Top 5 Best Woodworking Power Tool Review
A tool you use for shaping wood workpiece is a woodworking tool. What is then a "woodworking power tool" (WPT)?
The invention of power tools was one of the greatest ever. They play a vital role in every aspect of life. Whether making clothes or space shuttles, you need them. As much as a vacuum cleaner is a power tool, it is true for a giant crane too. A power tool is an automatic tool. It can be semi-automatic as well. It uses external source (as opposed to human muscle) for power supply. It lessens the amount of physical labor. So, a woodworking tool having this feature is a WPT.
In general, there are 5 types of WPTs including: planer, saw, sander, router, and lathe. The aim of this article is to:
1. define each type of WPT; and
2. identify a best tool of each type.
Each type has different function. Thus, you cannot compare one with other, like you cannot compare an apple with an orange. What type you will choose depends on the type of your work.
In this review, we are presenting one machine of each type. And the identified one, in our opinion, is one of the bests of its kind. That means, if you feel you need a planer, then the tool under its category is the one for you. The same is true about saw and the rest.
Now let’s see what we have here.
The original name of the planers is hand plane. Users also call it plane and plane tool. It is an ancient tool. It existed thousands of years ago. Pompeiian was the earliest nation to use it. But the Roman plane is the true ancestor of the modern ones. Since then, it evolved to today's form.
The most basic use of planers is to make a rough surface flat and smooth. They reduce depth. Woodworkers use them to make flat and upright layers. It can produce inclined surfaces too. Planer is a vital tool for all wood works.
Regardless of whether manual or power tool, a planer includes the following parts:
- Mouth: An opening in the bottom for blade extension and passing wood shavings
- Iron: A sharp steel plate for cutting wood
- Lever Cap: A holder for holding the blade down
- Depth Adjust Knob: A feature to adjust blade extension
- Chipbreaker: Making the blade more stable and processing wood shavings to discard
- Lateral Adjust Lever: Adjusting the iron
- Tote: A rear panel handle
- Frog: Holding the iron plate at the proper position
- Sole: The planer’s slider
It is true that the power planer does have one disadvantage. It is not good for some (but only few) fine tuned works that you can do by manual ones. Otherwise, it brings you more benefits. The number of the benefits are much greater.
If you choose to buy a planer, we recommend the Bosch 1594K 6.5 Amp 3-1/4-Inch Planer Kit.
The Bosch 1594K has set itself in the first row of the power planers. It is good for home and factory. You will find it both light and stable at the same time. This machine makes your woodwork ever easier. It suits professionals as well as amateurs. You can use this tool in any environment. It takes no rocket scientist to figure out that this is a versatile instrument. Just look at it.
- Motor power: 6.5 amp
- Motor speed: 16500 rpm
- Dual-blade system
- 3.25 inches planer gear
- Slant fence with easy adjust system
- Ratcheting distance knob
- Flake ejection controller
- Shock absorbing park rest support
- Blade mover (wrench)
- 6 pounds weight
- 11.125 inches shoe length
- 1 year manufacturer warranty
These are the notable features. Besides, it has all other usual components. This machine allows you to plane in the easiest way. it is safe to use. You can keep it in your home and factory. For its small built and light weight, it is easy to move it around. In one statement, this is a versatile power planer. And, given all the benefits and quality, the price is in fact competitive.
Circular saw" is the traditional name of saw in term of power tool. It uses toothed blade to cut. It spins in a rotary motion around a mandrel. Electricity is the usual source of its power. But they are available in gasoline and hydraulic engines also. The invention of this tool took place in the late part of the 18th century. It became popular in the USA by mid-19th century. There is dispute about who invented the circular saw. Historians credit Walter Taylor as the first man to invent it in 1762. Samuel Miller in 1777. And Gervinus in 1780.
The circular saw can cut many solid materials. It is a hand-held tool. A fixed version is available also. Yet, the hand-held version is more popular in the woodworking industries.
For the sake of the aim of this review, we are limiting our focus on the hand-held version only
Now let's take a look on its general anatomy:
- Handle for holding the saw
- Motor unit
- Circular blade for cutting
- Mandrel for mounting the blade
- Lower blade guard retractor
- Clamping device
- Bevel cutting angle adjust facility
- Cutting depth adjust facility
- Shoes for support
- Safety device
We recommend the DEWALT Bare-Tool DC390B 6-1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Circular Saw.
The DC390B is a cordless power saw. Thus, it offers more convenient cutting experience than the ones with cords. It is a robust piece of power cutter. You can use this tool to cut at 45 and 90 degree angles. It gives 1.625 inches cutting depth at 45 degree and 2.25 inches at 90. So, it is a versatile tool for cutting purpose.
- 18 volt motor
- Compatible batteries: DC9096 and DC9180
- Motor speed: 3700 rpm
- Fan cooling system
- 6.5 inches carbide covered blade
- 0 to 50 degree bevel range
- 2 cutting depth: 1.625 and 2.25 inches
- Rubber wrapped handle
- Durable shoe and upper guard
- 6.3 pounds weight
- 1 year free service
- 3 years manufacturer warranty
The package does not include battery and charger. But we don’t think finding them any hazard at all. They are pretty available in the market. And you are paying for the machine only. The most important is it is a quality cutting tool within a double digit price. It is good for home and factory use. This modern machine sure will upgrade your wood craft. You can buy it without a second thought.
Sander is an interesting power tool. The function of this tool is to smooth surface. The work system is to wear out. It uses sandpaper to do the job. No woodwork is complete without sanding. Thus, the sander is a must have tool in woodworks. There are many types of sanders. Here we will discuss about belt sander. Its another name is hand-held sander or hand sander.
The idea of sanding came into play in 1818. Art Emmons invented electric sander in 1927. He is the father of the belt sander. Since then, it evolved for 90 years as of 2017.
In a belt sander, a loop of sandpaper moves like a track of a military tank. A pair of drums moves the sandpaper. And an electric motor spins the drums. The sand papers one way motion smooths the workpiece.
The basic components of a belt sander include:
- A pair of drums for moving sandpaper
- Belt type sandpaper mounted on the drums
- Motor to rotate the drums
- Dust collector
If you are in need of a belt sander, we suggest you to pick the PORTER-CABLE 371K 2 1/2 by 14-Inch Compact Belt Sander Kit.
The Porter-Cable 371K is not the only power sander in the market. But it sure does stand as one of the bests. This tool makes your sanding ever easier. The designers have made it to meet the modern industrial ideology.
- Motor power: 5 amp
- 120 volt motor
- 80 grit 2.5 x 14 inches sanding belt
- Slip proof body and handle
- Sealed dust collector
- Fan cooling system
- Durable metal materials
- 8.9 pounds weight
- 15.4 x 9.2 x 7.2 inches product dimension
- 1 year manufacturer warranty
The Porter-Cable 371K is a masterpiece in its kind. It offers the most creative sanding. You can use it in factory as much as you can in home. It offers an attractive price. Buying this tool, you will feel you have made one of the best deals of your lifetime.
Router is the most versatile tool in the world. It is an electric motor with a cutter that rotates at a high speed. You can cut grooves and rebates. You can do decorative flutings and profile edges. It allows you to cut inlays, trim wood flat, and shape wood. Drilling clean holes, recessing hinges, and cutting screwthreads are easy with this tool. You can cut traditional joints, create new joints, and make jointed boxes. Want to create adzed bowls? Copy carve? Or make shallow reliefs? No problem. Router is your solution. Jeremy Broun, using this tool for more than 40 years, said, "I am still finding new ways to use a router."
The first hand-held power router took birth in 1995. Its power tool form started being traditional from 1960. Since then, it evolved to the modern form.
The basic parts of a router include:
- Holding handle
- Locking handle
- Micrometer depth adjuster
- Cord strain reliever
- Collect chuck
- Guide knob
- Trigger switch
- Motor disconnect
For the router being the most versatile tool, many makers have flooded the market with it. But it does not mean all are good. And, that's why we have been meticulous about our selection.
At this day, if you choose to buy a router, we recommend the DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque.
- Motor power: 1.25 hp
- Loaded speed capacity: 16000-27000 rpm
- 120 volt
- All-time electronic feedback
- Double LED’s and transparent sub-base
- Sub-base with extension
- Bit depth adjust system
- Plunge platform with fine-tuning adjust rod
- Comfortable and no-slip grip
- 8 pounds weight
- 7 x 10.2 x 19.2 inches product dimension
- 3 years limited warranty
This machine allows a whole nine yards of woodworks. It offers all the works mentioned above in the first paragraph of this section. Once you use this tool, you will echo Jeremy Broun. It is perfect for home and factory. And it offers an amazing price deal.
Lathe is a primeval tool. The researchers could not pin point the exact date of its invention. But evidence shows it existed in ancient Egypt, Assyria, and ancient Greece. It was a revolutionary invention for the industries. Experts call it the mother of machine tools. It was the first instrument that led to invention of other instruments.
A lathe is an instrument that shapes the workpiece. It spins the working object on its axis to cut, sand, knurl, and drill. The tool can deform, face, and turn. You can use a lathe to shape all solid objects. But different matters need different types of lathes. The wood lathe is a machine that the inventors have made to shape wood. It is a vital tool for wooden productions.
Now let's turn onto define the wood lathe in particular. It is a tool that spins or rotates a wood piece and uses pointer, blade, and sander to shape it. They use also spindles and face-plate turners to match the generic workpiece. They can operate at different speeds. Thus, they can produce a desired effect and speed up the work. There are different kinds of wood lathes for different works. But the modern types tend to be versatile.
The features vary from models to models. But the basic anatomy of all wood lathes has the following in common:
- Lathe bench
- Tool units (base and rest)
- Tool unit locks
- Head- and tail-stocks
- Head- and tail-stock handwheels
- Headstock spindle
- Tailstock lock
- Tailstock lock
- Spindle lock
- Spur center
- Spinning center
There are different kinds of wood lathes including benchtop, midi, and mini. But, since we are recommending only one, we have chosen the midi model to cover both ends. The one we recommend is the Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Lathe.
The undisputed truth about this machine is it provides the largest swing capacity in its kind. Weighing its quality against the price, we are pretty sure that it is the best in the market. You can install it in home and factory. This tool allows so many tasks that it itself is a full scale factory.
- Swing capacity: 12.5 inches
- Motor power: 1 hp
- Motor speed: 1725 rpm
- 3 wheel speed capacity with no-belt-change system
- Forward and reverse motion
- Knockout system
- Tool rest platform
- 6 and 10 inches tool rests
- 3 inches face plate
- 97 pounds weight
- 36 x 11 x 17.8 inches product dimension
- Robust cast iron built
- 5 years manufacturer warranty
We would not say, by using this machine, you would need nothing else at all. But we sure hold the position that, once you have it, you will need only few as complement. You can use it as a planing, sawing, sanding, and routing platform. And, of course, it is a lathe machine. It is small enough to fit in a small pick-up truck or work van. True, you cannot fold it. But its weight and dimension will allow you to move it around. Thus, it can work as your mobile workshop. Now weigh the price against the quality. And you judge if you could find any better deal.
We tried to compose this article as an educational item in essence. That's why have made effort to outline the historical background and mechanical concepts. At the same time, we intended to introduce you with the best instrument for each category. We don't know exactly what category you are looking for. But we do assure you that each of the specified instruments will serve your best interest.