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Thread: Tool that far exceeded your expectations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    180

    Tool that far exceeded your expectations

    Hi all-
    Years ago I purchased a little Hitachi 12 Volt cordless drill much to my husband's chagrin. I absolutely hated using his big 18 Volt DeWalts. They were heavy, gone with him to work when I really needed one, and usually full of some variety of sticky roofing goo. At the time, it was for an occasional screw or small hole that I wanted it for. Then we purchased the old house we live in and began a gut remodel. Well, its now 10-11 years old and I've used it now for 7 years for all sorts of things it should never be expected to do. I've driven literally 1000's of 3" & 2" screws, drilled all the holes thru the studs for running wiring and plumbing and a myriad of other tasks. The original batteries still hold a charge and it still does everything I ask. Do you have a tool that has impressed you?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    columbia, sc
    Posts
    576
    My first ROS and my first impact driver. Life has never been the same
    Bob C

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Exeter, CA
    Posts
    352
    My 8" used powermatic jointer (after I replaced all bearings, cutters and really dialed it in). I had an old Craftsman 6" that I thought worked, used it for years (bought used). After getting the Powermatic, I realized that my old Craftsman never really worked at all....

  4. #4
    I have a Sears NEXTEC 12v 1/4” compact impact that I bought a while ago. Along the way picked up 4-5 batteries for it and a flashlight. It’s great for disassembling things like car dashes and such and have even used it to drive screws while building a fence, but definitely not it’s forte. The smallish lithium batteries hold a charge really well. Great for cramped places.

  5. #5
    adding a digital read out to my Grizzly Planer. Just so much nicer to be able to know for sure the thickness can be repeated if needed. Especially important for those forgotten drawer sides for the dovetail jig or door rails and styles where thickness needs to really be spot on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    19,565
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Alexander View Post
    adding a digital read out to my Grizzly Planer. Just so much nicer to be able to know for sure the thickness can be repeated if needed. Especially important for those forgotten drawer sides for the dovetail jig or door rails and styles where thickness needs to really be spot on.
    I use the DRO on my planer so much I almost forgot that I added it . Can't imagine being without it.

    I have a zinger. When I bought a previous house the previous owner was a welder, not a woodworker. He had the typical 2x4's for everything workbench,wall "shelves" and so forth. I bought a Harbor Freight 'Sawzall' for $15 and hoped it would last through the demolition. Now I don't have much call for a recip-saw (or I would have had a "real" one, right?) but, almost 15 years later it is still doing all the nasty things I need done. A dollar a year? Everything should give as much value.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,895
    My Festool drill/drivers have exceeded expectations...especially the little CSX which is lightweight, maneuverable and surprisingly powerful. I don't baby it at all and it just delivers. There are many other tools that have provided similar experiences...but I'll just keep my post to this one for now.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,597
    I will say my small Makita impact driver. Can not even remember the last time I drove a screw by hand... Will walk all the way out to the shop from the house and back and get it just to drive a 1/2" screw... Electrical plugs, even adapters for impact sockets for driving nuts and bolts. Very few projects these days that does not involve using it in some fashion or another.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cooper View Post
    My first ROS and my first impact driver. Life has never been the same
    Total convert to the church of the impact driver, blessed be his name. I preach to anybody who will listen, and urge them to cast out the vile nail, and it's evil servant the hammer.

    I've also been pleasantly surprised by my Bosch 12V impact driver, use it far more than the DeWalt 18V I have. OTOH, the drill isn't as impressive, though still servicable, and much lighter that it's 18V DeWalt equivalent.

    I'd add bandsaws to the list. Didn't know what I was missing until I got one, now I wouldn't part with it.

  10. #10
    I'm a big fan of the Woodpeckers 1281 square - I find I reach for this more often than many other measuring/marking tools. The way it's designed it works very well on a variety of materials.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    475
    Woodworking Tool--An old 4" Starrett double square i paid $3 for. I've since picked up newer pair of 4" and 6" that i can read the scales on.
    Non-woodworking Tool--Weber gas grill. Could not envision paying that much for a grill, but after decades of buying a new grill every 3-4 years...the Weber is turning out to be a much better value (and ready FAST!!)
    earl

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    2,293
    My Nova Voyager DVR Drill Press has been really nice. The ability to change speeds so easily over a wide range is very useful. The chuck has extremely low run out.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    8,620
    A Toshiba DS10DSL drill. I was stuck a hundred miles from my Festool drill, but needed to drill some holes. I went to the local big box and bought an inexpensive drill. The drill, two lithium batteries, and a charger cost me $79. I figured I'd use it once, and never use it after I got home. But the Toshiba has been working for me for ten or fifteen years now. It is lighter and smaller than my big Festool, and just the right thing for smaller uses around the shop.

  14. #14
    My 1888 J. T. Towsley horizontal drill press.
    Rescued it from a junk pile in 1973, painted it blue , put a peddle feed on it and drilled probably over a hundred thousand holes. ( I doweled face frames long after other shops gave up )

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,577
    Kreg R3 pocket hole jig.-----from the era when they came with both a clamp for the jig and the clamp to hold the work together while driving a screw - in the $39.95 Kit.

    When Kreg stopped packaging those two clamps, they destroyed the value of the R3.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

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