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head check- cheap power tools


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17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 Aaron_Smith

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Posted November 04 2002 - 01:10 PM

OK, OK, I know everybody around here likes the good expensive tools. However, I have a set amount of money to spend in Home Depot gift cards, and I want to get the stuff I need for speaker building and other small projects, namely a router and a table saw. So...

- Router: I'm looking at the Skil 1823 plunge. Safe to assume I need a plunge router? Any reason why this one is just plain bad or won't work? Apparently the jasper jigs work with it.

- Table saw: Ryobi BTS10. Same questions as above. Any reason it's really bad or won't work? Am I better off just sticking with my circular saw and guides?

Any advice would be appreciated.

#2 of 18 Patrick Sun

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Posted November 04 2002 - 03:57 PM

I bought the cheapo Skil 1823 plunge router. The plunge is a bit "sticky" nowaday, but it still routes just fine.

This is after:

3 sunosubs (4 if you count a set of endcaps I did for someone else)
2 center channel speakers
2 2-way speakers
2 2.5-way speakers
1 SVS box sub
1 Plate amp box
Veneer trimming of 5 speakers

For $65, it was a decent bargain. Just remember to wear earplugs with it because it's loud.
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#3 of 18 Brett DiMichele

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Posted November 04 2002 - 04:47 PM

I just bought the Ryobi 6-Pack (18V Cordless package includes
A Rotary Zip Tool, 1/2" 2 Speed Hammer Drill, Compound Miter Saw, Hand Held Circular Saw, Recipricating Saw and a
18V Xenon Light, 3 Battery Packs, Charger and blades all
for less than $400.00 (only at Home Depot) and I am in love!

The tools work great, no stalling the 18V goodies even chopping
through 4x4's Posted Image

They have a smaller 3 pack deal I believe that comes with
the drill, a wet dry cordless vac and something else (recipricating
saw I think) for substantially less cash.

At any rate Ryobi has impressed me throughly.
Brett DiMichele
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#4 of 18 Brian Bunge

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Posted November 04 2002 - 05:00 PM

The Skil router and the Ryobi table saw should be adequate. Although, knowing what I do now, I'd pony up for the DeWalt DW621 router. The dust collection feature alone is worth the money.
Brian Bunge
RAD Home Theater

#5 of 18 Chris Eriksen

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Posted November 04 2002 - 05:39 PM

You should be all right with the Skil Plunge Router, but I would avoid the Ryobi BTS10 Table Saw. I purchased one last summer, and the build quality was truly abysmal. Terrible fit & finish, with inconsistent cuts due to excessive axial slop in the motor asembly. The bearings started squealing on only my second project. I returned it, and eventually purchased a used radial arm saw. I have had good luck with some of Ryobi's other budget products (drills, etc), but I can not recommend the BTS10. I think your money would be better spent elsewhere.

I hope this helps.

#6 of 18 Aaron_Smith

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Posted November 05 2002 - 12:58 AM

Thanks for the quick feedback. I had my suspicions about the Ryobi table saw-- glad you spoke up, Chris. I may spend the add'l money on a better router and rough it with a circular saw and jig saw for a while.

#7 of 18 Al Garay

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Posted November 05 2002 - 09:10 AM

Check your local Lowe's. They were having a clearance sale on the Dewalt 621 for $134... At that price, it is hard to beat.

DO NOT BUY CHEAP TOOLS. Just think of what you are saving doing the work yourself. Borrow if you have to...
You could skip the table saw for now and have the boards pre-cut for you. Just ask them to make sure the blade is square.

If you are set on a table saw, look for a used Delta, Sears contractor saw. There are many around.

Good luck,

Al

#8 of 18 Greg Kettell

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Posted November 05 2002 - 09:22 AM

I saw that Ryobi table saw at Home Depot.. The fence on that thing was really hard to move and line up straight - it just felt cheap to me.

I'd go with something used instead of this.

#9 of 18 Chris Carswell

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Posted November 05 2002 - 10:06 AM

If you plan to build a lot (which you will because this stuff is ADDICTIVE) then do like Al said, "DO NOT BUY CHEAP TOOLS". Do it right the 1st time. It will save you time, frustration, and most importantly $money$ specially in the long run. If you have to just get one nice tool now then borrow or rent something else if need be. Brian pointed out the DeWalt DW621 router which is great (I still love my Bosh) then get some HIGH quality bits. This is just as important as well. That combo would be a good start. As for a table saw go with as big a fence as you can & belt driven if you can swing that too. They are smooth as butter. Try to find a used one or rent one if it's not that expensive until you can get a good one. You won't be sorry except when all your neighbors want you to cut stuff for them and ............. Posted Image
It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have had a good pair of speakers at all !!!

#10 of 18 Chris Keen

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Posted November 05 2002 - 04:13 PM

Brett - can you please go back to Corvette Forum? Posted Image

You'd do better to look at the Rigid table saws at HD than the Ryobi. Ryobi makes some good tools for the $$$, but they lack in longevity and repeatability. I would also point you at the Freud router, but HD doesn't carry them. I am reluctant to recommend certain tools to you simply because part of the criteria you mentioned was HD and the gift cards you're trying to use. Perhaps if you can, amongst the tools they have, select some of the nicer things you could buy.

If HD isn't part of the solution, then you can look elsewhere. The Delta and Jet saws are very nice. Dewalt and Jet both have a new hybrid saw that is a bit like a contractor's and a bit like a cabinet. Dewalt did it first, then Jet copied. The Jet is a nicer implementation of it. If you can swing a cabinet saw, and can spend a bit more, you might look at Grizzly (www.grizzly.com). They have some nice 3hp cabinet saws, including a left tilt model that you can get delivered at $950 or so. It's a LOT of saw for the $$$. The fence system is better (supposedly) than a few years ago with an improved beisemeyer. I'm looking at one of these myself for Christmas. I'd eventually like to upgrade to an Incra TS-3a fence system for about $350. The Incra stuff is SUPER accurate, and INCREDIBLY repeatable from what I have read. You can add a mobile base to the bottom to be able to move and reposition it in your garage/shop for cheap. You can later upgrade by adding an extention table that doubles as a router table with a drop in lift. There's so much you can do.

Freud makes some high quality power tools at more affordable costs than a lot of more well known brands such as DeWalt, Porter Cable, Bosch, Hitachi. Freud makes an excellent 3.25hp plunge router($190), 6amp Jigsaw($110), Buscuit Joiner w/ adjustable fence($120).

As you can see, I have a nice wish list started. Spending money on tools should be a wise investment, not a costly mistake. Do your homework, read and research. I've bought "so-so" tools before, so I'm speaking from experience.
Chris
Marantz sr8200
Onix Rocket 750,200,250 speakers
Panasonic rp82

#11 of 18 Brett DiMichele

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Posted November 06 2002 - 07:32 PM

Chris,

Are you stalking me? Posted Image


Hey I just put in my $0.02

I would agree if your going with Table Saws then I
would go Dewalt. If I was going Compound Miter Saws
I would say Ryobi or someone else (I have heard many
Horror stories about the Dewalt Miter's) No tool is
trouble free, over at Ryobi's tool forums you will see
many a peeved previous Dewalt owners who praise some not
all of Ryobi's tools. For cordless 18V I am VERY pleased
with the features and quality of the 6 pack. For other
tools I would go with other companies. I have no tool
loyalty Posted Image
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#12 of 18 Aaron_Smith

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Posted November 07 2002 - 01:35 AM

More great info. I've been looking at a used Delta table saw that someone is selling used here in Austin. It's a stationary design, not the contractor version (thus not belt driven) and it's about 10 years old, he's asking $125. Does this sound reasonable? Should I hesitate to consider a 10 year old table saw? Sounds like he's a contractor so it may have seen some hard times.
It seems like the deltas and the ridgids are very well built; I believe I'm going to keep looking for used tables for a while and use my home depot $$ for other stuff (most likely MDF sheets and christmas lights...)
In the meantime, perhaps Chris would be kind enough to allow an Austin speaker newbie to use his stuff... Posted Image

#13 of 18 Aaron_Smith

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Posted November 07 2002 - 01:41 AM

One other thing... is there a good internet forum out there to discuss woodworking tools and read reviews?

#14 of 18 Ole

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Posted November 07 2002 - 04:36 AM

I bought the Ryobi 14.4v two pack, a drill and 5" circular trim saw for under $100 at Home Depot. Great second tools. I generally have DeWalt, Porter Cable and Milwaukee. Also a Grizzly 10" cabinet style table saw. Whatever you do, don't go to http://www.grizzley.com or your checkbook will be sorry.
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#15 of 18 Michael.Hoffman

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Posted November 07 2002 - 12:55 PM

Aaron,

I have 4 or 5 forums I usually go to for reviews and to get opinions on tools I'm thinking about buying. In no particular order they are:

www.wwforum.com
www.theoak.com
www.augusthome.com (the magazines sometimes have tool reviews)
www.forums.woodnet.net/ (August Home's forums)
www.woodmagazine.com (go to Wood Talk and choose a forum)
www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/index.asp (I haven't been there since they changed their forum, but they have lots of helpful info and tool reviews)

I'm sure there are many more, but these should have more than enough info to keep you busy and help you out with future tool purchases. If you're like me, you never have enough money for all the cool tools you see and the forums can help out greatly in the decision making process.Posted Image

Mike

#16 of 18 John Brown

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Posted November 07 2002 - 12:58 PM

Check your local pawn shop. Some times they have like new tools at very cheap prices. Just make sure they work before you walk out of the store. john

#17 of 18 Chris Keen

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Posted November 07 2002 - 04:07 PM

Well, here in the Austin area, most of the Pawn Shops want brand new or better prices for used beat-up merchandice with no warranty. Some have brand new items too - usually from some crack head doing a swipe from the local Home Depot and then selling the item for 10% of it's worth to the pawn shop. Pawn Shops make a LOT of money of misfortune. Sometimes you can find some good tools, but you'd better know the value, and what you're willing to spend, and be willing to walk fast if not in your range.

For instance, I remember seeing a no name Chinese imported 12" bench mount drill press for like $165 in a pawn shop that appeared to have some heavy use/neglect. Hell, that's ridiculous. Granted, they usually build in some hedgeway for bartering, but even after that, it's a bad deal. I just wanted to play along and see what they would be willing to work on it. The guy said that his manager would be in tomorrow, and could probably get him down to like $135 for me, maybe even as low as $125. Thanks!!! I walked.
Chris
Marantz sr8200
Onix Rocket 750,200,250 speakers
Panasonic rp82

#18 of 18 Chris Keen

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Posted November 07 2002 - 04:09 PM

Oh, and once I start to get some of these tools and such, I don't have any problem with letting someone come and use them to make some cuts and such. I just gotta get'em first. Christmas is a comin' too. Now I just hope Santa doesn't check that list TOO hard!
Chris
Marantz sr8200
Onix Rocket 750,200,250 speakers
Panasonic rp82