Tool Tests and Reviews

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    2010 Editor's Choice: Makita Four-Rail Miter Saw

    Makita has always been known for bringing innovation and quality to its sliding-compound miter saws, and it continues its category-leading legacy with the new LS1016L, a 10-inch saw with 12-inch capabilities.

     
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    Milwaukee 11-in-1 Screwdriver With ECX Bit

    Milwaukee's new hand-tool line is growing, with several everyday tools for the electrical and plumbing trades.

     
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    Bridge City Tools Kerfmaker and CT-17 Dual Angle Block Plane

    Bridge City Tools' KM-1 Kerfmaker is an ingenious little device that accurately figures a table-saw blade's kerf into repeatable cut lengths for lap joints.

     
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    Lee Valley Tools Veritax Skew Block Plane

    Lee Valley Tools comes up with a lot of thoughtful designs, and its Veritas brand Skew Block Plane ($189) is no exception.

     
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    Ideal Industries Sir Nickless Cable Cutter

    Ideal Industries has invented a better mousetrap for the electrician in the form of an improved armored cable cutter.

     
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    Starrett Pro Site Miter Saw Protractor

    Starrett has a new plastic version ($25) of its Pro Site Miter Saw Protractor that's half the size and price of the aluminum model.

     
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    Ridgid Tailpiece Extension and Close Quarters Autofeed Cutters

    Ridgid plumbing tools have been a mainstay in the industry for decades, and the company's newest offerings show us what plumbers have been missing until now.

     
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    First Test: Mitertite Assembly System

    Stretch clamps are provided to help pull the miter together and keep the two members making the joint from rotating around the single pocket screw. The stretch clamps are a great product all by themselves and will find other uses apart from the Mitertite application.

     
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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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    2009 Editors' Choice: Goldblatt Bladerunner

    This ingenious tool may not replace your utility knife, but if you work with drywall it should become part of your arsenal, especially for radius cuts.

     
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    2009 Editors' Choice: Festool Kapex Sliding Miter Saw

    Free-thinking Festool sets out to build new tools independent of the conventions of particular product categories, and the Kapex miter saw is no exception.

     
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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: Cordless Recip Saws

    More than 10 years ago, I bought one of the first cordless recip saws, hoping it would perform like my corded model. I had shelved most of my corded drills in favor of their cordless cousins, and I had high hopes for recips–too high, as it turned out, for the first generation.

     
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    First Test: Next Generation MultiMaster

    Many multifunction tools don't live up to all they're supposed to do, but the Fein MultiMaster is a rare exception. I've used one for about eight years; I don't use it on every job, but when I need it, I'm glad I have one. I originally purchased it for the exclusive purpose of making accurate...

     
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    Tool Test: 12-Inch Miter Saws

     
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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: Portable Miter Saw Stands

    The miter saws weren't the only tools on the spot. We tested saw stands of the lightweight, folding-leg, sawhorse type; more elaborate convertible, collapsible, rolling stand designs; and a more stationary multipiece stand. Besides evaluating their use in the shop and on the job, we devised a...

     
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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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