|Forum topic by CplSteel||posted 08-06-2012 08:35 AM||1510 views||0 times favorited||11 replies|
08-06-2012 08:35 AM
I am starting to put some power tools in my shop, but I am trying to avoid buying cheap tools where I would regret the purchase after a year. Recently I didn’t purchase an old radial arm saw because I realized that while it can do lots of things: cross-cuts, miters, tennons, some dado work, ect… I would likely have other tools that could probably fill those rolls better, even though I could pick it up on the cheap. After all, there is a reason radial arm saws are not that popular anymore.
So, instead of asking your opinion on what I should buy, let me ask what you would buy, knowing what you know now, if you started over. Assume your shop burnt down and your insurance wrote you a check for $5,000. Knowing what you know now, what would you get. You are limited to choosing new tools at retail prices. If it is a jig heavy shop, include the cost of the jigs. Assume you managed to save your clamps, drill, chisels, hammers, measuring devices, etc… Focus on the power tools and their accessories including dust collection.
I ask this way because I have read a lot of threads where different tools are discussed in an apples to apples conversation. But that does not make much sense. For example there are many ways to cut a miter. You can use a miter saw (~$300, but you probably want a stand, built or bought, +$150) You can use a table saw with a sled (~$500-$3,000), or a handsaw and a shooting board (~ cheaper than the other options). But some of those tools are easier to use then others, provide additional options, etc…
More contentious, a festool tracksaw can rip and crosscut, compound miters, and make repeatable cuts with the right accessories, but you would probably turn to a router to make your grooves and rabbets, but because it can use the same track (with the right accessory) and your dust collection remains the same. Of course all of this can be done on a table saw, with the right accessories, and all of this can be done with a bandsaw, a miter saw, and a routing table.
So this is a question about systems of tools, not individual tools. Looking forward to see what you guys would do.