What is the best and worst money you've spent on your shop??

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Forum topic by TheWoodsmith posted 06-03-2010 08:13 AM 5532 views 0 times favorited 57 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 3124 days

06-03-2010 08:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I know all of us have picked up a new tool or jig or whatever and either had it revolutionize the way we work or end up on the shelf next to the tablesaw blade guard. What would you guys/gals say was your best and worst investment? for me my best money so far would be the 80092 skil table saw stand, i got it for 45 bucks off of ebay, brand new, and it is totally rad! makes the little skil bench saw more of a shop style tool and increased accuracy and capacity by leaps and bounds. The worst money i’ve spent was a B&D ROS which only took me about a week to smoke… live and learn! How about you?

-- I know its around here somewhere...

57 replies so far

View stevenmadden's profile


174 posts in 3293 days

#1 posted 06-03-2010 08:29 AM

Best tool:

SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw

Worst Tool:

Craftsman Professional (I use that term loosely) 16” Dovetail Jig

View TheWoodsmith's profile


108 posts in 3124 days

#2 posted 06-03-2010 08:32 AM

I’m really really wanting a sawstop pro cabinet saw… real bad haha If all goes well with my start-up there will be one in the shop by the end of the month. Talk about peace of mind, plus, i hear they are crazy crazy accurate

-- I know its around here somewhere...

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 3134 days

#3 posted 06-03-2010 09:04 AM

Best purchase was deffenitly the Rigid oscillating edge/spindle sander. I know its an odd thing to say the best money spent but its SUCH a great tool. Not on thing that annoys me about this one.
Worst money has to be the ryobi orbital sander and sheet sander. I was wrong to say that sanders dont have to expensive. You get what you pay for!

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3214 days

#4 posted 06-03-2010 09:07 AM

Best investment:

Grizzly G0555 bandsaw + riser
Sawstop PCS + mobile base (seriously, the base makes me smile everytime I need to move my saw)

Worst investment:

Anything made by Groz, including a cheap block plane and a quick-release bench vise. Both very defective.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3517 days

#5 posted 06-03-2010 01:07 PM

Best- is the tools I upgraded in the past year, TS, jointer, planer, SCMS.

Worst- paying the movers when we relocated, to transport my older junky tools that were worn out or poor quality. Should have junked them before the move, but I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly at the time. Mpvers charge by weight and cast iron is a lot of weight.

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 3259 days

#6 posted 06-03-2010 01:43 PM

Best would be either my Bosch trim router or my Hitachi impact driver. Both are used daily and have lasted far longer than I could have imagined.

Worst, B&D Belt sander, can’t get the belt to stay on, just worthless.

--, Making design and application one. †

View rance's profile


4266 posts in 3365 days

#7 posted 06-03-2010 02:17 PM

Grex 2” pinner & Senco P1010 compressor.
Tool Tower-I’ve built 2 and am working on my 3rd.
Hitachi Cordless Drill driver (Model DB10DL) $52

Fein Multimaster-Don’t get me wrong, it is a GREAT tool. Problem is the blades are so expensive that I hate it every time I need to go buy a blade. Truth is, it rarely gets used. I should have spent the money on something I would get more use out of.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View knotscott's profile


8151 posts in 3580 days

#8 posted 06-03-2010 02:57 PM

BEST: In terms of revolutionizing the way I work, its tough to narrow down to one! It’s hard to a beat a decent router and router table for versatility…truly revolutionary. Best bangs for the buck have been the Hitachi M12VC for $60, Milwaukee 5625 for $199, Freud FT1700 for $89, MW5615 kit for $120, and the PC690LR with PC343K sander for $84.

The Kreg pocket hole jigs are pretty revolutionary too…I’ve sold my biscuit cutter as a result, but will still cut occasional biscuit slots with the router. Even the little $20 basic jig would suffice, but I received the Pro K3 as a gift and love it.

DC in general is a pretty significant improvement, but remote control DC takes the cake.

HONORABLE MENTION: Planer, Ridgid OSS, Shop Fox cabinet saw, jointer, workbench….I’d be lost without any of these.

MOST DISAPPOINTING: Probably my little Skil HD5510…very weak, very expensive for what it is, and has limited selection of decent blades.

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

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 4458 days

#9 posted 06-03-2010 03:05 PM

Worst – Harbor Freight 6” jointer. Great for making shingles, but no matter how much I fussed with it, I was never able to get a truly 90 degree jointed board out of it.

Best – MiniMax FS30 12” Jointer/Planer. Easy to use. It uses Tersa blades, so no blade alignment issues – and I am able to easily produce boards that are flat and square.

-- To do is to be

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3263 days

#10 posted 06-03-2010 03:21 PM

Best: This has to be when I upgraded my little table top Craftsman Table saw to a Delta Contractor Saw. I bought the saw used, but it was a night and day difference. No more feeling like the saw was going to turn over when trying to slide work across it. More recently, when I upgraded from a table top band saw (also Craftsman) to a real 14” band saw (used Delta – actually Rockwell – again). Also, when I upgraded from a Craftsman router to a Porter Cable 690 series then added the Jessem Router FX Table lift. Can you see a theme, I am a fan of Delta/Porter Cable tools – at least the older ones anyway. Also, any of the several Starrett squares and tools that I have.

Worst: Dremel Rotary cutout tool. It was semi useful when I was finishing my basement and used it for cutting outlet box holes in drywall. To be quite honest, it wasn’t that much easier than using a drywall jab saw. The money would have been better spent on a quality trim router. Then speaking of trim routers, my second would be the Harbor Freight trim router – junk.

As a general rule, I would rather buy a quality tool USED than any cheap tool new. Also, evaluate if the tool is really going to be useful. The dremel tool mentioned above, seemed like a good idea at the time, but really has not proved to be very useful at all. It hasn’t been out of the case in years. In fact, now that I think of it, sounds like something that I should list on ebay, get rid of it and use the money for something more useful.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3684 days

#11 posted 06-03-2010 03:38 PM

Best for me was my Powermatic 66 TS. Worst, probably my hand held edge planer. It works great, but I seldom use it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4422 days

#12 posted 06-03-2010 03:42 PM

Best: My Ridgid TS3660 table saw.

Worst: Daisy pin router attachment from MLCS. It’s really not fair to dis this thing, it’s just that I bought it because it looked cool, and it’s been on the shelf ever since.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View 8iowa's profile


1587 posts in 3965 days

#13 posted 06-03-2010 03:57 PM

Some of my best investments have been in precision measuring tools from Starrett and Wixey. My machines have never been so well aligned. I’ve also gotten good use of my money spent on good hand planes.

I wasted my money on cheap Chinese forstner bits and tapered drills from Woodcraft. They’ve been totally useless.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View b2rtch's profile


4868 posts in 3252 days

#14 posted 06-03-2010 04:25 PM

Best : I bought all the major power tools in my shop for under $1200.00 ( possibly under $1000.00) So far I do not regret one buy.
I am very satisfied with all of them.
Nevertheless if I had to change one thing I would buy a much larger jointer/planer combination.
I might still do it when my shop is built.

-- Bert

View beatlefan's profile


56 posts in 3302 days

#15 posted 06-03-2010 04:44 PM

Best purchase I made was Black and Decker 14.4 drill driver-I’ve had that thing for over 12 years and it just won’t stop—
Worst probably was a Craftsman table saw I used to have—notice I said, used to have—ha,ha

-- Tony --

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