How to Choose the Best Framing Nailer for Your Nailing Needs

What's a framing nailer anyway? A framing nailer, also known as a nailer or a nail gun, is an air or pneumatic tool that removes the need for a hammer and shoots nails for quick, high-powered projects. In regards to finding the best framing nailer around, this article and its product reviews might be of service to you

Source :powermatic.com

Framing Nailer Applications

All nailers and nail guns are used to make the carpenter's job easier by shooting the nail into boards, 2x4s, and planks without the assistance of a hammer to hammer the nail down. A framing nailer is best used for smaller, quicker jobs (like nailing frames, as its name suggests) because this model is smaller than your usual nail guns.

There's a model of nail gun for roofing, finishing, and framing (the last item is specifically the main application for the framing nailer in particular). They're mostly used for precision work and intricate detail work due to their compactness. This is in stark contrast with your typical nail gun that does big jobs like roofing. They're advantageous in that application because you don't need room to swing your hammer aimed at roofing nails. You can just shoot the nails into the roof.

Types of Framing Nailer

Pneumatic framing nailers come in two basic types: Coil and stick.

  • Coil : A canister or drum is used to hold the nails used in coil-style nail guns. These nails are typically held together through a wire that forms a long flexible strip rolled into a coil, not unlike a chain gun with a bandolier of bullets. This allows the gun to hold 300 nails or more.
  • Stick :This nailer can hold 20-40 nails at the same time through a stick or a long narrow configuration that houses its "ammo". This pieces of plastic, paper, and wire hold together the nails within the stick holster or clip.

Framing Nailer Features and Variant

Every nail gun variant is designed with certain features specifically to do certain applications. To wit:

  Varying Nail Sizes:

  The Two-Step Trigger:

  Ergonomics and Adjustments:

Compressor Types

There are two types of compressors you can use for your framing nailer.

  Piston Compressor:

  Compact Compressor:

How To Use A Framing Nail Gun

Five Products for Review:

Here are the five framing nailers for review that you should check out.

1. BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer with Positive Placement Tip and Magnesium Housing:

BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer with Positive Placement Tip and Magnesium Housing

BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer with Positive Placement Tip and Magnesium Housing

This framing nailer offers standard quality specs like 1,050 inch-pounds of force, a sequential and bump trigger (the two-step trigger mentioned earlier), fastener depth control and collation, and dual 1½ inch to 3½ inch nailer modes. It's a compact nailer that allows for quick and easy nailing action for small-scale workshop projects that's typical of a device of its size. Furthermore, it's arguably two nailers in one because you can convert it for framing or metal connection jobs with its two quick-change nosepieces for good measure. If you want a versatile nailer, then avail of the BOSTITCH F21PL Framing Nailer for all of your nailing and woodworking needs.

The BOSTITCH F21PL Round Head 1-1/2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Framing Nailer also features a tough yet lightweight magnesium housing that makes it resistant to bump and device-shattering impacts while still being light enough for prolonged use without tiring your arms out. Speaking of holding it for long periods of time, it also has an ergonomic rubber grip that doesn't damage or injure your palm. It also has integrated rubber skid pads to keep from clattering to the floor and giving it ample traction on your table surface. It's also available at a compact 14¼ by 20½ inches and weighs only 8.1 pounds. It's as lightweight and easy to aim like a gun or a hairdryer while its safety trigger keeps you from getting into unintentional accidents or potential injury.

Hitachi NR90AES1 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Plastic Collated Framing Nailer

Hitachi NR90AES1 2-Inch to 3-1/2-Inch Plastic Collated Framing Nailer

In regards to the Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer, this device has a unique head guard design that enables you to quickly disassemble the nailer whenever you need to maintain or fix the tool. Repairs and replacements are also easy and cheap thanks to its two-piece anodized aluminum magazine. Like the BOSTITCH F21PL Framing Nailer, it's also well-balanced and lightweight to reduce user fatigue and add maneuverability ease. Meanwhile, if you want to do contact and sequential nailing work with immediate changes on short notice then flipping the switch with its "selective actuation" feature is your best bet. The depth of the nail can be adjusted without using tools to do so. It also allows you to do a flush drive or countersink on various materials.

The machine is also capable of easy and quick reloads thanks to its two-step nail loading (which works kind of like the two-step trigger feature of BOSTITCH, but only this time this is applied to reloading nails). It also has an ergonomic rubber grip to ensure comfort and grip security while mitigating fatigue. As you can see, compared to the BOSTITCH F21PL, the Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer has loads of unique features that its fellow nailer lacks as well as features they both share as nail guns. Most of the top specs that the Hitachi NR90AES1 has involve maintenance, disassembly, or setting switching without the help of tools. It's specifically recommended for tackling the roofing and rafter stages of your home improvement projects.

DEWALT DCN692B 20V Max XR Brushless Dual Speed Nailer

DEWALT DCN692B 20V Max XR Brushless Dual Speed Nailer

DeWalt or DEWALT continues its legacy of consistent quality hardware tool manufacturing by offering a dual speed nailer capable of accepting 30° to 34° and paper tape nails, offset roundhead nails, and clipped nails. Unlike the Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer or the BOSTITCH F21PL Framing Nailer, the DEWALT DCN692B Dual Speed Nailer has a dual speed setting that allows you to slow down or speed up the rate of your nailing depending on the application. If you want more versatility and optimization for different lengths of nail, then the dual speed feature can be quite handy for your needs. It can also shift from bump or sequential operating modes for added multipurpose usage reminiscent of the different possible settings and switches found on the Hitachi NR90AES1.

Additionally, it also has a unique brushless motor and engine design that works well on the hoseless and cordless framing nailer. This gives you more mustard or force when driving those 3½-inch nails to your frame with impunity. The sparseness of the specs of the DEWALT DCN692B Dual Speed Nailer belies its simplified approaching to nailing frames and other workshop project parts together. You can buy this compact and handy gun with 3AH batteries and a box 2½-inch nails and you'll be all set to, for example, redo pickets and railing nails or shore up a porch frame enclosure. It can also nail stairs and backdoor landings without maneuvering a hammer with enough swing space to hammer down nails.

Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer

While it's a brand that's not as famous as DeWalt, Hitachi, or even BOSTITCH, the Paslode 905600 Cordless XP Framing Nailer is able to differentiate itself from its competition by providing 15% more power from what it can normally produce through its cutting-edge motor that maximizes the otherwise limited capabilities of a light-duty nail gun with a tankless compact compressor (as mentioned above). This allows it to penetrate to older hardwoods and drive nails flush through them rather than just halfway through (so you might end up hammering the nail anyway).

Also, unlike the framing nailers on this list, the Paslode 905600 includes a temperature cooler that turns the temperature down to 14° Fahrenheit when used with the right formula of fuel (also made by Paslode). It also has a matching collation, fewer misfires and jams because of the precision nail strip, and the ability to shoot up to 200 shots after just 2 minutes of quick charge and much more with the 1½ hour full charge (that can fire up to 9,000 nails until it's fully spent). It's all thanks to its li-ion battery that's 7.4 volts. You can use it for the long haul by charging it in full for an hour and thirty minutes or charge it partially for 2 minutes in order to get quick jobs done on short notice. The lack off air hoses also makes it less unwieldy and more portable, but that can be said of all the framing nailers on this list.

Hitachi NR83A3 2 Inch to 3-1/4-Inch Plastic Collated Full Round Head Framing Nailer with Tool-Less Depth Adjustment

Hitachi NR83A3 2 Inch to 3-1/4-Inch Plastic Collated Full Round Head Framing Nailer with Tool-Less Depth Adjustment

Last but not least is the Hitachi NR83A3. This second Hitachi framing nailer delivers selective actuation or the ability to switch from contact to single actuation with smooth transitions every time. It also ensures durability because it includes a hardened aggressive toenail push lever that's quite hard-wearing and won't simply break from regular use. Like with its fellow Hitachi NR90AES1 Framing Nailer or the BOSTITCH F21PL Framing Nailer, it also has an ergonomic rubber grip that's comfortable to hold and easy to grip for a long period of time without exhausting your palm and hand.

The Hitachi NR83A3 can also do tool-free depth adjustment like its sibling product as well. It's able to go out of the shadow of the NR90AES1 by featuring unique specs like easy-replacement 2-piece steel magazine, an open-nose design to easily extract any nail jams, and a yin-yang of smooth operation and ample power for a light-duty frame nailer. It does have downsides like being less unique than the Paslode 905600 with its temperature cooler or the DEWALT DCN692B and its dual speed. It also has a fragile magazine and less bump resistance than the BOSTITCH F21PL. But in terms of having many of the best features of the Hitachi NR90AES1 and the BOSTITCH F21PL, it's a good alternative to both.

Conclusion

While air tools in general are powerful and rugged devices that use compressed air in order to send nails deep into a surface (the depth and strength of which is controlled by an electric-powered compressor), the framing nail is a fine-tuned and sophisticated small gadget used for smaller workshop projects like nailing frames versus roofing nail guns that nail roof tiles.

The Five Best Biscuit Joiner Products of 2017 (Don’t Buy a Biscuit Joiner without Reading This)

So what is a biscuit joiner? Also known as a plate joiner, it's a tool that joins two wooden pieces together by using its small circular saw to cut a hole that's crescent shaped (the mouth) in the opposite edges of the two wooden pieces. Afterwards, biscuits or oval-shaped particle or beech wood is covered in expandable glue and used to fasten and bond the two wooden pieces by their mouths and their slots

How to Choose a Biscuit Joiner

In regards to finding the best biscuit joiner, it all depends on your specific needs, your available budget, and the overall cost-effectiveness of a given tool (the balance between what it's worth in dollars and what it's worth in usefulness or functionality).

  The Basics:

  Biscuit Sizes:

  Flush Cut Feature and Cut Depth:

  Blade Choices:

  Fence Options:

  Angles and Bevels:

  Extensions and Enhancements:

How To Use A Biscuit Joiner

The Five Biscuit Joiners You Should Take a Look At:

Here are some potential biscuit joiners you can avail of.

DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner

DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner

DeWalt or DEWALT is a brand that you can depend on if you want a product that's easy to sue and highly durable. To be more specific, the DEWALT DW682K is a 6.5-amp, 10,000 RPM biscuit joiner made to cut hard, thick work pieces for improved joinery action. Homeowners might also approve of the machine for featuring a dual rack-and-pinion fence for the sake of keeping both fence and blade parallel (this in turn improves overall joinery accuracy). The one-piece fence can also be adjustable so that it can tilt 0° to 90°, which is something that woodworkers want if they wish to do proper bevel and angled cuts with this particular plate joiner.

Woodworkers should also considering getting their own DEWALT DW682K 6.5 Amp Plate Joiner if they're interested in doing flush cuts at 0° without any fence removal involved. This biscuit joiner can also be clamped for the sake of stationary applications with its non-marring heavy-duty aluminum shoe. As for indexing off of the mitered joint's outside surface, it's made possible by the DeWalt DW682K's 45° locating notch in the fence. DEWALT is the brand that has multiple guides for biscuit joinery to ensure accuracy at every turn. This machine has also garnered praise for its well-balanced and solidly constructed design that allows for easy adjustments as required by every woodworking circumstance. Even beginners can learn the ropes with this tool that's made to be as user-friendly as possible.

PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit

PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit

In regards to the joinery capabilities of the PORTER-CABLE 557 7 Amp Plate Joiner Kit, it first has advantages in terms of being available as a kit rather than a baretool because you have all the accessories included in one package as opposed to having them sold separately. It's also a plate joiner kit that allows you to cut with seven different settings in case you want more versatility in terms of the variety wood you can cut. Meanwhile, like the DEWALT DW682K, the PORTER-CABLE 557 also offers 10,000 RPM from its 7-amp motor (so there's actually more torque from it compared to a 6.5-amp motor). Its fence can also go from 0° to 135° plus a 90° adjustable stop.

The blade is 4 inches, which is enough to give you standard-sized cuts as needed. The item also comes complete with a chip deflector, dust bag, spanner wrench, and centering plate. It's a long-lasting kind of product for those who wish to do heavy-duty cutting and joinery for the long-term. It serves as a good alternative to certain brands because it's able to serve and make slots or mouths for about 1,000 assorted biscuits in varying sizes. This is a recommended unit for woodworkers who prefer the more solid hold and cleaner look for using biscuits and clue to hold joinery instead of long nails or screws that do much more internal damage to your work pieces in question.

Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner

Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner

In regards to what the Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner brings to the proverbial table, it's a much higher RPM. At 11,000 RPM, its motor beats out both the PORTER-CABLE 557 and the DEWALT DW682K in terms of speed. However, the extra rotations per minute doesn't undo the fact that it has a weaker 5.6-amp engine, so in terms of torque and cutting ability on certain hardwoods, both the DEWALT DW682K and the PORTER-CABLE 557 has it beat. It also has the same rack-and-pinion tech found in the DW682K that assures accurate and system engineered fence adjustments, with the fence having three positive stops for tilting at 0°, 45°, and 90° (as opposed to the Porter-Cable's 135° with a 90° positive stop).

What's more, the pivot fence for the Makita PJ7000 Biscuit Joiner is made of cast aluminum, which is something you want if you wish for a pivot fence that's made to last. Meanwhile, it covers the most common biscuit sizes when it comes to its cut depth settings at #0, #10, and #20. You don't need to specially order certain biscuits in order to get your joinery done. Another benefit it has in terms of fence adjustment is its easy-to-operate cam locks and large top grip handle to improve your handling of the machine. Finally, if you wish for comfort while doing your joinery cutting and biscuit fitting, it helps that the PJ7000 has a slim, ergonomic design.

TruePower 01-0102 Biscuit Plate Joiner with Carbide Tipped Blade, 4"

TruePower 01-0102 Biscuit Plate Joiner with Carbide Tipped Blade, 4"

The foremost claim to fame that the TruePower 01-0102 Biscuit Plate Joiner has over its competition is its 4-inch carbide-tipped 6T C2 tungsten blade. As discussed in the guide, carbide-tipped blades ensure that your blades last longer and they can cut through even the toughest and densest of hardwood work pieces even at lower RPMs. With that said, you're further assured of clean penetration and cutting action with the 11,000 RPM of the TruePower 01-0102 from its 1,010-watt, 120-volt, and 60-hertz motor. This makes it comparable speed-wise to the Makita PJ7000 Plate Joiner. Its cutting angle is at 0° to 45° though, meaning it can't reach 90° cuts, much less 135° cuts.

What's more, it covers biscuit #0, #10, and #20 too, like with Makita PJ7000. Meanwhile, its maximum cutting depth is 0.55 or more than half an inch. It's priced fairly for something that's more barebones that its competition. It's probably recommended for people who use biscuit joinery on a semi-regular basis rather than a commercial heavy-duty daily basis. However, even though it lacks certain specs from its biscuit joiners, there have been few to no reports of it breaking down under the pressure of usage. What it does offer the most is efficiency so that there's fewer wasted pieces of wood to carve out and cost-efficiency in terms of it delivering more quality from a cheaper investment.

Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner

Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner

Last but not least is the Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner. It comes with an ergonomically designed 780-watt motor, a base plate that swivels its front stop and has a stop square that's flush on the sides for the sake of easy adjustment and positioning on the edge. This in turn allows you, the woodworker, to use the Lamello for better reference and measurement on mouth placement when push came to shove. Its parts are CNC machined with high precision as well. Meanwhile, if you want perfect alignment from your biscuit joinery, then the Lamello Classic X 101600 Biscuit Joiner also has a long-lasting guidance system for perfect rendering of precisely cut parallel grooves.

In short, like the Makita PJ7000 and the PORTER-CABLE 557, it has all sorts of references and measurement tools to keep your groove and slot creation as accurate and precise to the last fraction of an inch every time. Even the parts of the Lamello are also precisely made to ensure that discrepancies won't happen and are definitely not by design). Lamello also offers a multi-function stop square, fence, and slide shoe to keep the machine from shaking and dislodging itself in terms of accuracy. Meanwhile, these items themselves are milled to precision with long-lasting metal and with the assistance of CNC.

Conclusion

The joiner that you've decided to purchase should have a front section with a slot that's about three inches wide, which is the location for the blade and blade release function. It should also feature a size dial where you'll select the right cutting size for every biscuit placement. Remember, a shallow cut stops the wood from attaching and a deep cut keeps the biscuit from affixing the two wood sections, so choose the cutting depth carefully.

How to Choose the Best Electric Chainsaw for Your Woodworking Needs

As its name suggests, a chainsaw is a portable saw that saws through material with a set of saw teeth connected to a looping chain that runs along a guide bar, resulting in a rotating cutting action where all you need to do to cut something is to place it within the vicinity of saw. In regards to finding the best electric chainsaw for you, it's all about knowing what your needs are and which saw is within your budget range.

Why an Electric Saw?

Any self-respecting homeowner should have a chainsaw somewhere around his tool shed, especially if he's a rugged outdoorsy type and his home is more of a log cabin in the middle of the woods. The beauty of a chain saw is that it reduces the manual back-and-forth movement you have to do with a regular handsaw.

Source :powermatic.com

What's more, it's not as bulky and immobile as a table saw either. Most importantly, an electric saw is much easier to start compared to a gas-powered saw. It might not be as powerful as its gas counterpart, but usually it's powerful enough (depending on power grade) to get the job done and its work efficiency outweighs these horsepower discrepancies.

Electric Chainsaw Horsepower Grade Options

In terms of power grades, here are the electric chainsaws you can avail of.

  Light-Duty Electric Chainsaws:

  Mid-Range Electric Chainsaws:

  Professional Electric Chainsaws:

Electric Chainsaw Power Source Choices

There are also two types of electric chainsaw models available.

  Corded Electric Chainsaws:

  Cordless Electric Chainsaws:

Five Electric Chainsaws for Review:

Here are some quality electric chainsaws reviewed for your perusal.

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw with Auto-Tension, Chain Brake, and Automatic Oiling

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw with Auto-Tension, Chain Brake, and Automatic Oiling

Right off the bat, the title of the WORX WG303.1 16-Inch 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw showcases many of its benefit, like its auto-tension feature that keeps the tension on the saw tight, the chain brake for emergency brakes on the moving saw for safety's sake, and its automatic oiling feature that keeps the saw lubricated automatically so you won't have to do it yourself. The WORX WG303.1 also has a 14.5-amp motor that delivers a cutting performance similar to gas chainsaws. In other words, if you dislike electric chainsaws (particularly corded ones) for their weakness and limited usage, this particular chainsaw is the exception to that rule.

Aside from having gas-power-level cutting power for use of ranchers, farmers, and homeowners who wish to cut down nearby trees by themselves, the WORX WG303.1 also comes with a patented auto-tension chain system that keeps the chainsaw from jamming and over-tightening. After using it for hundreds of times, it will still remain with the right amount of tension due to its unique feature. It's also lightweight, quiet compared to gas chainsaws, ergonomically designed, easy to use, and has an aggressive chain with plenty of power. You won't have to deal with oil spills and fumes compared to gas, and like an electric car versus a diesel truck, it's also easier to start. It also lacks tip kickback because of its low kickback bar and a built-in chain brake that keeps you safe from chainsaw accidents.

Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim 8 Amp 14-Inch Electric Chainsaw

Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim 8 Amp 14-Inch Electric Chainsaw

As for the Remington RM1425, its main claim to fame versus the likes of WORX WG303.1 is it's more lightweight and compact than its competition. The gun-sounding brand is more of a light-duty electric chainsaw with the way it markets itself and the fact that it only has an 8-amp motor compared to the gas-powered-level 14.5-amp motor of the WORX WG303.1. What that means is that it's mainly used for small limb trimming and minor landscaping at that power grade. Before buying the Remington RM1425, you should be aware that it's less of a tree cutter and more of a hedge clipper and branch pruning machine than an electric chainsaw with power equivalent to a gas-powered model.

This will spare you from having unrealistic expectations in regards to its capabilities. It's also about as safe as the Remington RM1425 with its low kickback bar that's about 14 inches in size. It doesn't have an automatic oiling feature but in turn, it has a push-button oiler that allows you to oil the machine whenever it needs extra lubrication on the chain. Just push the button to oil it. You can also manually adjust the tensioning in accordance to your trimming needs with the assistance of its external chain tension. Also, the unit comes assembled right out of the box so that you can smoothly start your pruning, gardening, and landscaping on short notice after getting the package.

BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-Amp Corded Chainsaw, 18-Inch

BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-Amp Corded Chainsaw, 18-Inch

As mentioned on the guide earlier, because the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-Amp Corded Chainsaw is a corded chainsaw, it has limits in terms of range or how far your extension cord can go (usually about a 100 feet in range). That means you can't haul this chainsaw deep into the woods unless you have a wheelbarrow with a generator and electric plugs to come along with you. Aside from that, the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 serves as an excellent chainsaw in its own right when compared to its competition on this list. For instance, it includes an 18-inch Oregon low-kickback bar and chain (about 4 inches bigger than the kickback bar of the Remington RM1425) for safety's sake. It also has a 15-amp motor.

This makes it comparable to the 14.5-amp motor of the WORX WG303.1 (it's more powerful by 0.5 of an amp) and superior to the 8-amp motor of the Remington RM1425. Its chain tensioning can be adjusted with no tools like with the Remington chainsaw and its oiling system is automatic just like with the WORX chainsaw. Meanwhile, you're further assured of safe chainsaw action due to the chain break feature of the saw. For its price and purpose, the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 is a good chainsaw to have. People who are particularly used to using gas chainsaws will approve of this Black & Decker chainsaw's comparative power and better cleanliness. It leaves less of a mess, it's as heavy duty as they come, and it's capable of cutting down trees.

Black & Decker LP1000 Alligator Lopper 4.5-Amp Electric Chain Saw

Black & Decker LP1000 Alligator Lopper 4.5-Amp Electric Chain Saw

This can be considered the weaker or light-duty version of the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 (from the same maker or manufacturer, no less). The Black & Decker LP1000 is a chainsaw with a 4.5-amp motor that has alligator clamping jaws that don't only cut but also grab whatever it's cutting in one motion. This is a feature unique to the LP1000 and it can be quite handy when it comes to cutting hanging or swaying branches that bend or evade your chainsaw when you attempt to prune them. It also prevents you from needed to grab the branch before cutting it, thus keeping your limbs away from the chainsaw blade. The cutting bar and chain is also heavy duty.

In other words, they allow multi-pass cutting of thicker branches and logs that are too big for the 4-inch cut capacity of the Black & Decker LP1000, allowing you to do multiple cuts instead to get the job done no matter how thick the log or branch. This allows the Black & Decker LP1000 to give even a mid-range chainsaw like the Remington RM1425 and its 8-amp motor a run for its money. What's more, as expected of a light-duty pruning chainsaw, the Black & Decker LP1000 weighs only 8.38 pounds, which means your arms will get less tired lugging the LP1000 around compared to the heavier chainsaws on this list. This chainsaw makes the most out of its 4.5-amp motor for sure.

Makita 5012B Commercial Grade 11 3/4-Inch 11.5 amp Electric Chain Saw

Makita 5012B Commercial Grade 11 3/4-Inch 11.5 amp Electric Chain Saw

In regards to the Makita 5012B, it's a "commercial grade" mid-range electric chainsaw that has an 11.5-amp motor powering it (so it's stronger than the other mid-range chainsaw on this list—the Remington RM1425—by 3.5 amps). It's relatively lightweight at 9.5 pounds and designed to be compact to be more ergonomic and easier to wield. It's a little heavier than the 8.38-pound Black & Decker LP1000, but not by much. What's more, despite being similarly sized as the LP1000, it still has specs comparable to a mid-range rather than light-duty electric chain saw when all is said and done. It's a corded chain saw, so make sure to include extension cord costs as part of your budget.

The Makita 5012B also features fast-cutting action thanks to its 5,500 FPM chain speed and housing that's made of polycarbonate material. Meanwhile, the smoothness of the chain action is ensured due to a special sprocket installed within the end of the chain bar. It even has a hand protector to shield your hands from flying chips and debris, thus increasing your safety. Most importantly, it's less likely to break down because unlike all the other chainsaws on this list, it also includes a built-in overload protector to boot. You should also buy this particular mid-range chainsaw if you want the grips to be well-positioned and ergonomic so that you don't end up with cramps after wielding it.

Conclusion

Chainsaws are machines that can save you loads of energy, money, and time because they're capable of clearing huge swathes of bushes, branches, and logs or at the very least they can double as your automated hedge clippers depending on its power grade. Buy a corded, cordless, light-duty, mid-range, and professional chainsaw depending on your specific requirements.

Best Band Saw Reviews 101: What Are the Best Band Saws in 2017 and Where Do You Find Them?

A band saw or bandsaw is a continuous stationary saw that consists of a steel band (hence the name of the piece of equipment) with a serrated edge that moves and endlessly loops over wheels like a conveyor belt. Although this guide to buying band saws might not contain the end-all, be-all of band saw reviews, it still serves as a good reference for beginners on what to look for in such saws.

How to Choose a Band Saw

There are a number of things that come into play when choosing a band saw that's right for you and your woodworking needs. These include how big the motor is, cut depth, the width of the cut or throat, and the accessories you might avail of to improve its capabilities (among other things).

 Depth of Cut:

 Throat:

 Motor Size:

 Equipment Size:

 Accessories:

Uses for a Band Saw

The band saw can be used for a variety of applications and by several industries (particularly those mostly related to woodworking, but the tool also covers metalworking and construction work).

  • Woodworking shops use the band saw for efficient straight cutting. Woodworkers also depend on it for ripping and crosscutting purposes, but it's mostly used for meticulous scrollwork and curved cuts that are much cleaner that what you'd get from a jigsaw.
  • Metalworkers use bandsaws for efficient cutting of galvanized pipe and conduit into specified lengths using the lowest speed settings.
  • The restaurant industry and the retail sector also depend on the band saw's cutting power for slicing various meat types, bones and all.
  • The forestry industry also rips apart timber for initial cuts with the device. The best band saws have motors powerful enough to shred through raw lumber.

How to Use a Band Saw Safely

The Five Best Band Saws

Here are five quality band saws you can choose from.

SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Band Saw

SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Band Saw

If you want a band saw you can depend on for straight and accurate cuts, then the SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Band Saw might be for you. It includes an LED that you can articulate and use to shine onto your work piece to better see where the bandsaw will land and cut without you putting on a hardhat with a light on it or turning on a flashlight. What's more, the SKIL 3386 also includes a 1½-inch dust port to collect all the dust and keep your work area as immaculately clean as possible so as to assure easy cleanup and keep the sawdust or particles from obscuring your work.

Angle and height adjustments can also be dealt with through the rack and pinion table adjustment feature. Meanwhile, the motor isn't variable speed but only 1-speed so that it can cut metal or wood materials easily and equally. Naturally, some people might have an issue regarding this non-variable speed in terms of versatility, but whether this will become a problem with you or not ultimately depends on what you're going to use the SKIL 3386-01 for. If it's just for wood crafting projects or metalwork cutting, that one speed is fine enough for most needs.

Delta 28-400 14 in. 1 HP Steel Frame Band Saw

Delta 28-400 14 in. 1 HP Steel Frame Band Saw

As for the Delta 28-400, it's full of features for any woodworkers or metalworkers who wish to get their bandsaw complete with all the trimmings and accessories. This 1-HP product includes a TEFC motor with two speeds (one more than the SKIL 3386-01), a heavy-duty steel frame design that reduces blade flexing, two-speed pulley, aluminum "trunnion" table support with a professional finish (which some customers might approve of), and an easy tensioning system. The machine can specifically go as slow as 1,620 FPM (standard speed) and 3,340 FPM (heavy-duty speed for nonferrous metal and hardwood cutting).

The Delta 28-400 14 in. 1 HP Steel Frame Band Saw also caters to workers who don't want to waste their time with blade tracking and adjustment by offering aluminum and rubber-coated upper-and-lower spoke wheels (all 9 of them) that are balanced with machine or assembly line precision. This is known to be more European-styled in its design, which means that the Delta 28-400 has a more powerful standard motor than American-styled bandsaws (a whole horsepower is better than a third of one), has an improved run-out adjustment, and an extra-large table for easier cutting of big work pieces, and a well-placed dust collection port.

Craftsman 1/3 hp 3.5 amp 10 in Band Saw

Craftsman 1/3 hp 3.5 amp 10 in Band Saw

Although the Craftsman 1/3 hp 3.5 amp 10 in Band Saw has less of an HP to work with compared to the Delta 28-400 (⅓ HP versus 1 HP), it nevertheless services its niche or demographic cross-section of customers by offering a 3.5-amp continuous duty motor that's been designed to last a long time. It also offers throat and depth of cut stats for those who wish to saw through anything with a cut depth of 4⅝ inches and a throat depth or cut width of 9⅝ inches. To be more specific, if you want to through work pieces with fewer passes from you bandsaw, then this Craftman offering might be for you. It's a product you can depend on for curve and straight cutting wood of varying thicknesses in accordance to its throat and depth of cut size.

However, it requires some assembly, which is a drawback compared to other band saws that come in one piece. It's a relatively versatile band saw with a highly controlled cutting capability that you can make custom electric guitars with it. Rather than depend on a jigsaw for your curved and irregular pattern cuts, you should instead get something like the Craftsman 1/3 hp 3.5 amp 10 in Band Saw to make machine-perfect, assembly-line-like curved cut results with no burrs, no damage on the grain, and no cracks. It's also small enough to fit in limited spaces, like a garage with a 4x4 truck inside it. You don't have to wheel or forklift this piece of equipment into your house.

Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence, 10-Inch

Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence, 10-Inch

Durability is the name of the game for the Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence. If you want a band saw that can deal with heavy-duty or constant usage, then it helps that the Rikon 10-305 has a solid steel design. It's even smaller that its fellow Rikon brethren—the 10-325 and the 10-345—so that it can serve as the portable version of the popular Rikon bandsaw models. It can deal with bigger workload although it's a downscale version of its bigger siblings exactly because it's more compact and has a steel plate frame, which is obviously stronger than the plastic frames used by other band saws in order to cut down manufacturing costs.

Like the Delta 28-400, the Rikon 10-305 also has a relatively large cast-iron table work surface for a bandsaw of its portable size, measuring 13¾ inches by 12½ inches. Then you also have its rip fence that you can remove if you want to cut the work piece freestyle or that you can adjust if you want to repeat the same cut over and over across different work pieces. In terms of the guide post that allows you to position the work piece perfectly as it's sawed by the bandsaw blade, the Rikon 10-305 can micro-adjust the post by turning a handle. Like the Craftsman band saw, this Rikon band saw also uses a ⅓ HP motor. It's weaker than the 1 HP of the Delta 28-400 but it's strong enough to cut bowl and pen blacks.

WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw with Stand and Worklight, 10"

WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw with Stand and Worklight, 10"

The WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw is comparable to the Delta 28-400 in terms of also featuring two speeds to allow for safe and variable cutting capabilities between different materials that are soft and brittle so they require faster cutting speed or hard and tough so they require slower methodical cutting speed with multiple passes. WEN 3962 also has a 3.5-amp motor that's capable of cutting at a throat of 9¾ inches and depth of cut of 6 inches. You can also change blades for more versatile cutting action, since you can fit blade sizes on it ranging from ⅛ of an inch to ½ of an inch in size, allowing for varying cut thicknesses and better cutting control.

The machine also comes with a work light you can use to guide the blade to the work piece and get a better view of what you're cutting in case you have an irregularly shaped material that's causing shadows to form and obscure your work. The table is pretty spacious as well, with the work table having a 14⅛ by 12½ inch size. There's also the fact that WEN 3962 can operate at speeds of 1,520 FPM to 2,620 FPM. It's a lower range compared to the Delta 28-400 bandsaw's 1,620 FPM and 3,340 FPM, but it works pretty much the same way give or take several FPMs. Only the Delta 28-400 is comparable to the WEN 3962 in terms of power and versatility. If you want to be extra intricate with your cuts while maintaining their smoothness, then WEN 3962 is the band saw for you.

Conclusion

A stationary bench-top or tabletop band saw is the tool you need if you wish for more accuracy and quickness in cuts compared to a handheld tool (it's also easier to use and won't tire your arms out as fast as a power tool). When choosing which band saw to get, you should also be aware of your budget, the cutting capacity required, the material to be cut, and how often your saw will be used.

Best Belt Sander 101: The Top Belt Sanders You Can Get Your Hands On

A belt sander is a power tool that's electronic and utilizes sandpaper strips or a coarse belt in order to smoothen out, debride, or remove materials through grinding them out. The materials could include wood, metal, or plastic. Meanwhile, the best belt sander is a sander known for its nuance instead of blunt force when it comes to sanding down any work piece brought before it.

​How to Choose a Belt Sander

​There are multiple things to consider when buying a sander. Here are the most common ones that come to mind.

Ease of Use:

Efficient Removal of Residue:

Fast Action:

Varieties of Sanders:

Trimming and Sanding:

Scribing:

Suitable for Soft Metals and Woodworking:

Belt Sander Reviews

​Here are the belt sanders you should keep an eye out for

1. Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag:

Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

Makita 9903 8.8 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

The Makita 9903 is a decent belt sander sporting a powerful 8.8-amp motor that still maintains a relatively quiet 84 decibels when it's turned on. This benefits the user in that he could use the device for longer without worrying about damaging his eardrums. It's this power that allows you to effectively sand down material from rough timber. The handheld device also has a cloth dust back that captures metal powder and sawdust in order to minimize cleanup of your shop after working. Its variable speed is also helpful.

It enables you to go from 690 feet per minute to 1,440 feet per minute depending on the roughness of the application. It's a portable belt sander that's quite controllable and maneuverable judging by its specs and performance. Although it lacks the solid base of a stationary sander, it's surprisingly balanced and stable. In terms of pitfalls or drawbacks, there have been reports of certain machines having limited the run time of 15 minutes before failing or certain models lasting only a month instead of years as advertised. It's also known to bog down easily for heavy-duty sander of its class.

2. PORTER-CABLE 362V 4-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander:

PORTER-CABLE 362V 4-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander

PORTER-CABLE 362V 4-Inch by 24-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander

As for the Porter-Cable 362V, it offers 12-amp motor action that makes it comparatively more powerful than the Makita 9903, but that's to be expected of a wider, bigger sander that has more room for a stronger engine. Aside from assuring commercial-grade performance, the 362V is also designed in a way to ensure balance and control when you handle it. You can depend on this machine when doing flush sanding over vertical surfaces like walls or the sides of furniture, for example. It even features variable speed capabilities to boot.

The sander also has speed adjustment for the 1,000 to 1,500 RPM range to ensure multipurpose usage on various types of softwoods and hardwoods. Only a few criticisms can be leveled against this large Porter-Cable handheld sandermodel. It's okay but it does come with certain issues. For one thing, it's not as ergonomically designed as others. If you do loads of multidirectional sanding with this "beast" of a sander, make sure to stretch out your hand after lengthy sanding. Also make it a point to do warm-up exercising. The power cord can get pulled up into the belt and housing too, so watch out.

3. Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag:

Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

Makita 9403 4" x 24" Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

As for the second Makita sander in this collection, its main claim to fame is its large cloth dust bag and its mini vacuum look. It even has its title advertising the fact. The ability of a belt sander to clean up after itself is an important issue though in light of how belt sanders do get clogged by accumulating sawdust within its inner circuitry. This device can also be considered the 4-inch by 24-inch version of the Makita 9903 based on their similar configurations and features (due to them being made by the same company).

It can do everything that the 9903 can, but this time with a more powerful motor (11 amps) and a labyrinthine construction (so that the sawdust can't find its way inside the device). It's easy to control, convenient to handle due to its large grip, it's durable due to its sealed insides, and it's efficient thanks to its 4-inch wide belt that moves at 1,640 feet per minute. In terms of downsides, its front handle is awkward to use for scribing work and it's mostly a two-handed tool (you can't use it one-handed while bracing the surface with your other hand).

4. Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 7 Amp 3-Inch by 21-Inch Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag:

Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 7 Amp 3-Inch by 21-Inch Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

Black & Decker DS321 Dragster 7 Amp 3-Inch by 21-Inch Belt Sander with Cloth Dust Bag

The Black & Decker DS321 could be a sander for you in case you wish for a red belt sander with a slim design so that it looks less like a shop vacuum and more like a planer device that you can use one-handed. It also comes with a handy medium-grit sanding belt for softer woods and an instruction manual to better access its features. Its dust bag is still built in like with the Makita 9403, but this time it's tucked away to the side rather than from the rear so that it saves space and makes for a less awkward grip.

Speaking of grips, its handle is retractable and can be used in three positions. It's also powered by a 7-amp motor capable of delivering plain and simple sanding action. Operation is self-explanatory for the most part. In terms of downsides, its smaller bag does require regular emptying and mostly collects coarser dust (which means finer dust still requires the shop vacuum treatment). Furthermore, there have been claims that the Dragster takes longer to sand objects compared to other sanders plus it makes a high-pitched squeak that can be annoying.

5. Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles:

Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles

Hitachi SB8V2 9.0 Amp 3-Inch-by-21-Inch Variable Speed Belt Sander with Trigger Lock and Soft Grip Handles

Last but not least is the Hitachi SB8V2. There are some people out there who consider this machine as a contractor's ideal sander because it features a decent 9-amp motor, a variable speed of 820 to 1,475 feet per minute, and it's been praised for its precision, performance, and accuracy in light of its specs. It offers ample power and its variable speed switch is located at a comfortable and ergonomic angle to allow speed shifts with even more ease than a manual car and its stick shift.

It also ensures safety with its trigger lock that keeps you from accidentally keeping the device on and its soft grip handles that enable workers to use the handheld sander for much longer than other awkward-grip machines. It's also relatively lightweight at 9.5 pounds. In terms of downsides, there have been customer complaints regarding its balance. The motor is located left of center, causing you to adjust your handling to enable balanced maneuvering when using the device. It also has issues longevity, with certain models dying within 20 minutes of use.

Conclusion

The best sander for your needs is one that's made for multipurpose requirements. This ensures that you can utilize the device for many different applications, which essentially means that you're getting more value out of your investment. Most blue collar workers view the three-inch belt variety of sander as their most dependable power sanding tool because it covers just enough area to be useful in quick sanding without being too big or too unwieldy to handle. The four-inch sander with its bigger motor and wider sanding area is, in turn, utilized for heavy-duty construction work.

It's particularly dependable when it comes to dealing with rough flattening applications wherein you're dealing with timber that still has bark on it or freshly cut wood from your own backyard. A stationary belt sander is the biggest belt sander type of the bunch that allows for true heavy-duty work beyond what the four-inch mobile sander is capable of, but it's more limited because you have to bring the pieces of wood to it instead of vice-versa. When all is said and done, you should let your needs define your belt sander choice.

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