Which Tool Would You Buy???

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Brad posted 01-30-2008 09:25 AM 1330 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My birthday is coming up and I’ve told everyone nothing but money because I want to get some new tools. I’m guessing all in all I’ll have around $500 to spend. I’m considering a band saw, 13” planer, biscuit jointer or a new router/plunge router combo. So what do you guys think??? Which is going to give me the best advance in shop versatility?

-- Brad --

10 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4908 days

#1 posted 01-30-2008 01:28 PM

It really depends on what you want to do in your shop. For $500 you could get the planer or a biscuit joiner (unless it a Festool) and the router. $500 will be close on the band saw but I would advise you to look seriously at a 14” model.

I think that a planer should be one of your top choices. In general, for my purposes, I have found that my tablesaw, jointer and planer are the most used tools in my shop- in that order. With my routers and router tables a close tie with the planer. But I tend to like to work with rough lumber- largely because I am cheap.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5049 days

#2 posted 01-30-2008 02:12 PM

I think if I had family and friends who would donate $500 for my birthday, I’d probably throw them a party and say thank you. If I relied on this method of buying tools I’d probably only have a screwdriver. LOL Dewalt 735 planer

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 5174 days

#3 posted 01-30-2008 02:19 PM

From your profile I’d say planer. I have a biscuit joiner and get far less use out of it than any other tool I use.
My next choice as an all around tool would be the bandsaw.
Actually, a tie. A good router would also be helpful. Dual purpose if you have or plan to make a router table.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 4892 days

#4 posted 01-30-2008 06:31 PM

Lurk on the Craigslist and buy used. Planers & Joiners don’t come around often – but bandsaws & routers show up regularly (Your mileage may vary). Wait a while, get a steal.

then cook up a few cool projects and throw a party. Did that once for a birthday; I built a few game room (like a wooden pinball machine and shuffleboard) for my annual Bday blowout. Worked great. I heard I had a good time.


-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 5260 days

#5 posted 01-30-2008 07:27 PM

Asking someone what tool they’d buy is like asking someone what car they’d buy or what person they would date. They’re all terribly personal questions and I wouldn’t really rely on someone else’s opinion for such a decision.

Now, if you’d narrowed it down to a type of tool and wanted advice on a particular one (Veritas vs. Lie-Nielsen or Delta vs. Dewalt, that sort of thing), that is a little different.

But the tools you use in your shop can very easily be completely different from the tools I’d use in my shop. While one guy thinks the planer is the be-all-end-all, another might say a Lie-Nielsen #7 is the way to go. Still another might get more use out of the whole set of inlay tools because he is lucky enough to be able to buy his lumber from a local mill already dimensioned to his liking at no extra charge (like me).

You should take a hard look at the kind of woodworking you do and the direction you want to go and base your decision on that.

-- Ethan,

View Brad's profile


135 posts in 4860 days

#6 posted 01-31-2008 12:38 AM

You’re correct Red Headed Mergnser it really depends on what kind of work I’m doing. I’m probably focusing on a bandsaw or planer. Mostly I like building furniture and cabinets. For a planer I’ve been focusing on the Dewalt DW735 or the Craftsman 21759 . Both were rated great by Fine Woodworking. On the bandsaw side I like “14 Delta

Hopefully this narrows it down…

-- Brad --

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 5260 days

#7 posted 01-31-2008 01:02 AM

If you build more cabinets than anything else, I imagine you’d get more use out of the planer than the bandsaw. I think both of those planers came up just about equal in that review, didn’t they? Or maybe the Dewalt was a little better in features and performance, but a tad higher in cost? I remember reading that review and thinking to myself that I’d probably go with the higher-end Dewalt they reviewed…

-- Ethan,

View matter's profile


210 posts in 4856 days

#8 posted 02-01-2008 12:03 AM

I’d go with the planer, for investment alone. I pay 30-50% per board ft. less at my lumber store (A&M wood specialty) for rough cut than at the Orange Box. I have a Ridgid 13” that I would give a kidney up for before I parted with

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View Brad's profile


135 posts in 4860 days

#9 posted 02-01-2008 02:22 PM

Well it looks like the planer it is…. I think I’m going to try and score the dewalt DW735 since it’s alot more compact than the craftsman and it does a great job from what I hear.

-- Brad --

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4980 days

#10 posted 02-01-2008 02:28 PM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics