Woodworking Tool Gimmicks, what's your thoughts?

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Forum topic by BlankMan posted 03-20-2012 03:13 PM 2860 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1491 posts in 4320 days

03-20-2012 03:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question humor bandsaw carving tool drill-driver lathe planer scroll saw biscuit joiner chisel drill press miter saw router spray gun blade clamp jointer plane sander tablesaw

I label some of the new wiz bang greatest things since sliced bread products that come out in the woodworking world as “Gimmick”. I’m not saying everything that comes out new or improved is a gimmick but I think some are. And the manufacturers go to all lengths to convince you you need it. Don’t get me wrong, some new products are actually really innovative and improve accuracy and/or make things easier. I got a buddy that’s rather new to woodworking that eats it all up. He’ll ask me about stuff and knows what I think in one word, “Gimmick”. I know I know, manufactures have to come out with “new” things to separate our money from us, but some of the things…

A good example in my opinion is the BladeRunner. A jig saw mounted upside down on a table is going to make everything you ever have to do way more easier? Gimmick. I could make one in 15 minutes or less for $10 or less. (Saw not included.) :-) But most people have a jig saw or two and even if not would get more use from it by buying one and attaching it upside down to a table top if that’s really needed. Somebody’s probably going to disagree with me but that’s my opinion.

Anyway, just want to hear what others think and what they think are gimmicks. Maybe this could turn out to be the “Post the latest Gimmick here” thread. :-)

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

33 replies so far

View poopiekat's profile


4856 posts in 4702 days

#1 posted 03-20-2012 03:18 PM

Winding sticks. I mean, c’mon don’t we all have 2 scraps we could use, even IF there was no other way to determine flatness?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View patron's profile


13716 posts in 4309 days

#2 posted 03-20-2012 03:22 PM

i keep finding these ‘gimmicks’
in my tool drawers all the time
never even used yet

funny how you look at them in catalogs for months
and just have to have one

then when you open it up
it is just a toy
(well it was cheap at the time)

i still have a kreg single hole aluminum block
(that you have to hold with a clamp)
and the step drill bit with the rubber on it
and some screws somewhere

i have never made anything with it
in 8 years

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12286 posts in 4396 days

#3 posted 03-20-2012 04:11 PM

The dumbest thing I ever bought was a jointer blade hone. It made the blades duller!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3938 days

#4 posted 03-20-2012 04:26 PM

I’d have to cast another vote for the “Blade Runner”. That’s got to be the “Vegomatic” of woodworking.
Roto Zip tool would be close behind.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3337 days

#5 posted 03-20-2012 05:03 PM

Table saw. I mean come on. It’s basically a circular saw mounted upside down in a table. Gimmick.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6291 posts in 3781 days

#6 posted 03-20-2012 05:16 PM

bench cookies
half of Rockler catalog
drawer alignment jigs

but I swear to you the Drill Dr. is the real deal!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View BlankMan's profile


1491 posts in 4320 days

#7 posted 03-20-2012 05:42 PM

LOL Yeah, I haven’t used my Kreg kit either yet…

I’m on the other side of the fence on the Roto Zip, that came in and comes in real handy for punching holes in drywall, cement board, and tiled or brick facia walls, especially round. Having done a lot of restoration for myself and others I like that thing. And the walls in my house which are 1” thick plaster. Yes could be done other ways but sure makes it easy. Dusty too.

Second the Drill Doctor as the real deal. I had others but that thing works! Beats doing it by hand on a grinder.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3337 days

#8 posted 03-20-2012 06:36 PM

I’ll second the RotoZip usefulness. I inherited one, and it sat for about 2 years. I used it to cut out drywall for a couple electrical boxes and a PowerBridge panel. Faster than a drywall knife when you’re doing a bunch, and the ability to quickly set the depth of the cut to the drywall thickness provides a little extra comfort when cutting existing walls.

You know what I find useless? About 149 of the 150 Dremel attachments I got for Christmas a few years back. I use my Dremel maybe once or twice a year for cutting small metal pieces. I don’t need 150 attachments for that.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View RandyM68's profile


693 posts in 3285 days

#9 posted 03-20-2012 06:43 PM

I see new ideas that i like to steal, but very few are worth what they want for it. It also takes awhile to find out, from actual users, if it is any good or not. The salesman gets paid to make it sound great, so do those customers who give their heartfelt recommendation. Yeah right. Just wait awhile. If it’s truly something you need, your friends will tell you about it. Same thing if it’s a piece of crap. If you wait a little while, you will probably be making fun of them, instead of vice versa.

-- I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you. I'm sorry,thanks.

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4545 days

#10 posted 03-20-2012 06:52 PM

Most of The new Rockwells tools


View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5329 posts in 4928 days

#11 posted 03-20-2012 07:11 PM

Anything that wants me to measure to the nearest .0000001”. Shucks. The minute I would get the workpiece measured, it would have changed dimensions. Wanna buy a digital depth gauge?
I’m not building space shuttles.

-- [email protected]

View Richard's profile


1944 posts in 3658 days

#12 posted 03-20-2012 07:42 PM

Almost anything you see on an Infomercial , which includes the Blade Runner and some other new Rockwell tools. The RotoZip is a great tool for home repair jobs and construction , but not so much for fine woodworking. And I agree with adding bench cookies to the list, my Grandfather used 2” or 3” square pices of wood with part of an old inner tube glued to them and they held parts just fine, and that was over 50 years ago. Man I should have jumped on getting a patent for those things.

View wee3's profile


76 posts in 3239 days

#13 posted 03-20-2012 07:59 PM

Same as above,[email protected],they display it,and i got to try it,sometimes 2 of them! The best one was the pencil on a string,lasers,levels.i got to say the drill doc works good.

-- BiLL @wee3

View MrRon's profile


5975 posts in 4211 days

#14 posted 03-20-2012 08:15 PM

Blankman; I completely agree with you, so I have added a few more to the list. Bench cookies and pyramids come to mind first. The blade-lok, circle cutting jigs and most jigs in general; dovetail jigs excepted. Router tables, remote DC switch, clamp-it squares, storage racks of any kind, zero clearance inserts, magnetic push sticks, kerf splitters, bead lock, most tools with a hex shank, cabinetmakers pencil set, lathe tool holder, shelf drilling jigs, sander sitter. My reasoning for calling these gimmicks is 1. How did you do it before the gimmick was available. 2. Is the gimmick so simple that it can be duplicated at little to no cost or effort. 3. Some of these gimmicks are outrageously priced. Maybe if they were less expensive, I might spring for it.
I know there will be a lot of people who will say I’m crazy or “we don’t have the time to make it”. I come from an older generation where the latest “goodies” didn’t exist and we had to come up with innovative ways that didn’t cost money. We learned how to use every bit of scrap and not throw anything away. The younger guys will disagree with me and that’s fine. If you have the money and don’t mind giving it away on gimmicks. If I can’t make it and I need it, then I’ll buy it.

View BlankMan's profile


1491 posts in 4320 days

#15 posted 03-20-2012 08:31 PM

I maybe have to give one Rockwell tool a reprieve, their Sonicrafter. I was doing a refurb and needed to cut through a length of 1-1/2” pine and could not use a circular saw, jig saw, or reciprocating saw, not even a hand saw, maybe a hack saw blade by itself but that would have been a royal pain taken a way long time. It was right around the time Fein’s patent expired so these things where hitting the market and I figured one of these could maybe do it. So I looked around at the ones that were available at the time and the Sonicrafter had the longest straight blade depth of cut of all available. So I picked one up and it worked great for that application. Maybe used it once or twice afterward but for that job it was the best tool. I’d look at the $29 HF now if it has the depth, because I knew even then it was not going to be a highly used tool.

MrRon, LOL I have to agree. Bench Cookies. Got em free, never would have bought them. Pyramids. I use 2” square 3/4” wood with a 10D nail through the middle. Blade-Lok, sucked into that one, don’t use it. Might have used it… Clamp-It’s. Again got some free, have used them though. Shelf drilling jigs. Yeah… I could make one but… And I will now that I have a mill with a DRO. Maybe out of aluminum. And the prices they get for router tables? Ditto there. Zero clearance insets. Yeah but.. I do like the aluminum one I have with the slide in inserts like Norm used. Was going to use some that I had made out of wood this past weekend, it’’s winter here, they were all 1/8” too small at the moment. Yeah polycarbonate. Made my circle jig out of that.

And yeah, I can’t get myself to throw any scrap of wood away, never know when you’ll need that… My shop proves that. And really, it doesn’t stop with wood…

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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