Magazine subscriptions?

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Forum topic by davidmackv posted 02-21-2014 01:23 PM 1748 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View davidmackv's profile


317 posts in 2101 days

02-21-2014 01:23 PM

Do you subscribe to any woodworking magazines? If so, which ones?

I currently receive Woodcraft and was thinking of ordering Wood. However, I was wanting to get some opinions on what are the best magazines available for woodworkers. I am interested in project ideas, patterns and woodworking tips in a magazine.

24 replies so far

View PaulJerome's profile


57 posts in 3487 days

#1 posted 02-21-2014 01:46 PM

Fine Woodworking, Popular Woodworking and Woodsmith.

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View jdmaher's profile


459 posts in 3033 days

#2 posted 02-21-2014 02:08 PM

My favorites are Fine Woodworking and Popular Woodworking.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2823 days

#3 posted 02-21-2014 02:13 PM

I subscribe to Popular Woodworking, Fine Woodworking, Woodcraft, and Shop Notes (my wife is a teacher and when the annual magazine drive comes around, she goes overboard).

My favorites are Popular Woodworking and Fine Woodworking. I like them because I feel like they focus more on finer woodworking skills and projects. I have a lot to learn, and it’s very interesting to me.

I like Woodcraft the least because the magazine would be about 4 pages long if they got rid of the advertising.

I used to like Wood and Shop Notes more than I do now. They still have some good stuff sometimes, but I feel like its just a ton of shop jigs I don’t have time to make, or space to store. I do put post-its in them to mark things I really might like to do someday if I have time, and then stick them on the shelf. After two years of those magazines, I have no desire to read about jigs. I’ll just skim them and see if any jump out.

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

View johnstoneb's profile


3123 posts in 2626 days

#4 posted 02-21-2014 03:26 PM

Fine Woodworking, Shopsmith, Shop Notes, Popular woodworking, Wood. I just started with Fine Woodworking it seems to be pretty good. I got it years (20+ ago) and it at that time seemed to be geared to the extremely well skilled and professional crowd. Either my skills have gotten a whole lot better or they have dumbed the magazine down some. I have really enjoyed the two issues I have gotten. I also subscribed to their online service. I really like it and may just keep the online edition when current cubscription runs out. I usually don’t like online versions of magazines but they have done and excellent job. What I have found with most woodworking magazines sometimes they will have artricles that are really interesting for my type of wood working and sometime they are a total waste of time to read. You need to stick with them for awhile and see which give you more of what you are looking for.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View davidmackv's profile


317 posts in 2101 days

#5 posted 02-21-2014 03:30 PM

What do you think of Wood magazine? I haven’t ordered it yet, but was considering it.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1341 posts in 2087 days

#6 posted 02-21-2014 03:33 PM

I stopped the subscriptions years ago. Year after year they seem to go over the same stuff over and over.
Nothing new.

On the other hand, they are worth subscriptions for a time.
Sometimes the tips are great, others, someone recycles an old tip.

-- Jeff NJ

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2823 days

#7 posted 02-21-2014 03:35 PM

If you can get a 2 year subscription to Wood for cheap, and haven’t had one, it’s not a bad idea. After 2 years, you might be done with it.

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

View fuzzface's profile


67 posts in 2324 days

#8 posted 02-21-2014 03:47 PM

Over the years I’ve had subscriptions to all of the mags mentioned above, sometimes receiving 5 or 6 subscriptions at one time. I now only receive Fine Woodworking, for most of the reasons stated by others. With the other mags, seemed like I was reading the same stories over and over. How many foolproof ways to make dovetails do I need?

-- I'm a LumberJock and I'm OK.............. I sleep all night and I work all day !!

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3086 days

#9 posted 02-21-2014 03:52 PM

I actually like the Family Handyman. Its more of a DIY magazine, but has plenty of handy woodworking and shop tips. Its a pretty cheap subscription too.

View basswood's profile


261 posts in 2074 days

#10 posted 02-21-2014 04:42 PM

Fuzzface, I also like Fine Woodworking… ironically the current issue has an article on hand-cut dovetails!


View gamygeezer's profile


166 posts in 2039 days

#11 posted 02-21-2014 08:13 PM

I think the golden age of woodworking magazines has come and gone. During my working years when I didn’t have a shop, I would do a lot of “arm chair” woodworking, subscribing to 4 or 5 magazines at once. I would periodically go through them and toss the ones with no interest. The ones I wound up keeping the most were Fine Woodworking and American Woodworker.

Since you are online, I would suggest subscribing to the online version of Fine Woodworking. Besides the current issues, you get access to tons of articles from back issues. I think a year’s subscription is around $14. If you like detailed instructions, Shop Notes and Woodsmith are worthwhile. American Woodworker is not nearly as good as it once was, but you can browse back issues at

Also, most magazines offer DVDs containing all of their back issues, usually for $99. I don’t have any, but I think they are searchable. I haven’t totally lost my love of “picture books”, and still subscribe to Fine Woodworking, but laptop woodworking is much more educational than armchair woodworking ever was.


-- What's a vibrant young guy like me doing in a broken down old body like this?

View bigblockyeti's profile


5840 posts in 2174 days

#12 posted 02-21-2014 08:34 PM

I used to get Wood, Fine Woodworking. The former was good because it was one of the best deals. The latter seemed to have more content, but was way expensive for only 6 or 7 issues per year. As previously mentioned, there isn’t a lot new happening from a technique standpoint, mostly only new tools, much of the material started to seem like them same thing over and over again.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View MrRon's profile


5631 posts in 3697 days

#13 posted 02-24-2014 05:05 PM

The problem with woodworking magazines is; they rehash everything every few years, apparently to attract newbies. Woodworking magazines have a very limited value after one has gained some experience. Forums such as this one are more valuable than any magazine could ever be. If you consider yourself above novice level, save your money.

View abie's profile


890 posts in 4224 days

#14 posted 02-24-2014 05:13 PM

Ditto to all the above
I brouse the book stores that still exhist and take, home ideas that are new
I have a file folder of ideas and don’t have time to do all that I want.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View BenI's profile


333 posts in 2632 days

#15 posted 02-24-2014 05:44 PM

I used to have a subscription to Popular Woodworking but quickly realized that I was rarely reading the articles and the pieces that they were building were not at all what I have interest in building, at least right now.

I recently switched to Woodsmith after looking thru other issues and liking the articles, projects, and the way they explained the projects and SHOWED how, not just explained how. So happy I made the switch.

If you don’t want to get a subscription and test a magazine out, I’d go to Barnes and Nobles, Woodcraft, etc. and see what takes your fancy and maybe get a subscription later on. Good luck!

-- Ben from IL

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