10 Best Mini Wood Lathes & Buyer’s Guide
Do you have a passion for carpentry? Whether you are an experienced wood turner or simply a novice, choosing the best lathe is vital. Lathes work by spinning a piece of wood or another material really quickly so that you can shave it down into any shape you choose.
Wood lathes come in all sorts of sizes, from mini ones which fit on a table-top to bigger ones that can be larger than the floor of a small house. Mini lathes are perfect for smaller projects like pens, boxes, lamps, table legs and bowls.
And that’s what this article and guide is all about, choosing the best mini lathe that you can afford depending on what exactly you think you’ll be using it for. Below you’ll find our buyer’s guide with a lot of great information on what to look for and think about when buying a mini lathe. So let’s get started…
Top 10 Mini Wood Lathes
|Product Name||Bed Length||Price|
|KKmoon Mini Metal Lathe DIY 6 in 1 Multi-functional Motorized Transformer Multipurpose Machine Jigsaw Grinder Driller Plastic Wood Lathe Drilling Sanding Turning Milling Sawing Machine Tool Kit||5.3||$|
|JET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch by 21-Inch Variable Speed Wood Lathe||21||$$$|
|RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch Mini Lathe||16||$$|
|Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Lathe||12.5||$$$|
|Jet JWL-1015VS 10-Inch X 15-Inch Variable Speed Wood Working Lathe||15||$$$|
|SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe||15.5||$|
|Excelsior Mini Lathe||17.75||$$|
|NOVA 46300 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe 12-Inch x 16 1/2-Inch||16.5||$$|
|Grizzly H8259 Bench-Top Wood Lathe, 10-Inch||10||$|
|Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe||15||$$|
Our TOP Pick!
SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe
Our Top Pick for the Best Mini Wood Lathe is the SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe. Shop Fox have payed very close attention to detail and produce top quality products that combine high functionality with a simple appearance and this mini wood lathe is no exception. This lathe is easy to work and has many outstanding features. The 5 speeds and 24-position indexing make it very versatile and perfect for loads of different sized projects.
This lathe comes with 2-year warranty and its 15.5-inch lathe bed makes it great for big pieces of work. This is very good quality and brilliant value for money and definitely the best on this list.
How to Choose the Best Mini Wood Lathe
A seasoned wood turner will have a good idea of what they are looking for in a new lathe, however for a beginner it can be a daunting task. There are many things you need to consider when buying a lathe and this guide will talk you through the most important ones to help you find the right lathe for you.
The bed is the long metal rod at the base of the lathe and it the mechanism for holding the tailstock in place, it is often made of cast iron. In general, the heavier the bed the easier it will be to use the lathe. If the bed is light then turning the wood will result in a lot of vibration which is not good. If the lathe vibrates it makes turning difficult and using the lathe, as well as making it quite unsafe.
The length of the bed is also a consideration. The longer the bed is the longer the spindle you can use will be. Bigger things like chair legs will require a longer bed whereas a pen would not need a long bed at all. The tail stock will move along the bed to accommodate any size spindle smaller than the length of the bed so a longer bed doesn’t mean you have to make huge pens. The maximum size stock you can turn all depends on the size of the bed.
Most lathes have a power between 1/8hp and 3hp. For a mini lathe, though, a motor than can produce about 1/3hp is ideal. If you intend to turn bowls then you might want to go for a slightly more powerful motor. Bigger motors will also allow you some speed variation which is a very handy feature that can significantly improve the quality of your projects. Speed variations often range between 400 and 3000rpm, without the variation it is a lot harder to create a nice piece of work.
The tool rest is an integral part of the mini wood lathe for reasons of control, quality and safety. The tool rest allows you to keep your cutting tool at the same level while cutting. Cutting without resting your tool on the tool rest is never safe and shouldn’t be attempted. The tool rest gives you more control for a more even cut and stops it from being knocked out of your hand. Just make sure you keep all cutting parts very sharp.
The tool rest is mounted to the bed and should be able to be adjusted all the way around the spindle so that whatever cut you want to make can be made safely. It should also lock into position for increased safety as a loose tool rest can sometimes be worse than no tool rest.
The tailstock is another important part of a lathe as this is what slides along the lathe bed to allow for varying lengths of work. The tailstock is locked at your preferred position away from the headstock. Ideally the tailstock should have a cast iron body and clamp to the bed securely to minimize vibration and movement.
And if you love wood, then check out our article on the best wood routers here.
Our Best Wood Lathe Reviews
1. KKmoon Mini Wood Lathe Multi-functional
Are you a fan of DIY? This mini 6 in 1 lathe machine is a fantastic handcraft tool kit for model making, crafts and much more. With package dimensions of only 18.9 x 14.6 x 3.5 inches, this product definitely fits the ‘mini’ criteria, making it one of the smallest of its kind on the market. Made of advanced aluminum alloy this product is very durable and weighs in at just 7.2 pounds, making it very portable.
However, as it is so lightweight it means that the lathe bed is more prone to vibration and flexing which is a safety hazard and could affect the work you are turning. The length of the bed is just 5.3 inches which reduces the spindle sizes available to use, so if you’re looking to turn table legs this is not the lathe for you.
The 6-in-1 functions, including drilling and sawing, mean that the possibilities are almost endless, not to mention that this lathe can process many other materials such as plastics and soft metal. This product’s innovative design and multipurpose functionality makes it great for turning small pieces of wood!
This multi-purpose lathe is very good quality and is very easy and simple to assemble. This wood lathe comes with a pair of protective glasses for when the machine is in use and a case to store small items necessary for the product to reduce the liability of crucial parts getting lost.
- Easy to assemble
- Multipurpose machine
- Good price
- Very easy to use
- Plastic parts which could impair how rigid the product is
- Weak engine
- No variation in speed
- Light bed causing vibration and affecting turning ability
2. JET JWL-1221VS 12-Inch by 21-Inch Variable Speed Wood Lathe
The main concept of this wood lathe is control, it has unrivaled speed control which makes this wood lathe one of the best in its category. The speed is controlled using a simple rotating knob, this ease of use makes this lathe very appealing. There is also a three-step pulley system which will allow for even more control providing speed ranges to suit any situation. The more speeds the better, and this range goes from 60 rpm on the low step to 3600 rpm on the high step. A lathe providing such a low speed is hard to find and this will allow you to turn larger pieces of wood with great control.
This ergonomics of this product have been carefully considered, such as the size of the buttons and switches which have been designed so as not to clutter its minimalist look. Although the lathe’s mobility is slightly reduced, weighing in at 137 pounds, the bed is exceptionally strong and rigid so there are no vibrations or flexing when pressure is added. This is very important for the user’s safety and for work’s outcome.
- Variable speed controller
- Reduced mobility
3. RIKON 70-100 12-by-16-Inch Mini Lathe
The Rikon 70-100 has a 12-position index head, ideal for holding your stock in lots of different positions, improving the accuracy when doing detailed work. Due to its compact design and small footprint this lathe won’t take up any room on your workbench, you won’t need to worry about space! However, this compact design has not compromised its capacity, in fact this lathe features an impressive 16-inch lathe bed, making it a very desirable product to own. Easy-access speed change enables the user to change speeds ranging from 430rpm to 3,900rpm, as well as being able to adjust the drive belt from an access cover, this gives the handler a lot more control.
The tail stock can be moved along the lathe bed due to a ram that can travel up to 2.5 inches, this allows you to put the tailstock in the perfect position. There is also no need to use the knock-out bar to remove the centre as this product has a unique feature, a self-ejecting tail stock. It is hard to find a problem that would stop you buying this mini wood lathe. Not only does it have a ½ HP motor, but also the ability to add multiple extensions, tailoring this device to exactly how you want it! This lathe is very popular and if you come across any issues, there is nothing to worry about as it comes with a 5-year warranty. This Rikon lathe is also great value for money!
- High-quality design
- Self-ejecting tail stock
- Easy access speed change
- Powerful motor
- Hard to change belt
4. Delta Industrial 46-460 12-1/2-Inch Variable-Speed Midi Lathe
This Delta Industrial 46-460 review shows has outstanding consistency due its incredibly powerful motor, a 1-horsepower motor which can rotate up to 1,725rpm. The 12.5-inch swing capacity also allows for the user to turn a bowl of a large diameter, this is a great asset to the product. The variable speed also allows for precision not found in many of its competitors, with an added advantage of not having to change the belt position to turn the project as three pulley speed ranges provide the required speeds. A belt tensioning system also allows for these quick and speedy changes whilst providing maximum power transfer.
‘Midi’ lathe does not define what this product can create as superior power provided by a six-groove belt allows for large objects to be worked on. The durability and strength of this lathe must be commented on as it has a cast-iron construction including 6-inch and 10-inch tool rests for tool support. The tool rest support is very important as it ensures that the cutting tool is kept at the correct level whilst cutting, it also ensures the safety of the worker.
- Very good value for money
- Fantastic quality
- Powerful motor
- Cast-iron constructed
- 5-year warranty
- Not very stable
5. Jet JWL-1015VS 10-Inch X 15-Inch Variable Speed Wood Working Lathe
This impressive looking wood lathe has three speed ranges: 200-1050, 300-1750 and 600-3600. The speed ranges aid your control of your work and create more interesting pieces such as small detailed creations. The rigidity of this product is very high due to its wide bed, giving this lathe a longer lifetime than others therefore making it great value for money. The tensioning system has also been improved giving the user easier access to the belt. The Jet JWL-1015VS is a very user-friendly mini wood lathe.
This wood lathe continues to receive rave reviews, especially on its ease of use and how smoothly it runs while turning. With a 15-inch lathe bed and integrated 24-position indexing this lathe is not one to miss!
- Excellent value for money
- Motor is very quiet
- Parts are easily adjustable
- Sturdy and powerful
- Great for beginners
- Lathe can slide on certain surfaces
6. SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe
An amazing price and will not disappoint! This lathe has an 8-inch swing over the bed which allows for a variety of turning projects. With two tool rests, 4.5 inches and 7inches, you can safely lead your tool to the wood. Turning hard or soft pieces of wood is easy with this lathe due to the infinitely variable speed control ranging from 700-3200 rpm! Not to mention the fact that a 5.75-inch face plate is included which means that non-spindle turning can be done, this is ideal for those customers that want to make bowls and other items not supported by the tailstock.
This lathe is ideal for pen turning and small projects and has been designed to fit neatly on a work bench, not taking up too much space. It also features a safety paddle.
- Includes two tool rests
- Great value for money
- Infinitely variable speed control
- Included faceplate
- Large gap between the wire
- The handle demonstrates too much flex
- Short handle
7. Rockler Excelsior Mini Lathe
This mini lathe from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware is perfect if you’re looking to make chair legs, small table legs and decorative turnings. The Excelsior mini lathe spindles up to 17.75 inch in length and can turn bowls up to 10 inches in diameter.
Being able to change the speed is an essential feature for a lathe to have and this mini lathe does not disappoint, having 5 different speeds: 760, 1100, 1600, 2200 and 3200 rpm. This variety of speeds is very important as you will need to use a low speed when turning large diameter pieces of work but as you start to finish the piece you will want to increase the speed.
- High quality
- Very good value for money
- Powerful motor
- Minimal vibration
- No indexing chuck
8. NOVA 46300 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe 12-Inch x 16 1/2-Inch
This small lathe is very portable yet delivers the capacity of some of the larger lathes on the market today, making this wood lathe very desirable. The Nova 46300 Comet II offers the widest speed range on the market from 250-4000 rpm due to its ¾ HP, electronic, variable speed motor. This gives the user ultimate control and the ability to produce great pieces of work. It doesn’t stop there! With a swing capacity over the bed of 12 inches and 16.5 inches between center capacity you can turn a variety of projects.
Safety is a very important aspect when using a lathe and NOVA have designed this lathe exceptionally well, ensuring you are always safe whilst working with it. Such safety features include the improved on/off switch where a no-vault release has been fitted. The construction of this lathe is solid cast iron which delivers maximum strength reducing vibration to the minimum and increasing the customer’s safety. The three-step pulley system provides more torque for applications that are more demanding than others.
This lathe is backed by a full replacement 1-year warranty on the motor and electronics and a further 2-year limited warranty on other parts.
- Excellent quality
- Great value for money
- Widest speed range on the market
- Motor runs quiet
- No tools needed for belt changes
- Difficult locking levers
9. Grizzly H8259 Bench-Top Wood Lathe, 10-Inch
With 5 different speeds, the Grizzly H8259 is great for working on a variety of different sized pieces of wood and lots of different projects. Although being able to vary the speed is a very handy feature, the lowest speed offered is 826 rpm which is relatively high for its lowest speed. This could make it harder for those less experienced when wanting to turn large diameter pieces. It contains a ½ HP motor and has a swing over bed of 10 inches, both great for turning small to medium sized pieces of wood.
This lathe also comes with adjustable leveling feet which is ideal as it means that the user can ensure that the lathe’s spindle is at the right height. it is ideal for the wood lathe to be at the same height as your elbows and this allows that to be the case no matter how tall or small you are. This is very important as if it is too high it will make it quite hard to keep the tools in line with the tool rest.
- Very good value for money
- Great quality
- Variable speed
- Quiet-no vibration
- Adjustable levelling feet
- Motor gets very hot
10. Jet JWL-1015 Wood Working Lathe
The Jet JWL-1015 has been rated 5 stars across the board and has many outstanding features. The wood lathe has six spindle speeds; 500, 840, 1240, 1800, 2630 and 3975rpm. This low speed will allow you to turn wider stock. This has integrated 24-position indexing which allows you to lock the spindle in the perfect place.
The length between the centers is 15.5 inch which is ideal as long beds tend to vibrate more and flex which will reduce your safety and affect your project’s overall quality.
- Top quality
- Integrated 24 position indexing
- Six spindle speeds
- Runs quietly
- Mounting holes hidden
Best Bench Grinder Reviews for 2020
Bench grinders are a tool that most handymen would love to have in their workshop. These power tools can be big stationery models, or typically, in a small workshop, hand held or bolted to a work bench.
Grinders are powered by an electric motor, compressed air or a petrol engine. Bench grinders can bevel or smooth materials like aluminum, plastics, concrete, brass, steel and cast iron. Bench grinders are very versatile and can be used for different types of projects. A bench grinder is usually portable and spins at a high speed using friction to smooth edges for sharpening knives or other blades. Due to the friction, operators usually wear protective gloves and glasses to protect themselves from any sparks.
Most bench grinders come with two wheels, one to use for deeper cutting and the other to smooth and polish the finished product. Different types of grinding wheels are specific for certain applications and the most common grinders are ones made from aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. Fiber and wire wheels can be added for use when buffing or polishing.
Small bench grinders need to be secured to the work bench so that they remain stationery during use. This is usually done by screwing them firmly onto the workbench with holes that they usually have at the base. Bench grinders, for home workshops, are generally small and do not take up a lot of space, they are also generally inexpensive.
A Bench grinder is a great tool to have as it can sharpen knives and scissors, smooth out welded joints or even repair or sharpen old drill bits. If you have a lawn mower this is the tool to use to sharpen the blades. The main part of this power tool is the grinding wheel which comes in different sizes and textures.
Before purchasing a bench grinder consider what you will most likely use it for, and get the appropriate one. Bench grinders are usually a horizontal motor with a wheel on either side which is mostly covered by a guard except for a small section which is exposed for using to shape, sharpen, cut or clean metal. For safety reasons there is also an eye shield in front of each wheel. Whatever you choose, make sure that it is one that can be utilized for all your projects.
Top 7 Bench Grinders
- Craftsman 9-21154 Variable Speed 6-Inch Grinding Center
- SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder
- DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
- WEN 4276 2.1-Amp 6-Inch Bench Grinder with Flexible Work Light
- DEWALT DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder
- Metabo DS 200 8-Inch Bench Grinder
- JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-Inch Bench Grinder
Our Top Pick
Metabo DS 200 8-Inch Bench Grinder
Our top pick is the Metabo DS 200 8-Inch Bench Grinder which comes with great reviews and is a powerful and reliable machine. Out of all the models tested this was the quietest with the least vibrations during use. The base and outer casings are made with die cast aluminum and the bayonet closing around the wheels makes it easy to remove and change discs.
Easy to detect color switch for switching on and off when wearing gloves is another plus, and also a safety feature. This unit comes with safety glasses and a support tray to use with the grinder. No negative comments on this bench grinder were found.
Bench Grinder Reviews
1. Craftsman 9-21154 Variable Speed 6-Inch Grinding Center
Craftsman has been around for decades and is a trusted brand for reliable power tools. The 9-21154 bench grinder comes with 0.5 HP and 2.5 amp with a 2000 – 3400 RPM. The base of this Craftsman model is made out of cast iron which makes it bottom heavy and steady on you worktop. A patented attachment is the large adjustable tool rest that comes with this unit which is convenient to have near you when you are working with the grinder. With variable speed control you can go from 2000 – 3400 RPM to control your grinding applications.
The Craftsman 9-21154 comes with a water cooling tray, a hand held wheel dresser and clear wide eye shields and spark guards. The wheel guards are easy to change and the thin motor housing allows for grinding longer material. An independent flexible work light comes with a separate switch on top so you can clearly see what you are working on. This unit comes with two wheels, one for grinding and one wire wheel for polishing. Extra wheels of different textures are available to purchase separately.
- Variable speed control
- 5 HP – 3400 RPM
- Cast iron base
- Adjustable tool rest
- Eye shields
- Tool rest does not fit properly
2. SKIL 3380-01 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The SKIL 3380 bench grinder is manufactured with a 2.1 Ampere motor and has a speed of 3450 RPM. Reasonably priced the SKIL bench grinder is ideal for home workshops. This unit comes with two wheels, a coarse one and a medium texture, which is great for most applications. The built in LED lights are bright and illuminate both wheels to make it easier for you to work with. The adaptable tool rest is convenient and accessible and the rubber feet at the bottom steady the grinder on your work table.
For safety, the SKIL 3380 comes with eye shields and a solid cast iron base which keeps the grinder stable. This bench grinder is considered to be real value for money as it is well built and can be used on most materials including wood. Replacing the wheels can be a bit tricky and if you need more options you can purchase these separately.
- 1 Ampere motor
- 3450 RPM
- LED light
- Tool rest
- Solid base
- Value for money
- Changing wheels tricky
3. DEWALT DW756 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The DEWALT DW756 is a heavy duty grinder that is manufactured in China. This unit has a 5/8 HP induction motor and runs at 3,450 RPM. Position materials you are working with is easy with the two precision aluminum tool rests. The base and motor housing is made out of cast iron which provides weight for stability on your worktop and extra durability. The DEWALT DW756 is suitable for larger grinding applications due to its 12.5 inch gap between the wheels. The whole unit weighs in at 25.5 pounds and include a 36 medium coarse wheel and a finer 60 grit wheel.
Eye shields and spark deflectors together with an adjustment wrench are included with this unit. The DEWALT DW756 is suitable for use as a sharpening tool, deburring and rust removal. The grinder is 15 inches long and has rear exhaust ports in the wheel guards which provide a smoother operation. This bench grinder comes with a 3 year limited warranty covering any defect due to faulty materials or workmanship. There is also a 1 year free service contract in place from date of purchase.
- 5/8 Induction motor
- 3450 RPM
- Cast Iron base
- Spark Deflectors
- Rear exhaust ports
- Aluminum tool rests
- 3 year warranty
- 1 year service contract
- Discs are difficult to change
- A bit noisy
4. WEN 4276 6-Inch Bench Grinder
The WEN 4276 is a lightweight bench grinder that is easily transportable and weighs only 16 pounds. It still packs a lot of power with its 2.1 Amp motor and a speed of up to 3450 RPM. This unit comes with two 6 inch wheels and it can be used with a 60 grit wheel for general purpose grinding or one which is 36 grit and coarser for heavier applications. Changing wheels is fairly simple and the solid cast iron base makes this unit stable on you workbench.
The flexible light provides better vision for more accurate grinding. A WEN Pedestal Stand is available for attaching your grinder but has to be purchased separately. The solid cast iron base has a water pot for using to cool off metal you are working with. The three legged stand comes with bolt holes which gives you the choice of securing the bench grinder to your worktop. Protective eye guards are included with this purchase. The WEN 4276 is a welcome addition to any workshop and is a powerful tool for use when sharpening dull blades of all kinds. All WEN Products are covered by a two-year warranty and a National service network.
- Easy to transport
- Flexible light
- Protective eye guards
- 3 year warranty
- Pedestal stand sold separately
5. DEWALT DW758 8-Inch Bench Grinder
The heavy duty DEWALT DW758 8-inch bench grinder is ideal for all grinding operations, including sharpening tools, deburring, rust removal, shaping parts and cleaning objects. It’s powered by a 3/4 horsepower induction motor that runs at 3,600 RPM. This unit comes with overload protection and has a tool free adjustable guard. The base and motor housing is made out of industrial strength cast iron which makes this unit steady and durable, perfect for those DIY projects. The distance between the wheels in 12.5 inches which makes it possible to grind larger materials. Adjustable aluminum tool rests are included so that you can position your materials for grinding.
The DEWALT DW758 is a large bench grinder and weighs just under 40 pounds. It has rear exhaust ports in the wheel guards for smoother operation. The guards can be adjusted without needing any tools, and this enables quick installation. This unit has two wheels a 36 coarse wheel and a finer 60 grit wheel. The DEWALT DW758 comes with eye shields and spark deflectors, the tool rests and operating instructions. This product is backed by a 3 year limited warranty covering any defects due to faulty materials and workmanship as well as a 1 year service contract.
- Induction motor
- 3600 RPM
- Overload protection
- Tool free adjustment guard
- Cast iron base
- Tool rests
- Rear exhaust ports
- Operating manual unreadable
6. Metabo DS 200 8-Inch Bench Grinder
The Metabo DS 200 is a well-made, 8 inch bench grinder that has a 1 Arbor induction motor and speed of 3570 RPM. The industrial machine is maintenance free and quieter than other models tested. The base and the outer casing is made with die cast aluminum and the wheels lock with a bayonet which makes it easy to change grinding discs. The motor of the Metabo DS 200 produces very low vibrations which makes this model very stable and steady.
The wheels are covered with a die-cast aluminum cover for extra safety and the power switches are in a bright color for easy detection and use, especially when wearing gloves. This unit comes with two grinding wheels, a 36 and a 60 Corundum Grinding Wheel. Included in the box are spark protection safety glasses, a hexagonal wrench and a support tray for positioning your materials. The Metabo DS 200 comes with a one year standard warranty.
- Low Vibrations
- Quiet when used
- Die cast aluminum casing
- Bayonet locking of wheels
- Easily detected power switch
- Support Tray
7. JET 577102 JBG-8A 8-Inch Bench Grinder
The JET 577103 is considered to be an industrial grade bench grinder which is also suitable for a home workshop. This is a 1HP, single phase 115 V motor which reaches a speed of 3450 RPM. The wheels are 8 inches in diameter and the arbor is 5/8 of an inch wide. This unit is built to last with cast iron wheel guards, enclosed ball bearings and quick adjusting spark guards. The Jet 577102 grinder has a rubber bottom foot to keep the machine from moving and it also includes a heavy duty, guarded toggle switch.
It also has totally enclosed pre-lubricated ball bearings and spark guards which are easy to adjust. Clear eye shields are situated at the top of each wheel which will allow you to get close to your work while protecting your eyes. Dust vents at the back direct the dust and shavings away from the grinder to keep your work area clean. This unit comes with 2 vitrified grinding wheels, a 36 grit and a finer 60 grit. The JET 577103 has a 2 year limited warranty.
- pre-lubricated ball bearings
- cast-iron wheel guards
- 3450 RPM
- 1HP single phase motor
- Rubber bottom for stability
- Adjustable spark guards
- Eye shields
- Wheels are a bit wobbly
How to choose the best Bench Grinder
How powerful to you need it to be? In order to calculate the power of the grinder you will have to look at the motor speed and the revolutions per minute. Depending on what you will be using it for you can choose from 0.5 HP to 1HP motor speed, but you will need at least 3,500 RPM for normal home use.
When shopping for a bench grinder, a long lasting cast iron base and motor housing is the best one to choose for its steadiness on your workbench and for strength and reliability.
The wheels are a big factor when buying a bench grinder. Wheels start from around 3 inches but the average size for a home grinder is between 6- 8 inches with a speed of 3,500 RPM.
Silicon carbide blades are ideal for using with stone, brass and aluminum and aluminum oxide wheels are best for grinding all types of steel and other ferrous metals.
Grinding wheels usually have a grit size from 16 to 120, the higher the number the finer the grit. Coarse is usually labelled from 16 – 24, medium is 26 – 60 and fine is from 80 – 130 grit. Which one you choose, will depend on what you are working on.
It is best to find a grinder with variable speeds so that you have full control over how fast it is spinning. This is especially important when you are sharpening fine items like knives.
Grinders can be dangerous if they vibrate when using them at high speeds. Choose a grinder with bigger diameter wheels, and one that you can secure to your bench.
Newer models of bench grinders feature a built in light that is easy to switch on and it illuminate the area you are working on.
Ease of use
Large well marked buttons and switches should be featured on your bench grinder as you will be wearing gloves when you use it and it should be easy to operate. Also make sure that the wheels are easy to change.
Useful attachments are a water tray which you will use when you are cooling of the metal you are working on. Eye shields are also a good idea and a dust collector is very useful to pick up all the shavings.
Most bench grinders have some sort of protection from the sparks created when working with metal. Some manufacturers actually supply safety glasses, which are always a good idea to wear. The grinder will protect your hands with the blade guard, but in some cases it is best to wear protective gloves as the metal also gets very hot.
Well-known brands and good quality bench grinders should include at least a one year warranty which will cover the motor and the grinders plus all built in parts.
The Best Drill Bit Sharpener Reviews & Guide!
Drill bits are cutting tools that serve a basic function of removing material and creating holes, almost always of circular cross section. Drill bits, along with drills are an essential part of any handyman’s toolkit and for a good reason too. They are absolutely vital in the completion of various tasks. Therefore, it is also absolutely essential that your drill and drill bits are in the best condition possible at all times.
Drill bits come in different sizes as various jobs require varying types and sizes. It is important to know which one you need for the job you are trying to complete. Other than having the right size, it is highly important that your drill bit has the right sharpness otherwise, it will not cut through materials as they did before.
Having to buy drill bits over and over again as soon as they start to become dull can be expensive for you in the long run. Learning how to sharpen your drills and using a drill sharpener can be a fruitful investment for you. It can most definitely save you a lot of money as you will no longer need to buy drill bits as frequently.
While sharpening your drill bits on your own can save you a lot of money, it can be extremely dangerous if not done properly. Therefore, it is highly important to know the proper method to use a drill sharpener in order to prevent injuries. This article will provide you with the necessary steps you need to take while sharpening your bits in a safe and effective manner. If you follow the instructions to the dot, you are less likely to hurt yourself in any way.
Our Top Pick
Drill Doctor 350X Drill Bit Sharpener, Engineered for Versatility in handling popular wood & metal bits, Set Point Angle of 118°, Sharpens 3/32″ to 1/2″ standard twist bits
Drill Doctor DD350X
While all models of the drill doctor are efficient in their own way however, our best pick for you is the drill doctor DD350X. The product is not only cost effective but it is also, extremely easy to use. Its advanced technology offers you with on chuck alignment which removes the need for an alignment process. This feature is what makes the sharpening process so much simpler. This tool has V jaw technology that makes sure that there is no jaw twisting even if the bits are shorter and it also ensures that the bit stays firmly in position.
Furthermore, the diamond sharpening wheel will not change shape and will be good for up to 200 sharpened bits. The industrial wheel is highly easy to replace Therefore, you do not have to worry about the maintenance cost of the machine.
The Different Types of Drill Bits
There are many different types of drill bits out there and it is extremely important to know about all the various types so that you know the many requirements of each type of drill bit along with their unique purposes, very similar to the bits used on most of the best wood routers.
Brad Point (Dowel) Bits for Wood
These types of drill bits are the most common wood types and they can be distinguished by their small point at the tip of the bit. The spurs on each side are used to create clean cuts and straight holes. They can be used on all types of woods and are also available in a various sizes.
Auger Drill Bits
These carbon steel bits can be sharpened easily and are best for drilling holes in harder surfaces. These types of drill bits can be used to cut deep and large holes in whatever material you are working on at that time.
Wood Spade or Paddle Bits
These drill bits have a unique shape which allows the user to create much wider holes in the surface and their sizes are always written on the tool’s face. The shape of the bit is pointed from the tip and then it has a paddle shape under the pointed tip which is used to make the holes wider.
Metal Drill Bits
You can easily distinguish metal drill bits from other types due to its dark black color. These drill bits are known as high speed steel bits. They are designed to be used on metal work however, they will work adequately on wood and plastic surfaces too. They are also available with titanium coating and the more durable ones may contain cobalt. However, opting for these types will usually cost you more.
Specialty Woodworking Bits
These types of bit have three forms that are each used for a separate purpose. Countersink bit, plug cutter and hinge cutter are all used in different situations. The first one can be used to enlarge the hole it creates the second one is used to cut wooden plugs. The last one has a tungsten-carbide tip which is used to cut holes for kitchen cabinet door hinges.
Masonry Drill Bits
These drill bits shaft may be a different color than the tip of the bit and this can be because of the hardened coating. These drill bits can be used to make holes in masonry surfaces. The shaft spirals up to a tip and the shaft is often composed of an extra-hardened material which is what makes it possible for these bits to makes holes in masonry surfaces.
SDS bits are used to fit an SDS chuck mechanism. These are unique tools that are specifically designed for multiple purposes. The shafts drilling part is normal but chuck has a fluted appearances.
While there are many other types of drill bits available, these are the most commonly used and having them should be able to get you to do just about any drilling task that you require. Sometimes, when you need to use it a as a screw driver your drill could need further attachments to hold the bits in place and for this purpose, there are specialty bits that can be inserted into the chuck.
The standard holder works to hold the bits in place while in some cases, the bit holders have a quick release mechanism which works in such a way that it makes it easier for you to change your bits quickly.
Flat head screwdriver bits
While some bits are made in such a way that you can directly insert them into the chuck but that is not the case for most bits and for this purpose most need to be placed in a bit holder. These bits are designed to be with slot headed screws.
Why you need drill bit sharpeners
When your drill bit loses its sharpness and starts to dull down, rather than buying new bits, it is cost effective if you sharpen your drill bits own your own. Buying a drill bit sharpener can be expensive. Experts and professionals can even sharpen their bits by hand. However, you should not attempt to do so at an amateur stage.
In order to sharpen a bit by hand, you must first hold the bit with the shank angled off to the left at about 59 degrees. Next, you need to keep it in constant contact with the grinding wheel while you simultaneously move the shank farther left and downward while twisting it clockwise. This process is not an easy one and a small error could become extremely dangerous. The process needs to be done with extreme precision or it might not make a huge difference.
Therefore, some people find it too much of a hassle, while others just can’t get the hang of it and that’s why people buy drill bit sharpeners. Drill bit sharpeners are less dangerous and remove most of the risks that are included in sharpening your bit by hand.
Distinguishing between a sharp and dull bit
The very first step is to be able to distinguish between a sharp bit and a dull one. The most basic way to tell that your bit is not as sharp as it required to be is, when the bit does not cut through the materials with the same ease anymore. However, another way to distinguish between a dull and sharp bit is that if the bit has gotten dull, then you should be able to notice a slight glint on the cutting edge between the two flutes. However, a newly sharpened one will be visibly smooth with no glint.
Different bit sharpeners have different ways of sharpening the bits and the steps and instructions vary from machine to machine.
Drill Bit Sharpener Reviews
Drill Doctor DD750X Drill Bit Sharpener
This Drill Doctor DD750X drill bit sharpener is designed, manufactured, and assembled in the United States. This product is comparatively expensive even when compared to other drill doctors. It is a high speed sharpener that can be used on steel, masonry, carbide, cobalt, and TiN-coated drill bits. It has the ability to sharpen drill bits of sizes 3/32 to ¾ inches, Furthermore, it can also twist the bits to create and remove split points.
It has adjustable point angles from 115 degrees to 140 degrees. It is a corded electric drill bit sharpener and provides you with a voltage of about 120 volts. These features make the drill bit sharpener have additional power and sharpens the drill bits smoothly and quickly. The cord is about 72 inches long. It allows you to reach sockets that may be further away and is more convenient for the user.
Moreover, this tool has a warranty of about 3 years. You can keep your mind at ease that you will not face many problems while using this product since the manufacturer is willing to stand by this machine.
- Easy to use
- Easy replacement of the diamond wheel
- 3 year warranty
- Quick and smooth sharpening of the drill bits
- 72 inch long cord
- Relatively lighter
- relatively expensive
- the diamond wheel leaves a relatively rough surface on the drill
How to use
Knowing the proper method required while sharpening your drill bits according to the model you are using is extremely essential. Trying to sharpen your drills without any previous knowledge about the steps that you are required to take is extremely dangerous and can be inconvenient for you.
The drill doctor DD750X will help you sharpen bits of all sizes from 3/32- to 3/4-inch even if they are English, metric or letter gauge bits. With the use of the drill doctor DD750X you can sharpen your bits easily and quickly all you have to do is first align the bits against the stop and making sure it is adjusted in position firmly. For the next step, you will need to turn your bits around an even number of turns depending on the bit size. The long jaws and the jaw guides both work together by one firmly holding the bit and the other eliminates the chances of the jaws twisting on smaller bits.
Simply doing this will sharpen your drill bits however the drill doctor DD750X comes with a feature that further gives you the choice of turning your bit into a back cut split point which will allow your bit to have an extra chiseled point.
The drill doctor DD750X also comes with an additional feature of push to stop. This button can be used to prevent the drill doctor from over splitting drill bit point.
Drill Doctor DD350X Drill Bit Sharpener
Drill Doctor 350X Drill Bit Sharpener, Engineered for Versatility in handling popular wood & metal bits, Set Point Angle of 118°, Sharpens 3/32″ to 1/2″ standard twist bits
The drill doctor DD350X is one of the relatively cost effective models however, they are still expensive to a certain degree. Sharpening your drill using other tools might seem like a good option but the comfort and convenient sharpening of bits this model provides you with is a worth investing into. This model can be used to sharpen a variety of drill bit types whether they are steel, masonry, carbide, cobalt, and TiN-coated drill bit.
This product is designed and assembled in the United States. With this model you can sharpen different sizes of the drill bits that can range from3/32 to ½ standard twist bit. The set point angle for this device is 118 degree and is certified frustration free. This drill bit uses about 120 volts of electrical power so you can imagine the power the machine is able to produce. Furthermore, the product comes with a 3 year warranty so you can rest assured that investing into the drill doctor DD350X will not be a waste of your money.
- suitable for a wide range of bit sizes from 3/32 to ½ standard twist bits
- 3 year warrant
- 120 volts produces a lot of power to give you quick and clean sharpening of the bits
- Works on steel, masonry, carbide, cobalt, and TiN-coated drill bits.
- Relatively cost effective
- Relatively lighter
- Plastic material
- Setting the right depth of the cut can be a little tricky
- It can be a little tricky to set up
How to Use
The drill doctor DD350X as just as easy to use as the other drill doctor models with its advanced features. The drill doctor DD350X offers on chuck alignment this simplifies the sharpening process as it removes the need of an alignment process. It is because of its relative ease and compact size that this model is the perfect choice for your home workshop!
All you have to do while sharpening your bits with this model is to secure the bit and then continue to turn it at half-length an even number of times doing this will help you achieve the perfect 118 degree angle. Now as you continue to sharpen your drill bits, this device has V-block jaws that work to hold the bit in place. It ensures that there is no need for you to worry about jaw twisting even while you’re working with smaller drill bits.
Drill Doctor 500X 3/32-Inch to 1/2-Inch Drill Bit Sharpener
Drill Doctor 500x Drill Bit Sharpener, Professional Design & Construction for Durability with Industrial-Strength Diamond Sharpening Wheel, Set Point Angles at 118° & 135°, Sharpens 3/32″ to 1/2″ standard twist bits
While this drill doctor is expensive but it is still an investment that you will not regret. Moreover, if your nature of work requires that you use drills frequently, then your bits will lose their sharpness relatively quicker and you will need to sharpen or replace them frequently. The drill bit doctor not only makes sharpening your drill bits easier but also in the long run, saves you money since you will not have to buy drill bits as frequently anymore.
This is a high speed sharpener which can be used on steel, masonry, carbide, cobalt, and tin-coated drill bits. This unique machine can be used in removing as well as creating split points in your bits. It can sharpen 3/32 inch to ½ inch bits which means that it is god for sharpening various sizes of bits. The set point angle of this device is 118 degrees or 135 degrees. This machine is designed, engineered and assembled in the US.
This tool relies on an additional features such as metal split-point port, and a die-cast point angle shuttle for better durability. Furthermore, this machine uses a permanent magnet motor which helps this machine in producing constant power regardless of the load and the speed. It is designed in such a way that the drill bit will not heat up and lose its tempering while you are sharpening it. The drill doctor 500X has makes use of an industrial diamond sharpening wheel which will not change shape period of time. The wheel will last for about 200 times worth of sharpening and it is easy for the users to replace too.
How to use
When you consider using hands for sharpening of drill bits, the process is not only a tiresome and difficult but it is also highly dangerous. You should not put yourself at risk while working the Drill Doctor 500X realizes that your safety is important. Therefore, it does most of the work for you!
With the Drill Doctor 500X you can sharpen your drill bit in just 3 easy steps. Firstly you need to align your bit by positioning it alongside the stop. The next step is to make sure that it is locked in place. Then to begin sharpening your blade, you need to make turns in even numbers which can vary as per the bit size. While you are sharpening your bit the long jaws ensure that the bit is held in place firmly while the short guides are used to eliminate the chances of having the jaw twisted.
The alignment system guarantees that the geometry of your drill bit isn’t effected and doesn’t damage your tool in any way. Lastly, once the sharpening of bit is done with, the product gives you an extra option that gives you the chance making your bit into a back cut spilt point bit. This will give the bit an additional chiseled point which allows your drill bit the ability to penetrate the materials much faster and with greater precision.
Furthermore, this device has an additional push to stop bottom which you can press to avoid additional splitting of the drill bit point.
There are other methods to sharpen your drill bits but using the proper tool will save you from a lot of hassle and will be advantageous for you in the longer run. Trying out different methods that are not tested can be quite dangerous as well. However, if you feel that you can handle that risk and are on a budget, it is not a bad option for you. Just keep in mind the necessary precautionary measures and speak with an expert, if possible.
This article has provided you with all the necessary information you will need to equip yourself with the right type of tool. You will be able to make better use out of your bits. Furthermore, your bits are bound to last longer when they are used for the task they are designed for and not on other materials. All the aforementioned information will be highly useful for your future needs. You can now pick out the perfect drill bit sharpener for your gardening needs..
10 Best Wood Router Reviews (Plus Guide!)
In our day-to-day lives, we come across equipment such as furniture and even electronics that are made of wood, be it in our homes or even places of work. However, most of us normally don’t know the process that the wood undergoes to yield that final product that you adore so much. The wood router is one essential tool that is used in this process.
If you are a carpenter or your work revolves around wood works, then the wood router is a tool that you cannot do without. When you want to make different designs, grooves and shapes on your woodwork, then the wood router will come to your aid.
The router is powered and therefore produces enough horsepower to enable you to work on both hard and soft woods.
Listed below are some of the best wood routers that will solve all your woodwork needs.
Top 10 Wood Routers
|Product Name||Power (HP)||Price|
|DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router Combo Kit with LED’s||1||$$|
|Bosch 12 Amp 2-1/4 Combination Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit 1617EVSPK with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets||37,988||$$|
|PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router||38,047||$$|
|Black & Decker RP250 10-Amp 2-1/4-Inch Variable Speed Plunge Router||2||$$|
|DEWALT DW618PK 12-AMP 2-1/4 HP Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router Kit||37,988||$$|
|Bosch Colt Palm Grip PR20EVSK 5.6 Amp 1-Horsepower Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router with Edge Guide||1||$$|
|DEWALT DW616 1-3/4-Horsepower Fixed Base Router||38,047||$$|
|DEWALT DW618B3 12 Amp 2-1/4 Horsepower Plunge Base and Fixed Base||37,988||$$$|
|Bosch MRC23EVSK 2.3 HP Combination Plunge & Fixed-Base Variable Speed Router Pack||2||$$$|
|Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router||37,987||$|
Our Top Pick
3. PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Based Router
The Porter-Cable 690LR Router has an 11-amp motor that is capable of producing 1-3/4 peak horsepower. The motor is single-speed and is capable of making 27,500 revolutions per minute.
To allow for the motor release and simple coarse height adjustments, the router has a cam-lock lever. This machine is of very high precision and will get your job properly done. The aluminum motor housing makes it durable to give you value for your money. Its micrometer depth adjuster has an accuracy of up to 1/128”.
To make routing easy and comfortable, the router has two ergonomic handles that are strategically placed. It also includes collets that accept ½” and ¼” shank bits. Its rugged and ball-bearing construction and dust-sealed components make it durable and efficient. The auto-release collet system for removing the bit easily makes it user-friendly.
- Fast bit removal
- Ergonomic design makes it stable.
- Comfortable to use during operations.
- Not portable.
- Lacks variable speed feature.
4. Black & Decker RP250 Variable Speed Plunge Router
The Black & Decker RP250 Router has a gradual start feature that allows for greater control and hence more precise results. It draws currents of up to 10 amperes that makes it powerful and capable of making 8,000 to 27,000 revolutions per minute. Its plunge action makes it suitable for use over a wide range of tasks.
It has three easy to set turrets that minimize the set-up time for repetitive depth cuts. To improve control and visibility, the sight line base has been introduced. The spindle lock makes it convenient to change the bits, therefore, making the depth-setting scale easy and accurate. The router comes with an adjustable parallel edge guide.
Safety and high comfort levels of the user are guaranteed by its contoured chip shield and its trigger switch with a lock-on feature. It comes with a ¼” collet and wrench.
- Good dust collector.
- Variable speed for different operations.
- Very accurate.
- Easy and quick bit changes.
- Easy to use.
- Limited depth-stop range
- No ½” collet.
5. DEWALT DW618PK Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router
The DEWALT DW618PK Router has a 12-amp electronic variable speed motor that produces an output power of 2-1/4 HP that routes smoothly through the toughest hardwoods. However, it does not come with a centering tool. It has a very integral through-the-column dust collection system that is capable of collecting up to 95% of the dust thereby providing top-notch bit visibility. For base and bit changes, there are quick release motor latches for easy and fast removal of motor pack.
Precise depth adjustments in 1/64” increments are realized from the micro-fine depth adjustment ring that is also capable of making vertical adjustments for a constant switch location.
The full feedback control maintains a speed of between 8,000 to 24,000 revolutions per minute under load. For enhanced router control, the motor has a soft start to minimize on the start-up torque. The tool-free steel motor cam lock ensures a solid locking.
This wood router comes with collets of ¼” and ½” which makes it versatile and a good product for bit retention. The adjustability of the motor cam lock is very necessary for quickening the process of base changing.
- Integrated dust control.
- Ensures comfortability during operation.
- Secure base.
- Variable speed control.
- Improved cut line
- Tool-free base changes and depth adjustments.
- Does not come with a centering tool.
6. Bosch PR20EVSK Colt Pam Grip Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router with Edge Guide
The Bosch PR20EVSK Colt Pam Grip Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router with Edge Guide is a highly versatile tool that is used for mortising hinges, dovetailing, custom carpentry, trimming deck planks and laminate flooring, edge forming, slot cutting, decorative inlays and window cut out operations.
It is fitted with a motor that draws a current of 5.6 amperes that yields an output power of 1 horsepower. This is enough to produce a speed of 15,000 to 35,000 revolutions per minute. The motor is a soft-start one with quick-lock systems.
Its aluminum construction makes it durable. This router also comes with a collet, fixed-base, palm router, straight-edge guide, case and drop-forged collet and shaft wrenches. The palm-grip is designed in such a way that it is soft to improve on its comfort ability. Overload protection and consistent performance are realized through its constant response circuitry that monitors and maintains speed under load.
The quick clamp system makes moving the motor from base to base easy to enable you to work on other projects. A cleverly designed front spindle lock on the motor has been designed for easy one-wrench bit changes. The cord has been angled to help keep it out of the way.
- Constant response circuitry for stable motor speed.
- Comfortable to use.
- Precise results due to depth adjustments.
- Powerful motor with variable speed.
- Only 3 preset depth stops.
7. DEWALT DW616 Fixed Base Router
With its 11-amp motor that outputs power of 1-3/4 horsepower, the DEWALT DW616 Fixed Base Router routes smoothly through the toughest hardwoods. Its precise depth adjustments in 1/64” increments are as a result of the micro-fine depth adjustment ring.
To ensure stable locking and quick base changes, the Adjustable tool-free steel motor cam lock makes the depth adjustments. This will enhance the safety of the user while at the same time posting some great results.
This router has incorporated a sub-base concentricity gauge to ensure bit concentricity for proper accuracy during operations. The quick-release motor latches are for fast and easy motor pack removal for base and bit changes.
- Visibility of the cutline.
- Requires additional base for trimming.
8. DEWALT DW618B3 Plunge and Fixed Base Router.
The DEWALT DW618B3 Router features three bases that can tackle a wide variety of tasks which makes it versatile and a professional grade quality. The three bases are a plunge base, a fixed base and a D-handle base for advanced precision during handling. A 12-amp, 2-1/4 horsepower motor provides enough power for a smooth routing through the toughest of hardwoods.
The router has an electronic variable-speed trigger that allows you to select a suitable speed between 8,000 and 24,000 revolutions per minute that suit your applications. It maintains a constant speed under load due to its electronic feedback. The motor’s soft start ensures optimum control of the router by the user due to the reduced start-up torque.
A micro-fine depth adjustment ring leads to precise bit adjustments in 1/64-inch increments. This ring turns to adjust bit depth, and therefore a constant switch location is maintained when using the router on a table. This helps in keeping the consistency of the operation as well as minimizing difficulty in turning the unit on and off.
Making of repeated plunge cuts has been made easier using this router since the plunge base has an adjustable five-position turret stop that is called into action when such kind of projects are being done.
The turret stop offers a micro-fine depth adjustment of 5/128-inch per turn for maximum precision routing in inlays and veneer. Control of the machine is kept at the fingertips due to the easy-to-reach plunge-release lever.
The D-handle also offers a 1/64-inch micro-fine depth adjustment. It is however complemented with a two-position, over-molded rubber handle. The D-handle provides excellent control and balance as well as the needed comfort during operation due to its low center of gravity.
- Optimum bit visibility.
- Easy bit and base changes.
- Comfortable operation.
- Integrated dust control.
- Easy and fast motor-pack removal.
- Not efficient design for long-time use.
9. Bosch MRC23EVSK Combination Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable Speed Router.
The Bosch MRC23EVSK Router is a 2.3 horsepower electronic modular system with an advanced set-up that provides both the fixed and plunge bases. This router has its power switch in both the plunge base and the fixed base, therefore, giving the user an outstanding control over the machine.
Each of its bases uses a micro-fine bit-depth system that produces exacting cuts every time. It comes with a 15-amp motor with adjustable speed settings, soft-start feature as well as a constant response circuitry for maintaining a constant speed throughout the cut. To maneuver along dovetail fixtures and templates, a precision-centering system and base openings in both bases have been included in the machine. The motor is capable of making speeds of between 10,000 to 25,000 revolutions per minute.
The accuracy of this machine depends on its smooth plunge action and spring-lock plunge lever. The precision-centering design allows for the centering of the bit with the sub-base or the optimal template guides. The continuous depth range is 1-5/8-inch. You can move along the intended cut-line using templates, dovetail fixtures, jigs or any other guidance devices.
- Hold their depth quite well
- Maintains constant speed throughout the cut.
- Always-on LED lighting for visibility of the cut line.
- Low center of gravity hinders plunging into woods.
10. Makita RTO701C Compact Router
The 1-1/4 horsepower Makita RTO701C Compact Router has a variable speed dial that can change its speed from 10,000 to 30,000 revolutions per minute to speed up the application. The quick-release cam lock system makes depth adjustments, base removal and installation easy. Its ergonomic and slim design makes it more comfortable and easy to control.
The electronic speed control feedback helps maintain a constant speed under load. This machine has a soft start feature, and its base can accept industry standard template guides for any DIY project. The more precise settings are as a result of a smooth rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment system. The collet is ¼” with a straight guide and a 13mm wrench. It is an ideal tool for door hinges and dovetailing.
- Easy-to-read depth scales.
- High visibility base design.
- Double insulated.
- Easy and quick bit changes.
- Works only with the ¼” bits.
Ten Great Ideas to Keep your House Cool in Summer
Summer is around the corner in the southern hemisphere and you can see the danger signs already – massive heat and even more massive cooling bills. Air-conditioners need to be switched on at all times and escaping the heat seems impossible. However, there are ways to keep your cool without actually blowing the top off the electricity bill.
Here’s a look at some innovative ways to make sure that this summer, you can keep the heat down inside your homes:
One of the primary reasons why your home might heat up is due to sunlight that enters your home and heats up the insides. Glass windows trap heat so while they’re letting in all the energy, they aren’t letting much out. The easiest way to reduce your cooling bills is to keep the East & West windows and doors well covered. Put thick blinds or dark curtains that don’t let sunlight stream in. Sure, it might be dark indoors but “dark” is better than “sweltering”.
You can even give reflective window screens a go although they might be a bit more tedious to install and remove as required!
Trees make the air cooler, whether inside or outside the home. If you are looking to get some nice cool breeze flowing through, surround your house with thick trees that cover the sides. Not only do you benefit from the shade, but the air gets humidity sucked out of it as it passes through onto your home. Plant them all around but if you don’t want sultry winters, keep them out of the southern sides.
Plant vines that grow along your walls because grass on the roof and vine on a wall does a lot more to cool your home than you’d imagine.
Keep a Cool Head
The roof of your home is hammered with direct sunshine almost throughout the day. Give it a coat of reflective paint or just paint it white to reflect some of that sunshine-fury. If you’ve got a single-storey home or live right under the roof, you’ll thank us for this bit of advice.
Now you might think that insulating the home, in summers, will make it stuffy and hot! The truth is, insulation is meant to keep cool air from escaping. If you have already cooled the home’s interiors using other techniques, or even an air-conditioner, you don’t want that cool air to escape to the hot outdoors. Just make sure that you’ve caulked up all nooks & corners and that your home is completely safe and secure.
Okay, now on one hand we ask you to insulate your home and then, straight after that, we ask you to ventilate? Yes, that is absolutely right because early mornings and evenings are the time when the sun’s heat becomes more bearable. Once the outside temperature becomes cooler, it makes more sense to remove those blinds, open those windows and ensure that air circulates through your home. This is a good time to make sure that those fans are running too!
Speaking of Fans
Ceiling fans are rarely found in modern homes because air-conditioning seems to have taken over. However, the problem with air-conditioning is that it takes much longer to circulate the air than the average ceiling fan. When you’re opening your home to the cool air outside, these ceiling fans aid circulation and make things cooler, quicker. They come in some really interesting designs so you’re sure to find something that suits your home’s interiors.
Have a Barbecue!
In ancient and medieval times, summer cooking was always done outdoors – in summer kitchens. Cooking inside did just one thing – raise the temperature of the entire house. Even in kitchens where ventilation is abundant, cooking hot food can unnecessarily raise the temperatures and prevent your home from cooling down.
Hang outside your home, have a barbecue and cool down with a beer because inside, you might just burn the house down!
Along with your ceiling fan, the home’s attic aides ventilation too! By merely installing an attic fan, you can begin circulating the air in your home using these wonderful fans. Just switch them on and watch them suck air in through the windows and out the attic – cool air blowing through and the home’s suddenly looking much better!
Turn off the Light
Okay, now this isn’t really to save on the electricity bill only – it is to prevent overheating as well. It is a known fact that all light bulbs and tubes generate heat. While fluorescents are cooler than incandescent bulbs, they are still generating heat when switched on. If you aren’t sitting in the room or if there’s enough natural light to do your thing, turn them off! Every drop of heat adds to that ocean of warmth you don’t need!
Leave Laundry for Later
Laundry, during the day, is a sure-fire way of increasing humidity in the home. The clothes dryer generates a large amount of heat and the wet clothes, themselves, are prime candidates for increasing humidity. Dry your clothes outside, on a drying line, if you can prevent them from burning up under the Sun.
Just following these few small tips can help you reduce the temperature in your home. Make sure that you remain cool and calm yourself and if the regular bath or cool drink doesn’t bring your temperature down, look at your cat and do what they do – sleep!
The Basic Essentials for Every Kitchen
Our kitchens are one of the most important rooms in the house. Not only the place where our meals are cooked but a place that most families come together at the end of the day to share the events of that day and spend time together. You need your kitchen to be functional as well as a pleasant room to be in. You need plenty of space and modern appliances like the Bosch dishwasher, that save time and are energy efficient. When you look around your kitchen be aware of how expensive it would be if you had to replace everything due to theft or a fire, so make sure your contents insurance is kept up to date and covering any newly purchased appliances or renovations.
No house can function without a fridge, certainly not in today’s modern society where so many food products need to be kept cool. Our ancestors used to manage without one but instead they would have a cool room and sometimes meat or fish was killed or caught the same day it was eaten. This is no longer a common practice so we need our fridges. When buying a fridge get one that is big enough for your family. That is, the more people in your household the more food you will have and the more space you will need in your fridge.
Having a dishwasher makes life so much easier. It also helps you keep your kitchen tidier because rather than having dirty dishes stacked beside the sink waiting for you to wash them you can put them straight in the dishwasher. A dishwasher also uses less water than washing dishes by hand.
You might not use your microwave to cook with, although you can, and there are plenty of cookbooks will recipes specifically tailored for the microwave. Even if you don’t use it to cook a meal they are certain handy for re-heating leftovers, melting butter, chocolate or other ingredients when cooking and when you want to quickly heat up food like baked beans or pasta.
A must for any kitchen is having plenty of storage space. If you are designing your kitchen yourself think about what cooking utensils and appliances that you have that you want to be able to put away. Have a large deep drawer for your saucepans and another one that will hold things like your sandwich press, your mixer or blender. Don’t forget you can have overhead cupboards. Overhead cupboards with glass fronts also look nice as well as being practical as you can have some of your better crockery, vases, jugs and knick knacks on display.
You can have a water filter fitted to your kitchen tap, otherwise you can buy a simple water filter jug or ceramic water filter that sits on your bench. It will encourage you to drink more water if you can have easy access to fresh pure filtered water.
For coffee lovers having a coffee machine is a lovely luxury. If you are going to drink coffee you might as well drink the good stuff, and it will end up saving you money as you don’t have to go out for great coffee.
Non-stick frying pan
Buy a good quality non-stick frying pan as it will last you a lot longer, as long as you look after it. It may set you back over $100 but it is well worth it. It will make cooking and cleaning up much easier and a good quality one is better for you than Teflon pans, which if they get scratched can contaminate your food.
Have a good set of sharp knives so that you can work efficiently when cooking. Have a proper knife sharpener too.
A handy gadget in any kitchen for those quick meals when you have run out of anything else. Whip up a few toasted sandwiches quickly and easily with a sandwich press. You can have a whole range of fillings such as cheese and Vegemite, canned spaghetti or baked beans, ham, cheese and tomato or even stewed apple and sultanas for a sweet treat.
The Pros and Cons of a Slate Roof
Slate roofing tiles have historically been known as one of the highest quality and longest lasting roofing materials; not only does a slate roof look beautiful, it is one of the most durable roofing materials available. However, there are some drawbacks to a slate roof; the entire roofing job requires an experienced contractor as a slate roof is not easily installed and the tiles can be fragile and break easily. A slate roof may not be for everyone, but there are many situations when a slate roof is the best choice.
There are many reasons to choose a slate roof, and the appearance is just one. Roofing Jobs Online, an authoritative online roofing resource, says that “A slate roof is beautiful; depending on the style of home you live in, a slate roof can make your home elegant and sophisticated. Slate tiles come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses and a wide range of colors allowing the homeowner to have roof with a unique design pattern.”
Slate roofing tiles are designed to last at least 100 years; and 150 years is not an unrealistic expectation if the roof is installed properly. Although most of us do not live in the same house for this length of time, a slate roof is a big plus when it comes to resale. The new owners will be pleased to know that the roof will not need replacing for many years to come.
A slate roof is one of the most fire-resistant roofs that exist; the slate tiles themselves are completely fire proof. This is a big advantage if you live in an area prone to brush and wildfires; depending on the area you live in a slate roof could be a prudent investment for this reason only. Slate is also an environmentally friendly roofing choice. According to statistics, roofing waste accounts for more than 5% of the total waste sent to landfills; asphalt shingle that must be replaced every 20 to 30 years are the primary component of that waste and since slate roofs need only be replace every century or so, they do not contribute to that waste.
There are several drawbacks to slate roofs, most notably is the cost. Slate is an expensive roofing choice and the installation makes it even more costly. Slate is difficult to install and takes a very knowledgeable and skilled contractor to install it properly; this causes the cost to be even higher. When choosing a contractor to install you slate roof make sure he or she has the experience necessary and don’t be afraid to ask for references.
The weight of a slate roof is another drawback; a slate roof can weigh between 800 and 1,500 pounds per 100 square feet. You will need to make sure that your home is structurally equipped to handle this weight before deciding on a slate roof. Another disadvantage to a slate roof is the fragility; slate tiles break very easily. If you do choose a slate roof make sure any maintenance technicians that may need to be on your roof know how to walk on a slate roof without breaking the tiles; it is often difficult to find matching replacement tiles.
As you can see, a slate roof has many advantages and disadvantages. It is important to take all these into consideration before choosing a slate roof. If you do decide on a slate roof you will have a beautiful, long lasting roofing system that will be the envy of the neighborhood.
Is Your Roofing Contractor a Con Man? Red Flags & Warning Signs
When it is time to replace or repair the roof of your home then you need to find the top residential roofing contractor for the money.
Unfortunately all roofing contractors are not the same, and besides the basic differences there is a chance that you will need to weed out at least one con man in the crowd.
There are some red flags that will alert you to a shady contractor and these warnings can save you money and time as well as keep those frustrations at bay.
A reputable residential roofing business will have a permanent address and more than one telephone number. Make sure that you are able to get a home and business address as well as home and work phone numbers from any individual who claims to be a professional roofing contractor.
Do not accept this information at face value. Be sure to follow up by thoroughly checking up on the information you are provided.
Lack of Professional Credentials
Check with the Better Business Bureau or professional contractor’s associations in your area to determine the validity of the roofing contractors with whom you are negotiating. Most roofing businesses will be known to one or more of these organizations.
One of the key tipoffs is a lack of appropriate licensing. Con men and shady residential roofing contractors may come up with excuses but they will not be able to show you a valid contractor’s license.
Check the Insurance
Residential roofing contractors who are honest will be able to verify that they have insurance coverage. Never hire anyone who is merely promising to ‘get the necessary insurance’. Demand that these professional overages be in effect beforehand.
Refusal to Answer Detailed Questions
If the contractor is hesitant or refusing to fully answer your questions about this roofing project you should be wary of their intentions.
A reputable contractor will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Bids that are Too Good to Believe
If a residential roofing contractor is bidding and the price they quote is far lower than any other estimates this is a major red flag.
While everyone wants to save money the quotes for a residential roofing renovation should all be in the same ballpark. If one bid is thousands of dollars less than any others on the board you should investigate thoroughly before just blindly accepting the bid. In almost every instance an offer that is too good to believe-is just that-unbelievalbe.
Lack of References
This is another tipoff that should have you doubting the professionalism of a potential residential roofing company. A reputable contractor will be able to furnish you with at least a few references that can be checked out and verified.
Dancing around a Written Contract
Con men will try to tempt you with the promise of low cost and speedy service.
However they will usually be reluctant to sign a formal contract that legally binds them to complete the work as promised. If you notice any reluctance to enter into a work contract you should drop the residential roofing contractor immediately, just as you would drop a ‘hot baked potato’.
Some of the less reputable individuals in the construction industry will be very inflexible on certain demands. They may insist on handling all of the material purchases and refuse to consider other options. These individuals may also demand large amounts of money for the job ahead of time. Some will insist you pay all of the costs before they even start the job.
The Instant Sealing Offer
One of the oldest con games in the business is the offer of a roof sealant. Generally these individuals will come to your door and state they have some roofing sealant left over from another job. They will offer to cover your roof for a very cheap price.
This is one time when you do not even have to consider the decision-Just say No.
There are some types of sealants that can be used on residential roofing projects but this is not what these shady folks are trying to sell you.
Renovation Projects – Should You Do It Yourself?
As with any old house and renovation you can never really say that ‘the end is nigh’ but these days the little jobs outweigh the big ones. So having spent years working from the ground up, can I recommend this extreme do it yourself approach? Sort of!
The pros and the cons
What are the pros then? Money, money, money. Materials are costly enough, but when you add to that the labor costs, you can wave goodbye to an exotic holiday or two. Labor is by far the biggest cost when it comes to renovation. If you aren’t afraid of hard work – and lots of it – then you can save a small fortune. Labor costs can be $100 a day per laborer and I’ll leave you to do the math.
The cons? Well, in truth, not many. Not if you enjoy learning curves! The biggest problem you’ll face is simply that what a skilled laborer can accomplish in a day, you’ll find it will take you a week. Sometimes you’ll find it’s all gone a bit wrong and you have to start afresh. If you are not already of an optimistic frame of mind, you will at least probably develop one.
But I’m a bit clueless
This is no good excuse – as I was to start with! Prior to my own renovation project I could change a light bulb and knew roughly how to bleed a radiator. In the first house I’d owned we’d had the kitchen done by a builder, he’d offered to let us pull the old ceiling down to save costs so we did. That was, roughly, the full extent of my knowledge. Between myself and the better half we can now do the following: demolish stuff; build walls, fit RSJs, build fireplaces, mortar, plaster, plumb and wire. We can also put scaffolding up and take it down again – surprisingly important – fit chimney liners and chimney pots, point walls, fit radiators, light fittings and sockets. To be honest the list goes on. If i can do it from my slow start of being able to change a light bulb, most people probably can.
Plumbing needn’t drive you round the bend
Plumbing is essentially a lot of pipes. Not the hardest concept in the world to master, although this can depend on the nature of the plumbing. Running the pipe work for domestic supply or central heating systems is definitely not rocket science. Copper piping is the traditional method, but what some plumbers won’t be willing to tell you is that there is a cheaper and easier type today. Plastic piping and connectors are available which make the job simpler and you can mix and match with copper where necessary. Having a plumber listed among your friends or family can help with the technical details, although advice is easy to come by on the internet these days.
This is one area that is probably best not approached as a novice – although there is certainly a lot of the hard labor that you can do yourself. Finding a good electrician who is qualified to do the work is the safest way, but if you’re working on the site yourself you may be able to come to a deal. The majority of electrical work now falls under the evils of the Building Regulations department of your local authority – so employing a competent person with the right piece of paper is crucial. Some, though they are few and far between, electricians who specialize in the self-build arena will be willing to let you do the ‘groundwork’, monitor your progress and sign off the work to the satisfaction of the local Building Regs office. Though scarce, these electricians can help in the battle to cut costs without costing lives. Alternatives include taking the necessary qualifications yourself – not perhaps cost effective in the short term, but potentially earning you money in the future.
The main benefit to taking a project on yourself is of course the warm glow that you get when your home is complete; he lied. Yes, you do get considerable satisfaction, but you also save considerable amounts of money and get to learn a lot of new skills. Self-building and renovation is not for the faint hearted – but for those willing to learn and work hard (really hard) and be prepared to laugh at the unexpected it is certainly an incredibly fulfilling option!
Five Essential Carpet Cleaning Steps to Deal With Spills
The moment a glass topples over and liquid goes pouring everywhere, it’s a huge catastrophe. In a blind panic, you reach for the nearest towel-like object and lunge at the spill, already imagining the stain that’s going to set in and remind you of this moment forever.
But this is not the way to do your carpet cleaning; take a deep breath and remain calm. Take control of the situation and you’ll erase that stain well before it causes trouble. Here are some cleaning tips that will help keep stop stains setting in:
Don’t wait for things to get out of hand. The first rule of Spill Control is to stop it from spreading further on your carpet. Use whatever’s handy to try and contain the spill. Once it’s under control, look for a cloth and get to work on it.
Use a White Cloth And Water
The best way to stop a spill from turning into a stain is to use a white cloth and water. It depends on what spilled (wine, coffee or other colored liquids will need special attention), but most things can be cleaned up with water. You should use a white cloth because there’s a chance that a colored cloth could further stain the area, depending on the type of carpet.
Don’t Wipe – Dab
Your first instinct with carpet cleaning is going to be to scrub the heck out of that carpet to try to beat it into submission. But this will actually make it much worse. When you scrub, you’re actually spreading the stain around and making it bigger. Instead, take your wet white cloth and dab at the stained area. Hit it gently and don’t get it soaking wet.
Let It Dry
Once you’ve dabbed and things appear to be under control, let the area of carpet dry out. You can leave paper towels sitting on it or even put a fan on it. A fan blowing air will dry it out quickly. Once it starts drying, check up on it in a little while and make sure there’s not stain left, otherwise repeat the earlier steps.
Make A Reference Sheet
These cleaning tips are for spills of liquids that are not known to cause terrible stains. If you spill something that will stain for sure, like wine, tomato soup, juice, blood, vomit or urine, you’ll need something stronger than water. There are different recipes for getting rid of these difficult stains, and the scope goes beyond this article on carpet cleaning. But if you don’t know how to take care of these tough ones, you might want to make a list of things that could be spilled (hopefully blood won’t be on it!) and put it somewhere where you can refer to it if needed. Unless you’re a real cleaning whiz, it’s hard to keep it all in your head.
And remember always to stay calm when spills happen. Keep these carpet cleaning tips in mind and make a list of the remedies to more serious spills. This way, you’ll be able to tackle any spillage that happens and keep it from staining.