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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.


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.


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:


 Motor Size:

 Equipment Size:


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.


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.

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The ABCs of Drum Sander Reviews: Which Are the Best of the Bunch?

A drum sander is a cheaper alternative to a belt sander (whether it's a stationary or mobile one). This sander's specific purpose is to smoothen out the finish of wooden floors. As many other drum sander reviews would take note, it utilizes a rotating drum instead of a continuous loop or belt of sandpaper to abrade surfaces to smoothness.

The Difference between Belt and Drum Sanders

A belt sander is a device that makes use of a sanding or course belt that revolves continuously on its axis like a fast miniature treadmill for smoothening, trimming, scribing, and sanding purposes. Meanwhile, stationary drum sanders are the smaller, cheaper alternative to stationary wide belt sanders (although it's prohibitively large compared to mobile sanders).

Both types of sander have stationary and mobile forms. While there are inexperienced people who find using a drum sander harder because it takes a bit of getting used to tuning the machine up, those who are experts at drum sander technology mostly prefer this device over belt sanders for their affordability and comparable sanding capabilities.



How to Use a Drum Sander

To use a mobile drum sander, you need to first get a feel for it. These are big and heavy machinery, after all. You should get used to holding the device. When attempting to bring a hardwood floor to a smooth finish, you should start on a non-visible area. If you make a mistake, you can avoid complications since the area isn't visible anyway. Once you get the sander moving, you can sand the board from side to side or on a diagonal direction. The idea here is to smoothen out the floor evenly without missing any spots. Meanwhile, a stationary sander should have individual boards feed unto it until their entirety is sanded smooth.

Types of Drum Sanders

Here are the different drum sander types.

Open-Ended Drum Sanders:

Closed-End Drum Sanders:

Double-Drum Sanders:

Specs to Check of Drum Sanders

Here are the specifications to watch out for when shopping for the right drum sander.

Dust Collection:

Variable Feed Rate:

Sandpaper Attachment Methods:

Widths Range from 8 Inches to 37 Inches:

Top Drum Sanders by Size:

Product Reviews:

1. Powermatic 1791290 Model DDS-225 25-Inch Drum Sander:

Powermatic 1791290 Model DDS-225 25-Inch Drum Sander

Powermatic 1791290 Model DDS-225 25-Inch Drum Sander

This 230-volt and 25-inch drum sander offers 5 HP or horsepower of pure sanding strength. It's considered a quality machine by people who use it because of its consistency. It's cost-effective enough to do the job of a comparatively more expensive belt sander. Your investment is secured with the Powermatic 1791290 mainly because of its heavy steel cabinet that can deal with rugged handling and a feed motor that's connected to a gearbox that's two-speed (it can go forward and reverse). You're also ensured of a mar-free finish with your sanded wood through its Durometer Rubber surface.

The only thing that will be sanded down is the rough spots. The end result won't end up with any dents or imperfections when all is said and done thanks to the design and construction of the 1791290. In terms of pet peeves, the sandpaper it comes with is an issue. It comes wrapped with a 4-inch wide roll of Klingspor sandpaper but you can only purchase 3-inch paper rolls that are harder to wrap around the drum. Putting on the wraps also requires quite a bit of trial and error because of the lack of a template. This machine for some reason wraps in the opposite direction as other sanders.

2. JET 649004K22X44 Plus Drum 22-by-1-3/4-Inch Sander with Open Stand 115-Volt 1-Phase:

JET 649004K22X44 Plus Drum 22-by-1-3/4-Inch Sander with Open Stand 115-Volt 1-Phase

JET 649004K22X44 Plus Drum 22-by-1-3/4-Inch Sander with Open Stand 115-Volt 1-Phase

Meanwhile, theJET 649004K22X44, it's a highly recommended planer-like product that's capable of removing a decent amount of material in one pass (but not as much as a real planer power tool, admittedly). Its main claims to fame are that it requires minimal assembly, so that means easy setup from you, the conveyor bed ensures smooth feeds thanks to its precision-flattened steel conveyor bed, and the stock is quickly removed thanks to its 1.75 horsepower motor. It also easily collects dust to its 4-inch dust power.

Management of load is also dealt with dependably with its propriety SandSmart load control. The machine is an all-in-all dependable sander that's quite silent for something so large and washing-machine-like in bigness. It won't easily trip your 25-amp circuit or end up with an overheated motor thanks to JET technology. In terms of downsides, the sanding drum parallel to the table tends to end up askew in some models (by as much as 0.375 inches). It's also difficult to attach the sandpaper belt to the drum. The second clip can't be seen and the clearance between the frame and drum is tight, so those with big hands will have issues in accessing the clip.

3. JET 649003K Model 22X44 Plus 22-Inch 1-3/4-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander:

JET 649003K Model 22X44 Plus 22-Inch 1-3/4-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander

JET 649003K Model 22X44 Plus 22-Inch 1-3/4-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander

The JET 649003K Model 22X44 is yet another 1.75 HP beast of a benchtop drum sander that's able to get the job done with many of the same technologies that its 49004K enjoys, such as its SandSmart variable feed rate that goes from 0 to 10 feet per minute as required and its aluminum drum that's precision-machined and self-cooling to ensure less downtime and smooth sanding every time. The motor it has is also capable of running continuously so that you can get a fresh supply of sanded planks and logs for your woodworking needs.

It comes with an infeed/outfeed tables and stand that's mostly optional. I find this machine quite pleasing when I bought it even without the infeed/outfeed stand because it's easy to change belts with this piece of equipment once you get used to attaching it at the motor end. In terms of downsides, it's limited to certain customers ending up with just the bottom feed table and not the motor. This means its flaws are mostly from poor shipment of certain units rather than issues on the Jet 649003K Model 22X44itself. This sander is also quite heavy so find help when moving it around.

4. JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase:

JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase

JET 628900 Mini 10-Inch 1-Horsepower Benchtop Drum Sander, 115-Volt 1-Phase

The JET 628900 Mini is quite impressive for a 10-inch drum sander model. Aside from obvious advantages like smallness for better mobility (since many gadgets nowadays are experiencing miniaturization to make them more portable and less unwieldy to handle), the Jet 628900 Mini also has key specs like quick sander paper change to increase productivity and decrease downtime, 20 inches of wideness and capacity for sanding large-surface work pieces, large hand wheel to make adjustment easy, and a 4-inch dust port so that you can keep your work area clean because of all the collected sawdust.

It even has the ability to change its feed rate from 0 to 12 feet per minute depending on the volume of your work. Finally, it has a motor that has 1 HP in horsepower rating, which means it's only 0.75 HP short of other models so it should dependably sand down all sorts of surfaces and work pieces big and small (except the exceptionally large ones that only bigger sanders can deal with). In terms of flaws and drawbacks, the belt it comes with has issues in tracking. While it's able to sand dependably for a drum sander its size, the belt still tends to eat itself from going off the side of the rollers.

5. Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander:

Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander

Powermatic PM2244 1-3/4 hp Drum Sander

The Powermatic PM2244 has a lot going for it even when compared to its Powermatic 1791290 counterpart. It has an integrated LED control panel that shows you info on DRO, belt speed, and power being used by the machine, making it one of the more advanced sanders on this list. Furthermore, you're assured of an exceptional finish thanks to this sander's Feed Logic. This cutting-edge tech is also responsible for keeping your feed from being overloaded. Additional height reading is also done through the secondary absolute depth scale. This further ensures ideal finishes and dependable precision sanding.

The Powermatic PM2244 also has a steel hood and a 4-inch dust port that ensures cleanliness around your workshop because all the dust particles are collected within that designated container. Meanwhile, its drum carriage is made of tough cast iron, which provides consistent performance and strength. In terms of flaws, Powermatic also has issues in quality control wherein faulty machines can end up on the doorstep of customers. What's more, because of its cast iron carriage, you still need to watch out for moisture and the like because unlike aluminum carriages, iron has a tendency to rust when not carefully maintained.


Your ultimate drum sander choice should be based on the quality and size of the material you're sanding. If you need to sand down timber you've cultivated or scoured for yourself from the great outdoors (that is, logs you've chopped by hand), you need industrial-strength stationary drum sanders capable of handling the roughest and rawest of hardwood imaginable. You should also consider getting a mobile, handheld, or floor-based planer drum sander for installations that already exist (like already installed floors that require smoothening).

If you're running a production shop, then maybe those 8-inch or 10-inch sanders won't be able to cut it. Production-size 37-inch sanders should be of interest to you instead. Again, the 16-inch sander is a good place to start and 25-inch ones usually cover all bases for personal woodworker hobbyists and even small commercial-grade applications. Floor drum sanders, meanwhile, should be capable of maintaining perfect square edges when you pass them through your rough floor like a lawnmower or a mop. These ones require higher speeds than your typical stationary sanders that have wood fed to them.

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Knowing the Difference Between a Chop Saw and a Miter Saw

Chop saw and miter saw are often mistaken for one another. And while it’s true that they have confusing similarities, these two tools have significant differences that make one a more effective and appropriate tool for certain purposes than the other. So, to set records straight, we’ll discuss in brief the basic similarities and differences between the two in terms of their appearance, characteristics, function, and, finally, their application.
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Must-Knows About Woodworking

Whether you’re a professional woodworker, a weekend hobbyist who enjoys do-it-yourself woodworks, a student working on a school project, or a homeowner toying with the idea of a one-board bench for your garden, the same rules in woodworking safety applies. And it won’t hurt to know the basic dos and don’ts in woodworking as much as it would if you didn’t.

Not convinced yet? Let’s look at the numbers.

In 2011, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) published a report on woodshop machinery-related injuries, and below are the estimated annual statistics.

  • Table saw: 39, 750
  • Jointers, planers : 10,930
  • Miter saw: 6,800
  • Band saw: 3,550
  • Radial arm saw: 350

The numbers are undeniably big and the report only goes to show that woodshop accidents can and do happen. But the damages resulting from them may be significantly decreased, if not avoided, only if and when woodworkers are armed not just with the tools and machinery but also with the proper knowledge and safety gears.

Common woodworking accidents and injuries

If used the wrong way and without necessary safeguards, woodworking tools and machines can, in an instant, turn what’s meant to be an awesome masterpiece into an awful disaster. Severed fingers, blindness, deep cuts and wounds, and, in extreme cases, amputations are just some of the common injuries that result from improper handling of machines, and of passing up on safety gears.
Cutting a board in way that could result in a “kickback” wherein the board gets pinched and thrown back forcefully towards the body is one of the common woodshop incidents that cause injuries. Removing the blade guard, putting the hand directly behind the saw, getting sloppy with nail guns, and being careless with utility knives also made it to the list of small mistakes that produce big numbers of injuries.

Life saving tips for woodworker

Now, this article is not meant to scare you away or discourage you from developing and practicing your potential and artistry in woodworking. This is meant to increase your confidence when working with wood by sharing with you some of the basic safety rules that will allow you to create wooden furniture and art pieces without cutting your thumb, shooting a nail into your body, puncturing your eyes, or cracking your ribs.

1.   Don’t ditch the safety gear.

As redundant as it may sound, safety gears are for your safety. And more than the thrill and satisfaction you’ll get from creating a wooden piece of artwork or furniture, your safety should always be your top priority.

Don’t run the risk of puncturing your eyes, losing a finger, or damaging your ears just because you’re too excited to get work but too lazy to wear your safety glasses, hand gloves, hearing protection, respirator, overalls, and other necessary safety gears. A little inconvenience can spell great difference especially when you’re working with huge planks of wood, blades, and nail guns.

2.   Wear proper clothing.

Clothes that are too loose as well as dangling jewelry items like bracelets and necklaces can easily get caught in a saw blade or cutting head and put you in a dangerous position when working. Wear something that will not just allow you to move comfortably but will also keep you from getting entangled in cutting machines.

3.   Stay clean and sober.

Drugs and alcohol are not something you want running in your blood when working with your power tools. Woodworking requires full attention and focus, which you cannot do if you’re intoxicated.

So, if you want to keep your wood shop an accident-free zone, make sure you stay away from substances that can negatively affect your state of body and mind, and keep you from giving your 100% concentration when working.

4.   Unplug power tools before changing blades

Disconnecting power tools from electricity source before changing blades is one simple rule that, unfortunately, many woodworkers tend to forget. One thing you can do to avoid forgetting this life-saving rule is to use one extension cord for your power tools that run on the same voltage. That way, you’ll be somehow forced to unplug cords when switching tools and be more conscious of disconnecting your power tools before changing blades.

5.   Make sure your tools and machines are in excellent condition

Dull tools not only tear wood fibers and cause breakage but are also unpredictable and can run out of control, which can put you at risk of getting hurt. If you’re using a blade or chisel that’s not sharp enough, you’ll have to exert more force and effort so you can get your desired results. The trouble with it is that the more force you exert, the less control you’ll have over the machine or tool. And the less control you have, the higher your risk of getting into an accident.

6.  Know where to position your hands, body and tools when working

Wearing safety gears and keeping your tools and machines in good working condition won’t be enough to keep you safe from harm if you don’t know how to position yourself and where to place your hands and tools while working. Generally, you should avoid standing and placing your hands directly behind the blade. Make sure also that there are no nails, screws, and other metals laying near saw blades as these can cause kickbacks and severe injuries when left unchecked.

7.   Use tools and machines according to instructions

This is very important not just for first-timers but even for professionals. Tools are designed for specific purposes and using them the wrong way will not only render them damaged and useless but also unsafe. So if you’re not sure how a tool or machine works, be sensible enough to consult someone who knows how to operate it or, at least, read the instruction manuals and do some research.

Now that you know the life-saving basics of woodworking, you can begin and finish your work safely, confidently, and hazard-free.


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