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Forum topic by Dmade posted 02-25-2020 03:16 PM 422 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dmade's profile


1 post in 42 days

02-25-2020 03:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question help scroll saw band saw drill press quality new used

I am just getting my feet wet in wood working. I have a table saw, miter saw and handheld power tools but would like to get the bigger equipment now. I’m not really sure what to start off with. I have been looking into getting a scroll saw, drill press and band saw. What would you start off with? I’m thinking scroll saw first, so that I can carve intricate shapes.

I’m also at a loss on what are quality brands vs cheap brands (Central Machinery). I had been researching Rikon, Jet, Dewalt for a scroll saw. Rikon, Jet, used Craftsman for a drill press. I started looking into used craftsman band which are running between $50-$140 online. New vs used?

Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you!


Edited: I added pictures of my work space. It’s a work in progress. Moved into a new house and have yet to find a place for everything. Built the workbenches myself from scratch no blueprints.

24 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile


638 posts in 1300 days

#1 posted 02-25-2020 03:38 PM

Largely depends on what you want to make and if this is a hobby or a business.

The golden rule is that each new project requires one new tool.

As a hobbyist, I’m moving away from power tools to hand tools.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Madmark2's profile


1025 posts in 1269 days

#2 posted 02-25-2020 03:43 PM

Buy cheap at first. If it lasts then that’s all you needed. If it breaks, buy the next better model. Repeat until it lasts.

Table saw is exception, if you’re sure you want this hobby, buy best you can afford.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View controlfreak's profile


568 posts in 282 days

#3 posted 02-25-2020 04:05 PM

Starting out I either bought cheap or used. I am limited on space in my 10’ x 16’ shop so I use a jobsite saw so I can roll it outside for longer stock. I had a chop saw on a stand that I could also roll out but had to put it in storage to save room. Someone here pointed out that I can do any miter saw cut on my table saw and so far it has worked out. I would say to get a drill press next. I found one for $100 and it is quite useful. I think it is a HF Central Machine model.

View pottz's profile (online now)


8482 posts in 1665 days

#4 posted 02-25-2020 04:30 PM

go with the need for what you want to build,dont buy a drill press if a scroll saw is the immediate if budget is no issue hell get em a big fan of jet i have their dust collector,spindle sander,midi lathe and drum sander and all have been excellent trouble free tools.building up a shop takes time on a budget mines been evolving for 40 years.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View bondogaposis's profile


5684 posts in 3032 days

#5 posted 02-25-2020 05:01 PM

Get by with what you have at first. Tackle some projects and you’ll soon discover, what you are lacking. Then acquire that item. What you’ll find out is that your ideas of what you want to build will change over time. Just buy the tools as you need them and eventually you will have what you need.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CWWoodworking's profile


668 posts in 859 days

#6 posted 02-25-2020 05:05 PM

Depends on what you want to do.

By far the 2 best addition after table saw for me were 26” drum sander and vertical panel saw.

View LesB's profile


2422 posts in 4123 days

#7 posted 02-25-2020 05:12 PM

Good advice so far. For the most part I acquired tools as I needed them for a project or at least perceived I needed them. At first it was on a budget and bought Craftsman quality now I’m fortunate enough to just buy what I want and have replaced most of those tools. So now I have reached the age when I wonder what will happen to my carefully assembled collection when I’m gone. None of my family members are wood workers. It will be a good opportunity for someone like you to get some good used tools. So look for an old guy who has good tools for sale.

Anyway, in regards to quality, I learned early from my Dad who grew up in the depression and consequently tended to buy inexpensive tools that never quite did the job and were frustrating to use. So I vote for buying the best quality you can afford. They work better and last longer. Also they usually hold their value better if you sell them.

-- Les B, Oregon

View ibewjon's profile


1387 posts in 3474 days

#8 posted 02-25-2020 05:25 PM

I have some new because used were not available. Mostly used tools bought as I have found good deals, not necessarily because I needed them for the next project. I purchased a molding machine for some trim in my old house. I have not tried it since the day I bought it but the price was a great deal. Sometimes you can’t pass up a good find. A bandsaw would be high on the early tool list, the Laguna 24 SUV is a great saw if you have 240 volts available. Maybe some electrical work might be high on your list also.

View BattleRidge's profile


137 posts in 896 days

#9 posted 02-25-2020 05:28 PM

Much will depend on the type of projects you wish to create and each tool fills different niches in the shop. Go with what you need / want first and add other equipment as time goes on. Also, look at the aspect of how much you will be using the item as well as the cost / benefit to you.

Personally, I like having the bandsaw (Laguna) in my shop and I often use it on a daily basis for a multitude of tasks, but then again while I do a variety of straight and curved cutting, I do very little intricate cutting.

My scroll saw (Ryobi) generally hangs out beneath my assembly table and only comes out when needed for a specific task, generally detail work in thin material. I have thought of doing some scroll work at some point in the future but at the present my scroll saw is mostly just waiting patiently on my granddaughter (now 3 months old) to become old enough to begin doing some woodworking with me and the scroll saw is a comparatively safe tool to start with.

The drill press (Grizzly) is the most recent addition to my shop and I can see where it will come into play more and more frequently over time. I am presently finishing up a drill press table / fence which will make work much easier and more precise. You can often get by with a standard drill, but like many things, since the drill press has moved into my shop, I don’t plan on going without one in the future.

My shop is quite diverse in regard to manufacturers and when purchasing, I look at each tool individually and then make my decision based on quality, features, size and price. I do however stay away from Harbor Freight power equipment and while their power tool section is like walking through an inviting candy store, I generally buy for the long term and thus view my purchases as more of an investment. With stationary tools, I would be comfortable with equipment from Laguna, Grizzly, Jet, Rikon and other higher-end brands. Dewalt (my planer) and similar mid-level / mid-sized equipment can also be good.

I often like to buy new (particularly for smaller hand power tools and such) unless I happen to come across something in great shape at a great price. For larger equipment my preference is still toward buying new, but prudence and my budget has caused me reached out into the pre-owned realms (Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist) – with great results. My most recent used purchases have been primarily Grizzly products (jointer, dust collector, table saw and drill press), each of which was in great shape and at a great price and this allowed me to put more equipment in the shop at a lot less cost. One note on buying used – if you find a good item at a good price, jump on it quick and the best value items don’t last long. Another note is that if you buy something used at a reasonable price, you can often sell it at about the same price and thus you aren’t really out anything when the time comes to eventually upgrade or such (the person that purchases an item new often take the biggest hit on price).

-- ~Art~

View Aj2's profile


2792 posts in 2478 days

#10 posted 02-25-2020 05:43 PM

If you need to buy something to feed productive buy clamps lots of lots of clamps. Spring clamps F clamps Bar clamps.
Stay away from cheapo clamps like the ones they sell at Horror Freight. Or any tool from them.
You’ll be doing yourself and our country a favor.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View pottz's profile (online now)


8482 posts in 1665 days

#11 posted 02-25-2020 06:34 PM

If you need to buy something to feed productive buy clamps lots of lots of clamps. Spring clamps F clamps Bar clamps.
Stay away from cheapo clamps like the ones they sell at Horror Freight. Or any tool from them.
You’ll be doing yourself and our country a favor.

Good Luck

- Aj2

i disagree about the clamps at hf ive got a bunch of their f style clamps and they have worked very well,and are cheap.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Phil32's profile


990 posts in 584 days

#12 posted 02-25-2020 07:16 PM

It sounds like you need to fix the roof first (“getting feet wet”) LOL

As stated, it all depends on what you plan to make. Some (like intricate scroll saw work) require a lot of learning time. Choose starting tools that can be used for a wide variety of wood working tasks.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Aj2's profile


2792 posts in 2478 days

#13 posted 02-25-2020 07:20 PM

Affordable clamps could be made in the US.
Low quality cheap tools are sold to poor Americans made by even poorer desperate Asian people.
They pay the price for us.
Horror Freight will never go away if people keep buying from them.
I feel bad you had to shop there Larry. It takes guts to admit it.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View cmacnaughton's profile


177 posts in 325 days

#14 posted 02-25-2020 07:22 PM

The first thing I bought after my table saw was a scroll saw. That was 22 years ago. I think I’ve used my scroll saw about 6 times, total. Don’t buy one unless you actually need one. Same goes for everything else.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

View SMP's profile


1889 posts in 586 days

#15 posted 02-25-2020 07:51 PM

First thing is have to decide what you want to make. Cabinets? Welsh stick chairs? Turned segmented bowls. Tools are widely variable between different things.

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