Popular Woodworking 124 Oct 2001

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A full version of Popular Woodworking Magazine, No. 124, October 2001 in pdf format. This is a tool-buying issue for calendar year 2002, with articles comparing 632 different hand & power tools.

Transcript

  • October 2001 #124

    Straight Talkon ToolsThe only guide that recommends tools worth buying

    637 TOOLS COMPAREDEDITORS PICK THE 97 BEST!

    12-VOLT PG14DRILLS

    BAND SAWS PG20

    BISCUIT PG28JOINERS

    BRAD PG32NAILERS

    DRILL PG38PRESSES

    DUST PG44COLLECTORS

    HAND TOOLS PG50

    JIGSAWS PG54

    JOINTERS PG58

    MITER SAWS PG62

    MORTISERS PG66

    ROUTERS PG70

    SANDERS PG78

    TABLE SAWS PG82

    THICKNESS PG86PLANERSEXCLUSIVE FAR EAST REPORT

    What You MustKnow AboutChinese Tools

    www.popwood.com

  • POPULARWOODWORKING October 20012

    Admit it. Spending money on tools andmachinery for your shop can producelots of anxiety. Your budget is limited, andso is your knowledge of all the product lines.Go to the store, buy on-line or over the phoneand the salespeople arent giving you anyconfidence that youre making the right de-cision, either. If youre lucky, you may havea friend who owns a tool youre interestedin, but its several years old and there are lotsof new models to consider now.

    We publish this comprehensive ToolBuying Guide for only one reason. That isto give you the best chance you have to makethe right decision the first time when se-lecting a new piece of equipment for yourshop. Our goal is to arm you with more thanenough knowledge to put you in the com-fort zone when you open your wallet.

    On the following pages youll find 17 cat-egories of woodworking tools as well an im-portant article about whats going on in man-ufacturing these days. In specific tool cate-gories, ranging from table saws to combina-tion squares, we give you three importantpieces of information:

    We tell you what are the important fea-tures to evaluate and compare among all thetools in this category (as well as those fea-tures that dont count for much at all).

    We list all the brands and models avail-able in the U.S. market with their specs andstreet prices.

    And we go the extra mile and makespecific recommendations about the mod-els we have actually used in the PopularWoodworking shop and have confidence in.

    We also know that all woodworkers arenot alike. Some of you are just getting start-ed, others have years of experience but keep

    a casual attitude about your hobby. Othersare passionate about spending time in theirshops almost every day, or are pros depend-ing on their skills and tools to make a livingand support a family. Clearly, different wood-workers make different demands on theirtools and have different expectations aboutreliability and how much to spend.

    For these reasons, we make our buyingrecommendations in three user categoriesso you can match yourself to the right tools.

    In this years Guide we added the mostessential non-powered woodworking handtools as a category: low-angle block planes,combination squares and chisels. For spaceconsiderations, we dropped scroll saws andlathes for this year. In the cordless drillcategory, we focused on 12-volt models only.In our opinion, this is the right sized cord-less drill for most, but certainly not all, wood-working shop applications. These 12-voltdrills deliver the power and runtime to getthe job done without the weight that makesyou feel like you just did 100 arm curls.

    And if you fret over the question of ad-vertiser influence on editorial recommen-dations, dont. Our job is to serve you, ourreaders. Not only is it our job, but truthful-ly, your subscription or newsstand purchasegoes a lot further in paying our bills thandoes advertising income.We just couldntafford putting anyone other than you first.

    One final note, many thanks to the EdwardB. Mueller Company in Cincinnati, Ohio,for allowing us to shoot photos in their store.PW

    FROM THE EDITOR

    Buy With ConfidenceSave money and find your comfort zone.

    Contents6 CHINA BOUND

    A lot more tools are nowbeing made in China. Whatdoes this mean for pricesand quality?

    14 12 VOLT DRILLS

    20 BAND SAWS

    28 BISCUIT JOINERS

    32 BRAD NAILERS

    38 DRILL PRESSES

    44 DUST COLLECTORS

    50 HAND TOOLS

    54 JIGSAWS

    58 JOINTERS

    62 MITER SAWS

    66 MORTISERS

    70 ROUTERS

    78 SANDERS

    82 TABLE SAWS

    86 THICKNESS PLANERS

    T O O L B U Y I N G G U I D E 2 0 0 2

  • The Toughest Glue on Planet Earth

    Hardwoods, softwoods, pressure-treated or exotics Gorilla Glue

    is tough enough to hold themall. Incredibly strong, nearlyinvisible glue lines, and100% waterproof. Just the wayserious woodworkers demand it.Call 800-966-3458 for adealer near you, or visitwww.gorillaglue.comto find out more.

    MeasureTwice.GlueOnce.

    POPULARWOODWORKING October 200014

    August 2001, Vol. 21, No. 4 www.popularwoodworking.com

    Editor & Publisher Steve Shanesy

    Art Director Tricia Barlow

    Senior Editors David Thiel,Christopher Schwarz

    Project Illustrator John W.Hutchinson

    Photographer Al Parrish

    Editorial Intern John Tate

    Editorial Assistant Barb Brown

    Contributing EditorsNick EnglerBob FlexnerGlen Huey

    Scott PhillipsTroy Sexton

    Technical Advisers:Bill Austin Makita USA. Inc.Scott Box Delta International

    Chris Carlson S-B Power ToolBill Crofutt Grizzly Industrial

    Dale Zimmerman Franklin International

    General Manager Jeffry M.LapinEditorial Director David Fryxell

    CIRCULATION

    David Lee, Director

    Lynn Kruetzkamp, Group Manager

    PRODUCTION

    Barbara Schmitz, Director of ManufacturingMartha Wallace, Magazine Production Dir.Heather Griffin, Production Coordinator

    ADVERTISING

    National Sales RepresentativeBill Warren, Five Mile River Assoc. LLCRR1 Box 1400, Stockton Springs, ME 04981Tel. (207) 469-1981; Fax (207) 469-3050

    wkwarren@aol.comAdvertising Sales

    Joe Wood, Tel. (513) 336-9760Fax (513) 336-9761

    josephfwood@aol.comClassified Advertising Sales

    Joan Wright,Tel. (800) 388-1820joanwright@ix.netcom.com

    Advertising Production CoordinatorDebbie Thomas, Tel. (513) 531-2690, ext. 219

    debbiet@fwpubs.com

    SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES Subscription inquiries,orders and address changes can be made at

    www.popwood.com (click on Subscriber Services).Or by mail:Popular Woodworking,P.O.Box 5369,

    Harlan, IA 51593 or call (515) 280-1721.Include your address with all inquiries.

    Allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery.

    NEWSSTAND DISTRIBUTION Curtis Circulation Co.,730 River Rd.,New Milford,NJ 07646,

    (201) 634-7400, fax (201) 634-7499

    ATTENTION RETAILERS:To carry Popular Woodworking in your store, call ReadersService at 800-844-7075, or write: Popular Woodworking

    Magazine Dealer program, c/o Readers Service, 4099 MartelRoad, Lenoir City, TN 37772

    Back issues are available for $6.50 ($8.50 Canada; $10.50 otherforeign). Ohio residents include 6% sales tax. Send check or

    money order to: Popular Woodworking/F&W PublicationProducts, PO Box 2031, Harlan, IA, 51593 or call 1-888-419-

    0421. Please specify publication, month and year.

    Woodworkers Book Club: 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati,OH 45207; (513) 531-8250

    terrco

    Circle #116 on Resource Directory Coupon

    Circle #136 on Resource Directory Coupon

  • If youre not in the habit of check-ing labels on your new tools andmachinery purchases, you might besurprised to learn that Made inChina is showing up a lot more fre-quently these days. Dont make themistake and think this means theproduct was made in the Republicof Taiwan, the island country off thecoast of mainland China.

    With increasing frequency, prod-ucts once made in Taiwan are nowbeing manufactured in China. Whatcan we expect from such a shift? Willquality suffer? What about prices?Just who is having woodworkingequipment made in China now? Andwhy would manufacturers make sucha huge change just when their prod-ucts have finally won broad accep-tance with U.S. woodworkers?

    Importers and manufacturers ofTaiwan-made woodworking equip-ment have worked hard during thepast 15 years for respect in the mar-

    ketplace. Whether the bad rap Madein Taiwan was deserved in the earlydays is not only debatable but, likemost issues, a lot more complicatedthan consumers imagine.

    From the first days that Taiwaneseequipment began arriving in ourports, there were real quality differ-ences among the various importers.Quality differences still exist and canvary on what may seem to be thesame product coming from the samemanufacturing plant. But its fair tosay now that overseas manufactur-ers are producing millions and mil-lions of dollars in good-quality wood-working equipment. Some of itsmade by companies that import theirentire line from Taiwan; some of itsmade for venerable names who once

    built exclusively in the United Statesand now import some products. Eitherway, the American woodworker isreaping a huge benefit from theseimported tools.

    As woodworkers, we groan reg-ularly at constant price increases forlumber. But when it comes to toolsand equipment, particularly ma-chines from Taiwan, we dont stopto think what a bargain they are.A case in point: I bought my firsttable saw, a Delta/Rockwell model10 contractor saw, in 1981. I addedlong guide bars for the fence and cast-ers and paid just over $850. Whatsthat saw cost today? Equipped witha Biesemeyer fence, just over $850.Essentially, its the same saw with afar superior fence.

    Just for fun, I went to a web sitethat allows you to calculate the costmy table saw in 1981 and then ad-just it for 20 years of inflation. Today,my $850 saw should cost $1,833.

    CHINABOUND

    Now that Taiwanese woodworking tools are accepted by U.S. woodworkers,

    manufacturing is moving again. This time, to mainland China.

    What will this mean for American consumers?

    Woodworking tool manufacturing is