The Insider's Guide to Buying Tools


The Insider's Guide to Buying Tools

This is the kind of book every new woodworker should read before they start buying woodworking tools. Even though more seasoned woodworkers already own many of the tools covered in this book, it can be an invaluable guide to your next purchase, whether it is to replace something you already own, add a second of the same tool, or buy something for the first time.

Before covering the individual tools, Popular Woodworking starts off with primers on motors, shopping for tools and whether you should consider professional tools.

The section on motors covers the two different types of motors used in woodworking and discusses the benefits and drawbacks of each type, along with break-out photos of the universal and induction motors. This includes the types of work each one excels at and how to compare the real-world performance of a motor, regardless of the advertised horsepower rating. A quick primer on the different kinds of power required is also included, covering 110 volt, 220 volt and three-phase power.

The difference between professional and do-it-yourself tools gets excellent coverage, and will de-mystify the real difference between the two types, as well as the difference in price, and whether it is worth it or not for you. This includes interesting discussions on the internal quality of the tools and warranties. While this may not answer the question of whether to buy professional tools or not, it will certainly help you in your decision.

The next 15 chapters each cover a major category of tools. Each of the chapters cover a range of topics that will help you make a tool-buying decision, including what you can use the tool for, the kind of features available, things to consider when choosing a tool and other important information, such as accessories.

As an example, the chapter on jigsaws starts by discussing why you need one – the many uses for them, as well as their capabilities. The chapter then discusses what is available in terms of features, and goes on to describe the main features, along with explanations about why the feature may be useful for you. The section finishes off with a discussion of cordless jigsaws and a listing of considerations when looking for a corded or a cordless jigsaw. There is a sidebar about buying blades.

Following the 15 chapters on individual tools, the book looks at the best tools in each category and briefly discusses the merits of the all-in-one tools such as Shopsmith. Finally, a chapter on buying used tools is included, covering the issues related to used tools and how to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.
Book Type: Reference
Level: All Levels
Author: Popular Woodworking Special Compilation
Publisher: Popular Woodworking Books
Softcover – 8.5” x 11”, 128 pgs, $35.99 CDN
What You Must Know About Motors
Tool Buying:
Should You Buy Professional Tools?
            Air Tools
            Biscuit Joiners
            Drill Presses
            Dust Collectors
            Mitre Saws
            Thickness Planers
            Scroll Saws
            Table Saws

            *All In Ones
            *Buying Used Tools

Michel Theriault
MICHEL THERIAULT is a Canadian writer and woodworker living in Guelph, Ontario


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