what tool to buy next?

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Forum topic by woodyhawk posted 07-25-2017 02:23 PM 714 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View woodyhawk's profile


10 posts in 1082 days

07-25-2017 02:23 PM

First time posting here, so hope this isn’t a dumb question. if you had approx. $200 to spend, what tool or shop accessory would you buy. I have a very small shop and am pretty new to woodworking. Already have some benchtop tools; drill press, router table, bandsaw, belt/disc sander and contractor table saw. some ideas I’ve been kicking around are mini lathe, Kreg mobile project center, thickness planer (probably used for $200), and jointer.

Any thoughts or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

-- Brett ~ West Des Moines, IA

12 replies so far

View Dwain's profile


614 posts in 4635 days

#1 posted 07-25-2017 02:28 PM

Depends upon the kind of work you do. It’s really that simple. You didn’t mention whether or not you have a workbench. That would be something to consider. For $200, you would have to get a used planer or jointer. Again, figure out the type of work you want to do, then see what you need.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7575 posts in 1489 days

#2 posted 07-25-2017 02:48 PM

as Dwain stated start doing projects and see what interest you ….maybe a scroll saw ….some shops I been in only have this 1 tool and turn out great works of art …..GOOD LUCK :<)) Welcome 2 LJ’s

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Rich's profile


5621 posts in 1366 days

#3 posted 07-25-2017 02:50 PM

Along the lines of what Dwain said above, I’d suggest deciding on what you want your next project to be and buy whatever you’re missing to make it.

Buying what you think you need to complete your shop is a good way to wind up with lots of things you never use. Instead, buy it on an as-needed basis.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Robert's profile


3748 posts in 2257 days

#4 posted 07-25-2017 03:21 PM

Hold on to your money and buy the tool the will help you on your next project.

Never buy a tool because you “think” it would be good to have (BTDTGTS).

The only exception to that is if you don’t already own a #4 hand plane, buy one!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View knotscott's profile


8382 posts in 4152 days

#5 posted 07-25-2017 03:27 PM

If you use a lot of dimensional lumber, a planer would be a nice addition IMO.

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

View bondogaposis's profile


5791 posts in 3127 days

#6 posted 07-25-2017 03:32 PM

If you don’t know, you don’t need it. Pick a project and if you are lacking a tool for that then buy it. Never buy tools just to buy tools, buy them as the need arises.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4424 days

#7 posted 07-25-2017 03:51 PM

If you’re going to build casework and
furniture type things a planer is a real
time saver. There aren’t many other
ways to thickness and flatten boards.

The other major way to do it is with a
sturdy workbench and hand planes.
Flattening one side of a board with a
hand plane is not a big deal but thicknessing
entire boards with one can be a lot
of work.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5807 posts in 3085 days

#8 posted 07-25-2017 07:37 PM

If you don t know, you don t need it. Pick a project and if you are lacking a tool for that then buy it. Never buy tools just to buy tools, buy them as the need arises.

- bondogaposis

IMHO this is the best answer to your question.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Woodknack's profile


13395 posts in 3156 days

#9 posted 07-25-2017 07:40 PM

A planer. Save and spend a little more if you can.

-- Rick M,

View woodyhawk's profile


10 posts in 1082 days

#10 posted 07-25-2017 11:38 PM

Thanks to everyone who replied! This is a great site! Some very sound advice. Guess I need to try to avoid my tool junkie urge to buy a new tool every time I can, and make sure I really need it. Makes a lot of sense, especially in my tiny shop. Thanks again everyone.

-- Brett ~ West Des Moines, IA

View mangorockfish's profile


22 posts in 1127 days

#11 posted 07-27-2017 01:26 PM

Clamps!!! I’m building outside shutters for the wife and bought the one thing I need for the project, clamps. That is a great rule of thumb to remember: Buy things on an as needed basis.

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 1481 days

#12 posted 07-27-2017 03:32 PM

Since you confessed to being fairly new to woodworking, if you have to spend the money, use it to improve your skills. Sign up for a class, buy some DVD’s, join the local guild, or buy materials to practice on. It may not be as fun as wheeling a shiny new tool into your shop, but your future projects will be the better for it.

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

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