The collection of tools in your workshop determines the level of productivity and creativity you can offer to potential customers or even just to derive a feeling of fulfillment for yourself. Whether you are deeply into DIY home projects or intend to make a business of your projects, the types of tools you own pretty much dictate what you will be capable of doing. These are the three essential tools that any workshop should have.
There’s a whole lot of options on miter saws out there, with plenty of popular brands offering their own lines for this type of workshop tool. You can choose from three different types of miter saws. The compound type can cut a range of angles while being able to swivel to one direction for beveled cutting. This feature is highly useful for slicing material at two different angles, and should produce desired results for such tasks as crown molding.
The sliding compound model carries a sliding feature that enables the saw to shift forward and to the rear. The moving blade accommodates the need to cut wider pieces of wood. A dual-bevel compound miter saw resembles a compound model, except that it can tilt both sides (left and right) to enable you to do angled cutting of the wood without the need to flip the stock for proper positioning.
Most DIYers go for 10-inch sliding compound miter saws, with powerful 15-amp motors. The 10-inch miter saw blades are often interchangeable with a table saw’s blades so you won’t need to do a separate purchase to use both tools. A 7.25-inch cordless compound miter saw offers easy portability in a compact package.
For the weekend handyman or seasoned craftsman, a drill press is essential for cutting precise uniform holes into almost any material. The size of the drill press is determined by the size of the holes you want to make as well as the material you want to bore holes into. If you’re crafty, a mini drill press with higher RPMs and lower power consumption can get you by.
One of the most versatile pieces of workshop equipment you can own, a drill press ensures that drilled holes are to an exact depth and are of the needed size, making the machine indispensable for elaborate hole-drilling projects in less time and with dependable consistency, effectively preventing the costly wastage of materials. Most drill presses even come with a swiveling worktable that enables angled drilling. Choose from mini-, benchtop and free standing drill presses.
No, this is not that modem-like contraption that gets your home connected to the web. We mean woodworking routers here. A compact trim router is all you really need if you just intend to soften sharp edges on wood pieces or cut the occasional small profile.
A midsize plunge router, on the other hand, is the perfect do-it-all tool for a variety of routing applications, delivering a dependable balance between power and technique. Covering more bases than a trim router, midsize models are typically outfitted with a 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ HP motor and require two-handed operation, with either a plunge-style or fixed base.
This type of machine handles mortising and dovetailing, moderate to large profiling cuts and all-around woodworking. A full-size router will only be optimized for large raised panels or profiling bits for cabinet doors. Otherwise, it provides more machine than you will probably ever use for standard joint making and profiling.
Some router models offer combo sets that have a fixed and plunge base for versatile routing options. The essential elements you want in a router include: variable speed; electronic feedback circuitry; a soft start; above-table adjustability; a spindle lock.