Tool Tests and Reviews

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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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    Tools Up Close: Hilti Electric Concrete Saw

    The DCH 300 is electric, so it's reliable and produces no fumes, and it has a hose port that can be connected to a dust-collecting vacuum. Though designed to cut concrete and masonry, the saw can be used to cut metal if it's equipped with a fiber-reinforced abrasive blade. Lots of companies make...

     
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    Tools Up Close: Kett Dust-Collecting Saw

    Even though the Kett KSV-432 Vacuum Saw has been around for 20-plus years, few tradespeople have seen one. That's bound to change as homeowners become increasingly aware of the health hazards of construction dust & and as the EPA begins to enforce the RRP lead-safe work rules enacted last year. I...

     
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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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    2010 Editor's Choice: Festool Router

    Festool makes a practice of producing category-leading tools, and the 3-1/4-hp OF2200EB+ router is no exception.

     
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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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