If you could ask manufacturers to change their design what would be your first request.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Bob #2 posted 10-16-2009 06:06 PM 1484 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4022 days

10-16-2009 06:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tool wishes modification

I’ll start off my wish list for better engineered dust collection on all my tools starting with the bandsaw.

What would you change if you could?


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

17 replies so far

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3992 days

#1 posted 10-16-2009 06:36 PM

I’m all Wixied up with digital read outs on my table saw, planer, and the angle gauge but I would have liked those features to have come standard. I mean I can get a nice set of digi calipers for $20 retail, wouldn’t cost anything to add that to a router plunger. So my request would be digital read outs on everything.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View knotscott's profile


8018 posts in 3376 days

#2 posted 10-16-2009 06:38 PM

Table saws – The bottom of the motor door on my Shop Fox cabinet saw is flat and serves nicely as a sawdust shelf. It really should be angled. Most cabinet saws now have ramped bottoms, but the angle of the ramp often isn’t steep enough. Why not actually design the saw so everything aims nicely in the direction of the port? My last 3 saws have been left tilt, and have had 30” or less stock rip capacity to the right of the blade, and have had somewhere in the range of 18” on the left. Since owning a left tilt saw, I’ve never used the rip capacity on the left, and have actually slid the rails over to the right on the last two saws to gain an extra 10” of rip capacity to the right. Why not just make the left tilt saws with the fences as far to the right as possible? TS throat openings should be large enough for a male hand to actually fit into to change blades….can’t tell you how many scraped knuckles I’ve incurred trying to get my hand in there. Built in casters on stationary tools is a great idea. So are serpentine belts instead of the standard cheap v-belts.

Routers! I’ve now owned 8 …Craftsman, Freud FT2000, Milwaukee 5615, Freud FT1700, PC690, Bosch 1617, Milwaukee 5625, and Hitachi M12VC. The first router was a really cheap Craftsman…. It had a light, a collet lock switch, onboard wrench storage, a trigger on the handle, and a flat top so you could stand it up while changing bits. None of my current more expensive routers combines all those useful features in one package. Also, my current favorite table router, the Freud FT1700, is the only router I’ve owned that has a collet that’s long enough to protrude through the top of the router table so I can change the bits easily from above the table without using a special bent wrench or taking the insert out….seems like any router that’s likely to land in a router table should have that feature.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4401 days

#3 posted 10-16-2009 06:38 PM

Bob I’m with you on the dust collection issue. Most of my tools are older and I’m guessing that dust collection was not a real issue then, because it just seemed to be very minimal if at all.

I would add tight fitting parts like fences etc, but features for hold down attachments and adjustments for allignment.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View dbhost's profile


5712 posts in 3233 days

#4 posted 10-16-2009 06:39 PM

While I know it was done to keep production costs down… I am particularly fond of my Ryboi BT3100 table saw, but if I could have them go back, and redo it… #1. Replace the ribbed aluminum tables with smooth cast iron. #2. Increase the table size to the standard 27” depth. #3. While keeping the sliding miter table, include standard miter slots on either side of the blade. #4. Router accessory table should be a standard cast iron router wing. #5. Do away with the dust port on the back, enclose the base and put a well designed dust port on both top and bottom of the saw.

My HF Lathe… #1. Include a dual ended MT#2 taper alignment tool so that is is easier to get the headstock and tailstock lined up. #2. This is pretty universal for the Jet JWL 1236 and clones, but chuck the stamped steel legs and go with heavier cast iron. OR… Enclose the base with compartments to hold sandbags for ballast.

Band Saw. Well nobody builds them the way I would like. See my blog post about hot rodding a Harbor Freight bandsaw.

HF Dust Collector. I have no clue how they could do it within a reasonable price point but… #1. Lose the motor that is there now, replace with comparable motor capable of 110/220V operation. 110V only stinks… #2. The impeller housing has plenty of room for it, upsize the impeller to at least 12”. #3. Upsize the hose / ports from the impeller to the inlet ring to 6”. #4. Upsize the impeller intake port from 5” to 6”. #5. Replace the 5 micron bag with a 1 micron bag, or better yet, a 1 micron canister.

Sunhill SM-150B jointer. Upsize the dust port to 4” and provide a tapered 4” to 2.5” reducer. Start selling the thing again…

Ridgid Oscillating Belt / Spindle sander.
Dust collection to 4” port, Improve pickup hood design.

Ryobi planer. #1. Cutter Head Lock. #2. Infeed / Outfeed tables. #3. 4” dust port with 4” to 2.5” reducer.

Drill Press.
Honestly, replace with Steel City 17” variable speed model. On that the needed improvement would be… #1. Replace basic DP table with cast iron drill press woodworkers type table like some of the Delta models have. #2. Integrate proper dust collection. #3. Integrated retractable chuck key holder.

Hand held power tools like sanders, circ saws, etc…
Use dust ports that will accept a standard 2.5” shop vac hose fitting.

Lastly miter saw. I would love a dead on accurate, 12” dual bevel slider, with good dust collection, that won’t cost a fortune…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View patron's profile


13604 posts in 3342 days

#5 posted 10-16-2009 07:24 PM

all of the tools should have a way to attach shop made jigs , not just the ” accessories ” they design for
general multi-market appeal .
and manuals and parts lists that you can read and understand .

also i would like them to send one of those women they have in their adds to deliver my tools and show me how to use it , they sure know more about it than that guy in a brown suit , that dumps the box on the porch and leaves before i can inspect it .
oh , yes , price . we are the ones that buy these tools , why do we have to be as rich as they are to afford them ?
festools are great tools , how many can they sell ? most rich guys don’t do woodworking like us .
and whats wrong with having a tool that is upgradeable , why discontinue and start a whole new line ?
i would buy the next upgrade and attach it to a good solid workhorse , but i’m not dumping my shop ,
just because some corporate guy needs to make a splash at a woodshow .
it’s quite simple , if i can make money ,
i buy better tools ,
they get my business .
if i can’t afford expensive tools ,
they don’t make my money .
we need to work together on this .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3586 days

#6 posted 10-16-2009 07:36 PM

What I have longed for is router table with a handwheel at the front. Two in fact on to raise tool height and one to adjust speed. Why is this not done? like a shaper with a router built in not necessarily removable router just a proper job,that can all be done from the outside. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4031 days

#7 posted 10-16-2009 07:39 PM

Make the blades on hand planes thicker – most are 3/32” make them an 1/8” or better 5/32” thick as standard – the cost increase is negligible, but the increase in quality is incredible.

I support the digital suggestion by Damian.

I have no problem with dust collection except on my Old Unisaw, but Delta have addressed this problem with their new saw (looks like one manufacturer is listening to their customers).

What ever happened to over engineering – please consider this when you design your products – I know we live in a throw away society and we should replace all of our tools every 12 months with the latest model – Karson raised this point if you have a movable part make sure it has a positive feel when moving and locking it, it should also be accurate and not a part made from over-cooked spaghetti.

Precision engineering (mitre slots on table saw tops for example) please make the slots parallel and if you have two slots, make the slots parallel to each other – if they can do this in the East, why can we not do it in the West?

Last point – If you cannot design good quality products, then do not release the Cr@p into the market place – let the good manufactures sell more of their well engineered tools for less money.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3527 days

#8 posted 10-16-2009 10:44 PM

That every major piece of equipment that is bought that a factory rep comes to your shop and teaches you every adjustment that there is, how to do proper maintenence and then moves next door so he can be handy if needed. ; )
That every piece of equipment has a built in squaring mechcanisum that never fails. Oh to dream… To have a jointer that the blades are always perfect, never needs adjusting and stays sharp. Band saw blades that don’t break or dull. A rotating trundle on the table saw that several different blades can be mounted and with a push of a button or turn of a knob the selected blade rotates into position. ...and an inset plate that adjusts to each blade without changing the insert!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View SteveMI's profile


1094 posts in 3295 days

#9 posted 10-16-2009 11:08 PM

I really like Davids idea of a design that has upgrading potentials. For instance, a well designed table saw structure that will do just the basics; belt drive, perfect alignment adjustment features, moderate size cast iron table…

Then be designed for replacement granite table, sleds, digital readouts, extension wings, router wings, 220v motor, ....

Kind of like the aftermarket car tuners.

Those who need a table saw now, but can’t afford the full high end model can know they are getting the basics of a quality machine that can last them couple decades. Each year, they can budget to add the next level of enhancement desired. Sure, it is going to cost more in the long run, but you start with a quality basic.

Their design engineers can then focus on really dialing in the components of a tool instead of new exterior contour or color.

This would have helped me in the TS decision.


View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3145 days

#10 posted 10-16-2009 11:46 PM

-Longer cords, add at least 5’ to every cord so that people stop using extension cords (probably one of the few things Bosch got right when they redesigned the Rotozip)

-Standardize pricing on replacement parts. Why should the motor on my saw cost 1/2 the price of replacing it outright?

-Make build it yourself kits available for power tools, much like companies have made for Jig design

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4006 days

#11 posted 10-17-2009 12:24 AM

I get tired of all the whiz bang gizmos that represent no meaningful improvement.. And Ryobi’s new and improved bit holders on its cordless drill absolutely sucks.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4315 days

#12 posted 10-17-2009 12:36 AM

Switches and triggers that don’t fail every year. I’ve never had a light switch in a house fail. My dads old metal cased tools have never needed new switches. Switches and triggers have failed with just about every brand of portable tool I own.

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3199 days

#13 posted 10-17-2009 01:48 AM

I guess in a word some honesty in product claims would be nice.

So that (a) comprehensive spec/selection information is made available, (b) you can believe it, (c) it places the item accurately in the cost/functionality continuum and (d) as somebody already said that the bullshit features and jargon that deliver nothing in terms of benefit are dropped.

There’s companies selling machines with custom paint jobs now…..


-- Late awakener....

View MrHudon's profile


114 posts in 3211 days

#14 posted 10-17-2009 02:23 AM

Along the lines of the dish washers that you can’t hear running and the new washer and dryers that are super quiet, how about quieter woodworking machines.

-- Mark,

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3578 days

#15 posted 10-17-2009 02:30 AM

How about a mechanism that works like the saw stop for chop saws, jointers,planners,band saws and any other tool that can be injurious to our bodies.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics