Tools We Use

The following are a list of the tools and equipment we use and recommend. We aren’t brand loyal, and we do extensive research to get what we believe is the best tool for the job. This means a good quality tool that meets the demands of woodworking (& DIY) but is also a sensible price and is suitable for our small workshop. We’ve also provided a mini review of each product.

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Large Power Tools

The Dewalt DW745 Site Table Saw built into a workshop table or outfeed table.

Table Saw - Dewalt DWE7485

This is the newer version of our DW745, despite being a compact saw it has proven its power, accuracy, and ease of use. We especially like the fence design. Only gripe is the riving knife is too tall and must be removed for some cuts.

Evolution Mitre Saw on saw stand with extension legs

MITRE SAW - EVOLUTION R255SMS-DB+

New and improved version of our Rage 3, very well featured at a great price. This has served us faithfully for many years. The dust extraction could be better, and needs careful alignment. But still an easy recommendation.

Triton TSPST450 Oscillating Belt Sander

OSCILLATING BELT SANDER - TRITON TSPST450

Spindle sander and belt sander in one package. Well thought through design that’s quick to swap between functions. Be sure to fine tune the table so that it is square to the belt.

Triton TPT125 Thicknesser Planer for processing rough sawn timber to a given thickness

Thicknesser Planer - Triton TPT125

We purchase most of our timber as rough sawn, this little unit has easily processed it without a grumble and soon paid itself off. Combo it with good chip extraction and sled to reduce snipe.

Bench top band saw

Band Saw - Titan TTB705BDS

Benchtop band saws are all much the same, and sadly the quality could be better all round. Having said that, after a little setup this one is performing great and has plenty of power. A larger saw with a deeper throat would be preferable. But, if you are space limited this is a solid option.

Power Tools

Cordless Impact and Drill Driver Set by Dewalt

Drill & Impact Driver - Dewalt DCK2059D2T

After many years use during a house rebuild and regular wood working, these drills are still going strong. Cannot fault them and easy to recommend. There are more powerful models but they are unnecessary for woodworking.

Dewalt Cordless Palm Router Set

¼” Palm Router - Dewalt DCW604NT

Only regret is not buying this sooner, one of the most used tools in the workshop and one of the first tools you should invest in.

Biscuit Jointer

Biscuit Jointer - Draper 83611

Easy to use, accurate and great dust extraction.

Plunge cut saw, also referred to as a Track Saw - Festool TS 55

Track/Plunge Cut Saw - Festool TS 55 FEBQ-PLUS

Take the ‘plunge’ you won’t regret this purchase, it really is one of the best tools in the workshop, especially a small one like ours. Although there are cheaper alternatives, in this instance it is absolutely worth spending that little bit more.

Track or Guide Rail for a Plunge/Track Saw

Track - Festool Guide Rail FS 1400/2

Can’t have a track saw without track. We’d first recommend having two lengths of 1400mm (55”) track. A single length of 800mm (32") track can also be really helpful for smaller cuts.

Bosch PEX 300 Orbital Sander

Random Orbit Sander 5" 125mm - Bosch PEX 300

Let’s be honest, this isn’t the best sander on the market. But it costs a fraction of the Festool equivalent. With an orbit diameter of 2mm, you can't expect to remove material quickly but with a little patience you should still achieve the desired effect.

Festool ETS Random Orbit Sander 150

Random Orbit Sander 6" 150mm - Festool ETS 150/5 EQ-Plus

It's hard to say exactly why this tool is worth paying so much more. But it is, simply everything is better and easier. This version has a 5mm orbit which removes material quickly and is suitable for up to 220 grit. For Ultra-Fine sanding (320+ grit) get the 150/3 variant.

Bosch Professional GKS 190 Circular Saw with Freud blade

Circular Saw - Bosch Professional GKS 190

Very powerful saw that will cut through anything, mostly been overshadowed these days by the track saw, but useful to have on hand for the tougher jobs. Worth immediately replacing the stock blade.

Makita 4350FCT Jig Saw

Jig Saw - Makita 4350FCT

A hard product to review because it just works. Easy to change blades, plenty of power and decent ergonomics.

Bosch Professional GBH 2-26 Hammer SDS Drill

Hammer SDS Drill - Bosch Professional GBH 2-26

If you have a regular need of this kind of drill, our advice is don’t cheap out. Having used (and broken) a few over the years, we are very happy with this one. Not only has it survived, but every job is that little easier.

Silverline Brad Nailer

Brad Nailer - Silverline 868544

Cheap, light and reliable. Only drawback is that you need an air compressor. But on the plus side, now you have an excuse to get an air compressor.

Hand Tools

Parallel Clamp 1500mm for woodworking

Parallel Clamp 1500mm

These clamps are excellent for larger glue ups, the stable base means they don’t fall over as you are working, and the parallel clamp means they are less inclined to warp your project as they tighten.

Quick Clamps

Irwin Quick Clamp 50cm

You can never have enough clamps; these ones are a good go-to option that are quick to apply and surprisingly versatile. Also look out for the various attachments for other use cases (corners etc).

Steel Spring Clamp

Steel Spring Clamp

Useful and versatile clamp to have in the workshop. The relatively cheap price makes them a must have.

Stanley PowerLock 8m Tape Measure

Tape Measure - Stanley PowerLock 8m

Accurate, robust and available in metric, imperial or both.

Jigs & Acccessories

Dowel Jig

Dowel Jig - Wolfcraft

You’ll always find a use for dowels in woodworking. There are many kinds of jigs available, but we prefer this style. While it is slower for some jobs, it is very adjustable to suit almost every application.

Wolfcraft Pocket Hole Jig

Pocket Hole Jig - Wolfcraft

Fantastic jig that works well and easy to use. There are more extravagant jigs available, but this is well suited to a small workshop and less routine use.

Concealed Hinge Jig

Concealed Hinge Jig

If you have more than a handful of doors with concealed hinges (kitchen door hinges), then it’s well worth getting a jig. Most seem to come from the same factory, so shop around.

Drill Guide with Chuck, a good alternative to a pillar drill in a small workshop.

Drill Guide with Chuck - UJK

In a small workshop that doesn’t have space for a pillar drill, this is the next best thing. Well designed to suit a variety of applications and easily stored.

Drill guide used to help you drill straight holes.

Drill Guide - Big Gator V-Drill

Extremely helpful guide to keep your drill holes straight. Works on flat timber and dowels.

Workshop Essentials

Workshop dust extractor, commonly referred to as a shop vac.

Vacuum - Fein 35L Dust Extractor 92028223240

After purchasing and destroying several cheaper vacuums, I feel confident in strongly recommending this item. Powerful, quiet and keeps on working no matter what you throw at it. I would recommend coupling with a HEPA filter and dust cyclone.

Cyclone dust extractor attached to shop vac

Cyclone Dust Collector

This is an essential add-on to any shop vac! It saves the vacuum from clogging up with dust, saves money on vacuum bags and most of all allows you a little more time between emptying the system.

Workshop air filter to remove dust from the environment

Air Filter

After years of making sawdust, I have developed a bit on an allergy. This air filter makes a huge difference to your lungs and keeps work surfaces cleaner longer. Nothing will get everything, but this certainly helps.

Workshop air compressor for pneumatic tools

Compressor

I think all these compressors come from the same factory, so best to hunt around and look for the best deal. We use the compressor regularly for the nailer, inflating tyres and painting projects.

Lumber Storage Rack for hardwoods and softwoods

Lumber Storage Rack

Keeps your lumber off the ground, flat and dry. We doubled them up at 1m spacing so they can carry more weight and the timber remains flatter.

Clarke tool chest with drawers labelled.

Tool Chest - Clarke

For some strange reason, tool chests don’t seem to be a popular addition to a woodworker’s workshop. Maybe we’re just too proud of our tools to hide them away?! We, however, find this tool chest extremely helpful and space efficient.

Workshop wireless speaker - Bose Soundlink

Workshop Speaker - Bose Soundlink

Every workshop needs music, this speaker may be small, but produces enough sound to annoy the neighbours. As a bonus, it’s waterproof. That should mean it will even survive our dusty environment.

Consumables

3M Xtract Cubitron II Abrasive Sanding Discs

Abrasive Sanding Discs - 3M Xtract Cubitron II

After years buying cheap discs, we finally learnt what a false economy it was. These discs remove material quicker and last significantly longer than the closest competition. In the long run, these are the cheapest and best option.

Drill Bit set, with large array of sizes. An extremely useful addition to any workshop.

Drill Bits - Bosch Professional Drill Bit Set

Very handy to have a complete set of drill bits with storage in the workshop. Can easily replace individual sizes as you blunt/snap ones.

Freud LP30M 025P Table Saw Blade

Table Saw Blade - Freud LP30M 025P

A great all-rounder blade for ripping and crosscuts. If you're still using the stock blade, you'll be amazed how much difference a quality new blade will make.

Titebond 1 Original Wood Glue

Glue - Titebond Original

Rarely use this, essentially the other glues are better, but this is cheaper. Interior use only. Dries transparent, good for light timbers (maple, oak).

Titebond 2 Premium Wood Glue

Glue - Titebond II Premium

Great go-to option. Open time (3-5 mins), weatherproof. Assembly temp > 13C (55F). Dries yellow, good for light timbers (maple, oak).

Titebond 3 Ultimate Wood Glue

Glue - Titebond III Ultimate

Another great go-to option. Open time (8-10 mins), waterproof, strongest bond. Assembly temp >8C (47F). Dries dark, good for dark timbers (walnut).

Titebond Polyurethane Liquid Glue

Glue - Titebond Polyurethan

Good for wood with high moisture content, prefinished or oily timber. Good for non-perfect glue ups (with gaps). Very waterproof. Ugly if visible. Short shelf life.

Axminster Forstner Bit Set

Forstner Bit Set - Axminster

I am always surprised how perfect the hole is from a Forstner bit. Having a proper set of quality bits ensures you always have the right size when you need them and they won’t be blunted rattling around in a drawer.

Camera & Audio Equipment

Sony A6600 camera for videography

Camera - Sony A6600 APS-C Mirrorless

After months of research, we settled on this camera. For a whole host of reasons, we found it to be the best video camera for YouTube type work. The full frame cameras are better; however, we found the difference to be negligible, but the A6600 is smaller, lighter and has a flip screen.

Sony 18-105mm F4 Lens

Primary Lens - Sony 18-105mmm F4

While this lens doesn’t perform great for photography, it is fantastic for videography. Has a good focal range, maintains focus while zooming, is stabilised and sufficiently fast even for a dark(ish) workshop.

Sigma 16mm F1.4 Lens on Sony A6600

Secondary Lens - Sigma 16mm F1.4

Very high-quality lens for both photography and videography.

Sony A6600 Camera rigged on a MOZA Aircross 2 Gimbal, for videography and vlogging.

Gimbal - MOZA Aircross 2

Excellent gimbal that is very well suited to our camera & lens combo.

Rode Video Micro shotgun microphone on a Sony A6600.

Shotgun Mic - RØDE VideoMicro

Good all-round mic that allows us to capture machine noise and voice if we aren’t too far away. This option doesn’t require batteries, so don’t need to remember to turn it on or charge batteries.

Rode Wireless Go II Microphones

Wireless Mic - RØDE Wireless Go II

Allows us to give you clear audio, even if we are in an echoy workshop. Very easy to use and rig for any setup.

Rode Go Lavalier Microphones in carry case.

Lavalier Microphone - RØDE Go

Typically, we just use the wireless units as mics, but when we want that more professional look or in a windy environment, then we have these lavalieres.

FEELWORLD F6 Plus camera monitor/screen rigged onto a Sony A6600 camera

Screen - FEELWORLD F6 Plus Monitor

We struggled to get shots framed and in focus from across the workshop, so this monitor was the solution. Well featured and good quality unit that’s size is well suited to the APS-C setup.

All video voiceovers are done using this RØDE NT-USB microphone

Voiceover Microphone - RØDE NT-USB

Used for all voiceovers recordings in our videos. The USB PC connection means no additional expensive gear.

SMALLRIG lightweight camera cage on a Sony A6600

Camera Cage - SMALLRIG BUC2498

A cage is essential for videography, so that you can attach all the paraphernalia to the camera. This slim line model suits our needs nicely and doesn’t add too much bulk.

GoPro Hero 10 waterproof camera on a stand.

GoPro Hero 10

For all those hard-to-reach places, extra wide-angle shots and unique angles. This waterproof camera is the ideal candidate.

Led Light Panels used for studio videography and photography lighting.

Studio Lighting Kit

Very helpful when lighting a product for video or even photography.

Software & Website

Video editing software for professional and personal use, Davinci Resolve

Video Editing - DAVINCI Resolve

Not sure why anyone would use anything else. Easier to use than alternatives, powerful yet kind on your computer and there's a free version.

Affinity Photo is a great alternative to Photoshop

Photo Editing - Affinity Photo

We have ditched the ludicrously expensive fees of Adobe and discovered the joys of Affinity Photo. We haven’t looked back since.

Affinity Publisher is a great alternative to Illustrator

Manual Publishing - Affinity Publisher

A better solution that Microsoft Publisher and without the insane fees of the Adobe equivalent. Affinity really is the future.

Elementor wordpress plugin, as used on this website.

Elementor - WordPress Plugin

We created the website ourselves using WordPress, with the Elementor plugin and Hello Theme. A slightly steeper learning curve, but plenty of scope to design however we like.

Autodesk Fusion 360 recommended CAD software for Makers as used by Makers Manual to produce wooden furniture designs.

CAD - Fusion 360

With a background in Product Design Engineering, I have used a many different CAD packages. This is my current favourite for ease of use, price and function.