Tool Priority

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Forum topic by Oosik posted 10-25-2013 07:39 PM 3425 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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126 posts in 1922 days

10-25-2013 07:39 PM

Curious what people think about tool priority when getting new ones?

Example I was told:

Table Saw
Nail Gun/Compressor
Miter Saw
Band Saw
Drum Sander

24 replies so far

View AlanBienlein's profile


159 posts in 2913 days

#1 posted 10-25-2013 07:45 PM

The project / job dictates what tools are needed. Not the other way around. That way you don’t spend your money on impulse buys that will just sit and gather dust.

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3032 days

#2 posted 10-25-2013 07:50 PM

1+ Alan. That’s the way I started. Now days I never look for anything in particular. I spot a great deal on something I could use and capitalize on it.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3959 days

#3 posted 10-25-2013 08:04 PM

Seems like projects would never get done if people bought tools that did not apply to the project.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View pintodeluxe's profile


5817 posts in 3052 days

#4 posted 10-25-2013 08:07 PM

A good tablesaw and miter saw will serve you well. You can use a jigsaw until you get a bandsaw.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2277 days

#5 posted 10-25-2013 08:13 PM

An interesting question! I’ll make that +2 to Alan – buy what you need when you need it – which, coincidentally, was the general consensus four months ago When Burr24821 asked .

But don’t forget to think outside the fuse-box. helluvawreck helped us come up with the ultimate hand-tool list 3 years ago. He forgot a few small items like clamps but people were quick to remind him.

If you get most of the list narrowed down, but a couple give you trouble, don’t despair –
When you get down to jointer planer, or planer jointer, or just one or the other we can’t even agree to disagree.

If you’re starting with a big empty workshop and just want that one tool to get you going, then
Bandsaw beat tablesaw 6 months ago when Marty asked the question, I don’t know what changed between then and two months ago when skippy asked, but something must have because the tide then tipped in favor of the tablesaw.

Or if you’re just made of money you can do like Angie.
She didn't care about priorities- she just went out and bought one of every type power tool there is and got it done with.

Of course some tools have pretty set positions on the list, no matter what crazy ideas get into your head.
Buckethead actually thought about going with a shaper as the first tool. We talked him out of it.

And as always, don’t forget clamps. You can never have enough clamps.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View jdmaher's profile


440 posts in 2818 days

#6 posted 10-25-2013 08:25 PM

+3 to Alan: buy what you need when you need it.

To put it another way, decide FIRST what you want to build. Get, draw, make a plan. Get the wood. Decide what you have to do to change that stack of wood into what you want to build. Try to DO that with what you have, or can beg-borrow-steal. Buy a tool only as the last resort.

Doing it the other way around (buying tools first) is how one becomes a tool collector. That can be fun, too. But, me – I want to be a woodworker.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View TerryDowning's profile


1104 posts in 2356 days

#7 posted 10-25-2013 08:29 PM

Agree with tools/machines matching the projects.

I would also add the Why are you doing/trying wood working as well.

If you really dig machines with lots of sharp whirring edges and tons of time on setups/alignments and measuring, then by all mean machines are the way to. If you are after relaxing and enjoying the sights and smells of the wood and making something with your hands, then hand tools may be a better place to start.

I have and use both depending on the project/need. My preference is to use hand tools.

If looking for lots of machine for the buck consider a used shopsmith. You’ll hear bad things abut these machines (especially from those that have never used one) but 5 machines in the space of one is appealing. The number of operations these machines can perform increases also with Special Purpose Tools that can be added on. Band saw, jointer, planer, belt and strip sanders, scroll saws, the list goes on an on. Shopsmiths can be picked up relatively inexpensively on craigslist and you can still get parts from the home company in most cases. I just bought some brand new parts for my 1955 model. What other manufacturers are still supporting 60 year old products/machines?

-- - Terry

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3210 days

#8 posted 10-25-2013 10:16 PM

Agree with pretty much all above. The work to be done determines the tools needed.

A table saw is not going to be the tool of choice for making bandsaw boxes and most folks agree, they would not want to make end grain cutting boards without a drum sander of some sort.

For me, the first major shop purchase was lumber, glue, and clamps and then the vises to build my workbench.
I should point out that I already had saw horses, a good circular saw, a miter saw and basic hand tools and measuring tools.

My next major power tool purchase was a table saw and for me that was the best choice. Might not be for you. Depends on what you want to do.

View Woodshingle's profile


8 posts in 1917 days

#9 posted 10-25-2013 10:45 PM

Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. If I were to start my shop over, I’d get the tablesaw first, build the outtable off of it and then acquire other power/hand tools as needed. I also think these are key tools to have ASAP:

Drill Press
Band Saw

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4258 posts in 2800 days

#10 posted 10-25-2013 10:54 PM

I have to agree with the other guys.

However, for tools I needed were

1. Bandsaw
2. Tablesaw
3. Jointer
4. Planner
5. Router/Router table

I would never consider a nailer in any picture.

For just plane enjoyment I love the Lathe and now I do most of my off time on that.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2816 days

#11 posted 10-26-2013 02:57 AM

I’m with Arlin, but in a different order:

1. Table Saw
2. Planer
3. Bandsaw
4. Jointer
5. Router/Router Table
6. Drill Press

Everything else like clamps, sanders, etc. as needed.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View BikerDad's profile


347 posts in 3840 days

#12 posted 10-26-2013 06:03 AM

Block Plane and basic sharpening setup
Bench Chisels
Jointer & Planer (basically a set)

Best of all would be to take a good class if possible, and be sure that you want to do this. Then, save yourself a lot of grief and invest in GOOD quality tools. Buy Once.

As others have said, you really should let what you’re going to make drive your purchases. If you’re inspired to build Windor Chairs, all you’ll need is the first 5 on my list above and a grinder (not bench grinder) for scooping out the seats.

On the other hand, if you’ want to start with cabinet work, then my list is so-so, because it’s not going to be very good for processing sheet goods.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

View shopdog's profile


578 posts in 3724 days

#13 posted 10-26-2013 07:07 AM

for power tools, I couldn’t live without

Table saw
miter saw
drill press

Tools I want but have lived without…
jointer (wish list)
drum sander (wish list)
CNC router (wish list)

fun tools…
dewalt scroll saw
jet mini lathe

Hand power tools…
makita 18v cordless drills and saw
nail guns
routers…lots of routers
Bosch jig saw
and many more

power less hand tools…too long a list, but…
lots of clamps

-- Steve--

View Loco's profile


210 posts in 1988 days

#14 posted 10-26-2013 08:23 AM

Beer cooler
Worm gear
Kickascz drill
Bandsaw(see kick part above)
Belt sander
And of course, the best consumables money can buy.
If I cant make it with that ? It can’t be made !

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4996 posts in 2548 days

#15 posted 10-26-2013 08:29 AM

Like someone said it can depend on what your build but for me its table saw, jointer, planer and band saw.

Why? I believe the foundation for good woodworking is flat, straight, square stock. It make everything else easier. Kind of like building a house. If you have a straight, level, square foundation it make everything easier and turns out better.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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