PS22 Pocket Driver

     
  • Kreg Foreman Pocket Hole Machine

    The DB210 makes pocket holes faster and more easily than jigs requiring the use of hand-held drills.

     
  • DeWalt DWE7491RS Jobsite Table Saw

    A portable saw with a wheeled stand and 32 1/2 inches of rip capacity.

     
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    Tools Up Close: Milwaukee M12 Band Saw

    Earlier this year Milwaukee added a tool to its M12 line that I never expected to see: a cordless portable band saw. Many tool companies make 18-volt band saws, but this is the first subcompact (10.8-volt/12-volt max) model. At 6.75 pounds and 12 inches long, it's small enough to be used one-handed.

     
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    Tools Up Close: RotoZip ZipSaw

    About a year ago, Tools of the Trade sent me a ZipSaw, a grinder-based cutoff saw that takes 3-1/2- and 4-inch proprietary cutoff wheels.

     
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    Tools Up Close: Big Cordless Circular Saws

    For this article we tested four higher-voltage saws – 36-volt models from Bosch, DeWalt, and Hilti, and a 28-volt model from Milwaukee. We used them while framing and siding a house and for building a deck. Later, we performed a test to see how many cuts each saw could make per charge.

     
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    Tool Test: Inline Circular Saws

    Fifteen years ago, when I started out as a framer, Skil was the only real choice for carpenters looking for an inline saw. Since then, a lot more companies have started making these tools and now there are quite a few to choose from.

     
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    Tools Up Close: Bosch Glide Miter Saw

    For as long as I can remember, miter saws have ridden on rails. This design works very well except for one shortcoming: You need to set up away from the wall because the rails protrude from the back of the machine. Bosch recently introduced a 12-inch dual compound sliding model (GCM12SD) designed...

     
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    Tool Test: Six-Inch Jointers

    Jointers are the go-to tools for straightening and squaring lumber, and standard-length 6-inch-wide capacity models are a great choice for most carpentry and trim uses in the shop and on the job site. These 46-inch bed machines are the entry-level size for stationary jointers and, as the smallest...

     
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    First Test: Craftsman Twin Cutter

    Readers have been asking us about dual-blade circular saws, so we decided to put the Craftsman 25574 Twin Cutter Saw to the test. Craftsman came out with its first version of a dual-blade saw early in the last decade, so the technology has been around for a while, but the 25574 model is the latest...

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice Awards

    This year's search for outstanding new tools, equipment, and innovative features was as challenging as ever, given the continued rate of product introductions from all corners of the manufacturing world serving professional construction markets.

     
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    Tool Test: 5-inch Random-Orbit Sanders

    The workhorse sander for most tradesmen is the 5-inch-diameter random-orbit sander. Thanks to its ability to hog off stock with a coarse grit disk and leave a smooth, finished surface with a fine grit, this single tool has replaced the old progression of belt sander to half-sheet finish sander for...

     
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    First Test: Budget Circ Saw

    The latest pro circ saw from Skil (model HD5687) is not one of the company's signature wormdrive tools but a new blade-right sidewinder model. We found it interesting enough to test because of its price (under $100) and the fact that it's Skil's only 7-1/4-inch sidewinder warranted for professional...

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Milwaukee Cordless Mini Band Saw

    Milwaukee continues its leadership role in trade-focused tool design with this exciting compact 18-volt cordless portable band saw, the M18 2629-22.

     
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    Stanley Sweetheart Socket Chisels and #92 Shoulder Plane

    Stanley is reviving its old Sweetheart branding yet again, this time for a line of bench chisels.

     
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    Tool Test: 10-Inch Tile Saws

    We lined up seven wet saws representing six brands and tested them mostly on tough porcelain tiles, making cuts up to 7/8 inch thick. We used identical, high-quality porcelain blades to take blade performance out of the equation and focused on cut quality and accuracy, the precision of the moving...

     
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    Tool Test: 3+ Horsepower Plunge Routers

    The largest, most powerful routers you can buy are in the 3- to 3-1/4-hp class. If the motors were any larger, you couldn't run them on standard residential circuits. The most versatile of these machines are plunge routers. Their ability to plunge a bit into wood while the tool's base stays safely...

     
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    2009 Editors' Choice: Delta Unisaw

    For years woodworkers everywhere have looked to the Delta Unisaw as the standard-bearer for stationary table saws, with good reason.

     
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    First Test: Ridgid Quick Acting Vise

    Sometimes a tool is such an integral part of your daily routine, you don't think of it as a tool but as part of your shop or truck. A mechanic's vise is such a tool.

     
 
 
 
 
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