Tool Tests and Reviews

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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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    Tool Test: Portable Jobsite Table Saws

    Jobsite table saws have changed a lot since I started working for my dad in 1972. Back then, we did almost all the millwork on-site using a huge, 12-inch contractor's saw that might have stayed set up for months. I started my own company in 1981, and as the business grew, table saws shrunk. I took...

     
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    Tool Test: Sliding Miter Saws

    Whether it's into wood or your wallet, large sliding miter saws make the biggest cuts, so we tested them to help you invest wisely. The seven 12-inch, dual-compound sliding miter saws in this test are the best of each player in the field, and we couldn't resist throwing in a brand new, 10-1/4-inch...

     
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    Tool Test: 12-Inch Miter Saws

    Miter saws have come a long way from their humble beginnings. I remember the heyday of the 9-inch blade, direct-drive Rockwell 'Motorized Miter Box,' with a particleboard sub-base and a thumb-pressed brake. It was my introduction to using a miter saw some 30 years ago.

     
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    Tool Test: Circ Saws

    Here in the Eastern half of the country, sidewinder circ saws are the workhorse tools of most construction jobs. We do our framing with them, and unlike our Western cousins with their wormdrive saws, we use our sidewinders for everything from form work to trim. As a result, during the past 30 years...

     
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    First Test: Bosch 4100DG-09 Table Saw

    Prepare for a major change in portable table saws. During the last few years, tool manufacturers have banded together to produce a new guard system for these saws, and Bosch is the first company to market it, on its new 4100 series saws. Trust me, this new system will change how we work.

     
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    Tool Test: Cordless Circ Saws

    When I began working in the building trades some thirty-plus years ago, carpentry tools fell into two categories: basic hand tools and simple electric power tools. I didn't start working with cordless tools until the mid-80s, when I bought my first 9.6-volt, 3 3/8-inch blade cordless saw–more of a...

     
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    Milwaukee Router Kit

    I rely on routers for multiple tasks in my snowboard manufacturing shop; around here, they really get a workout. I recently tested Milwaukee's new 2-1/4-hp router combo kit in different stages of wood core production. With the fixed base, I template-cut wood cores, running the machine for hours at...

     
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    Magswitch Featherboards & Jigs

    As a part-time college woodworking instructor, I have seen quite a few variations of the featherboard. In general, I'm a skeptic when it comes to new gadgets, having found over the years that they don't live up to manufacturers' promises. Then I came across the Magswitch Pro 30-mm and Standard...

     
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    New Tools, Hands On

    In my snowboard manufacturing shop, we use a circular saw primarily for cross-cutting hardwood lumber to rough lengths prior to laminating it into blocks. This operation is all about speed. With thousands of feet of lumber in 16-foot lengths delivered at once, we really need to move through the...

     
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    Electric Chainsaws

    When you think of chainsaws in construction work, your mind usually goes to builders of log homes, pole barns, docks, fences, and perhaps timber framers. But I dug a little deeper and found them used in demolition, vintage wood salvage and reuse, panel home building, sculptural stair and railing...

     
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    Site Lines: Great Gadgets

    Like most finish carpenters, I've had my share of countersink bits. In the last 10 years or so, I've grown very fond of one brand of two-piece tapered countersink bits because they cut just the right size and shape of hole for drywall screws. But controlling the exact depth of the countersink so...

     
 
 
 
 
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