Popular Woodworking 124 Oct 2001

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A full version of Popular Woodworking Magazine, No. 124, October 2001 in pdf format. This is a tool-buying issue for calendar year 2002, with articles comparing 632 different hand & power tools.

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<ul><li><p>October 2001 #124</p><p>Straight Talkon ToolsThe only guide that recommends tools worth buying</p><p>637 TOOLS COMPAREDEDITORS PICK THE 97 BEST!</p><p>12-VOLT PG14DRILLS</p><p>BAND SAWS PG20</p><p>BISCUIT PG28JOINERS</p><p>BRAD PG32NAILERS</p><p>DRILL PG38PRESSES</p><p>DUST PG44COLLECTORS</p><p>HAND TOOLS PG50</p><p>JIGSAWS PG54</p><p>JOINTERS PG58</p><p>MITER SAWS PG62</p><p>MORTISERS PG66</p><p>ROUTERS PG70</p><p>SANDERS PG78</p><p>TABLE SAWS PG82</p><p>THICKNESS PG86PLANERSEXCLUSIVE FAR EAST REPORT</p><p>What You MustKnow AboutChinese Tools</p><p>www.popwood.com</p></li><li><p>POPULARWOODWORKING October 20012</p><p>Admit it. Spending money on tools andmachinery for your shop can producelots of anxiety. Your budget is limited, andso is your knowledge of all the product lines.Go to the store, buy on-line or over the phoneand the salespeople arent giving you anyconfidence that youre making the right de-cision, either. If youre lucky, you may havea friend who owns a tool youre interestedin, but its several years old and there are lotsof new models to consider now.</p><p>We publish this comprehensive ToolBuying Guide for only one reason. That isto give you the best chance you have to makethe right decision the first time when se-lecting a new piece of equipment for yourshop. Our goal is to arm you with more thanenough knowledge to put you in the com-fort zone when you open your wallet.</p><p>On the following pages youll find 17 cat-egories of woodworking tools as well an im-portant article about whats going on in man-ufacturing these days. In specific tool cate-gories, ranging from table saws to combina-tion squares, we give you three importantpieces of information:</p><p> We tell you what are the important fea-tures to evaluate and compare among all thetools in this category (as well as those fea-tures that dont count for much at all).</p><p> We list all the brands and models avail-able in the U.S. market with their specs andstreet prices.</p><p> And we go the extra mile and makespecific recommendations about the mod-els we have actually used in the PopularWoodworking shop and have confidence in.</p><p>We also know that all woodworkers arenot alike. Some of you are just getting start-ed, others have years of experience but keep</p><p>a casual attitude about your hobby. Othersare passionate about spending time in theirshops almost every day, or are pros depend-ing on their skills and tools to make a livingand support a family. Clearly, different wood-workers make different demands on theirtools and have different expectations aboutreliability and how much to spend.</p><p>For these reasons, we make our buyingrecommendations in three user categoriesso you can match yourself to the right tools.</p><p>In this years Guide we added the mostessential non-powered woodworking handtools as a category: low-angle block planes,combination squares and chisels. For spaceconsiderations, we dropped scroll saws andlathes for this year. In the cordless drillcategory, we focused on 12-volt models only.In our opinion, this is the right sized cord-less drill for most, but certainly not all, wood-working shop applications. These 12-voltdrills deliver the power and runtime to getthe job done without the weight that makesyou feel like you just did 100 arm curls. </p><p>And if you fret over the question of ad-vertiser influence on editorial recommen-dations, dont. Our job is to serve you, ourreaders. Not only is it our job, but truthful-ly, your subscription or newsstand purchasegoes a lot further in paying our bills thandoes advertising income.We just couldntafford putting anyone other than you first.</p><p>One final note, many thanks to the EdwardB. Mueller Company in Cincinnati, Ohio,for allowing us to shoot photos in their store.PW</p><p>FROM THE EDITOR</p><p>Buy With ConfidenceSave money and find your comfort zone.</p><p>Contents6 CHINA BOUND</p><p>A lot more tools are nowbeing made in China. Whatdoes this mean for pricesand quality?</p><p>14 12 VOLT DRILLS</p><p>20 BAND SAWS</p><p>28 BISCUIT JOINERS</p><p>32 BRAD NAILERS</p><p>38 DRILL PRESSES</p><p>44 DUST COLLECTORS</p><p>50 HAND TOOLS </p><p>54 JIGSAWS</p><p>58 JOINTERS</p><p>62 MITER SAWS</p><p>66 MORTISERS</p><p>70 ROUTERS</p><p>78 SANDERS</p><p>82 TABLE SAWS</p><p>86 THICKNESS PLANERS</p><p>T O O L B U Y I N G G U I D E 2 0 0 2</p></li><li><p>The Toughest Glue on Planet Earth</p><p>Hardwoods, softwoods, pressure-treated or exotics Gorilla Glue</p><p>is tough enough to hold themall. Incredibly strong, nearlyinvisible glue lines, and100% waterproof. Just the wayserious woodworkers demand it.Call 800-966-3458 for adealer near you, or visitwww.gorillaglue.comto find out more.</p><p>MeasureTwice.GlueOnce.</p><p>POPULARWOODWORKING October 200014</p><p>August 2001, Vol. 21, No. 4 www.popularwoodworking.com</p><p>Editor &amp; Publisher Steve Shanesy</p><p>Art Director Tricia Barlow</p><p>Senior Editors David Thiel,Christopher Schwarz</p><p>Project Illustrator John W.Hutchinson </p><p>Photographer Al Parrish</p><p>Editorial Intern John Tate</p><p>Editorial Assistant Barb Brown</p><p>Contributing EditorsNick EnglerBob FlexnerGlen Huey</p><p>Scott PhillipsTroy Sexton</p><p>Technical Advisers:Bill Austin Makita USA. Inc.Scott Box Delta International </p><p>Chris Carlson S-B Power ToolBill Crofutt Grizzly Industrial </p><p>Dale Zimmerman Franklin International</p><p>General Manager Jeffry M.LapinEditorial Director David Fryxell</p><p>CIRCULATION</p><p>David Lee, Director</p><p>Lynn Kruetzkamp, Group Manager</p><p>PRODUCTION</p><p>Barbara Schmitz, Director of ManufacturingMartha Wallace, Magazine Production Dir.Heather Griffin, Production Coordinator</p><p>ADVERTISING</p><p>National Sales RepresentativeBill Warren, Five Mile River Assoc. LLCRR1 Box 1400, Stockton Springs, ME 04981Tel. (207) 469-1981; Fax (207) 469-3050</p><p>wkwarren@aol.comAdvertising Sales</p><p>Joe Wood, Tel. (513) 336-9760Fax (513) 336-9761</p><p>josephfwood@aol.comClassified Advertising Sales </p><p>Joan Wright,Tel. (800) 388-1820joanwright@ix.netcom.com</p><p>Advertising Production CoordinatorDebbie Thomas, Tel. (513) 531-2690, ext. 219</p><p>debbiet@fwpubs.com</p><p>SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES Subscription inquiries,orders and address changes can be made at</p><p>www.popwood.com (click on Subscriber Services).Or by mail:Popular Woodworking,P.O.Box 5369,</p><p>Harlan, IA 51593 or call (515) 280-1721.Include your address with all inquiries.</p><p>Allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery.</p><p>NEWSSTAND DISTRIBUTION Curtis Circulation Co.,730 River Rd.,New Milford,NJ 07646,</p><p>(201) 634-7400, fax (201) 634-7499</p><p>ATTENTION RETAILERS:To carry Popular Woodworking in your store, call ReadersService at 800-844-7075, or write: Popular Woodworking</p><p>Magazine Dealer program, c/o Readers Service, 4099 MartelRoad, Lenoir City, TN 37772</p><p>Back issues are available for $6.50 ($8.50 Canada; $10.50 otherforeign). Ohio residents include 6% sales tax. Send check or</p><p>money order to: Popular Woodworking/F&amp;W PublicationProducts, PO Box 2031, Harlan, IA, 51593 or call 1-888-419-</p><p>0421. Please specify publication, month and year.</p><p>Woodworkers Book Club: 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati,OH 45207; (513) 531-8250</p><p>terrco</p><p>Circle #116 on Resource Directory Coupon</p><p>Circle #136 on Resource Directory Coupon</p></li><li><p>If youre not in the habit of check-ing labels on your new tools andmachinery purchases, you might besurprised to learn that Made inChina is showing up a lot more fre-quently these days. Dont make themistake and think this means theproduct was made in the Republicof Taiwan, the island country off thecoast of mainland China.</p><p>With increasing frequency, prod-ucts once made in Taiwan are nowbeing manufactured in China. Whatcan we expect from such a shift? Willquality suffer? What about prices?Just who is having woodworkingequipment made in China now? Andwhy would manufacturers make sucha huge change just when their prod-ucts have finally won broad accep-tance with U.S. woodworkers? </p><p>Importers and manufacturers ofTaiwan-made woodworking equip-ment have worked hard during thepast 15 years for respect in the mar-</p><p>ketplace. Whether the bad rap Madein Taiwan was deserved in the earlydays is not only debatable but, likemost issues, a lot more complicatedthan consumers imagine. </p><p>From the first days that Taiwaneseequipment began arriving in ourports, there were real quality differ-ences among the various importers.Quality differences still exist and canvary on what may seem to be thesame product coming from the samemanufacturing plant. But its fair tosay now that overseas manufactur-ers are producing millions and mil-lions of dollars in good-quality wood-working equipment. Some of itsmade by companies that import theirentire line from Taiwan; some of itsmade for venerable names who once</p><p>built exclusively in the United Statesand now import some products. Eitherway, the American woodworker isreaping a huge benefit from theseimported tools.</p><p>As woodworkers, we groan reg-ularly at constant price increases forlumber. But when it comes to toolsand equipment, particularly ma-chines from Taiwan, we dont stopto think what a bargain they are.A case in point: I bought my firsttable saw, a Delta/Rockwell model10 contractor saw, in 1981. I addedlong guide bars for the fence and cast-ers and paid just over $850. Whatsthat saw cost today? Equipped witha Biesemeyer fence, just over $850.Essentially, its the same saw with afar superior fence.</p><p>Just for fun, I went to a web sitethat allows you to calculate the costmy table saw in 1981 and then ad-just it for 20 years of inflation. Today,my $850 saw should cost $1,833.</p><p>CHINABOUND</p><p>Now that Taiwanese woodworking tools are accepted by U.S. woodworkers, </p><p>manufacturing is moving again. This time, to mainland China. </p><p>What will this mean for American consumers?</p><p>Woodworking tool manufacturing is</p><p>by Steve Shanesy</p><p>Contact Steve at 513-531-2690 ext. 238 or SteveS@FWPubs.com.</p><p>POPULARWOODWORKING October 20016</p></li><li><p>www.popwood.com 7</p><p>Remembering back to that day in1981 when I bought the saw, I recallthat although the price didnt seemtoo expensive then, todays pricesby comparison are quite reasonable.In fact, some prices are almost un-believable. You can buy a Taiwanesecontractor table saw from GrizzlyIndustrial with many of the same fea-tures as my original Delta/Rockwellfor only $325 plus $48 shipping.</p><p>When you think about the costof a reasonably equipped home shop,</p><p>the prices are even more amazing. Ifyou had bought a contractor saw, 6"jointer, small planer, drill press and14" band saw in 1980, you wouldhave paid about $3,200 thatsabout $6,100 in inflation-adjusted2001 dollars. Open up any wood-working catalog today and you canbuy the same equipment and spendas little as $1,400 and as much as$2,600, depending on brand. At$6,100 for stationary equipmentalone, Im certain the number of</p><p>home woodworkers would be a frac-tion of what today is one of top-ratedhobbies in the United States amongmature adult males.</p><p>Are Lower Prices Ahead?According to some major manufac-turers and importers, the great newsfor woodworkers is that prices mightdrop even more during the next sev-eral years. Some, such as Jet ToolsJohn Otto, woodworking productmanager, project prices to drop some</p></li><li><p>POPULARWOODWORKING October 20018</p><p>and then bounce back to todays leveland then hold steady for another 15years. The contrary view, and oneheld by Scott Box, manager of prod-uct development for Delta Machinery,is that prices will hold steady. Allthis good price news is being madepossible by yet another shift in toolmanufacturing. Many Taiwanesemanufacturers are moving to main-land China, where labor costs areabout one-tenth of those in Taiwan,land is plentiful and cheap, envi-ronmental standards are lower andsafety standards are relaxed.</p><p>In manufacturing, its not a newtrend. In the 1950s, some tool man-ufacturing left theUnited States forJapan. By 1980, man-ufacturers were onthe move again toTaiwan. Several yearsago, the move acrossthe Straits of Taiwanbegan, and noweverything from shoesto tennis rackets tosome woodworkingmachinery is nowbeing produced inChina. Not that youwould notice, butabout 90 percent of</p><p>all drill presses are madein mainland China today.Principal importers in theU.S. market are Delta,Ridgid and Craftsman.</p><p>The question wood-working consumers mustask is: Will there be a priceto pay for the low prices?Will some of the qualityissues that arose with someimporters after the moveto Taiwan repeat as man-ufacturing shifts to China?The complaints aboutTaiwanese-made equip-ment largely stemmed fromimporters who were in-</p><p>experienced in working withTaiwanese manufacturing, accord-ing to industry insiders. In the UnitedStates, the typical manufacturing fa-cility makes many of the parts for itsproducts, buys some basic or specialtyparts and then assembles the prod-uct. In Taiwan manufacturers areprimarily assembly plants with vir-tually every part and componentsourced from outside vendors. Forexample, to make a benchtop tablesaw, completely separate companiescast the aluminum top, mill the top,form the plastic base, supply themotor, supply the motor mount andblade tilt mechanism, supply the</p><p>In 1997, the author visited the Rexon factory in Taichung,Taiwan, and saw various products from different manufacturersrolling off assembly lines. Miter saws are just one example of high volume products that are making the switch fromTaiwan to mainland China, as Delta Manufacturing has done for some of its miter saw products.</p><p>Taiwanese workers assemble Delta benchtop planersat one of its partner factories, Shin Hou, in Taichung.</p><p>At the same plant, parts for automobile anti-lock brakesystems by ITT were also being made.</p><p>searsfilm</p><p>Circle #142 on Resource Directory Coupon</p></li><li><p>fence, supply the fence rails. Themore parts a machine has, the morevendors are involved. The simplestparts could be supplied by a vendorwith crude fabrication equipmentand manufacturing techniques that,from a quality and part consistencypoint of view, would be unaccept-able in the United States.</p><p>Early complaints about machinesof Taiwanese origin concerned mo-tors and inconsistencies with re-placement parts. And, of course, thecomplaint by U.S. manufacturersthat their American-made machineswere being copied and sold for sub-stantially lower prices. As one man-ufacturer put it, R &amp; D in Taiwanmeans Research and Duplicate.Some importers went so far as to copythe color and even the instructionmanual from a U.S.-made machine.To top it off, one story goes that animporter suggested its customers goto the U.S. manufacturer of the copiedmachine for replacement parts.</p><p>In the mid-1980s, DeltaManufacturing filed a complaint withthe Federal Trade Commission to</p><p>block importers from selling equip-ment in Deltas trade dress. Basically,that means equipment that so close-ly resembles a Delta model that aconsumer might be fooled into think-ing it was a Delta.</p><p>Attacking importers on the issueof trade dress was about the only re-course American manufacturers hadbecause most of the patents on theirequipment had run out. Of course,the other alternative, which manu-facturers like Delta said they would-nt do, then eventually did, was begina Taiwan-importing operation.</p><p>Once quality-minded importers,including those with U.S. manu-facturing origins, began Taiwan op-erations with their own representa-tives and engineers on the scene,most quality issues were settled. Today,Jet, Delta, Grizzly, Bridgewood andEmerson Electric (the manufactur-er of Ridgid woodworking tools andformerly Craftsman woodworkingmachines), all maint...</p></li></ul>