Tool Tests and Reviews

  • Image

    First Test: Work Sharp WS3000 Sharpening System

    I tested the Work Sharp WS3000 in my small boat-building shop, sharpening the hand tools I use to make cedar-strip canoes, guide boats, and kayaks. I have always sharpened my tools by hand, and thought I sharpened them well until I tried the Work Sharp. This tool let me sharpen tools to a finer...

     
  • Image

    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...

     
  • Image

    First Test: Big Foot Tools Headcutter

    Big Foot Tools' Headcutter is a one-of-a-kind saw base that turns any chain saw into a precision cutting tool.

     
  • Image

    2009 Editors' Choice: Worksharp Wood Tool Sharpener

    Anything that takes the drudgery out of sharpening is a winner in our eyes, so we look to the Worksharp 3000 to save time and effort.

     
  • Image

    2008 Editors' Choice: Hain Co. Digital Cutting Station

    As much as we like many of the miter saw stations available today, this cutting station is one of a kind.

     
  • Image

    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.

     
  • Image

    First Test: Roberts Roll-O Knife

    With its aluminum wheel hanging beneath, the Roberts Roll-O Universal Knife looks like some hapless engineer tried to make a unicycle from a standard utility knife. But there's a method to this madness, and unlike some innovations that fall flat when they get out to the field, the Roll-O indeed...

     
  • Image

    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...

     
  • Image

    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...

     
  • Image

    Worx WT480 Miter Saw

    When the new Worx WT480 10-inch compound miter saw arrived at my shop, I admit I wondered what I would do with it. After all, for years the center of my cutting operations has been a tricked-out 12-inch sliding compound miter saw. But after using the WT480 for a few weeks remodeling, I quickly...

     
  • Image

    Cut Out Saws

    One of the biggest challenges of my plumbing and heating practice has nothing to do with pipe, water, or fittings. Instead, one of the most problematic–and recurring–issues is making the cuts required to install those things in all the materials we encounter in both new construction and service...

     
  • Image

    Portable Band Saws

    I remember the first time I used a portable band saw as a young plumber's apprentice. We were working on a large commercial project and needed to hang our piping mains above a drop ceiling. When my boss told me to make 50 hangers out of steel stock and threaded rod, I thought I'd be stuck there...

     
  • Image

    Hybrid Table Saws

    Hybrid saws are a relatively new class of table saw introduced by DeWalt with its DW746 in 1999. Because of the vagueness of the term 'hybrid,' they are also referred to as light-duty cabinet saws. Basically in between a contractor's open stand saw and a shop-grade cabinet saw with all but the...

     
 
 
 
 
Tools of the Trade Video Gallery

New Tools Video Gallery

Check out Tool Videos from our Editors and Contributors