Nice tool, but not perfect.

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Review by Marcus posted 12-19-2013 02:41 AM 7889 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Nice tool, but not perfect. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So I’ll start off the review by saying that I am pretty new to turning, and very new to turning bowls. I’ve been using a 3/8” Sorby gouge and it works well. I’ve been watching a few videos of the easy wood tools on youtube and decided I had to get one. The price is more than your standard bowl gouge at $120 (and another $15 when you have to replace the blade), but cheaper than the Sorby carbide tools. I picked mine up at Woodcraft, and after talking to a few turners there who gave me pointers, I was feeling confident and on my way home. The first task was shaping the outside of the bowl. I was very impressed how easy it was to both shape the bowl with a bit of an aggressive cut and also get a beautifully smooth finish with a very light touch. Fluffy shavings Aftwere flying all over just like the youtube videos.

Where the tool fell short for me was on the inside of the bowl. It was extremely hard to follow the contour of somewhat of a steep curve I had made. After a couple of slight catches, I went back to the Sorby and was tearing through the inside of the bowl in no time. That brings me to the second thing that I did not necessarily like about the Easy Finisher…it was relatively slow to hollow out the bowl while using it. There is nothing like a gouge for getting through material fast.

Overall, I personally give Easy Wood Tools Easy Finisher 3 stars. I started out at 4 stars because of the hollowing issues I had. I bumped it down to 3 stars because of price. I would give my Sorby gouge 4 stars (just in case I find something that I like better, but I have no complaints). I would find it hard to give the Easy Finisher the same 4 stars seeing as I can do the same cuts with a cheaper tool. Having said that, this will probably be my go to tool when it comes to finishing the outside of bowls.

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2865 days

11 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile


13470 posts in 3226 days

#1 posted 12-19-2013 02:56 AM

Your experience closely matches mine, the carbides are not aggressive enough for hollowing or maybe I should say a gouge is more aggressive.

-- Rick M,

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2884 days

#2 posted 12-19-2013 04:10 AM

It’s called the “easy finisher” and they also sell an “easy rougher.” Do you know what the difference in the two tools is – size, cutter geometry or??? Is it possible it’s slower at roughing out because it’s made for the fine final scraping, and doesn’t have the right edge for grabbing and cutting bit thick slices? I looked at the website, but all I could tell is that the rougher looks like it has a square cutter, the finisher a round one and it doesn’t seem to go into much detail about the difference between the two.

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View Woodknack's profile


13470 posts in 3226 days

#3 posted 12-19-2013 09:10 AM

The rougher excels at roughing down a blank, that is knocking off corners, bark, knots, whatever and bringing it round. The carbide will handle the abuse but isn’t as sharp as a HSS tool so doesn’t leave a nice surface. You can just plunge it straight in although it will also cut sideways.

The finisher, well I don’t know why they call it that because mine doesn’t do well at finishing but it does excel at cutting coves. It’s okay at finishing round surfaces like bowls or tapers on spindles but does poorly on flat areas (mine leaves ridges); but it doesn’t do as well as a steel scraper or skew. The round carbide works okay as a roughing tool but can’t be plunged straight in.

-- Rick M,

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2865 days

#4 posted 12-19-2013 12:02 PM

Joe -

I spent about an our talking with the guys about the differences between the tools, and what you said about the shape is the main difference. The square carbide cutter would remove material quicker since you have a lot more edge in contact with the wood, but thats about all its good for. They also said they’re not sure why they call the finisher a finisher as its more a general use tool and not really ideal for finishing (as Rick pointed out). I was very happy with the finish it left on the curved portion of the bowl though.

Your comments get to the point of why I gave the tool 3/5 stars though. I could probably get the easy rougher as well as the finisher, be able to plow through the inside of the bowl and hopefully touch up with the finisher. At that point, I’ve spend $240 to get the same ability as my $90 Sorby bowl gouge. It does some things very well, has some shortcomings, and there are other more economical alternatives that (in my opinion) work better…a solid 3.

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3094 days

#5 posted 12-19-2013 06:21 PM

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2865 days

#6 posted 12-19-2013 07:11 PM

Now I’m at $380 to replace my $90 bowl gouge, maybe I’ll have to change my review to two stars!

On a more serious note, the issue was not with not being able to reach the area, but that it was an acute angle, and the round tip could not cut there.

View jayman7's profile


218 posts in 4351 days

#7 posted 12-19-2013 07:33 PM

I use my Sorby bowl gouge to hog out the inside of the bowl and use the Easy Wood Tools carbide to blend all the curves for the last few cuts. Leaves a better finish than my scraper and easier to use.

View Woodknack's profile


13470 posts in 3226 days

#8 posted 12-19-2013 11:02 PM

Here’s what baffles me, my TS blades are carbide and they feel sharp and leave a nice cut edge but these carbide inserts never feel as sharp.

-- Rick M,

View Don Thur's profile

Don Thur

9 posts in 3105 days

#9 posted 01-27-2014 12:23 AM

At the risk of tooting my own horn, you may not be aware that just-as-high-if-not-higher quality carbide cutters and shafts can be had for about half the cost at We are just a couple turners who felt that the more well-known suppliers were charging way more than their products were worth to the average turner so we endeavoured to do something about it.

-- Don

View earthfairies's profile


3 posts in 2185 days

#10 posted 09-25-2014 03:20 PM

I have these tools and really like them. However, I too have had catches at times and I have found out it could be my lathe speed being too slow. There is a formula to determine lathe speed for a particular project when working on bowls etc. To Calculate Spindle speed ( surface speed for turning) should be 6000-9000 ipm. (means how fast the spindle is turning) Formula: ipm/diameter of piece being hollowed or turned=rpm speed for the lathe. So lets assume the diameter of a bowl as an example is 6.5” the formula for Finishing Speed would be as follows:
For Roughing Speed:

This formula has helped me greatly when using these tools. Also, one of my big mistakes was not keeping the tool level and moving it up and down slightly on the tool rest. This is just a learning curve for me.

View kayakdude's profile


97 posts in 3622 days

#11 posted 10-31-2014 06:55 PM

i my self have easy tool not tataly impressed the price a little high ,and a gain wood crafter got me again ,i’ll give mine for now 3 stars ,kayakdude

-- kayakdude

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