Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Bargain tools

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

marcros

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
10,468
Reaction score
310
Location
Leeds
There is a helpful review on forstner bits that seem to be excellent value for money.

bargain-forstner-bits-t54469.html

For many people who do not use tools professionally, and for some that do, we cannot justify the expensive brand names for things that get infrequent use.

What other bargains out there can anybody recommend?
 

powertools

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2011
Messages
1,617
Reaction score
29
Location
Bedfordshire
I was waiting with interest to read replies to this but it would seem that you and I are the only ones interested.
I prefere to have a workshop full of usable tools rather than a drawer full of overpriced and under used tools.
Some of my tools are high quality but not always brand name and some cheap that with a bit of skill will do the job
I guess a lot depends on your skill level and the type of work you do
 

bosshogg

Established Member
Joined
9 Mar 2011
Messages
616
Reaction score
0
Location
N E Scotland
Lidl are doing fostner bits this coming Monday, five for £2.99. Also countersink drill sets c/w depth gauge and alan keys, & titanium coated drill/mill bits, all £2.99/five. They also have chrome vanadium carving sets c/w ash handles £19.99 a set of 1doz...bosshogg :)
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Terry Pratchett. :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

kirkpoore1

Established Member
Joined
3 Nov 2010
Messages
603
Reaction score
0
Location
O'Fallon, Illinois
I know nothing about this set, but I bought a 12 piece set of cheap Chinese Forstner bits about a decade ago. They work good enough for occasional use. When I need a size on a regular basis, I buy the one I need. Good Forstner bits clear chips much better and start out sharper--but you can sharpen the cheap ones too.

Kirk
 

Stoday

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2005
Messages
120
Reaction score
0
I had a nice set of Forstner bits but I haven't been able to find them since I moved house five years ago.
 

bugbear

Established Member
Joined
16 Jul 2004
Messages
13,074
Reaction score
0
Location
North Suffolk
marcros":28vm5oxy said:
There is a helpful review on forstner bits that seem to be excellent value for money.

bargain-forstner-bits-t54469.html

For many people who do not use tools professionally, and for some that do, we cannot justify the expensive brand names for things that get infrequent use.

What other bargains out there can anybody recommend?
Even (sensible) professionals might use lesser tools for infrequent use. Expensive tools hit the bottom line.

BugBear
 

condeesteso

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
0
Location
Sevenoaks, Kent
Sorry but a bit slow getting to this one, and it's a favourite topic of mine!
I started during the 70s, and one overwhelming view is just how very good many cheap tools are now. The internet also makes it far easier to find them, and places like ebay make finding unusual items easy.
I recommended the Screwfix Forstner bits because they actually work very well... unlike some other cheap ones I got a while ago (the gold coloured). So not all the budget tools are good, and we need to recommend to each other when we find the good ones (and warn against the bad).
Some of my budget hot tips: Bahco saws (B&Q etc) - at under a tenner really very impressive. Look out for their 'tenon' cross-cut pull saw for about £7. very fine kerf, tracks true and leaves a really fine finish. Macallister power tools (B&Q again) - may not be as durable as the expensive ones, but you get a lot of very useful ability for the money. And finally (for now) second-hand. Whether it's a band saw or a hand plane - ebay etc for older Startrites etc (bandsaw) and vintage U.S. Stanley hand planes or early Records (but look for the Crucible cast blade versions). Same with chisels - the old blue handle Marples have excellent blades and crop up at boot fairs for absolute peanuts.
One last thought I have - it's all in the blade. Not totally true, but even an old Startrite bandsaw or a budget new router will perform a lot better if you invest a little in a decent blade.

p.s. and I know Festool is good at the other end of the scale, but as an owner of 3 of their items I will say good, but not THAT good.
 

condeesteso

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
0
Location
Sevenoaks, Kent
I'm going to try and keep this thread alive, as I believe it can be useful... but it needs more input.
Anyway, here are a couple more:
tools1.jpg

The ones I want to mention are the Rolson 4" square, a really excellent tool at well under £10. I use it more than any other adjustable square because it is the right size almost all the time, and it is very precise and solid. I did tweak it a tiny bit when I got it - wet'n'dry along the groove of the rule (so it slides better) and a dressing of the slightly rough casting where the lock-screw beds. this was all to make it smoother and faster to use, and it took minutes. But even out of the box it is really very good indeed. My U.S. Starrett is also good, maybe a tiny bit better*, but as the Starrett cost £60, the Rolson wins hands down (at around 13% of the price).
Also from Rolson, the 4" combi-square is equally good (the straight square is generally more useful). And the utility knife they do that folds... my absolute favourite utility knife. It is really nicely engineered. I found a box set of a wood handled version with a foldy multi-tool, all for about £18. They usually come with a blue anodised handle - if you see one around (about £6) get it! Their blades are really quite good too. Basically I recommend Rolson.
And the Japanese marking knife - v-tipped so fast to go left or right. Hyper-sharp, flat-backed... my favourite marker by far. About a tenner (Axminster). Oh yes, and I have used it many a time as a paring chisel too (inside joints).
On the older ebay stuff - the US Stanley 10 1/2 (the rebate plane) seems a luxury, but I found my first real use for it, cleaning the rebates for the woodscrews on the underside of the bench top.
The 10 1/2 isn't a budget tool (mine cost £85) but a reminder that old US Stanleys are brilliant - and you can pick up a No4 for around £35 - 40 (OK guys, knock a nought off at the bootfairs).
ON U.S. Stanleys, the 2" chisel shown has also been massively useful shifting waste in big joints (I bought 3 incl this on ebay for about £20).
And the mallet - that was free!... and you won't find one of those at the bootfair.
tools2.jpg


I will be adding to this - just a few things I use a lot, rate highly, and paid little for.

As Don Weber (reknowned bodger, blacksmith, maker and writer) said: " As with any craft you can spend a fortune just getting set up, or you can spend next to nothing and just get on with it."

*p.s. actually, no it isn't... not in any tangible way I could argue.
 

Attachments

marcros

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
10,468
Reaction score
310
Location
Leeds
Not woodworking, but I have just bought one of these socket sets, having lost half of my halfords professional set over the years. Feels very solid in the hands, has done all of the car maintenance tasks that I have asked of it and sold to me by a really nice chap, and made to the King Dick spec.

http://www.abbotstools.co.uk/product/61 ... t_UBM-611M

The spanners seem equally good too- those in the know will know the difference in price between these and branded King Dick.
 

powertools

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2011
Messages
1,617
Reaction score
29
Location
Bedfordshire
This thread will never run on as there is no cred in owning and using lower priced tools.
My best buys of late include Lamborghini router with 12 bits £29.95, JCB wall mounted recoil extension lead artic cable twin socket and overload protection £14.95 and tooltec router table inc 3 feather boards £19.95.
 

condeesteso

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
0
Location
Sevenoaks, Kent
powertools":2lb97mvh said:
This thread will never run on as there is no cred in owning and using lower priced tools.
You may be right Power, but we both tried. Fact is there are a lot of really good budget tools around, and some horrors too. As and when I find any others I will report.
 

Mark A

Established Member
Joined
28 Nov 2010
Messages
1,852
Reaction score
0
Location
South Wales
I hope this thread isn't consigned to General Woodworking archives and stays on because I like a good bargain!

I bought a set of those forstner bits from Screwfix and tried them this evening. Perfect - nice clean holes, and just over £30 when bought in store.

Cheap good tools - I've got a Macallister reciprocating saw I bought from B&Q in a sale a few years ago for £20. It was indispensable when we were renovating our house, cutting up kitchen units, studs, trees etc and taking out door frames and windows. Personally I can't really see the point in paying over 200 quid for a fancy Makita or Dewalt as they do EXACTLY the same job, but for 10 times the cost. Just don't skimp on the blades as they make a big difference over Draper and Silverline.

I recently bought an Erbauer planer as I needed one for a job, and couldn't stretch to a better make. For £55, what do you expect? The sole isn't perfectly flat, but I intend to use it for rough shaping before finishing off by hand anyway so it isn't really an issue. The noise isn't as bad as a green Bosch I used to have, and the dust extraction isn't terrible either. I don't know how long it'll last, but with a 2 year warrantry I'll just return it if it does break.

The Wickes 6kg SDS drill is also pretty good if you can get it in a sale. It's made by Draper, but don't let that put you off - it's powerful and reliable. I worn out the brushes renovating our house and as it was still under guarantee I returned it, expecting to be given a replacement but they didn't have any in stock so I put a tenner towards the small Wickes Professional SDS drill (on sale :roll: ). It's brilliant for the £75 or so I spent on it - German (made by Kress), 5 year warranty and similar specs to the Makita.

I also had the Erbauer 1/3 sheet sander for a few years before I dropped it and snapped the sanding plate in 2. It was about £25 at the time and worked fine. A bit noisy and the dust extraction was quite poor, but otherwise very reliable.


Cheap bad tools - Macallister jigsaw, Ryobi jigsaw, Erbauer 115mm grinder, Erbauer biscuit jointer, Wickes 230mm grinder, Performance Power tile cutter, Homebase circular saw and Performance Power mitre saws.

These are just from my experience, and I've labelled them as "bad" either for breaking prematurely, being dangerous or just for being generally rubbish.

Mark
 

Rob Platt

Established Member
Joined
21 Nov 2010
Messages
583
Reaction score
0
Location
Merseyside
Shh about the marples blue chisels or they`ll all want them one set went for about £35 on e bay a while back probably more than they ever retailed for.
3 wooden jacks and a coffin smoother for less than £20 .Stuck a big erbaur router in my table for about £70. Macallister cordless 18 volt buy 2 for less than the cost of one the big names
all the best
rob
 

condeesteso

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
0
Location
Sevenoaks, Kent
Mark - I also got a Kress (branded Wickes)... in my case a jigsaw. They seemed desperate to get rid of them, and I think I paid about £25. That was maybe 3 years ago, and it is very good indeed but probably long-gone now.
Pleased you rate those Screwfix Forstners... I have been using them a lot the last few days and working some of them quite hard. They are miles ahead of the gold-coloured cheapies around. Some 'cheap' is alarmingly good (these) but by no means all.
 

theartfulbodger

Established Member
Joined
2 Nov 2010
Messages
493
Reaction score
0
Location
Midsomer County, Englandshire
I've been reading this thread and hoping for more replies. I swear by my Halfords Pro gear :) I wish there was a woodworking equivalent - cheap(ish) lifetime guarantee solid useable good quality and cheap(ish)

Or is there?

I have a mixed bag of budget/second hand tools from BandQ Wickes Axminster Toolstation etc and while the "better" tools are the ones by Axi and the like that I have picked up second hand, there is definitely a space in my garage for the cheaper stuff. Especially things I use less often.
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
0
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
When buying "bargain" tools, I think we have to consider what part of the tool has been cheapened in order to produce it at a profit.

Aside from constant, professional use....most power tools will perform brilliantly if say, the cutter, is substituted for a good quality one. With a bit of a setup, they can perform light duty for a long time.

Professionals mostly shy away from cheap tools as the cost of failure on site is something that they must avoid....and in any case...high quality pro tools will pay for themselves over and over again.

Some tools cannot be fettled to even usable quality though...and probably the most common of these are the cheap screwdrivers which break or crumble under even light use.

My best bargain is a B&Q special SMS, revamped with a Freud blade and it still cuts beautifully every time...square and clean.

Would I love to replace it with a Makita or a Festool...of course...is it a priority...no.....definitely not.

I will however repeat my very best bargain tool...the Burgess Powerline bandsaw....refitted with a Tuffsaw blade is absolutely out of this world. For safe, clean cuts in small jobs and sweeping curves...it is ideal. £10 well spent!

Jim
 

marcros

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
10,468
Reaction score
310
Location
Leeds
Just ordered some. lifetime warranty gives some confidence, so we will see.
 

condeesteso

Established Member
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
0
Location
Sevenoaks, Kent
yes I think those Dakota clamps at that price will be v good. I seriously need to invest in clamps, and those do get good user reviews. I have criticised Dakota before, but recently some of the Rutlands deals have been tempting... 62 1/2" router bits for about £120 when they had the 25% deal going!! Two quid a bit - and I have had Tornado before, pretty good I thought.
 
Top