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Forum topic by dneff300 posted 07-01-2020 01:01 PM 382 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 39 days

07-01-2020 01:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw router power tool planer

I am looking to buy some new tools here soon. Specifically a table saw, bench top planer, and a router, but there are so many options and I can’t decide which one to choose. I won’t be making anything to crazy big or extravagant to start but who knows where it’ll take me, so versatility is big. I also don’t want to completely break the bank. Does anyone have any suggestions?

7 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3352 posts in 2299 days

#1 posted 07-01-2020 01:24 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks!

Your post is hiding 4 topics:
What table saw should I buy?
What bench top planer should I buy?
What router should I buy?
Any advice on buying tools for my work shop?

It is very hard to generalize tool selection for any work shop with knowing a lot more of your skills, work space constraints, and future project plans? As it is these things that complicate the tool selection process.

You will find advice for each one of these complex topics in many separate threads.

Here is something useful on Table Saws to get you started:
The ABCs of Table Saws

Best Luck!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Robert's profile


3792 posts in 2286 days

#2 posted 07-01-2020 01:29 PM

Yes, welcome. Good you’re running out and buying machines, but asking on a forum will get you anything and everything from a $400 jobsite saw to a $3000 cabinet saw.

That said, its worth while to spend time looking through LJ threads.

Bottom line you need to do some due diligence on your own (read reviews, watch some ww’ing videos to see what brands are popular, etc.)

The only thing I can tell you is the cheap = cheap.

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

View bondogaposis's profile


5804 posts in 3156 days

#3 posted 07-01-2020 01:42 PM

Welcome to LJ. Learn about the 3 grades of table saws, jobsite, contractor, and cabinet. Then first decide which grade best fills your needs. That will help to narrow down your choices. Any of the brand name routers are very decent, Porter Cable, DeWalt, Bosch, they are all good. The DeWalt 735 is the gold standard for lunch box planers. What you buy depends on what you want to make and your budget constraints.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View controlfreak's profile


945 posts in 406 days

#4 posted 07-01-2020 03:03 PM

Something you may want to consider adding to your list is a Track Saw.

I have a really crappy jobsite saw (Kobalt) and had a sheet of 3/4 ply broken almost in half at Lowes so I could carry it and was hoping I could process the remaining cuts on my TS. I got all setup to make a cut and that little voice in my head said “this is dangerous and still to big to do on a small style table saw. I folded up the saw and put out my saw horses and went to work with my Grizzly (got a great price when it was on sale at Xmas) Track Saw. I was able to make some very accurate cuts, probably better than my TS would have done. Unless you have a monster cabinet table saw with an extended fence rails a track saw can be very handy.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


4992 posts in 1626 days

#5 posted 07-02-2020 03:59 AM

Firstly, welcome to LJ… secondly, a brief splurge on your home page about yourself could help with some suggestions.

As I have said a few times, for ever response you’ll get 4 options,
  • What I had.
  • What I wish to have.
  • What I now have.
  • And often left out… what I should have bought.

You need to decide on your commitment, financial situation and growth expectation. Woodworking is not necessarily a cheap undertaking.

You can always resort to hand tools which can sometimes be acquired relatively cheap, but may take a long time (and experience that can be learned on the fly) to bring up to speed.
Timber, especially exotics can cost a small to large fortune. As can machinery as the chaps above have eluded to.

Over time, I have morphed into a person that is comfortable with the concept that the more expensive a tool is the more it will tend to cost. Now this is not always the case, but I have found it to be more true than not.
Fortunately, for me, cost is not my primary consideration. It is important, however, I will not compromise quality for cost saving. When you cost save on up front costs, consider the time/labour cost for that workaround you never considered at the start. Gadgets on tools cost more, but at times they save time and thereby cost. I’ve found that repeatability is a major factor… so always keep that in mind.

Probably haven’t answered your question and raised even more, however, as the chaps suggested, find your niche, expectations, and stats swatting on specs… I could make suggestions but you’d probably need two more jobs to follow my advice.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Woodbum's profile


928 posts in 3870 days

#6 posted 07-02-2020 12:24 PM

Here are three questions to ask yourself:
a. What do I want to make?
b. How much room do I have to devote to my woodworking?
c. What is my budget?
Put simply, buy the best tools that you can afford to make the projects you are planning to make, that will fit in the allocated area and infrastructure of your work space.
You have come to the right place though; you will get all of the good advice (and maybe some not so good advice) from the people here who are more than willing and able to help a beginner. Welcome to the world of woodworking, and all of the sisters and brothers that can offer help and encouragement. #1 priority = Work Safely; Good Luck, and by all means HAVE FUN!!

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View RobHannon's profile


337 posts in 1336 days

#7 posted 07-02-2020 01:13 PM

Others have already touched on the table saw. For benchtop planer you have 2 common options. Lunchbox style planers that many companies make, then you have slightly larger and more expensive Dewalt 735. If Budget allows the Dewalt 735 is generally a better designed machine. For me budget put me in the standard lunchbox style and it does what I need, just maybe not as efficiently.

For a first router, I would recommend a fixed/plunge kit. Dewalt, Bosch, Metabo HPT, etc. all have a version. I am eyeing up the Bosch 1617EVSPK myself, but do your research. For flexibility a kit like that will give you a lot of bang for the buck.

Best of luck and keep exploring.

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