Well, it depends, of course, and this question is why I did several different searches before starting to write this post. It all comes down to the wood you’ll be sawing. Here are four woodworking tools I recommend to start with — and then see which to switch to next:
First, the power saw.
This saw will cut anything from 2-by-4s to 10x20s, and it cuts like a dream. The power saw is one of the most versatile tools on the market, and it’s the tool I’ll use the most. It’s got the power, torque, ease of use and durability these tools require. Most importantly, it’s the perfect option for people who are afraid of cutting wood, or feel the need to cut into wood, but aren’t comfortable with sawing through soft, hard wood. A high-speed, quiet and ergonomic saw is the way to go.
Next, the jig saw.
Jigs and slabs are great for cutting away large pieces of wood — they usually cost under $30 and take about the same amount of time to set-up as a power saw. They’re very quick to set-up. They’re reliable. They’re well designed. Plus, they have adjustable speed. No, you don’t want to be cutting through plywood. But if that’s what you’re after, go for the jig saw.
Next, the router table.
The router table is another great choice. It’s got a great design, it’s well engineered and it gives you a high-speed, high-torque router. My favorite uses for a router table are for router bits. When using a router table, the router bit has to travel nearly the same path on the table as it does on a conventional table. This means the router bit has to travel in the same direction as the table, which is a nice balance. If you have too many router bits, it’s easy to run into interference (especially from hardwood) by overloading the table. The router table can handle these excess bits, and it’s easy to adjust the spacing according to what you need to cut. Plus, the router table is designed with a 1/2-in. slot on top of the top of the table. This creates the need for one of the most popular choices on this list: an extension board. This is a bit of a pain to install, but it can save your project by
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