Top 10 Tools Purchased but Never/Rarely Used

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Forum topic by DamnYankee posted 09-10-2011 06:36 AM 5023 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3312 posts in 2761 days

09-10-2011 06:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: humor question

In the vein of cosmicsnipers “Top 10 Tools” question, what are the top 10 tools you purchased thinking they would be great, helpful, etc but turned out not as good as you thought they’d be. This could be anthing from a jig, a specialty tool, contraption, or something that came with a tool as a “feature or selling point”. They may have been just fine at their intended purpose but proved more troublsome than they were worth in cost or time.

I’ll start…

1 – Carrying case for circular saw (most tools really) – tried using it, but could never quite figure out how to put the saw back in so it would close
2 – Plastic push stick – wooden ones out of scrap more plentiful, available and cheaper
3 – Shop apron – tend to like my pockets in my cargo pants
4 – Taper jig – shop made, job specific jig works easier and better
5 – Peg board/tool organizer – all my tools seem to end up piled on my hoizontal storage device (read top of workbence)
6 – Screw/parts organizer – all my leftover screws seem to end up in a bucket waiting to be “organized”
7 – Clock – I still lose track of time
8 – Precision balde height/depth gauge – I still end up test cutting just as I did before I had it.
9 – Wall mouted shop-vac holder – always seems to far away no matter where I hang in the shop, ss shop-vac continues to be pushed around on the floor.
10 – Don’t have a 10th one just yet

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

29 replies so far

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3182 days

#1 posted 09-10-2011 08:34 AM

Being guilty of having gone through one of those gotta have it stages, and still inclined to gotta have it yet. I have purchased tools that I’ve never even opened or rarely use them for whatever reason it may be.

1. The Sliding Compound Miter Saw. This was bought for portability purposes that no longer exists. So it sits in the shop taking up space and collecting dust because its rarely used.

2. The Lathe. I just had to have a lathe starting out. I do very little turning but you never know my interest is subject to change.

3. The Lathe Duplicator. Had to have it, you know for turning legs and spindles. Since I don’t turn very much I’ve never used it. It hangs on the wall waiting for my interest to change.

4. The Scroll Saw. It rarely gets used due to I can’t sit still that long most of the time.

5. The Dovetail Jig. Have never used it. I don’t cut that many dovetails and the few I’ve done were by hand.

6. The Biscuit Jointer. This was another gotta have it deal. It rarely gets used.

7. Depth Gauges. Just to lazy to reach into the drawer to use them when the steel rule is within reach.

8. Corner Chisels. Never used them, generally grab a hand chisel to clean out corners.

9. Contour Gauge. The one with the pins to copy a profile. I thought I’d use it more but it to rarely gets used.

10. Laser Level. This was one of those impulse buys that rarely gets used.

I’m sure if I were to go digging in the shop I would find more tools I bought thinking I gotta have them. But their mine and who knows someday I just might decide to use them.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View DamnYankee's profile


3312 posts in 2761 days

#2 posted 09-10-2011 09:39 AM

Gregn – I forgot about my scroll saw, dovetail jig and contour gauge. See I use them so little I forgot I had them and don’t use them. What is worse, is I have TWO scroll saws. The dovetail jig I’ve only used once and that was the day I got it to try it out almost a year ago.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View ShaneA's profile


7052 posts in 2797 days

#3 posted 09-10-2011 10:25 AM

Not sure I have ten, but i have been guilty of buying tools (mostly because they were on sale) and not setting them up. I have a tennoning jig new in box. Just use my shop made one, or nibble away on table saw. Freud router 2 1/4hp, also new, unopened 99 bucks at wc. Just not a router guy, plus I have 2 others. Usually use my cheapo ryobi 1 1/4 hp. Also have a delta belt/disc sander. Buried, unopened for years in the basement. Dont have room, bought it on a closeout at lowes, when I first started woodworking. Maybe my worst purchase, a 6” benchtop delta jointer. Dont like it, upgraded to a ridgid on closeout from hd. 10” craftsman bandsaw, the rikon clone. Used it twice, got the rikon 10-325. Countless router bits, including a nice cabinet rail/style set I never used. I think I am guilty of buying on “value”, but then not needing it. Seriously undercutting any value in the end.

View knotscott's profile


8146 posts in 3574 days

#4 posted 09-10-2011 11:35 AM

- Dial indicator
- Precision balde height/depth gauge
- Biscuit joiner
- Tool cases
- Digital fence readout
- Marking gauge
- Dovetail jig
- Shop apron
- A fair percentage of my router bits

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

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3159 days

#5 posted 09-10-2011 12:22 PM

-scroll saw, made a toy with it and never used it since, can still be handy some time
-lathe, made some handles and bowls with it, but hasn’t been touched in over a year, can still be handy some time.
-dovetal jig AKEDA, wanted one for all the nice things i could make with it, still didn’t come across a need for it.
-biscuit joner, used it alot untill i got a domino joiner. rarely use it now, though i don’t want to sell it.
-finisih ROS sander, (festool ETS 125) looked like a nice tool for light work, ends up being way to slow and underpowered for me.

lucky for me i don’t have 10, i do tend to sell anything that doesn’t get used or that got upgraded by a new tool.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7681 posts in 2999 days

#6 posted 09-10-2011 12:34 PM

1. Talent
2. Brains
3. Safety glasses
4. Push sticks
5. Feather boards
6. Ear plugs
7. Blade gaurd
8. Air filter
9. Dust collector
10. Common sense

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View DamnYankee's profile


3312 posts in 2761 days

#7 posted 09-10-2011 12:45 PM

Stumpynubs – since you’re not using the Common Sense could you share with those that need it?

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 3271 days

#8 posted 09-10-2011 01:59 PM

Wow! 10 tools? I can probably come up with them! But I want to include tools I was given, also! Wifey does a great job… but some times… it is the thought that counts!
1. Dutchman template and inlay router bit set: Watched Norm use it and decided to give it a try… but to no avail!
2. Router circle cutting jig: Got one for Christmas… but the 1/4” piece of plywood and a finish nail in the center is much faster!
3. Pressure Washer: Only tool that will work when needed, but I have only used it to clean decks and patios. Guess I’d better give it more usage!
4. Craftsman disc/belt sander: Got to admit I have only turned it on three or four times since I got it! Easier to setup and use other items.
5. Agree about the corner chisel: easier to pull out a chisel and a utility knife than to use that bad boy!
6. Porter Cable Finish Nailer: So far… the Brad Nailer still gets used almost all the time!
7. Rockler downdraft sanding table: thought I’d use the heck out of it… but I have only used it once! Guess I am not sanding my stuff enough!
8. Laser level kit: easier to pull out the four foot level and mark it than to trust the 1 inche bubble tube on the laser; not sure that it can even be calibrated!
9. Laser measuring device: What a neat device that has LIMITED applications! Easier to estimate and round up, count floor tiles/ceiling tiles, or to pull out that 25’ tape measure!
10. Biscuit jointer: I am not gonna lie: when I bought it, I used the heck out of it! But after I got the Kreg jig, I don’t think I have even unwrapped the cord on mine.

Got some runnerups that have proven pretty useless:

The Gripper push block/fence system: I have used it and liked it when I used it… but since I decided to use my Spliiter guard whenever possible these days, I rarely use it.

The Final Cut saw blade: all it did was drag down my table saw a little and then burn itself black! Like to take that one back!

Dowel jig: Another tool I used a lot when I bought it, but after researching (and the Kreg Jig again!), I never reach for it except for repair work. Does a great job on very very few things.

This list was fun!

View ScoFF's profile


21 posts in 3731 days

#9 posted 09-10-2011 02:20 PM

I have a new one, a 24 inch Bora clamp. It’s not good for anything! Too short.
The second is my biscuit joiner, I’ve gone out of my way to try and use it but it didn’t fit so I glue edges with glue and clamps.

-- ...I will not be limited.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11062 posts in 3627 days

#10 posted 09-10-2011 03:16 PM

1. Biscuit joiner
2. Laser level (s)
3. Shop apron
4. Scroll saw…Use it occasionally. Probably use it more if it were a better one.
5. Sears Router Crafter
6. Sears Router Pantograph
7. 5” skill saw
8. Ryobi palm router
9. Clamp guide
10. Numerous router bits…I look at some of them, still in their cases, and wonder just what project was it I bought them for.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View StumpyNubs's profile


7681 posts in 2999 days

#11 posted 09-10-2011 04:07 PM

I don’t even HAVE 10 tools!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View DurocShark's profile


65 posts in 2969 days

#12 posted 09-10-2011 04:20 PM

Taper Jig (still in the WC box)
Biscuit Joiner
Scroll Saw
Router Crafter (Tried it once, hated it)
Rout-A-Sketch (finally sold it just recently)
Various turning blanks that I just HAD to have
Belt sander

-- -Don

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3273 days

#13 posted 09-10-2011 05:04 PM

I’ll mention 6, somewhat significant, tools that I virtually never use.

Mortising machine – - I much prefer to cut my mortises with a router and I have never been very happy with how my mortising machine works. FYI – my favorite form of joinery is with the Mortise Pal system.

Work Sharp 3000 – - I prefer to sharpen chisels with a honing guide and the scary smart system. FYI – The Work Sharp is virtually worthless for sharpening lathe cutting tools.

Scroll Saw – - I just don’t like scrolling.

Strip Sander – - This sander offers virtually nothing that I can’t handle with another style of sander.

Heavy Duty router – On of my 5 routers is a high powered, heavy duty router (Festool 2000). I much prefer a lighter, more easy to handle router (Festool 1400 and others). I’ve never seen a need for the extra power of the heavy duty routers and they are too awkward to work with.

Ringmaster – It seems like a good idea at the time, but I have never really used it.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3357 days

#14 posted 09-10-2011 05:04 PM

Cool topic!

Difficult to think of many, though…I tend to get tools as needed, so they do get used. I use my biscuit jointer all the time, so I’m a little surprised to see that on people’s lists, though I am doing lots of mitered cabinet doors and large frames lately.

1. Scroll saw – I have an old Dremel handed down from my Dad…I have never touched it.
2. Several old Mikita cordless drills – From Dad…I keep one in the RV, the others (5 of them) are in storage somewhere.
3. Makita 110mm circular saw – From Dad again…I do love the thing and will use it on occasion to trim things like tile while already in place. However, for general use, the speed and size make it more like a gyroscope and it’s hard to control it.
4. Drill bits – Tons of them…also hand-me-downs. I pull one out on occasion for cutting metals and such, but I generally just keep one good set handy for all the woodworking.
5. Dewalt hammer drill – I bought this one..and need it on occasion to drill through concrete or masonry, but it mostly just sits there next to the other “yellow” tools.
6. Sanders – An old half-sheet sander from Dad and a B&D mouse sander…these seldom get touched, though I did use the half-sheet the other day to rework the top of my table saw.
7. Hand-held routers – I do almost all my work on the router table, so until I have projects that require the hand-helds, then my Bosch 1617 and older Skil router will just have to be patient.
8. Stanley Sweetheart No. 92 – The new version that I bought. The feel is awkward in my hands and my LN rabbet/block plane largely replaces it for most tasks. I’m sure i’ll need it soon for that tight squeeze application.
9. Stanley Bailey block plane – You know, the first one I bought from Lowes…made obsolete by the aforementioned LN!
10. Levels – I have several levels accumulated over the years of differing lengths as well as a Stanley FatMax laser level purchased to build observatories with (to level their domes). I pick up the torpedo level sometimes for those tight fits…and one of the larger ones to hang a picture, but otherwise they just hang.

BTW, my phone works pretty well when I need a bullet level.

-- jay,

View Manitario's profile


2680 posts in 3082 days

#15 posted 09-10-2011 05:28 PM

great topic…should follow it up with top 10 tools I almost bought and now am glad I didn’t…Anyways, here’s the top paperweights in my shop:
1. Power planer (seemed like a great idea until you actually use it)
2. Oscillating sander
3.Discount “set” of router bits; mostly ones I’ve never used, and the ones I’ve used are poor quality
4.Finish air nailer (15 gauge). Almost completely replaced by my brad nailer

couldn’t come up with 10…haven’t been WW long enough to collect tools I don’t really need!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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