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The aim of this site is to provide you with the very best woodworking tool reviews, comparisons, buying guides and advice on all the major tool manufacturers. We carefully select and then thoroughly review the tools that are the best in their class and look at the features that make the difference between a tool that’s just OK, and one that stands out from the crowd.

In today’s market quality and features are always improving and most products are good enough, so we look for innovative features that give one model the edge over another, and help to make your projects easier to do, and, more importantly, easier to do well.

Best Tool reviews & Advice

We thoroughly review the tools in each category and rate them on the basis of design, features, performance, accuracy, ease of use and adjustment, and value for money. For every type of tool we compare the best models on the market and identify the best value model and the best overall model, as well as listing other top-quality alternatives that you should consider.

We thoroughly review the tools in each category and rate them on the basis of design, features, performance, accuracy, ease of use and adjustment, and value for money.

For every type of tool we compare the best models on the market and identify the best value model and the best overall model, as well as listing other top-quality alternatives that you should consider.

Leigh D4R-PRO dovetail jig

Dovetail Jig Reviews and Advice

A clean, snug-fitting row of dovetails is a hallmark of fine craftsmanship. That’s one reason why there are so many different dovetail jigs on the market, each promising to help its buyer turn out rows of beautiful dovetails in record time. We reviewed 6 of the most popular dovetail jigs on the market and were very impressed with a number of them. Every one of the dovetail jigs reviewed can produce a snug and accurate dovetail joint. The factors that separate them are the diversity of joints they can create, the width of workpieces they can handle, and the setup and adjustment time they require. The best jigs offer a good balance between versatility and learning curve regarding the complexity of their setup and adjustment. We reviewed five bench-mounted dovetail jigs – the Leigh D4R, Porter-Cable 4212, Porter-Cable 4216, Porter-Cable 4210 and Porter-Cable Omnijig, the market-leading clamp-on jig, the Keller 135-1500 Journeyman, and the Leigh RTJ400 Router Table Joinery Jig which is a departure from the standard bench-mounted dovetail jigs and uses your router table to cut dovetails and box joints.
Incra 1000HD miter-gauge

Miter Gauge Reviews and Advice

A miter gauge is an essential tablesaw accessory which lets you make safe, accurate crosscuts on boards and small panels. It’s also essential for making accurate joinery cuts like 45 degree miters when making a picture frame. A miter gauge is also useful when using a router table. All good quality router tables come with a miter track set into the table top so you can use a miter gauge to cut square or angled cuts on end grain. Unfortunately, the miter gauges supplied with most new tablesaws are usually very basic items that fail in three main areas – they have play in the miter-slot fit that can’t be adjusted, a head that’s hard to read and set, and a fence that’s too short and not sturdy enough to support your work. All these faults combine to produce inaccurate cuts. Luckily there are a number of high-quality aftermarket miter gauges that address these issues. We looked at six fully equipped gauges and tested them for accuracy, ease of adjustment, quality of cut and value for money . The miter gauges tested are the Incra 1000 HD, Incra 1000 SE, Incra 3000 SE, Kreg KMS7102, Osborne EB-3 and Woodhaven 4911K.
Bench-Dog 40-001 router table

Router Table Reviews and Advice

Simply mounting your router in a router table immediately gives you a massive increase in your routing capabilities allowing you to easily and safely perform tasks that would be difficult, sometimes impossible and/or dangerous freehand. Straight out of the box, a router table increases the range of jobs you can perform with your router and allows you to easily take on advanced projects such as raised panels or use larger cutters that are too big to control freehand as well as making it easier and safer to do things like putting edge moldings on narrow workpieces. But that’s only the beginning. Everything that you want to accomplish can be made easier and a better end result obtained by investing in the huge range of router table add-ons and accessories. From router lifts to high-end router table fences and from coping sleds to box joint jigs, the range of specialist accessories has never been greater, or more affordable. Results that were previously only available to the professional are now easily achieved by everyone, but the choice of the right equipment can be daunting so check out all our router table reviews to find what’s best for you.
JessEm Mast-R-Lift II Router Lift

Router Lift Reviews and Advice

In 1999, the Router Lift was invented by JessEm Tool with the introduction of the Rout-R- Lift. This innovation created a whole new category for the woodworker, and since then other manufacturers have joined the market including Kreg, Incra, Woodpeckers and Bench Dog. A router lift is essentially a router-table mounting plate with an attached carriage that holds the router. A removable crank handle inserts into the mounting plate and turns to raise and lower the carriage with incredible precision down to a 1/64-inch adjustment. Some router lifts will accept a wide range of different router brands and models while others will only fit a particular model, so you need to check router compatibility before you buy. In addition to the improvements in the quality of your work this gives you, a router lift makes your life so much easier and more efficient. A router lift immediately removes the three main problems caused when you mount your router in a router table - bending down and reaching under the table, working with height-adjustment controls and locks that are upside-down and backward and having to remove the motor from the router base to change the router bit.
DEWALT Bare-Tool DC330B 18-Volt Cordless Jig Saw

Jigsaw Reviews and Advice

Jigsaws are versatile, maneuverable power tools that can make both straight and curved cuts. Like a bandsaw, a jigsaw makes a saw kerf square to the face of the work piece, making it useful for cutting notches where you don’t want the over-cut you’d see with a circular saw. Jigsaws also can make plunge cuts to start a hole in the middle of a surface — as in cutting out a countertop for a sink, for example. There are two basic designs: barrel grip and top handle. A barrel-gripped model is grasped around the body of the tool and pushed through a cut. Slide-type on-off switches and rear-mounted speed controls on these saws may not be convenient for everyone. Top-handle jigsaws have on-off switches within easy reach, making it easy to turn the saw off quickly, and some incorporate speed controls with the power switch. A variable-speed feature makes it easy to regulate the speed of the cut. Saws that offer tool-free blade changes are more convenient than older designs that require an Allen wrench or other key that can easily be lost. Manufacturers have come up with a variety of approaches, some better than others. Another important feature is orbital cutting, a feature available on most jigsaws. As the name suggests, this turns the straight up-down stroke of the blade into an orbital motion. The more pronounced the orbital setting, the greater the cutting speed but the rougher the cut.

We’ve put together some handy guides to help you make the right choice when choosing a tool in the first place plus advice on how to get the best out of it once you’ve made your choice.

How To Choose A Great Router Table

There is no limit to what a router can do. That’s why just about every woodworker has one. But if you are using your router only as a handheld tool, you’re not taking full advantage of its versatility. Mounted in a table, the router becomes a super-accurate joinery machine that can spin out perfect sliding dovetails, and tenons that fit their mortises straight from the table. And you can also rout more consistent edge profiles because the router won’t tip. But if you want get the most out of your router table you have to know what to look for because a quality router table can be a serious investment. 808
Anatomy of a router table

Router Table Basics

When setting up your router table for the first time you need to make sure you get the basics right in order to work safely and get the most out of it. Time spent on setup will pay dividends in comfort and accuracy for years to come. The most important things you need to consider are making sure the height is right, ensuring the mounting plate is flat and level and checking that the fence is flat, straight, and square to the work surface. Once it's setup properly you need to make sure you know how to feed the stock properly for maximum safety and efficiency. 1285

Expert Woodworker Top Picks

BEST VALUE DOVETAIL JIG

Porter-Cable 4212 best-selling dovetail jig

Review: Porter Cable 4212 Dovetail Jig

The Porter Cable 4212 Dovetail Jig is the middle of Porter-Cable’s 4200-series of jigs, and we think it’s the best of the range for most users. It gives you the ability to easily cut all the most common joints, including through dovetails, half-blind dovetails, sliding dovetails and box joints, and add to that an incredibly low price of $159.99, and you can see why it’s the bestselling dovetail jig on the market. It’s easy to set up, with very useful setup lines and instructions etched onto the templates, so you don’t have to keep referring back to the manual. In practice it’s very intuitive to use and switching between templates, joints, and different-size boards is quick and easy. The Porter cable 4212 is an amazing combination of price, options, and ease of use.

BEST VALUE MITER GAUGE

Kreg KMS7102 precision miter gauge

Review: Kreg KMS7102 Miter Gauge

The Kreg KMS7102 miter gauge is our Best Value winner, because this all-aluminum gauge has all the features of a great unit with a price that’s hard to beat. The nylon adjustment screws keep the gauge tracking well in the miter slot. The long fixed-length fence has a flip-stop that’s curved to let work slide under it for quick repeat cuts. The easy-to-use head quickly registers common angles via a brass pin and the vernier scale is a nice feature that allows adjustment down to 1/10 degree. The Kreg KMS7102 retails for $138 on Amazon.

BEST VALUE BENCHTOP ROUTER TABLE

Bosch RA1181 bench top router table

Review: Bosch RA1181 Router Table

The Bosch RA1181 is an open style, benchtop table made from quality components, with a good sized tabletop plus an excellent fence, giving you two of the main advantages of larger router tables in a compact, portable form and at an excellent price too. If space is at a premium and you are looking for a router table to get out and clamp to your bench each time you use it, the Bosch RA1181 should be right up there on your list.

BEST VALUE ROUTER LIFT

INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift with insert rings

Review: INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift

The Incra Mast-R-Lift II shares all of the advantages of the JessEm Mast-R-Lift II on which it is based. It's got fast, incredibly precise height adjustments from above the table, smooth, low-friction 'one-finger' carriage movement and compatibility with 18 of the most popular router models out of the box to name a few. But on top of that it's got Incra's MagnaLOCK magnetic insert rings which give a number of real benefits compared to other brands' phenolic inserts - in particular, the height adjustment screws in the four corner tabs. Overall, we think that gives it the edge making the Incra Mast-R-Lift II our go-to router lift.