1,009 TOOLS COMPAREDEDITORS PICK THE BEST 107 FOR YOU!Woodworking
Shop SmartOnline and By Phone
Fall 2000 #118
Horsepower or HorsepuckyHOW TO
Air Tools PG 18CompressorsBrad Nailers
Band Saws PG 26
Biscuit Joiners PG 32
Cordless Drills PG 34
Drill Presses PG 42Radial
Dust Collectors PG 48Air cleaners
Jig Saws PG 54
Jointers PG 58
Lathes PG 64Mini-lathes
Miter Saws PG 70Straight
Routers PG 74Trimmers
Sanders PG 82
Scroll Saws PG 86
Table Saws PG 90Benchtop
Thickness Planers PG 98
TOOL BUYING GUIDE 2001
6 What You Must Know About Motors
14 Where to Buy Your Tools
18 Air ToolsCompressorsBrad nailers
26 Band Saws
32 Biscuit Joiners
34 Cordless Drills
42 Drill PressesBenchtopFloorRadial
48 Dust CollectorsSingle stageAir cleaners
70 Miter SawsStraightCompoundSliding Compound
74 RoutersTrimmersFixed basePlunge
82 Random Orbit Sanders
86 Scroll Saws
90 Table SawsBenchtopContractorCabinet
98 Thickness Planers
Chances are you wouldnt be a wood-worker if not for the amazing prolif-eration of machines and power hand toolsavailable today. Before power tools, theemphasis in woodwork was work. Sawingout lumber by hand, flattening it withplanes then gluing it up with foul smellinghide glue is definitely not the kind of ac-tivity many would choose for fun and re-laxation, or even a job for that matter.
But our good fortune in having so manytools also presents a problem. All this af-fordable equipment can make your choic-es staggering.
Its against this backdrop that weveundertaken this, our first Tool BuyingGuide.Weve set out to make it a lot morethan a reference filled with page after pageof charts. Our goal was to make you an in-formed tool buyer who can, in the absenceof a knowledgeable salesman or trustedfriend, make the right decision whenplunking down your cash for a new tool.
Weve taken several steps to make youa savvy tool buyer. In each of the 15 toolcategories, we walk you through the keyfeatures. And just as important, we tell youwhat features to, in a word, ignore. Sometool features have more to do with mar-keting hype than performance.
Next, we give you solid recommenda-tions of tools to buy. Importantly, our rec-ommendations are given for threecategories of woodworker the occa-sional woodworker/hobbyist; the serioushome woodworker; and the advancedwoodworker or professional. It seemed log-ical that each group would make differentdemands on their tools and have differentprice expectations as well.
We often make more than one recom-mendation. We concluded that within acategory, a consumer could often expectmore than one tool to provide good valuerelative to performance and price.
We also give you real, everyday streetprices. The prices shown are an amalgamof prices taken from catalogs, internet re-tailing sites and retail stores, when they
were available.In addition to the 15 tool categories,
weve included three other important ar-ticles. Because the motor is the heart ofall power tools and a key component toevaluate, we give you the straight dope soyou can make the call in our What YouMust Know About Motors article. Its amust read for any power tool user. We alsogive you the dos and donts about shop-ping via catalogs or with on-line tool sell-ing sites. After reading Where to BuyYour Tools, youll be much betterequipped to shop long distance where realsavings can be found.
The last thing you should know aboutour Tool Buying Guide is just whos be-hind it. With two exceptions where wefelt our depth of knowledge was not suffi-cient, (scroll saws and lathes) this entireissue was researched by the editorial staffof Popular Woodworking.
So who are we? Most of the staff mem-bers of this magazine have been profes-sional woodworkers far longer than theyvebeen magazine editors. Three of us havea combined total of over 50 years profes-sional experience. All of us build projectsfor the magazine in the 2,000-square-footshop adjacent to our offices using many ofthe tools and machines weve recom-mended in this issue. Since joining themagazine we have logged thousands ofmiles (including journeys to Asia and Eu-rope) to visit dozens of tool and machinemanufacturing plants.
Its our sincere hope that you can ben-efit from our experience in not only mak-ing wise woodworking tool investmentsas a result of this special issue, but fromthe accumulated practical knowledge ofour staff and highly respected contributorsin our regular issues as well. PW
Its a Tool WorldThis issue can save you hundreds of dollars and headaches.
POPULAR WOODWORKING November 20002
November 2000, Vol. 20, No. 6 www.popwood.com
Editor & Publisher Steve ShanesyArt Director Tricia BarlowSenior Editors David Thiel,
Christopher SchwarzAssociate Editor Jim Stuard
Editorial Intern John TateEditorial Assistant Brandale Scott
Contributing EditorsNick EnglerBob FlexnerGlen Huey
Troy SextonTechnical Advisers:
General Manager Jeffry M.LapinEditorial Director David Fryxell
Senior Art Director Amy Schneider
CIRCULATIONDavid Lee, Director
Lynn Kruetzkamp, Single Copy Sales Mgr.Terry Webster-Isgro, Direct Sales Mgr.
Director of ManufacturingMartha Wallace, Magazine Production Dir.
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POPULAR WOODWORKING November 20004
Bill AustinScott Box
Chris CarlsonDale Zimmerman
Makita USA. Inc. Delta International S-B Power Tool Franklin International
Circle #102 on Resource Directory Coupon
liebel & co
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If youre an electrical engineer, you can stopreading this article right now. This storyisnt for the gear heads its for the restof you woodworkers who use power tools everyday but are occasionally stupefied by amps,volts, watts and horsepower. Ill warn you,theres just the tiniest bit of math to learn here.But if you can multiply and divide two num-bers, you will open up a whole new world ofunderstanding when it comes to the subjectof motors.
The first thing to understand is that thereare two kinds of motors that power almost allof the machinery in a home workshop: in-duction motors and universal motors. Eachtype has its strengths and weaknesses. The rea-son that you need to know the differencebetween the two is that some tools (table saws,planers and jointers, for example) can be pow-ered by either type of motor. So you need toeducate yourself so youll choose the rightmotor for the kind of work you do.
In general, induction motors power sta-tionary machinery that must run for hours onend, such as big table saws, planers, band sawsand jointers. Universal motors power mostlyhand-held stuff: routers, jigsaws and sanders.However, this is changing. These days youllfind more and more universal motors in bench-top table saws, small jointers, spindle sandersand portable planers.
I like to think of the two motors as the tor-toise and the hare. Induction motors are thetortoise of the pair. Theyre rugged, quiet, large,heavy, turn more slowly and can be stalledunder heavy use. They are great for the longhaul. Universal motors, on the other hand,have a shorter life span, theyre smaller, theymake more noise, they operat