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Forum topic by Zonker posted 07-14-2020 02:22 AM 477 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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133 posts in 661 days

07-14-2020 02:22 AM

Hand tool guys, what are your thoughts on Bridge City Tools?

-- Larry A. - I've made a small fortune with my woodworking. The trouble is, I started with a large fortune.

10 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


3190 posts in 2608 days

#1 posted 07-14-2020 03:11 AM

Expensive. So far from my budget I have no idea if they perform as good as they look.
Just in case you haven’t a clue lots of woodworkers on this site like to shop at Harbor Freight.
Or Horror freight.
Are you going to buy something?

-- Aj

View Andre's profile


3646 posts in 2616 days

#2 posted 07-14-2020 03:17 AM

For all them guys that have their sawstops and all the festols stuff already but just need sumpthing to show off

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5873 posts in 3119 days

#3 posted 07-14-2020 03:24 AM

For all them guys that have their sawstops and all the festols stuff already but just need sumpthing to show off

- Andre

That didn’t take long.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5873 posts in 3119 days

#4 posted 07-14-2020 03:30 AM

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5682 posts in 1392 days

#5 posted 07-14-2020 03:36 AM

I’ve bought a couple things from BCT, including a JointMaker Pro.

I’ve had great luck with their small hand planes from before they were bought by Harvey. If you need something small like that, they were well-built.

I had problems with the JMP, as it was a Harvey Industries one. The saw blade was set in place as though it was installed, but wasn’t tightened down. This caused me no end of frustration and I stripped the gears which raise and lower the blade, kinked the blade, and generally messed things up. Also, the trap fence snapped along a weak spot in the grain. It’s wood, and these things happen.

I called and emailed them on a Friday in the US and had no answer yet on the following Tuesday, so I posted on John’s Blog. Got a response from him the next day, and received replacement parts in the mail a little over a week later, but I haven’t yet summoned the motivation to finish disassembling the JMP and replacing the gears. It’ll be a multi-hour job, but the JMP seems we’ll designed with an eye towards maintainability. I could’ve made new gears myself if it had come to that.

John was great. The support guy from Harvey was great once John stepped in. As far as I know, nobody has addressed the three different build issues I commented on that shouldn’t have made it out the door, but maybe they’ve addressed those internally. I did have a number of executives from Harvey / BCT on the email thread responding to me after I had commented on John’s blog and got him involved, and they were all concerned and polite, but nobody has followed up since I received the parts.

I’ll probably have more to say once the JMP is back up and running.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View SMP's profile


2275 posts in 715 days

#6 posted 07-14-2020 04:00 AM

If you absolutely hate paying less for chinese made tools on Amazon, it looks like a good option. Or buy old used stuff on Jim Bode and some other classic tool sellers.

View AMZ's profile


138 posts in 199 days

#7 posted 07-14-2020 10:25 AM

I do not have any BCT, but mainly because I do not care for the looks! I cannot see how their planes would be comfortable in hand, and some tools look like they are very fragile! I might be wrong, but since I’ve never been anywhere to test one, I ain’t wasting my dollars on them.

As an aside, I’ve been doing this tool thing for many years longer than John Economaki/BCT has been in business and I have yet to see any of his ideas migrate to other major manufacturers (though I’ve seen him copy one or two of theirs!).

View pottz's profile


10423 posts in 1794 days

#8 posted 07-14-2020 02:23 PM

ive never spent a dollar on one of their tools but i inherited a few thousand dollars worth,such as rules,squares,awls.hand planes and many others.i can say they are very well made precision instruments and if you appreciate the highest quality and can afford it i wouldn’t hesitate to ill also say all the tools were made before the chinese company bought them so i cant attest to todays quality.the tools i have are of heirloom quality that will last for many generations.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View HokieKen's profile


14577 posts in 1948 days

#9 posted 07-14-2020 02:38 PM

John Economaki has never made any beef about the fact that his designs are meant to be pretty as well as be functional. He says the nature of a tool is that it spends the vast majority of its life just sitting idle so why shouldn’t it be pleasing to look at and perhaps inspire you? Personally, I tend to agree with that philosophy. I don’t so much think his designs are all that inspiring though. They are beautiful to be sure. But they’re too industrial-looking with too many straight lines and hard edges in my eye.

I only own one Bridge City Tool, a folding bevel square. And it is a beautiful tool that is superbly designed and produced to a very high standard.

As others have alluded to, I suspect that since the Harvey tools acquisition that we will see the quality of manufacture and material selection degrade. Just a hunch…

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


5004 posts in 1630 days

#10 posted 07-14-2020 03:46 PM

I bought a KM-1 Kerfmaker many years ago… never used it as I bought a Freud Dial a width Dado that was delivered the same time from the States.

As others have alluded to, it does look pretty-pretty, hanging on my wall… actually, did look pretty… its now totally covered in sawdust… and its just the brown lump on the wall and questions like this that remind me of how great and useful it could have been.

For all them guys that have their sawstops and all the festols stuff already but just need sumpthing to show off
- Andre

Should customise it as a handle for one of my Fe$tool systainers.

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

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