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Best and Worst buys in the last 12 months

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tim

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I often see a review and think that's a good idea, must get one of those and then promptly forget about it until I am doing something where the item in question would be perfect but I have to make do with what I've already got. The other problem I find when in tool shops, websites, shows etc is a blindness to what I really need and get caught up buying lots of spur of the moment stuff (no bad thing) but forget what I was meant to buy in the first place.

Given that there is a certain tool show coming up shortly and Christmas not long after that I was wondering whether this could be a useful thread to see what members have bought in the last year (to keep it manageable) that they really, really rate and those that they wish they hadn't. These might not be because the items themselves are fab (or rubbish) but because they suit a particular need or do a job brilliantly (or not).

I know that there are loads of reviews in the Tool review section and in the Hand tool section and in the main forum but this was just meant to be a list of ideas (with a short explanantion if needed why its good or bad) to spark excitement and to potentially have that mental list ready when Great Aunt Mildred wants to give you a £5 for that new Festool grommet that you have been after.

Links have been provided but don't necessarily reflect the actual source I used.

My best purchases were:

Kreg 2000 Jig.
I use this every day probably - great for putting things together quickly and easily. http://www.rutlands.co.uk/cgi-bin/psProdDet.cgi/KRK2000PP||kreg~@c~@b|0|user|1,0,0,1|6|

Leigh FMT Jig
Not cheap but a bullet proof system for making lots of M&Tshttp://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=33054&name=leigh&sfile=1&jump=4


Incra T Rule Accuracy in marking out has never been so simple - I have the 300mm one and will be buying the shorter one as well at Tools2005 I think.http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=20462&name=incra&sfile=1&jump=0

Fein Multimaster Absolutely indispensible on site. Like having an electric Swiss Army knife. A tool that I don't know how I managed to survive without before!http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=22787&name=fein&sfile=1&jump=32

Webrax abrasive pads Great for rubbing out and deknibbing, applying finishes etc. Last for ages and don't clog.http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=23609&name=webrax&sfile=1&jump=0



Worst Purchases

Axminster Hammer Drill - the previous version of this http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=362302&recno=1. Unless they have significantly improved it, I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Heavy, unwieldy and not great!

Incra LS 25" Super Fence System.
http://www.rutlands.co.uk/cgi-bin/psProdDet.cgi/LS25WFNCSYS||incra~@c~@b|0|user|1,0,0,1|26|
- please note that there is nothing wrong with this kit at all but I have yet to find a need for 18 of the 25 inches. Its a highly accurate, easy to use fence system but it costs a lot and takes up a huge amount of space. I wish I had bought a shorter version or one of lower spec.[/url]

So - come on - what have you bought that makes your projects easier and more enjoyable and what did you buy that you wish you hadn't?

Cheers


Tim
 

kevin m

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Hi, I bought the festool ts55 plunge saw about a month ago after thinking that it was too expensive for a circular saw, for the last two years it was on my list of things that would be nice to have but not really need. How wrong I was! It really does speed up cutting sheet material and with a finish that will match a really good table saw. Its great for trimming 1mm off the length of a door although when your trimming that little it does shoot out the dust even with the ct22 extractor plugged onto it. That is my other best buy the ct22 festool extractor. It is fantastic to have the power off feature. Just turn on a tool and it sucks the dust away. If only I had bought one years ago. Suffering years of gaffa taping my Henry onto each and every tool! No real bad buys this year.
 

Howjoe

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Tim,

Great idea.

I've been really tempted to by the Fein Multimaster. Are they really that good - what are the most useful applications you've found for it?

Cheers

Howard
 

wizer

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Best Buys

Triton Workcentre: Wasn't sure at first, took quite a while to setup. But then one day I went out to make some doors for my cabinet and the whole thing went so smoothly and the result was well above what I thought I/it could achieve. Looking foward to next summer when I can knock out a few real projects.

Triton Router: Same as above really, suprised how easy it is to use, not even used 1% of it's functionality yet.

Worst Buys

NuTool Mitre Saw: Good for power, but bad for precision.



Can't think of anything else...
 

tim

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Howjoe":2z7gbsio said:
I've been really tempted to by the Fein Multimaster. Are they really that good - what are the most useful applications you've found for it?
Honestly, its a piece of kit that when I am on site I now sigh with relief that I've got it. Because I do a lot of built in furniture I have to often cut or remove existing trim in customers' houses first. The oscillating saw and e blades make this a doddle. Because there is no set, you can literally run the blade along the wallpaper and cut trim flush if needed. Really good for whizzing off the top of wood plugs (time consuming if you have 40 to do by hand).

Cheers

Tim
 

Adam

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I bought a Veritas "Micro-Adjust Wheel Marking Gauge". In fact it had its very first use last night and passed with flying colours! I've never got on with the traditional pins on marking guages.



Available from Rutlands @ £25.85 / D&M tools.

As for disastorous purchases - I tried out "Uni-screw" from Screwfix. This is supposedly going ot make you life easier as 1 driver bit fits all. They are cr*p. The bits round off, you can't drive them in if you are a weeny bit off axis, and I hate to say it but I put the entire lot in the bin.



I'll come back if I think of anything else.
 

Alf

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Hmm, in the last 12 months. So from the Axminster show onwards then. :-k Best buy...

L-N Skew Rebate Block - I thought it's be nice to have, but possibly more of a luxury than something I used a lot. How wrong I've been. It's been used endlessly; helped by the fact I've been doing a disproportionate number of M&Ts.

Veritas Spokeshave kit - I bought the second one, so it counts! All the fun of making your own shave, with a nice, useable tool to show for it at the end.

Bosch GCM10SD SCMS - A shared purchase between me and my old man. Great saw. Accurate, comfortable to use, all the main adjustments are tool-free and the others have the tools onboard for easy storage. Only gripe is dust collection (which is as awful as every other SCMS) and the hold-down clamp, which can do you a damage if you don't concentrate.

Chestnut Dome Brush - For buffing waxes using a drill. Saved a good deal of elbow grease on a number of occasions.

Worst buy... Nah, never happens. :whistle:

Half Round Dreadnought file - I hoped it might give a smoother finish more quickly for shaping handles etc. Alas, too bulky and too coarse a tooth pitch (if that's what you call it on these?!) for the job. Not really the tool's fault, but wishful thinking on my part that didn't come off. The flat ones can be effective for tweaking mortises and such, btw.

Rustins button shellac - Couldn't get the flippin' bottle open again. Aaargh, I hate Rustin's wibbly-wobbly plastic bottles. :evil:

And a bit of both...

Axminster 4" double square - As is, it's not the greatest. Once I'd swaped the clamping knob with a cheap 6" combi square (and improved the grip on both of them in consequence - go figure :roll: ) and replaced the spring, it was much better. I use it all the time now; very handy little square.

Cheers, Alf
 

Howjoe

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tim":1tgozox2 said:
Howjoe":1tgozox2 said:
I've been really tempted to by the Fein Multimaster. Are they really that good - what are the most useful applications you've found for it?
Honestly, its a piece of kit that when I am on site I now sigh with relief that I've got it. Because I do a lot of built in furniture I have to often cut or remove existing trim in customers' houses first. The oscillating saw and e blades make this a doddle. Because there is no set, you can literally run the blade along the wallpaper and cut trim flush if needed. Really good for whizzing off the top of wood plugs (time consuming if you have 40 to do by hand).

Cheers

Tim
Thanks, Tim.

I'm buying one....just needed a nudge :wink:


Cheers

Howard
 

RogerS

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Great buys

Festool TS55 saw - how did I get by without it for so long ?

Veritas skew block plane bought on eBay...terrific little performer

Veritas spokeshaves - super to use once you've got over the learning curve

Triton router

Will think about the remaining one but...if I can nominate a non-woodworking product then it's a toss-up between
http://www.armeg.com/electrical-accesskit.php electrical box sinker which does exactly what it says on the tin...sink a hole for a double socket in under two minutes..cleanly and effectively and this one http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id=16724&ts=97918 channeling chisel...so simple to chase into walls for cable runs

Turkeys

Draper Tilt and clamp workbench - useless

Axminster Pillar mounted drill support - too fiddly by half to use http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=21087&name=drill support&sfile=1&jump=0
 

Alf

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tim":2dehdrtu said:
Alf":2dehdrtu said:
So from the Axminster show onwards then
or even bought 'at'!
Well I was thinking the show onwards inclusive, sort of thing. :D Although neither of my show purchases are on my list I realise. Not 'cos they aren't good, but more because I haven't used them enough to count them best buys really.

Cheers, Alf
 

Gill

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Best purchases -

New Workshop \:D/
Kity 419 Tablesaw with table extension and sliding carriage
SIP 10" SCMS
Wood from various shows and auctions.
Paint Shop Pro software (for scrollsaw pattern design)

Worst purchase -

Diamond fretsaw purchased off eBay which was in a dreadful condition when it arrived and needed complete refurbishment. Hopefully, I'll soon have it properly esconced in its new home and it could prove to be one of the best purchases after all.

I hope nobody minds me asking a question that's slightly off-topic but still related to the Diamond - what's the best way to drill into marble?

Gill
 

Neil

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tim":fer07ja1 said:
I wish I had bought a shorter version or one of lower spec.
he he, well I did tell you :p :lol:

Cor, its like a free gloat, this - its going to take Philly a week to write his contribution :p

I've been a lucky boy this year, not many bad purchases.

Best purchases:

Festool TS55 (yawn, looks like it will be making a few appearances on this list). Chris was right when he said it was a miracle.

Makita 2012NB thicknesser - just a few little refinements which make it that much better than the other portable thicknessers IMO

Trend Pocket Hole jig - so simple, so overpriced for what it is, but so useful.

Small Dozuki - my introduction to Japanese saws, and I'm hooked - what fantastic value at £12.

Not sure if pressies count, but if so - LN bronze 102 and LN small curved spokeshave - both are just superb. Although I've only just got the spokeshave so maybe not completely valid.

Worst purchases:

<controversial> Metabo Duo ROS. Not a bad purchase as such - thanks to the Forum its much more difficult to make bad purchases now. I've only put it here because I'm not 100% happy with it. On the 3mm orbit, it has a noticable tendency to want to skid sideways quite forcefully (rock solid on 6mm orbit though) and it is really heavy - great for tabletops but I always seem to end up trying to use it one-handed on vertical surfaces which is hard work. The Festool is much better IMO, but is just so much more expensive... a difficult one. I may end up buying a 5" palm ROS too for one-handed use, and then I'll be edging closer to the price of the Festool :cry:

Beechwood mallet - 'cos then I found that I had inherited two more :roll:

Axminster deluxe honing guide - 'cos then the Veritas Mk.2 appeared and made it redundant

Cheers,
Neil
 

Alf

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Neil":215av4cv said:
Cor, its like a free gloat, this - its going to take Philly a week to write his contribution :p
It's not compulsory to list everything... :roll: :lol:

Cheers, Alf

Glad to see she's not the only one who muddles up Neil and Noel. :wink:
 

Neil

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Alf":2409e1ep said:
It's not compulsory to list everything... :roll: :lol:
I know - it would take him a month then, Alf! :lol:

Tim":2409e1ep said:
No idea what you're talking about!
Handy thing, that Edit button :wink:

Cheers,
Neil
 
A

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Best Purchases

Scheppach 260 Thicknesser/Planer, once its set up (which took me some time to get my head around) its just magic.

Worst Purchase

Second hand (from ebay) Electra Beckum 316 band saw

Undoubtedly the fact that I dont have the skills to use a band saw correctly, but i cant get this thing to cut straight even after setting up time and time again. I wish I had waited on buying a band saw, I jumped in a bit there. Damn ebay.
 

Der_Goalie

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biglouie":3vrzbexs said:
Worst Purchase

Second hand (from ebay) Electra Beckum 316 band saw

Undoubtedly the fact that I dont have the skills to use a band saw correctly, but i cant get this thing to cut straight even after setting up time and time again. I wish I had waited on buying a band saw, I jumped in a bit there. Damn ebay.

You might have already tried this, but try a new, good quality blade (like starret or similar). with the right quality blade in these bandsaws you can actually run them without the top guides & it'll still give a straight cut. Alternatively it may be a fence problem. If you are still having problems PM me any I'll see if i can help.


DG
 
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