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Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Impact Wrench

Best Impact Wrenches in 2020

You know the frustration of trying to remove nuts and bolts that just won’t seem to budge. There is one tool that can make the job easier – an impact wrench. If you’re not well-informed about the ins and outs of this handy tool, you could end up with an impact wrench that is more trouble than it’s worth. Before you can pick one by its features, you need to know more about how they work and the different types that you can buy.

impact wrench

How Do Impact Wrenches Work?

In essence, it’s all about creating a lot of torque. Inside every impact wrench, there is a motor and a hammer-shaped mass. Once the impact wrench draws power, the hammer spins at a rapid rate, which gives the motor energy. As the motor’s energy builds and the hammer rotates, the motor drives the hammer into the tool’s anvil. As a result, you feel little impact, and you get more torque than you can produce on your own.

When Would an Impact Wrench Be Helpful?

Besides the enormous amount of torque, there is another benefit that comes from using an impact wrench – precision. This makes impact wrenches a must-have for auto mechanic shops and car enthusiasts alike. Impact wrenches are also commonly used for heavy-duty industrial applications and small at-home jobs. During times when you’re dealing with a rusted or stubborn bolt, an impact wrench becomes a lifesaver.

cordless impact wrench

How Do Impact Wrenches Differ From Torque Wrenches and Impact Drivers?

Impact wrenches, torque wrenches, and impact drivers may be closely related in some ways, but their purposes are much different. While not an everyday tool, impact wrenches are great for removing bolts, nuts, and other fasteners. On the other hand, impact drivers are suitable for driving screws and other drilling activities. Finally, torque wrenches are well-adept at making exact adjustments.

What Type of Impact Wrench Should I Buy?

These tools are categorized by the way they’re powered. Corded impact wrenches are relatively lightweight. However, staying mindful of their power cord can become burdensome. On the other hand, cordless impact wrenches offer total portability because they operate on battery power. However, the battery adds a little more weight, and you have to keep it charged.

Hydraulic impact wrenches are another variety. These tools give the most torque, but they are only used on industrial jobs and construction sites. The second most powerful impact wrench is the pneumatic one. Pneumatic impact wrenches don’t weigh as much as corded or cordless ones, but you must keep it attached to an air compressor.

electric impact wrench

Which Style Is Better – The Inline Style or Pistol Style?

Impact wrenches can further be categorized by the way they look. Pistol-style impact wrenches look similar to electric drills. Due to their ergonomic design, pistol wrenches are more comfortable to hold, and they cause less hand strain during long working periods.

The other style is called an inline impact wrench. These wrenches are slim, and the anvil is either aligned with the wrench’s body or crooked at a right angle. If you need to reach in tight spaces, inline impact wrenches are well-suited for those tasks.

impact wrenches and drivers

Top 5 Impact Wrenches

5 Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench

Every tool should be as easy to maintain and use as this pneumatic impact wrench by Ingersoll Rand. It features a trigger control that’s positioned on an ergonomic handle that’s meant to eliminate wrist strain. This impact wrench is also compact and lightweight, measuring just 7.8 inches long and weighing a mere 5.8 pounds.

Ingersoll-Rand-231C-Super-Duty-Air-Impact-Wrench

Don’t be fooled by the tool’s small size. Thanks to its dual-hammer design, the wrench can reach a maximum speed of 8,000 RPM. In turn, the tool can put out 600 foot-pounds of torque, easily removing those bolts and nuts that just won’t budge. For precision tasks, you can control the torque via the adjustable power regulator.

Read our in-depth Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench Review

As soon as you buy this pneumatic impact wrench, you can use it because it comes completely lubricated. With its pressure-feed lubrication setup, you’ll find maintenance to be hassle-free. To protect your new tool, Ingersoll Rand offers a 1-year warranty.

Check how much you can save, buying the Ingersoll Rand 231C Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

4 DEWALT DCF899B 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench

When you need a durable impact wrench that provides high performance, the DCF899B MAX XR by DeWalt is a great buy. This cordless impact wrench is easy to handle with its weight of 5.8 pounds and length of 8.81 inches, and its pistol grip has a textured rubber coating to help keep your hand steady.

DEWALT-DCF899B-20V-MAX-XR-Brushless-High-Torque-1-2-Impact-Wrench

It may be small in size, but the MAX XR is built tough. It boasts a shear-resistant anvil, and it has a secure dentin pin that prevents you from dropping your sockets. Within this impact wrench, there is a long-lasting brushless motor that puts out as much as 700 foot-pounds of torque at 2,400 impacts per minute.

Read our in-depth DEWALT DCF899B 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench Review

For times when you need to control the torque, simply uses the triple-speed switch that turns the hammer as fast as 1,900 RPM. The cordless impact wrench also has an LED light that offers visibility in dark workspaces. For your convenience, you can monitor the battery life from the fuel gauge, and you are covered by a 3-year limited warranty.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCF899B Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

3 Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Drive Air Impact Wrench

The Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Impact Wrench is every auto mechanic’s dream tool. At 4.6 pounds, the 2235TiMAX is featherlight in your hands. Its length of 7.6 inches means the tool is workable in tight areas. Plus, it comes with a 2-year warranty for your peace of mind.

Ingersoll-Rand-2235TiMAX-Drive-Air-Impact-Wrench

You also get an amazing amount of torque that maxes out at 1,350 foot-pounds at its highest of four power positions. In reverse, the torque is still impressive at 930 foot-pounds. When you need to go back and forth from forward to reverse, the button is easy to maneuver with just one hand.

Read our in-depth Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Drive Air Impact Wrench Review

No matter how often you put the impact wrench to the test, it will never let you down. It contains a twin-hammer mechanism and a steel wear plate. In addition, the housing is made of titanium, protecting it from long drops and hard usage.

Check how much you can save, buying the Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

2 DEWALT DCF899P1 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench

Here is one for the at-home handyman. This cordless impact wrench kit from DeWalt comes with everything you need for user-friendly performance, including a powerful 20-volt lithium-ion battery, a charger, an integrated LED light and a one-half-inch detent anvil.

DEWALT-DCF899P1-20V-MAX-XR-Brushless-High-Torque-1-2-Impact-Wrench

You’ll also appreciate the ergonomic design of the pistol-style handle and the ability to select one of three speeds that range from 400 to 1,900 RPM. It’s also easy to hold and carry thanks to the tool’s weight of 7.2 pounds. If you do drop the impact wrench, it’s rugged enough to survive falls up to 8 feet.

The brushless motor inside of the cordless impact wrench produces 700 foot-pounds of torque and as much as 1,200 foot-pounds of breakaway torque. With its strong impact mechanism, this tool can hammer away at a rate of 2,400 impacts per minute. If you ever have a problem with the MAX XR, DeWalt offers warranty coverage on it for 3 years.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCF899P1 Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT Bare-Tool DC820B 1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Impact Wrench

Do you want an impact wrench that can get the job done fastLook no further than this cordless impact wrench made by DeWalt. The hammer spins at a top speed of 2,400 RPM, allowing the ultra-durable frameless motor to generate 1,740 inch-pounds of torque.

DEWALT-Bare-Tool-DC820B-1-2-Inch-18-Volt-Cordless-Impact-Wrench

It’s also featherlight at only 2.2 pounds. Plus, the impact wrench’s short length of 5.75 inches means it can fit into places where bulky impact wrenches can’t go. Don’t worry about comfort because the impact wrench has a no-slip pistol grip. For extra help in poorly lit areas, the tool offers a 20-second delayed LED light.

With its metal transmission, you’ll get years of reliable use from this impact wrench long after the 3-year warranty expires. However, if you must have it repaired, the first year of service comes at no additional charge. All you need to put this tool to use is one of DeWalt’s 18-volt nickel-cadmium batteries.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DC820B Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

air impact wrench

Regardless of your level of fix-it know-how, automatic tools make life easier. When you have a long to-do list, you don’t want an inefficient power tool slowing you down. No two impact wrenches are alike, so you can’t just get the first one you see. Before you purchase one, you need to know what set of features make an impact wrench a worthwhile buy.

Impact Wrench Torque
In the world of impact wrenches, torque takes the top spot as far as features are concerned, and there is no torque that’s considered too high. Therefore, you should pass on any impact wrench with a torque under 500 foot-pounds. Besides the maximum force behind the turn, make sure there is a control that lets you regulate the power for those precision tasks.

best cordless impact wrench

Impact Wrench RPM
The number of rotations per minutes is just as important as the torque. The more rotations an impact wrench can make, the less effort you have to put forth. When you are fastening, a fast RPM equates to getting the job done quickly.

Impact Wrench IPM
IPM, or impacts per minute, is a measurement of an impact wrench’s hammering action. Like the torque and the revolutions per minute, the higher the IPM, the better. An impact hammer with a rapid IPM will make more contact with the target.

best cordless impact wrench 2018

Impact Wrench Anvil
The anvil size differs from one impact wrench to the next, spanning from one-fourth an inch to three-fourths an inch. There are also anvils as large as 2 inches, but the big ones are used for industrial applications. You also have to look at the type of anvil. A detent pin holds the socket tighter, but it takes longer to swap sockets. There is also a hog ring, which is great to have if you frequently change sockets.

Impact Wrench Motor
As with every tool, there is always a debate between brushed and brushless motors. Brushed motors are generally cheaper, driving down the cost of an impact wrench. However, brushless motors don’t have moving parts that cause the friction that leads to breakdowns.

pneumatic impact wrench

Impact Wrench Battery
The type of battery in a cordless impact wrench determines the stability of the tool’s performance from start to finish. Usually, the battery will be nickel-cadmium or lithium-ion. Nickel-cadmium batteries are less expensive, but they cause the impact wrench’s motor to slow down when the battery gets low. This is not the case with lithium-ion batteries. Plus, lithium-ion batteries can hold a charge for a longer period of time.

Impact Wrench Ergonomics
Comfort counts. You want an impact wrench that is easy to hold. Therefore, the grip should be contoured, rubberized or textured. Don’t make the mistake of picking a heavy impact wrench, thinking it will be more powerful. The key to reducing wrist strain during long projects is using a lightweight impact wrench. Additionally, a lightweight impact wrench is easier to carry around a job site.

impact wrench 2018

Impact Wrench Durability
Obviously, an unreliable impact wrench does you no good. As mentioned earlier, ones with a brushless motor are less likely to break. However, the material out of which they are constructed also matters. Durable impact wrenches are made of steel or other metal, not plastic. They may even have a titanium housing and metal transmissions.

3 Recommended Impact Wrenches


Bestseller No. 1
PORTER-CABLE Impact Wrench, 7.5-Amp, 1/2-Inch...
  • 7.5 amp motor for heavy duty applications
  • 450 feet pounds of torque
  • 2, 200 RPM & 2, 700 BPM for speed
Bestseller No. 2
DEWALT DCF880HM2 20-volt MAX Lithium Ion 1/2-Inch...
  • Compact (5. 70" front to back), lightweight (3. 4 lbs) design fits into tight areas
  • Three (3) LED lights with 20 second delay after trigger release, provide visibility without shadows
  • Hog ring anvil to easily change sockets
Bestseller No. 3
Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench,...
  • Classic, reliable design offers proven power, performance, and durability
  • Twin-hammer mechanism delivers a maximum torque of 600 foot-pounds
  • Adjustable power regulator provides easy control of torque output




Categories
Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Guides Impact Driver

Best Cordless Impact Drivers in 2020

Back in the days of yore, impact drivers were used exclusively by professional mechanics and builders for contract jobs, but today we find them becoming a crucial part of a DIY-hobbyist’s collection of power tools. The thing that makes impact drivers so great is their ability to deliver rapid bursts of high torque for driving screws of any shape and size.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

Furthermore, with the right bit, an impact driver can work similarly to a power drill. The great thing is that its high-power motor makes it work even more efficiently than a regular cordless drill.

A quick stroll down the power tool’s aisle in your local hardware store will show you the wide selection of different impact drivers available. The great thing is that you have many different specs and features to choose from, but the bad is that with so many choices, it’s normal for first-time buyers and even experienced ones to find the right model that fits their specific needs. The following portion of this article will provide you with a brief buying guide of impact drivers and the most crucial features to take into consideration.

Power Source

Like many handheld power tools, impact drivers come with or without power cords. Generally, corded impact drivers offer more power, but cordless models are much more portable – something that every contract worker is looking for. In this article, we’re going to focus only on cordless models since there is a higher demand for them.

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

Brushed vs Brushless Motor

In general, there are two different types of motors installed in impact drivers: brushed and brushless motors. Brushed motors are the classic type that is slowly being replaced by brushless motors.

Brushless motors don’t have any brushes that will wear down over time, meaning that it requires fewer visits to the maintenance man and will be usable for many years longer than the brushed variety. Performance-wise, there aren’t any significant differences.



RPM, BPM, and Torque

There are three important variables that can help you determine how well an impact driver performs. These are RPM, BPM, and torque. RPM (rotations per minute) can be an indicator for helping you know how efficient the tool is. BPM (bumps per minute) is the number of hammer-like bumps for driving screws through dense materials. Torque is the amount of force applied while the bit rotates (measured in inch pounds). Greater RPM, BPM, and torque mean more power and better efficiency.

Makita XDT111

Makita XDT111

Chuck Size

The size of the chuck determines the size of the bits that are compatible with an impact driver. The largest commonly used size is half an inch, but you can get a lot of work done with weaker ¼-inch chucks and bits. Large bits are for more heavy-duty jobs whereas small bits are for quick driving jobs that require limited amounts of torque.

Comfort

Like any handheld power tool, comfort should be a priority when choosing an impact driver. Try and find a model that offers an easy-to-grip plastic or rubber handle. The weight of an impact driver can also affect how comfortable the tool is, but you honestly won’t have any trouble finding any lightweight, compact impact driver.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

LED Light

More often than not, you’ll need to use an impact driver in poorly lit areas (e.g., closets, under the hood of your car, or even under your car). There are several impact driver models from various manufacturers that are equipped with LED lights near the chuck. However, you probably shouldn’t fully rely on these LED lights for proper illumination and also invest in a high-lumen LED torch.

Hitachi WH18DGL

Hitachi WH18DGL

Top 5 Cordless Impact Drivers

Impact drivers are naturally versatile tools that can be used in a wide range of applications, but some people, especially first-time buyers, might have some difficulties finding an appropriate model. This is understandable since a quick internet search will literally yield thousands of results.

No need to worry, we’re here to help. The following list contains our picks of the five top-performing cordless impact driver models.

5 Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver

The first impact driver on our list is from the infamous manufacturer of red-colored power tools: Milwaukee’s M18 2656-20. Keep in mind that this is a bare-tool kit, meaning you need to purchase the 18V battery RED Li-Ion battery, battery charger, and hex bits separately.

The proprietary 1.5-amp frameless motor generates up to 2,750 RPM, up to 3,450 BPM, and up to 1,500-inch-pounds of torque. This should help users finish a wide range of different jobs, though some of the more heavy-duty tasks like driving screws through dense surfaces may pose a problem. Nevertheless, for the average hobbyist, mechanic, and furniture-maker, the M18 2656-20 can be a reliable impact driver for most jobs.

Milwaukee M18

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

4 Hitachi WH18DGL Impact Driver

The WH18DGL from Hitachi is another great impact driver worth considering. This kit includes the impact driver, a single 18V rechargeable Li-Ion battery, and a battery charger. To get started with this tool, you’ll have to purchase your own ¼-inch hex bits.

The 3-amp motor generates up to 2,400 RPM and 3,200 BPM at 1,280 inch-pounds of torque. The total weight of the tool with its battery included is only around 3.1 pounds, and it also features a handy LED light near the chuck for keeping your work surface properly illuminated. When working on different surfaces with different screws or bolts, you can alter how much power to deliver by playing around with the touch-sensitive trigger.

Hitachi WH18DGL

Check how much you can save, buying the Hitachi WH18DGL Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

3 Makita XDT111 Impact Driver

The XDT111 from Makita – another Japanese-made impact driver – is definitely worth mentioning. The four-brush motor has two speeds: a low setting that provides 2,900 RPM and the top gear that delivers up to 3,500 RPM. This tool provides up to 3,500 BPM with 1,460 inch-pounds of torque. This ¼-inch impact driver weighs only around 3.9 pounds – battery included – and measures in at only 5-3/8 inches long from chuck to end.

The kit includes the tool, a hard carrying case, an 18V Li-Ion battery, and a rapid charger that can fill a battery from 0 to 100% in only 40 minutes. There are also LED lights for keeping your work surface lit up for easy visibility.

Makita XDT111

Check how much you can save, buying the Makita XDT111 Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

2 BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C Impact Driver

No list of handheld power tools is complete without including at least one BLACK+DECKER model. The BDC120C is a ¼-inch impact driver that runs off of a super-powerful 20V battery. The kit comes with the tool, the battery, a rapid charger that fills a battery to 100% in less than 40 minutes, and a screwdriver bit to get right down to work.

The 1.5-amp motor delivers up to 3,000 RPM and 3,900 BPM at a maximum torque of 1,375 inch-pounds. The amount of power-delivery is determined by how hard you press the touch-sensitive trigger. What’s impressive about this unit is that despite being equipped with a brushed motor, the heat produced by the spinning brushes dissipates much quicker than in other comparable impact driver motors.

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

Check how much you can save, buying the BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver

The final and number one pick on our list is the DFC885C1 from DEWALT. The company has built a reputation on manufacturing some of the world’s most reliable and efficient power tools, and the DCF885C1 is no exception.

Weighing in at only 2.9 pounds, you’ll hardly feel the weight of the unit even when working overhead and at odd angles. Although the chuck is ¼ inches, the 1.5-amp brushed motor provides enough power that you can attach 1-inch bits with an adapter. Using the touch-sensitive trigger, the impact driver can deliver up to 2,800 RPM and 3,200 BPM at 1,404-inch-pounds of torque. Three LED lights are placed conveniently near the chuck to provide more than enough light for illuminating dark spaces.

DEWALT DCF885C1

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

Final Remarks

Impact drivers are ingenious tools that don’t just drill holes but also have the capacity to drive screws and tighten nuts and bolts. Back in the day, impact drivers were considered to be exclusively used by professionals and contract workers, but today we can find impact drivers in almost every hobbyist’s collection of handheld power tools. If you need to fix up your car, hang pictures, or put furniture together, an impact driver can be your go-to tool.

Milwaukee M18

Milwaukee M18

There are numerous specs and features to keep an eye out for when scouring the market for an impact driver. The most important of these include whether it’s corded or cordless, whether it has a brushed or brushless motor, its speed and power ratings, the size of the chuck, how comfortable it is to grip and use, and whether it has forward-facing LED lights. As long as you know the basics and understand what you need an impact driver for, finding the right model should be much easier to do.

Of course, even if you do know what you want and need, you’re going to be bombarded with thousands and thousands of different impact driver models to choose from. To help you with your search, we’ve compiled a list containing the top five cordless impact drivers available. They are all made from the world’s most popular manufacturers of power tools, but the one that takes the cake is the DCF885C1 from DEWALT. The company has established a reputation so great that an overwhelming number of people – professional and hobbyists alike – swear by the name.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

The DCF885C1 is a simple 1.5-amp ¼-inch impact driver that gets its power and speed from a powerful 20V battery. The motor delivers more RPM, BPM, and torque that professional workers are looking for. Even hobbyists can enjoy using this tool as the touch-sensitive trigger can be used to deliver as much or as little torque and speed as you need.

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
SaleBestseller No. 2
DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch...
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: Has built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Compact (5.55 in. front to back)and lightweight (2.8 lbs) design fits into tight areas
  • ONE HANDED BIT LOADING: Has a 1/4 in. hex chuck and accepts 1 in. bit tips. No load speed: 0 2,800
Bestseller No. 3
20V MAX Cordless 1/4" Hex Impact Driver Kit,...
  • POWERFUL MOTOR & HIGH TORQUE – Maximum torque of 1590 in-lbs, along with variable speed up to 2700RPM, this...
  • COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT: Compact design can help you fit into tighter areas, ultra-lightweight(3.1 pounds) make...
  • BRIGHT LED LIGHTS: With 3 built-in LED lights, which can increase your visibility in enclosed work spaces or...




Categories
Buying Guides Guides Miscellaneous Planer

Best Wood Planers in 2020

Wood planers, also known as thickness planers, are handy tools for shaving down materials to the proper size needed for construction furniture. With a wood planer in your shop, you can ensure that both sides of your material are completely parallel to each other. Both professional craftsmen and simple DIY-hobbyists can find value in having a wood planer available since it can make quick work of shaving down numerous boards into a uniform thickness.

WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN 6550

In this article, we’re going to briefly discuss the important specs and features of a high-quality wood planer. We’ll also give you our picks of the best five wood planers available today.

What to Look for in a Wood Planer

When researching the best wood planer, there are several features and specs to take into careful consideration.

Feed Speed

The feed speed determines how much time it takes for the wood planer to smoothen the surface of the material fed into the machine. The best wood planers should generate two different cutting speeds: one quick speed for initial dimensioning and another slower speed for a smoother finish.

PORTER-CABLE PC305TP 12

PORTER-CABLE PC305TP



Knives

There are several types of knives used in a wood planer. They can be straight, segmented, or spiral-shaped. They can also either be disposable or sharpened. They each have their own uses and pros, so make sure you find a model that utilizes the type(s) of knives you need for your thicknessing tasks.

Cutter head Speed (CPI)

The cutter head speed, measured in cuts-per-inch (CPI), indicate how many cuts are made on the surface of the material per inch that is fed into the machine. The higher the cutter head speed, the smoother and more prepared the board will be for further processing. In addition, a quicker cutter head speed generally means an increase in feed speed, though it’s always better to prioritize cutter head speed over feed speed.

DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer

DEWALT DW734

What Does a Wood Planer Do?

Chip Ejection Port

Like most woodworking power tools, wood planers produce a heck of a lot of debris that could potentially burst into flames when left resting under an overheated machine. One of the most effective ways of eliminating this risk is by getting rid of wood chips, shavings, and dust straight from the source. Make sure your wood planer comes with a chip ejection port which is compatible with your shop vac or dust collector.

Portability

Unless you’re a serious furniture builder who makes a living off of building high-quality furniture in an efficient manner, then you’re most likely in the market for a portable bench-top wood planer. In that case, find a model that’s easy to carry but can be mounted on your workbench without needing a huge amount of clearance in the outfeed.

DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer Package

DEWALT DW735X

Material Support

Although portable bench-top planers are considerably more compact than industrial planers, this doesn’t mean that they can’t support large boards. Some of the best wood planers can support materials of up to 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide. To help support super-long boards, you may need the help of infeed and outfeed tables.

Top 5 Wood Planers

Now that we understand the basics of what makes a good wood planer, the only thing left to do is decide which model to get. As you already know, the market is saturated with wood planers, both good and bad. To help you with your purchase decision, we’ve compiled a list of our picks for the best five wood planers available on the market right now.

5 DEWALT DW735 13-Inch, Two Speed Thickness Planer

Our first pick is one of DEWALT’s most famed wood planers: the DeWalt DW735. Its 15-amp motor is able to deliver cuts of up to 1/8-inch thick in boards of up to 6 inches tall, 12-1/2 inches wide, and 19-3/4 inches in length. It also comes with two cutter head speeds – the first for dimensioning that delivers 96 CPI and a higher gear for finishing at 179 CPI.

DEWALT DW735 13-Inch, Two Speed Thickness Planer

DEWALT DW735

The DW735 comes with a three-blade setup for superior finishes. The blades are disposable but are marketed to last for at least 30% longer than traditional disposable straight blades. This is a portable 80-pound unit that can be mounted to your workbench if needed.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DW735 on Amazon >>>

4 PORTER-CABLE PC305TP 12″ Thickness Planer

PORTER-CABLE is another popular power tools manufacturer that produces some of the best wood planers. In our opinion, their best workbench model is the PC305TP. This planer packs a 15-amp motor that delivers 96 CPI for the initial smoothening and 179 CPI for super-fine finishes.

PORTER-CABLE PC305TP 12

PORTER-CABLE PC305TP

This machine comes with the standard dual-blades setup. You can utilize both sides of each blade before needing to purchase and install replacements. The machine can support boards of up to 12.5 inches wide, 6 inches tall, and more than 3 feet long. However, you need to take extra care when setting up the infeed, and outfeed tables since even the slightest wiggle can render several inches from the front and tail ends of your boards utterly useless (snipe).

Check how much you can save, buying the PORTER-CABLE PC305TP on Amazon >>>

3 DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer Package

The third-place spot goes to the DW735X from DEWALT. Honestly speaking, DEWALT’s DW735 is so good that it deserves two spots on our list. The only true difference between the DW735 and DW735X is that the latter comes with infeed and outfeed tables which can support materials of up to 6 inches tall, 13 inches wide, and 33-1/2 inches long.

DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer Package

DEWALT DW735X

In every other respect (motor, cutting depth, cutter head speed), the two are completely identical. Because the DW735X comes with two aluminum tables for supporting longer material, the overall weight of the unit will increase to 95 pounds. If you’re going to get the DW735, do yourself a favor and pay a little more for the X version since buying the feed tables separately will cost you more than getting them in a single package.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DW735X on Amazon >>>

2 DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer

It’s no surprise that DEWALT makes a third appearance on our list due to their expert craftsmanship and design of their products. The DEWALT DW734 is similar to the previous DEWALT models, but it doesn’t come with a second cutter head speed for extremely fine finishing. Instead, you get a single gear (96 CPI) for both dimensioning and finishing your material.

DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer

DEWALT DW734

It comes with both infeed and outfeed tables that support material of up to 33-1/2 inches long, 12-1/2 inches wide, and 6 inches tall. Another unique feature is the four-column carriage lock that virtually eliminates the risk of snipe.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DW734 on Amazon >>>

1 WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

The final product on our pick for the best five wood planers is the 6550 from WEN. This amazing machine features a 15-amp motor that produces 96 CPI and 176 CPI for dimensioning and finishing, respectively. It can support material up to 6 inches tall and 12-1/2 inches wide. The foldable infeed and outfeed tables are made of solid granite, meaning that their shape won’t warp over time, ensuring high-quality finishes as long as the machine is functional.

WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN 6550

It has a dual-blade setup, and the blades can be reversed to give you twice as much use out of each blade. Adjusting the depth of each cut is simple to do with the help of the rubber handle. A full rotation of the handle adjusts the height of the blade by 1/16 of an inch, and it has a maximum cutting depth of 3/32 of an inch.

Check how much you can save, buying the WEN 6550 on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

Both DIY-hobbyists and professional woodworkers can find value in a wood planer. Wood planers are a must-have tool to have in the workshop if you regularly need to adjust the thickness of multiple large boards. Instead of using a hand sander or a table sander to adjust the thickness of your board – a process which is both time-consuming and inaccurate – feed your boards through the machine and watch as the blades shave fractions of an inch off the top for a clean finish.

DEWALT DW735 13-Inch, Two Speed Thickness Planer

DEWALT DW735

There are several factors to consider when looking at wood planer models. The most important features are feed speed, number and shape of the blades, cutter head speed, chip ejection port, weight and portability, and material support. Bench-top wood planers are limited in cutting capacity compared to industrial-grade machines used in professional woodworking factories, but for the common man or professional furniture builder, a portable bench-top wood planer will do just fine.

WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN 6550

In this article, we’ve provided you with our picks of the best five wood planers you can buy today. Three of the five best models are made by DEWALT, which is no surprise since DEWALT basically dominates the power tools industry. However, the best-performing model is the WEN 6550. What sets this machine apart from the rest is that the infeed and outfeed tables are made with solid granite that won’t warp over time and perform extremely well in preventing snipe.

Wood Planer Buying Guide Infographic




Categories
Buying Guides Guides Miscellaneous Power Generators

Best Honda Portable Generators in 2020

A portable generator can be the perfect power solution when you don’t have the means to purchase a standby generator or if you need a source of electricity when you’re far away from an electrical outlet. This machine can supply power to all of your devices and home appliances in the event of a blackout. When going on camping trips, it’ll provide electricity to power up your TVs and refrigerators.

Honda EU2000I Portable Generator

Honda EU2000I

Why Honda

If you’re scouring the market for a portable generator, most likely you’re going to run into more Honda-made models than any other brand. In general, Honda portable generators are the most reliable types you can get, though Yamaha and Briggs & Stratton do give it a run for its money. Normally, Honda-made units will experience fewer maintenance issues and last for several years.

What to Look for in a Portable Generator

Before picking up a portable generator, here are some important specs to pay close attention to.

Power Source

The majority of portable generators use either gas or liquid propane as a power source for providing energy to your devices and home appliances. The more environmental-conscience of us might consider solar-powered portable generators the better option. They both have their pros and cons, so it’s up to the user to decide which fuel source works better for their own unique situations.

Honda EU2200i Portable Generator

Honda EU2200i



Wattage Capacity

There are important numbers that indicate the wattage of a portable generator: the surge wattage which is the maximum capacity at which the generator can kick-start an appliance to life, and the running wattage which shows the total load the generator can support. Generally, we want the two numbers as high as possible or at least able to cover what electronics we plan on plugging in.

Inverter Technology

The most high-end portable generators come with inverter technology which offers cleaner energy for powering up sensitive devices such as laptops, Smartphones, and tablets. These generators are also extremely silent, making them the perfect option if you need a generator to take on camping trips.

Honda EU3000iS Portable Generator

Honda EU3000iS

Low-Oil Shutoff

Nobody wants to constantly or even periodically check on their portable generator to see the oil gauge and how much is left in the tank. The best portable generators should come with a low-oil indicator and automatic shutoff. This feature will prevent permanent damage to your machine, extending its life for many more seasons to come.

Wheels

Even though portable generators are “portable,” beefier machines with higher wattage capacities can weigh upwards of 200 pounds – a strain on the shoulders and back to lift. Some portable generator models may not come with wheels, forcing you to purchase them separately and costing your anywhere around $100. Save yourself the time and trouble and find a model with wheels if the portable generator is too heavy to carry around.

Number of Outlets

Check to see that your portable generator comes with multiple outlets. Most models do, but generally speaking, four outlets is the magic number. The total load is spread out evenly among the outlets, but you should only ever utilize every outlet during emergencies or when you’re far away from other electrical outlets – e.g., camping trips in the middle of the woods.

Honda 7000W Portable Generator

Honda 7000W

Noise Level Production

Another important feature is the noise levels produced by a portable generator. Nowadays, it’s easy to find portable generators that produce less than 80 decibels even when running on a full load. The best Honda-made portable generators take it to another level by releasing only around 60 decibels maximum on high capacity.

Tank Displacement and Runtime

Obviously, we want a machine that uses fuel efficiently, providing more power for fewer fuel costs. Displacement lets you know how much fuel can sit inside of the tank at full capacity (measured in cubic centimeters or gallons), and the runtime indicates how long the machine can provide energy, usually at a quarter- or half-load.

Best Honda Portable Generators

After extensive research and testing, we’ve come up with a list of the four of the best Honda portable generators you can use for both emergency situations and outdoor expeditions. They might not meet your exact requirements, but overall, they operate well, inexpensively, and without fuss.

Honda EU2000I

The first Honda-made portable generator on our list is the amazing Honda EU2000I which is arguably one of the best lightweight and compact 2,000-watt inverter generators available today. It features an eco-throttle system which enhances overall fuel-consumption by limiting how much is used based on the load.

Honda EU2000I Portable Generator

Honda EU2000I

Due to its inverter technology, you can use this portable generator to charge up your laptops and Smartphones on weekend outings with the family without worrying about damaging your devices. It’s also a whisper-quiet machine that has a noise-production range between 53 and 58 decibels. On a single 98.5 cc tank of gas, the EU2000I can provide clean, efficient energy for up to 8 hours on a quarter-load and 3.5 hours on a full load.

Honda EU2200i

This 2,200-watt Honda EU2200i portable generator is another high-quality machine that delivers super-clean energy to power sensitive devices thanks to its inverter technology. The tank only holds onto 0.95 gallons of gasoline, but this is enough to power up many important home appliances for up to 8 hours when running at a quarter-load.

Honda EU2200i Portable Generator

Honda EU2200i

Like the EU2000I, this portable generator can be carried around from place to place due to its lightweight (47 pounds), compact design. It’s also safe to use in the wild since it produces only up to 57 decibels of noise. With two of these devices on hand, you can connect them both using a parallel cord which provides up to 4,400 watts of power. Essentially, the EU2200I is operationally similar to the smaller EU2000I, except it packs 200 extra watts to supply power to more or larger devices.

Honda EU3000iS

As you can already guess, the Honda EU3000iS is designed to supply up to 3,000 watts of power – more than enough for plugging in and running TVs, refrigerators, and charging multiple devices simultaneously. In emergency situations, this portable generator can be used as a standby device for supplying power to your home.

Honda EU3000iS Portable Generator

Honda EU3000iS

Like the other models on this list, this generator uses inverter technology to supply cleaner power more efficiently for charging laptops and other sensitive devices. One amazing feature is its super-quiet operations, producing only 57 decibels maximum, considering its maximum wattage capacity and size.

It lives up to the Honda name by being fuel efficient – on a single tank of 3.4 gallons of gasoline; you can get up to 20 hours of power. If you get this model, you should consider investing in all-terrain wheels (sold separately) since, weight in at 75 pounds, carrying it to and fro might be a little too much to handle alone.

Honda 7000W

The last Honda portable generator on our list is a beast – the Honda 7000W portable generator. Although it’s a portable machine, the wattage capacity means the machine will weigh significantly more than the previous models (250 pounds). Because of the added poundage, this machine comes with its own set of all-terrain wheels and a pull-out handle for easy maneuverability.

Honda 7000W Portable Generator

Honda 7000W

Similar to the previous models here, the 7000W also uses inverter technology for powering sensitive home appliances and electronics. Although it’s a fuel-efficient model, it’s the least efficient on our list – providing 18 hours of power on a single 5.1-gallon of gasoline. However, this is understandable since larger machines require more power to operate and provide greater quantities of electricity.

Honda Portable Generators: Conclusion

Portable generators are handy devices to have during blackouts and taking with you to family outings. If possible, only consider getting a portable generator that comes with inverter technology since it’s the only type that will safely power a laptop computer and charge your sensitive electronics.

Honda EU2000I Portable Generator

There are several reasons why you should choose Honda as your go-to company for portable generators – they’re a market leader, their products are of high quality, and they can last you for many years before experiencing its first maintenance issue. Even though other brands manufacture generators that perform well, there’s very little risk if you choose Honda.

In this article, we’ve provided you with four of Honda’s best portable generators, ranging from a light 2,000-watt to a massive 7,000-watt beast. These two portable generators and the other two in between work flawlessly and deserve a lot of praise for being an excellent emergency and outdoor generators.

Honda 7000W Portable Generator

3 Recommended Portable Generators


SaleBestseller No. 1
Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet...
  • 2200 watts, 18.3A, 120V
  • Ideal for TV, DVD, satellite, fridge, coffee pot, and more
  • Super quiet - like a conversation, Lightweight - less than 47 lbs
Bestseller No. 2
A-iPower SUA2000iV Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable...
  • 2000 peak watt/1600 running watt 1. 1-Gal. Fuel tank. Provides up to 7 hours of run time at 50% load
  • A-iPower exclusive "low idle" Technology enable you a 9 hour run time at 50% load and 4 hour run time at 100%...
  • 58 dBA noise lvl ensures quiet operation so you won't wake up your neighbor & wife, perfert fit for camping,...
SaleBestseller No. 3
WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter...
  • Extremely quiet operation comparable to the sound of a normal conversation according to the US Department of...
  • EPA III and CARB-Compliant 79.7cc 4-Stroke OHV engine produces 2000 surge watts and 1700 rated watts
  • Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before...




Categories
Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Guides

Best Cordless Drill-Driver Combo Kits in 2020

One of the most effective ways to make the switch from corded to cordless power tools is with purchasing a cordless combo kit. These kits will provide you with several batteries and power tools so you can get straight to work. Combo kits can come with a variety of different tools, some costing more than $2,000 and others considerably cheaper. Most combo kits come in two or four tools, the latter being more popular, but the former being a great option for people looking to build up their collection of cordless power tools gradually.

DEWALT DCK240C2

DEWALT DCK240C2

Finding the Right Cordless Drill-Driver Combo Kit

There are literally hundreds of different cordless drill-driver combo kits available, choosing the right kit for you that much more difficult. The following segment will focus on the most important specs and features to consider when shopping around for such a kit.

Number of Batteries

When searching for combo kits, ideally you’ll want to receive as many batteries as there are tools. Some cordless drill-driver combos might come with only one battery that’s compatible in both tools, but the best kits will give you a battery for each.

Bosch CLPK22-120

Bosch CLPK22-120

Carrying Case or Bag

Since you’re buying multiple tools, you’ll want to have a designated case or bag to place them in. We prefer hard carrying cases over bags since they work better at keeping your tools in place without bumping up against each other.

Drill and Driver Specs

Since you’re getting a cordless drill and impact driver, you’ll want them to work quickly and powerfully. The following specs are the most important to consider.

Makita CT226

Makita CT226

Motor

There are two types of motors generally used in power tools: brushed and brushless motors. The former is the classic type of motor that produces a lot of heat and requires constant maintenance in replacing the brushes, whereas the latter dissipates heat much more effectively but is the costlier option. Brushless drill-driver combo kits are the better option, but brushed drills and drivers can be used in the exact same applications while producing identical results.



Power Output

The rating used to describe the power capability of power drills and impact drivers is units-watts-out (UWO) which measures the combination of speed and torque. Quicker speed and more powerful torque are generally preferred over lower ratings, but for most home applications, virtually moderate speed and torque-power will do.

Comfort

Drills and impact drivers are used in both horizontal and vertical orientations, and many jobs call for drilling holes or driving screws overhead. Find a model that fits comfortably in your hand and won’t cause fatigue in your arms and shoulders with its weight. Most cordless power drills and impact drivers are light – around 4 to 7 pounds – so lightweight versions of these tools won’t be too difficult to find.

Milwaukee 2897-22 M18 Combo Kit

Milwaukee 2897-22 M18

Battery Voltage

Basically, the voltage rating of a cordless tool’s battery determines how much power it delivers to the tool. A higher voltage means more power, making it more suitable for heavy-duty work such as in professional woodshops and auto shops. The most powerful cordless drills and drivers will come with batteries of up to 18 volts.

Top 5 Drill-Driver Combo Kits

The previous section focused on the various specs and features to consider when shopping for a drill-driver combo kit. Now that we understand what makes a good combo kit, the only thing left to do is find the right kit. To help you in your search, we’ve made a list of our picks of the best five drill-driver combo kits that work beautifully and have been highly praised by their customers.

5 DEWALT DCK290L2 Combo Kit

The first combo kit on our list is the DCK290L2 from DEWALT. This kit comes with a 3.0-amp power drill and impact driver that feature brushed motors. The kit includes 20V batteries, one for each of the tools. The drill has a large ½-inch chuck and 3-speed transmission with speeds of up to 2,000 RPM. The impact driver comes with a ¼-inch hex chuck.

DEWALT DCK290L2 Combo Kit

The brushed motor generates up to 2,800 RPM and up to 3,200 IPM with 1,400-inch-pounds of torque. This combo kit would suit first-time buyers and hobbyist DIY-ers extremely well. The entire kit comes in a carry bag with several compartments to store the battery charger, tools, and batteries.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCK290L2 on Amazon >>>

4 Milwaukee 2897-22 M18 Combo Kit

The next two-tool combo kit on our list is the infamous 2897-22 M18 from Milwaukee. This kit contains a hammer drill and an impact driver. The ½-inch hammer drill is especially impressive as it delivers up to 2,000 RPM and 1,200-inch-pounds of torque, while the 5.0-amp motor on the ¼-inch impact driver produces up to 3,700 IPM and 1,800-inch-pounds of torque.

Milwaukee 2897-22 M18 Combo Kit

The amazing thing about this kit is that the power of both tools is housed in compact cases – the hammer drill is 7.75 inches long, and the impact driver is only 5.25 inches. Their 18V REDLITHIUM batteries offer at least 30 minutes of run time before needing to be recharged.

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee 2897-22 M18 on Amazon >>>

3 Makita CT226 Combo Kit

Makita’s two-tool combo kit – the CT226 – contains a 3/8-inch drill driver and ¼-inch impact driver. They both run off of 12V 2.0-amp batteries. From their chuck sizes and battery capacities, it’s fair to say that these tools are designed for light- to medium-duty applications. The drill has a two-speed transmission that can spin up to 1,700 RPM while generating around 250-inch-pounds of torque.

Makita CT226

The impact driver delivers up to 970-inch-pounds of torque while hammering out 3,500 IPM. These are two extremely lightweight tools that weigh less than 2 pounds each, basically eliminating the risk of fatigue. The kit comes with two 12V batteries, a charger, and a handy carrying case.

Check how much you can save, buying the Makita CT226 on Amazon >>>

2 Bosch CLPK22-120 Combo Kit

The CLPK22-120 combo kit from Bosch contains a 3/8-inch drill driver and a ¼-inch hex impact driver. They are both powered by 12V batteries, making them suitable for general house renovation and minor auto maintenance applications. The drill has a two-speed transmission that reaches speeds of up to 350 RPM and 1,350 RPM with a maximum torque of 256-inch-pounds.

Bosch CLPK22-120

The motor in the driver can deliver up to 2,600 RPM with 3,100 IPM at a maximum torque of 930-inch-pounds. The 12V batteries require 60 minutes of charging before reaching full capacity. A single charge can provide power to each tool for about 30 minutes. The entire kit comes in a handy carrying case in which the tools often scrape up against each other.

Check how much you can save, buying the Bosch CLPK22-120 on Amazon >>>

DEWALT DCK240C2 vs Bosch CLPK22-120: Combo Kit Comparison

1 DEWALT DCK240C2 Combo Kit

The final item on the list of our top five best drill-driver combo kits is the DCK240C2 from DEWALT. This combo kit contains the DCD771 ½-inch drill-driver with the two-speed transmission (450 RPM and 1,500 RPM maximum speeds) and the DCF88C2 ¼-inch impact driver (2,800 RPM max speed at 1,400-inch-pounds of torque).

DEWALT DCK240C2

Both of these tools are powered by super-beefy 20V batteries that provide power for up to 45 minutes on a single charge. It takes about 1 hour of charging time for the batteries to reach 100%. The kit comes with a carrying bag with separate compartments for each tool, charger, and batteries. This kit is designed to for heavy-duty house renovation and car maintenance applications.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCK240C2 on Amazon >>>

Final Remarks

If you’re looking to switch from corded to cordless, then there’s no better way than going with a combo kit. Some of the most comprehensive cordless combo kits will set you back thousands of dollars, but if you want to make gradually build your toolset, then you’ll want to find a kit with only the most crucial tools. Some of the most vital tools you’ll need are a power drill and an impact driver that have several applications in the home, in woodshops, and in auto shops.

DEWALT DCK290L2 Combo Kit

DEWALT DCK290L2

There are literally hundreds of different drill-driver combo sets available, so it’s important to do a bit of research before purchasing a kit. There are several important specs and features to consider, such as the number of batteries included in the set, what type of case it comes in, and how well the tools actually perform. If you can find a kit that comes with one battery per tool, a good hard or soft carrying case, and high-speed and –torque drills and drivers, then you’re good to go.

DEWALT DCK240C2

DEWALT DCK240C2

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of our picks of the best five cordless drill-driver combo kits out there. Generally speaking, brand-name companies such as DEWALT, Milwaukee, Makita, and Bosch won’t disappoint. However, if you’re looking for the absolute best two-tool combo kit, we highly recommend going with the DEWALT DCK240C2. This kit is built for heavy-duty applications both in and outside the home. They are having long-lasting batteries and a quick charge, so there’s very little downtime in between charges.




Categories
Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Guides

Best Pocket-Hole Machines in 2020

The best woodworkers try their best to conceal screws whenever possible. A neat, flush finish is what separates the amateur, DIY furniture-maker from the pros, so if you’re looking to up your game, you should make every effort to do the same. One of the best tools to do this with is the pocket-hole jig.

Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine

Kreg DB210

We all know how the pocket-hole jig works: you clamp down your jig onto your stock to pre-drill holes at an angle. There’s no doubt that this is an extremely effective tool to help hide screws, but what if you’re looking for a quicker way to go at itConsider investing in a pocket-hole machine, instead.

A pocket-hole machine works just like the classic pocket-hole jig, but it makes quicker work of otherwise time-consuming clamping, measuring, and drilling at low angles. Some machines come with a built-in drill so you don’t need to have a power drill on hand to make pocket holes. Other models work just like the ol’ fashioned pocket-hole jig, but they come with better clamping systems, fence protection to prevent drilling through your wood, and locking mechanisms to make drilling holes in multiple boards easy and accurate. To cover up the pocket holes, you can fill them with plugs that you made yourself or that are premade by a manufacturer.

PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG Pocket-Hole Joinery System

PORTER-CABLE 560

What to Look For in a Pocket-Hole Machine

Pocket-hole machines come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, weights, and – most importantly – prices. Before you head out to purchase a pocket-home machine, you’ll want to make sure they fit the following criteria.

Clamping System

When drilling pocket holes, we want to make sure that our stock is kept securely in place while the built-in drill or power drill bit can penetrate without causing too much movement. The best pocket-hole machines and jigs should come with strong-grip clamps that are adjustable to the width and/or length of the board.

Castle TSM22 Pocket Hole Machine

Castle TSM22

Locking Mechanism for Repeated Drilling

A locking mechanism is a simple yet effective way to help produce repeated pocket holes in similar sized wood boards. With the traditional pocket-hole jig, you’re left measuring each board every time before making drilling holes at an angle in your stock. Pocket-hole machines come with various locking mechanism – front-to-back locking against the back fence, and even side-to-side locking against stops.

Adjustable Back Fence, Depth Gauge, or Depth Collar

When drilling pocket holes, we don’t want the drill bit to pierce too far into the wood board which can leave a weak web or pilot hole for screwing two boards together. There are several ways manufacturers help woodworkers with making the perfect pocket-to-pilot hole ratio, and it’s all in the back fence, depth gauge, or depth collar. Depending on the model of the machine, you may get one or several methods to ensure perfect pocket holes every time.

High-Speed Drilling

Pocket-hole machines can come with built-in drills, and for this type, it’s important for the motor to deliver ample drilling speed to make neat cuts. Like power drills, you’ll want something that goes at least above 1,500 RPM.

The Castle 100 Pocket Hole Machine

The Castle 100

Which Pocket-Hole Machine to Get

As we mentioned before, there are several types of pocket-hole machines – those that come with built-in drills, and those that require having a separate power drill to make pocket holes. Our list of the top 5 pocket-hole machines includes both types.

What is a Pocket-Hole Machine and How to Use It?

5. Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine

The fifth-place position goes to Shop Fox’s W1833. It has a heavy-duty table design which allows users to rest large stock on while they use an integrated drill to cut pocket holes on the bottom-facing portion of the stock. Using a downwards plunging motion, the drill will come up at a 6° angle to make the ideal pocket hole with appropriate webbing and pilot hole ratio for each of your boards.

Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine

It comes with an adjustable back fence to prevent excessive penetration, and two side locks to help make accurate, repeated pocket holes with every plunge. One drawback is the clamp which moves down to press against your stock as you pull the handle – it can be too strong and can morph softwoods.

Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine
  • Hold down mechanism automatically adjusts to the right height and clamping pressure to securely hold the work...
  • One step automatic motor actuation; just pull the lever and forward and the motor starts before entering the...
  • 10-3/16-by-6-5/16-inch cast iron table

4. Castle 100 Pocket Hole Machine

The Castle 100 is the only model on our list that has a built-in router to make pocket holes but still requires an external drill to produce pilot holes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially considering how perfect the pocket holes are made. The guide to insert small-sized bits for drilling pilot holes is at a perfect 6° angle to enhance the quality of the web.

Castle 100 Pocket Hole Machine

It’s also a compact unit that you can take from place to place, and it comes with all the appropriate locking and clamping systems to prevent unwanted movement of your stock. It also features a dust-collection port to get rid of wood shavings and sawdust.

The Castle 100 Pocket Hole Machine
  • Portable. Cuts the professional Castle Pocket. Reduces joint shift. Dust extraction port. Routed not drilled

3. Castle TSM22 Pocket Hole Machine

The TSM22 by Castle is a popular pocket-hole machine for several reasons. First, the built-in drill delivers up to 1,780 RPM to make clean pockets and pilot holes every time. Unlike other models pocket-hole machines and the traditional pocket-hole jig, the pocket hole will not require further sanding to get rid of ugly splinters or uneven surfaces.

Castle TSM22 Pocket Hole Machine

The drill located under the head of the unit makes the 6° pilot hole for proper strength when joining two boards together with a screw. In addition, to start the drilling process, the user simply steps on a pedal which sends the multiple drills into the stock, freeing your hands up to offer support in preventing movement.

Castle TSM22 Pocket Hole Machine
  • Router—Bosch 2.0hp #1617 Drill—Bosch Colt 1.0hp #PR10E Router Bit—Premium 3/8” Solid Carbide, Rough...

2. PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG Pocket-Hole Joinery System

Out of all the models on our list, the PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG is the only one that doesn’t have an integrated drill for making pocket holes or pilot holes. Basically, you’re getting a pocket-hole jig with extra features, but the extra features are its saving grace. You get accurate measurements for repeated drillings, well-built stops to prevent penetration and make perfect-sized pocket holes, and the kit includes a collar to measure the perfect depth in every application.

PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG Pocket-Hole Joinery System

One drawback of the 560 QUIKJIG is that it even though it comes with a long drill bit for making pocket and pilot holes, there’s no built-in storage space for it. If the drill bit falls and the pilot point snaps, you have to go out and purchase a replacement.

PORTER-CABLE QUIKJIG Pocket Hole Jig & Joinery...
  • Automatic depth control system allows for easy set-up for different material thicknesses
  • Variable-spaced bushings allow a variety of positions for the pocket holes
  • Self-adjusting clamp adjusts automatically to material thickness

1. Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine

Finally, the number one spot on our list belongs to Kreg’s DB210. This is another table-style pocket-hole machine that uses a plunging handle to drill pocket and pilot holes. It comes with perfect stops to make repeated drillings super easy, and the adjustable fence allows users control in determining the depth of the pocket hole.

Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine

It also comes with a dust-collection port to get rid of pesky sawdust from your workspace. The 15.0 amp motor delivers up to 2,800 RPM for clean pockets with every plunge. As a table-style machine, it’s lightweight and can even be mounted on a bench for dedicated workers. It’s also one of the most noiseless machines out there.

Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine, Blue
  • Single-step operation starts motor, clamps workpiece, and drills pocket holes
  • Creates all Kreg Joint sizes: Standard, Micro, and HD
  • Powerful 110-V, 5.0-AMP, 2,800 RPM motor provides fast drilling

Conclusion

Pocket holes are an ingenious way to keep unsightly screws out of sight and out of mind. They work to keep two boards locked together to prevent unwanted moving and wobbling, and they can be filled in with self-made or purchasable plugs.

There are several types of pocket-home contraptions out there, and the classic one is a simple pocket-hole jig which requires meticulous measuring, makeshift locking systems for repeated drilling, and a careful hand to prevent excessive penetration through your wood. If you’re not really up to the challenge of working with normal pocket-hole jigs, then a pocket-hole machine is the way to go.

Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine

Shop Fox W1833

Pocket-hole machines do all that a simple jig does and much more. The best models come with locking mechanisms, perfect clamping systems, depth gauges or collar stops for your drill bits, built-in drills with adjustable depth, and penetration insurance.

Out of our pick on the top 5 pocket-hole machines, we feel that users can get the most value out of the Kreg DB210 than anything else on the market. First of all, it comes with its own dedicated drill so you don’t need a separate power drill to make pocket holes. Secondly, it’s lightweight, extremely sturdy, and it’s easy to use. Finally, changing bits for the built-in drill is a toolless job thanks to the quick-change chuck that uses hex bits. It delivers up to 2,800 RPM for perfect pockets with every plunge of the handle.

Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine

Kreg DB210

We understand that some people aren’t willing to invest hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars on a machine that enhances the quality of your pocket holes, but for hardcore professionals who need to make repeated pocket holes in a time-efficient manner, a pocket-hole machine can be a great investment.

Recommended Pocket Hole Machines


Bestseller No. 1
Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine, Blue
  • Single-step operation starts motor, clamps workpiece, and drills pocket holes
  • Creates all Kreg Joint sizes: Standard, Micro, and HD
  • Powerful 110-V, 5.0-AMP, 2,800 RPM motor provides fast drilling
Bestseller No. 2
Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine
  • Hold down mechanism automatically adjusts to the right height and clamping pressure to securely hold the work...
  • One step automatic motor actuation; just pull the lever and forward and the motor starts before entering the...
  • 10-3/16-by-6-5/16-inch cast iron table
Bestseller No. 3
Armor Auto-Jig Pocket Hole System & 350 Piece...
  • One-Step Set Up!
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Buying Guides Guides Saws

Best Metal Cutting Saws in 2020

There are several tools you can use to cut metal. Most metalworkers are probably familiar with the good ol’ fashioned hacksaw or junior hacksaw. But if you’re looking for a more efficient way of slicing through metal pipes or bars, you can turn to bandsaws, reciprocating saws, chops saws, and multi-cutters to do the heavy work for you.

DEWALT DW872 14-Inch Multi-Cutter Saw

DEWALT DW872

Cutting Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metal

There are two types of metals used for construction purposes. These are ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals – carbon steel, cast and wrought iron, and stainless steel – are foundation metals used in large construction projects. They’re the rough-and-tough metals used in skyscrapers, bridges, and even some DIY projects. These are the high-density metals that require a lot of power and super-durable blades to slice.

Non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum, copper, tin, and zinc, have no iron content (rust-resistant). For liquid pipes, roofing, gutters, and outdoor signs, you should turn to non-ferrous metals. In addition, these metals are highly malleable so cutting them down to size can be done with less powerful saws.

What to Look for in a Metal-Cutting Saw

Metal-cutting saws come in all different sizes, shapes, and with different specs. These are the most important features to pay attention to.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 Multi Purpose Cutting Chop Saw

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2

What Saw To Cut Through MetalMetal Cutting Guide

Abrasive Disc vs Carbide Blade

When strolling down the saw aisle at your local hardware store, you’ll most likely encounter metal-cutting saws that come with two types of blades: an abrasive disc and a carbide blade. An abrasive disc is a flexible disc which grinds against the metal stock. These discs produce a whole bunch of sparks when grinding against metal which can leave residual marks on your stock (not safe for aluminum or other soft metals).

Carbide blades are rigid, durable, and produce much cleaner results when slicing through metal stock and pipes. They’re also long-lasting so you don’t need to purchase replacement blades for several months or years of use. This is a good thing too since replacement carbide blades are rather costly.

DEWALT DW872 14-Inch Multi-Cutter Saw

DEWALT DW872

Blade Rotation Speed

Looking at the maximum RPM of a metal-cutting saw can help in determining how powerful the unit is. Typically, we want a tool that can deliver at least 1,300 RPM for metal-cutting purposes. However, if you purchase a saw that uses abrasive discs rather than carbide blades, you’ll want a tool that delivers at least 3,000 RPM.

Blade Size

Obviously, we want the blade/disc of our metal cutter to pass through whatever size pipe or bar we place put on the chopping block. Depending on what you need, you can get some great metal-cutting saws with blades ranging from 7 to 14 inches in diameter. We suggest going for at least 12 inches to all DIY-ers, but you might also get by through all of your work with a small 7-inch blade.

Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw

Makita LC1230

Clamping Mechanisms

When cutting small pieces of metal, it’s best to keep your hands away from holding the stock since cutting metal produces heat. The best metal-cutting saws come with great clamping systems. Some manufacturers skimp out on installing a reliable stock-clamping system which can result in disaster (kickbacks, causing your metal stock to fly and hit you in the face).

Which Metal-Cutting Saw to Get

The market is saturated with some great-performing metal-cutting tools like multi-cotters, chop saws, and bandsaws. However, in our opinion, the safest and most reliable tools to use for metal-cutting purposes has to the chop saw or multi-cutter. Here is our pick for the top 5 metal-cutting saws on the market.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 7-1/4-Inch TCT Multipurpose Cutting Chop Saw

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4

5 Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw

Our number 5 spot goes to the Makita LC1230. It features a 15.0 amp motor which spins the blade at up to 1,300 RPM for cutting all sorts of metals – both ferrous and non-ferrous. The LC1230 can also produce mitered cuts up to 45° with depths up to 4-1/2 inches. The unit features a quick-release back fence and clamping system for holding down your stock with proper force to prevent kickback.

Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw

Makita LC1230

If you care about portability, this unit weighs only 42.5 pounds fully assembled, so carrying it to and from your truck won’t murder your back. It’s definitely the best 12-inch metal-cutting chop saw on the market.

Check how much you can save, buying the Makita LC1230 on Amazon >>>

4 DEWALT D28710 14-Inch Abrasive Chop Saw

The DEWALT D28710 is the only metal-cutting saw on our list that uses an abrasive disc rather than a carbide blade. If you’re looking for a cheap but effective option for cutting ferrous metals, the D27810 could be the perfect tool for you.

DEWALT D28710 14-Inch Abrasive Chop Saw

DEWALT D28710

It features a 15.0 amp motor that delivers up to 3,800 RPM. The pivoting fence allows for mitered cuts of up to 45°. Its 14-inch abrasive disc can cut as deep as 5.4 inches. The only problem with this unit is its somewhat underperforming fence and tension screw which sometimes leaves the metal stock wobbling dangerously under the disc. The unit weighs 36.5 pounds so it’s super light enough to lift from site to site without trouble.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT D28710 on Amazon >>>

3 Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 Multipurpose Cutting Chop Saw

The RAGE4 by Evolution Power Tools features the smallest blade on this list. Its 15.0 amp motor provides up to 1,450 RPM for quick, clean cuts through all sorts of metals. Its 7-1/4-inch carbide can cut as deep as 2 inches, though users should only cut steel sheets as thick as ¼ an inch to be safe, making it best-suited for home DIY projects and light-duty industrial work on all types of metals.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 7-1/4-Inch TCT Multipurpose Cutting Chop Saw

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4

The back fence of the RAGE4 can pivot 45° to the left and right, and the reliable tension screw keeps your stock from moving even slightly while under the blade. If you’re looking for an extremely lightweight, small-blade model, this is it (only 19 pounds).

Check how much you can save, buying the Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 on Amazon >>>

2 Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 Multi Purpose Cutting Chop Saw

Oddly enough, the RAGE2 is the big-brother model to the RAGE4. It features a 14-inch carbide blade built for slicing through all sorts of materials and metals – both ferrous and non-ferrous.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 Multi Purpose Cutting Chop Saw

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2

The 15.0 amp motor of the unit delivers up to 1,450 RPM for easy chopping. The action swivel clamp and fence allow it to make mitered cuts at up to 45° in either direction. The RAGE2 can cut metal stock and pipes as large as 3 inches.

Check how much you can save, buying the Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT DW872 14-Inch Multi-Cutter Saw

Finally, we choose the rather underrated DEWALT DW872 multi-cutting saw as our number one pick. First of all, the 15.0 amp motor delivers up to 1,300 RPM. The 14-inch carbide blade is suitable for all types of materials, including both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The DW872 delivers the deepest cuts out of any item on our list (5-3/16 inches deep) so you can chop a lot of bars, sheets, pipes, and small beams with this multi-purpose cutting saw.

DEWALT DW872 14-Inch Multi-Cutter Saw

DEWALT DW872

Like the other models, you can make mitered cuts by pivoting the back fence. To help ensure that your stock doesn’t wiggle, this unit comes with an angle clamp to keep your stock nice and snug while bringing the blade down. The only drawback is that it’s the heaviest unit out of everything here (55 pounds).

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DW872 on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

And there you have it, folks. This is our buying guide and our pick for the top five metal-cutting saws that can help you in your next DIY project.

There are several important things to keep in mind while searching for a reliable metal-cutting saw. First, determine what types of metal you’ll be dealing with (dense, rust-prone ferrous metals (except stainless steel which doesn’t rust) or rust-resistant, malleable non-ferrous metals.

DEWALT D28710 14-Inch Abrasive Chop Saw

DEWALT D28710

Next, decide whether you want a model which uses an abrasive disc for grinding through metals (more sparks and heat, messier finish, but cost-efficient) or a unit that uses carbide tips (usable on both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, produces few sparks and little to no heat, but a costly investment).

Depending on what sort of jobs you will be doing, you’ll want to check beforehand the maximum speed output of the motor (RPM) and the size of the blade or disc since thicker metals require a large blade to cut cleanly through. Finally, for safety reasons make sure that the unit comes with an adequate strong clamp to prevent unwanted accidents and kickback.

On our top 5 list, we provide you with metal-cutting saws with blades of all sizes (from 7-1/4 to 14 inches) as well a single abrasive disc model (DEWALT D28710). The best model, in our humble opinion, is the DEWALT DW872 which is an excellent tool but has yet to get the attention it so deserves.

Makita LC1230 12-Inch Metal Cutting Saw

Makita LC1230

It comes with a 14-inch blade that can be used for cutting through both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and it has a cutting capacity larger than any of the other items on our list (up to 5-3/16 inches). In addition, the kit includes an angle clamp to assist in making mitered cuts by keeping your stock in place without the risk of wobbling under the blade.




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Buying Guides Guides Saws

Best Band Saw Kits in 2020

A portable band saw is an invaluable tool that all professional handymen should have. The main difference between a portable band saw and the traditional tabletop or floor model band saw is that this model can be taken from site to site without having to mount it to any stationary table or workbench. This tool is designed to tackle both wood and metal to produce accurate curves, cross cuts, bevel cut, or plainly ripping through thick wood stock or metal bars.

Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit

Milwaukee 2429-21XC

Before you purchase a portable band saw, there are several points that you should consider.

Cutting Capacity

Unlike traditional tabletop or floor band saws, portable band saws have an extremely limited cutting capacity. Some models have a capacity of only 2-1/2 inches in width, while others can cut stock up to 5 inches. Since portable band saws are mainly used for cutting metal, the small capacity shouldn’t matter too much since most metal pieces are less than 5 x 5 inches. Just be sure to get a unit that can handle what you’ll be regularly using it for.

DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS374P2

Best Metal Cutting Saw: Buying Guide

Speed

The best portable band saw models should give you an option to set the blade speed. Speed is measured in surface feet per minute (SPM or SFPM). Materials like cast iron, brass, and aluminum require slower quicker blade speeds to make neat, accurate cuts, whereas tougher metals and other hard-to-cut materials require a lower speed. Some models may come with a speed dial or a touch-sensitive trigger, while other models may not deliver enough SFPM to make it worth having more than one gear. Choose the one that works best for you.

Power Source

Like with almost every handheld power tool, they can be either corded or cordless. Obviously, the main pro of going cordless is that the tool is portable and work is not limited by any cords, though downtime is determined by how many batteries you have and how long it takes to charge. Corded models can run constantly, provided you continue to pay your electricity bills. However, your work is limited to how long the cable is and how many extension cords you have on hand.

DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS374P2

Blade

Although you’re holding onto the unit, the blade does all the work. Usually, blades are around 45 inches long, so don’t be surprised when you head to the hardware store to pick up a 40-plus-inch long blade for your portable band saw.

It’s important to select the correct blade for each application. For example, for making quick cuts, use a coarse blade (less teeth-per-inch, TPI). To make straight cuts through wide stock, use wide blades. To make detailed cuts or sharp-angled cuts, use narrow blades. Of course, it all depends on the material you’re cutting (plastic, wood, metal, etc.).

DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DWM120K

Other Features

Portable band saws can come with a variety of additional features, including built-in LED work light, comfortable handle, rubber bumpers, and hooks for hanging the unit. Of course, these add-ons may encourage accuracy, but they don’t guarantee it. Just be sure to get the right model with the right selection of additional features to make handling the unit much more comfortable.

DEWALT DCS371P1 20V MAX Lithium Ion Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS371P1

Which Portable Band Saw to Get

Now that we know the basics of what makes a good portable band saw, the only question left to answer is: Which model should you getWe’ll provide you with our pick of the top 5 portable band saw models, but your purchase decision should be based on your specific needs and the unit’s ability to meet your demands.

5 Milwaukee 2729-21 M18 Fuel Deep Cut Band Saw

The fifth spot goes to the Milwaukee 2729-21 M18. It has a cutting capacity of up to 5 x 5 inches so the blade can cut through multiple metal pieces in one pass. This model features a touch-sensitive trigger that allows users to control how quickly they want the blade to move. The speed of the blade ranges from 0 to 380 SFPM and is able to cut through all sorts of materials.

Milwaukee 2729-21 M18 Fuel Deep Cut Band Saw

Milwaukee 2729-21

This is a cordless model which uses REDLITHIUM (Milwaukee’s own creation) batteries with extended life. It comes with a 44-7/8-inch blade with 24 TPI. You may need to invest in additional blades since the stock blade isn’t exactly a blanket solution for all your cutting needs.

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee 2729-21 on Amazon >>>

4 Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit

This Milwaukee model has the smallest cutting capacity of all the units on our top 5 list. Only pieces up to 1-5/8 inches can pass between the blade, so this unit is definitely only used for single bars, pipes, or thin wood stock. Because of the unit’s compact size, the M12 REDLITHIUM battery lasts much longer – the company boasts up to 150 cuts on ¾-inch EMT in less than 5 seconds.

Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit

Milwaukee 2429-21XC

The compact size also means smaller blades will fit into this unit – 27-inch long blades, to be exact. The 2429-21XC M12, however, doesn’t feature a variable speed trigger or dial, and it works at a constant 280 SFPM.

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee 2429-21XC on Amazon >>>

3 DEWALT DCS371P1 20V MAX Lithium Ion Band Saw Kit

The DC371P1 by DEWALT is another cordless, compact, and easy-to-use portable band saw. It’s a direct competitor with the previous model, evidenced by the limited cutting capacity (2-1/2 inches). This unit doesn’t have a speed dial or touch-sensitive trigger, and operators are left working at a constant 740 SFPM.

DEWALT DCS371P1 20V MAX Lithium Ion Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS371P1

The high speed is better-suited for working on soft metals (e.g. aluminum) and wood to prevent burn marks, but you can also use this to slice tough objects like steel rebar. The DC3371P1 features a hook for hanging when not in use to prevent damage, and it comes with built-in LED lights with a 20-second shutdown delay.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCS371P1 on Amazon >>>

2 DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit

The DEWALT DWM120K is the only corded handheld band saw on our list. This unit with a 5-inch cutting capacity features a variable speed dial which lets users determine how quickly they want the blade to move. The speed range is between 100 and 350 SFPM, great for both tough and delicate objects.

DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DWM120K

This model features a brushed motor, so keep in mind that there will be more frequent maintenance issues (replacing brushes) and heat-dissipation problems. Like the previous DEWALT model, the DWM120K comes with an integrated hanging hook and LED sight lights to help in poorly lit areas. It uses a 44-7/8-inch long blade, and replacement blades are readily available in many hardware stores as well as online.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DWM120K on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

Finally, the number one spot on our list goes to DEWALT’s DCS374P2. It has a maximum cutting capacity of up to 5 inches for rectangular objects and 4-3/4 inches on round objects. It features a touch-sensitive variable speed trigger which sends the blade moving up to 490 SFPM – perfect for both tough and delicate materials.

DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS374P2

The DCS374P2 uses a brushless motor so it uses its 5.0 amp batteries efficiently and manages heat extremely well to extend the life of both the unit and the battery. It also comes with an integrated hanging hook to keep the front handle and base well-protected, and it has built-in LED lights to illuminate dark spaces while working.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCS374P2 on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

The portable band saw may not be a must-have tool for metalworkers and woodworkers, but if you need a compact saw to cut thin pieces of metal, wood, and plastic down to size, this tool is definitely worth the investment. First of all, it’s a handheld power tool so you don’t need to worry about transporting bulky band saws to and fro the workplace, despite the “portability” of bulky tabletop band saws.

DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DWM120K

Before shopping online for a worthy handheld band saw, make sure you take note of these five things: cutting capacity, speed, power source, blade, and miscellaneous features like LED lights and hanging hooks. The cutting capacity is extremely limited (as small as 1-5/8 inches and as large as 5 inches). Like many handheld power tools, you have a choice between corded or cordless.

The blades are flexible yet durable, and you can purchase blades specifically built for tearing through steel quickly or making smooth cuts in soft aluminum. Miscellaneous features refer to things like the unit’s weight, ergonomic handle, LED lights, hanging hook, and so on.

DEWALT DCS374P2 20V Max Deep Cut Band Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS374P2

It’s clear from our pick of the top 5 handheld band saws that there are only two go-to brands – Milwaukee and DEWALT. For the largest cutting capacity, the Milwaukee 2729-21 M18 is the best option to go with (5 x 5 inches). When dealing exclusively with small objects, the 2-1/2-inch DEWALT DCS371P1 can be your best friend.

The overall best handheld band saw, in our opinion, has to be the DCS374P2 by DEWALT. Basically, it performs just as well as the other DEWALT and Milwaukee models, but the added features – integrated hook and LED lights – make it stand out. Not to mention the brushless motor which means you’ll have fewer maintenance issues in the long run. If you need a portable band saw for cutting all sorts of bars, channels, and pipes, the DCS374P2 is definitely the model to go with.

Milwaukee 2729-21 M18 Fuel Deep Cut Band Saw

Milwaukee 2729-21




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Buying Guides Guides Miscellaneous

Best Indoor Tankless Gas Water Heaters in 2020

If your water heater comes with a 12-year warranty and today is its 20th birthday, it might be time to replace it. Nowadays, there is an infinite number of water heater models out there. The most energy-efficient models will save you tremendous amounts of money in the long run, but you might need to spend a little bit more up front. You might need to consult with a professional to understand the current regulations regarding any efficiency standards in your country.

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG

There are several types of water heaters out there on the market, but we’re going to focus mainly on the tankless variety. This is because this is the most energy-efficient type of heater, though it does have its limitations. The tankless type doesn’t store water for heating, but rather its heating coils heat up the water as it’s drawn. This buying guide should help you understand what a tankless water heater is and the essential features to pay attention to when purchasing one.

Available Floor or Mounting Space

Although tankless water heaters are much more compact compared to traditional ones, it’s still essential to determine whether you have enough room in your home to accommodate a tankless model. Gas-fired tankless water heaters are usually around 30 x 20 inches and require proper venting space to release fumes to prevent combustion. If you don’t have space, an electric unit would be a better choice.

Rheem RTGH-95DVLN Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

Rheem RTGH-95DVLN

Cold Water Temperature

Before you purchase any water heater, be sure to measure your running water’s temperature. Tankless water heaters don’t store water in a tank, so it should be capable of heating up water to your desired specification. For instance, hot water for use in a kitchen should reach around 120° F, so cold water is about 50° F, then the tankless water heater should heat it up 70° F while it’s running at its maximum flow rate.

Check Your Water Flow Rates

Your home’s water flow rate measures the efficiency of a tankless water heater. Low-flow showerheads and sinks may have a maximum flow rate of 1.5 gallons-per-minute (GPM), whereas a bathtub might go up to 4 GPM. When purchasing appliances, check to see if they have a GPM rating. If not, you can measure the GPM yourself by placing a 1-gallon jug or container beneath its faucet and counting how long it takes for the jug or container to reach full capacity. If it takes 20 seconds, then it has 3 GPM rating (3 gallons every 60 seconds).

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP Indoor Tankless Water Heater

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP

Significance of BTU

The British Thermal Unit (BTU) measures how efficient a water heater is at heating water every hour. For example, a 140,000 gas tankless water heater should heat up 140,000 pounds of water by 1° F every hour. This same heater unit should also heat water up to 1,400 pounds of water by 100° F every hour. Essentially, BTU measures the recovery rate in which the unit heats water up to its desired temperature. The higher the BTU, the more time-efficient it is in heating up your water.

Which Tankless Gas Water Heater to Get

As we mentioned earlier, there are a large number of tankless water heaters that draw energy from natural gas or propane. The only question left to answer is which model performs bestHere, we will provide you with our pick of the top five tankless gas water heaters.

Rinnai V65IN Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

Rinnai V65IN

5 Rinnai RUC98iN Tankless Water Heater

The fifth spot goes to Rinnai’s RUC98iN. This remote-controlled (RC included) unit is only 18.5 x 26 x 10 inches, so it takes up very little space, allowing you to allocate more of your homes remaining space for venting purposes. This Energy Star-certified heater has a maximum GPM rating of 9.8 GPM and can heat up your home water to up to 140° F. Depending on how often you use warm and hot water in your home, and you can adjust the RUC98iN’s BTU-count from between 15,200 and 199,000.

Rinnai RUC98iN Tankless Water Heater

Rinnai RUC98iN

Apparently, the higher the BTU you use, the higher your gas bill. The only problem with this unit is that it takes a few seconds for it to deliver adequately heated water, so you’re sending several gallons of cold and lukewarm water down the drain.

Check how much you can save, buying the Rinnai RUC98iN on Amazon >>>

4 Rheem RTGH-95DVLN Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

The next item on our list is the RTGH-95DVLN by Rheem. This unit is another space-saver, measuring only 18.5 x 9.8 x 27 inches. This model has a 9.5 GPM rating which is much more than the average household will reasonably need. Like the previous model, this one also has a maximum heating capacity of up to 140°, though it may not be able to deliver a constant flow of 140°-water at all times.

Rheem RTGH-95DVLN Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

Rheem RTGH-95DVLN

However, it performs flawlessly for water temperatures up to 120°. The RTGH-95DVLN also comes with an adjustable BTU setting (can be configured using the remote control) of between 11,000 and 199,900 BTU. Another drawback of this model is that it’s needlessly loud, so be sure to place the unit in a well-ventilated basement to drown out the hammering sounds it produces.

Check how much you can save, buying the Rheem RTGH-95DVLN on Amazon >>>

3 Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP Indoor Tankless Water Heater

The Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP gas-fired tankless water heater is another Energy Star-certified appliance. It delivers up to 6.6 GPM of heated water from low-temperature (around 50° F) at a consistent rate, though most small- to medium-sized households will find the max GPM to be borderline sufficient. It can provide water up to 165° F without any troubles and almost instantly.

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP Indoor Tankless Water Heater

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP

Using the remote control, you can adjust the BTU settings from between 19,500 and 140,000 BTU. It’s also whisper-quiet, so there’s virtually no risk of hearing and loud noises coming from the unit, even when it’s working at almost full capacity. The T-KJr2-IN-LP takes only 6.7 x 13.8 x 20 inches of space and can be mounted easily.

Check how much you can save, buying the Takagi T-KJr2-IN-LP on Amazon >>>

2 Rinnai V65IN Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

The V65IN by Rinnai is an Energy Star-rated gas-fired on-demand water heater that measures only 8.8 x 13.88 x 23.6 inches, allowing you to use a tremendous amount of room space for ventilation. It has a 6.6 GPM rating, though, for sufficiently hot water (up to 140° F for this unit), it’ll only provide up to 4 GPM – still enough for running multiples hot water faucets in apartments and small homes.

Rinnai V65IN Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

Rinnai V65IN

This model has an adjustable BTU-count of between 10,300 and 150,000 BTU. All adjustments of this model can be made using the remote controller (included in the kit). Even while running at full capacity, the V65IN is reasonably quiet. However, there might be some confusion regarding installation, and the manual won’t be of much help.

Check how much you can save, buying the Rinnai V65IN on Amazon >>>

1 Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater

The gas tankless water heater model that takes home the crown is the Takagi T-KJrN-IN-NG. This Energy Star-certified water heater measures in at 13.8 x 6.7 x 20.3 inches, making it extremely compact and easy to mount. Its BTU-rating range is between 19,500 and 140,000. It has a maximum GPM capacity of up to 6.6 GPM for up to 160° F water, making it the most reliable and sufficient model.

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG

The quick recovery rate of this model allows it to heat up water in large apartments and homes adequately. However, some users have expressed their dissatisfaction with the T-KJr2-IN-NG for its inability to provide hot or even warm water in low flow rates (up to 1.9 GPM). You’ll need to have a flow rate of at least 2 GPM to get the unit running correctly.

Check how much you can save, buying the Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

A tankless water heater is much more efficient than the traditional tank heaters. Essentially, tankless heaters heat up your water as it’s drawn, meaning that it only heats up what you use. Conventional models for residential use have to reheat stored water that hasn’t been used, causing a spike in your electric or gas bills. Tankless water heaters, like their traditional counterparts, can either be gas-fired or electric-powered.

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG

Before purchasing a gas heater, it’s important to determine how much water you need per hour or day since this let you know how big or strong of a gas water heater you need. The more hot water you use, the more powerful a unit you need.

You can check your hourly or daily hot water usage by looking at your appliances or using simple online calculators to give you a rough estimate. After knowing how much hot water you use regularly, then you can start looking at the specs of each tankless water heater model (GPM rating and BTU rating, as well as the unit’s size and weight).

Rinnai RUC98iN Tankless Water Heater

Rinnai RUC98iN

In this article, we’ve given you our pick for the top 5 home-use gas-fired tankless water heater. We placed Takagi’s T-KJr2-IN-NG at the top mainly for its excellent efficiency at providing 6.6 GPM of 140° F water at a consistent rate. Though there’s a waiting period before turning your hot water faucet and receiving hot water, the delay is considerably shorter than what you’d get with the other four models.

Its large BTU range allows the user to determine how gas to use to heat the incoming flow of water efficiently. The only drawback is that it somewhat underperforms when drawing low water flow rates (up to 1.9 GPM). You’ll need a water flow of at least 2 GPM to get properly uninterrupted heated water.




Categories
Buying Guides Guides Saws Table Saw

Best Wet Tile Saws in 2020

Any DIY-enthusiast will tell you that a wet tile saw is the ultimate tool for cutting tiles down to size. Although wet tile saws aren’t exactly a must-have tool for the all-purpose workshop, they are extremely beneficial for slicing tiles made of any kind of material to your required specifications.

DEWALT D24000S Heavy-Duty 10-inch Wet Tile Saw

DEWALT D24000S

Unlike other tabletop saws, the blade of the wet tile saw typically doesn’t plunge down into the material, but instead, you push the tile or hard material into the spinning blade by using a back fence. These tile saws are commonly available for rent in hardware shops or professional contractor establishments, but wet tile saws are also affordable buying them online.

What to look for in a wet tile saw

There are several things to look out for when purchasing or renting a wet tile saw. Although most tile saw models are based on a generic design, there are specialized features that might come in handy when wanting to slice tiles.

SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

SKIL 3550-02

Water source

Obviously, wet tile saws require water to run perfectly. The blade needs to be kept lubricated and cool, and water is a great solution for both issues. In addition, water helps keep dust away from the blade and out of the air. Wet tile saws use either fresh, cold water or water basins for reusing water.

With fresh water, your workstation is limited to how far away you are from a source of cold continuously-running water, but it keeps the blade clean and filtration system free of gunk. As for water-collection tray, it reuses the water that lubricates the blade. This system allows for enhanced portability but you should be conscious of how polluted the water is.

Lackmond Beast Wet Tile Saw (BEAST7 Model)

Lackmond Beast BEAST7

Blade size

In general, the bigger the blade, the deeper you can cut, though the tile saw will need a larger motor to spin large-sized blades efficiently. Typically, wet tile saw blades will range from 4.5 to 10 inches in diameter, and the most commonly used blade size is 7 inches. It’s large enough to cut through practically every tile size and thickness without overkill.

Miter and bevel cuts

All of the best wet tile saws should come with a table and back fence that allows for making diagonal cuts through tiles. The most common miter angles are 22.5° and 45°. However, only the most versatile models include a blade beveling feature for making angle cuts through your tiles.

However, for most home projects, producing beveled cuts isn’t all that necessary, but it’s nice to have a wet tile saw that can do it.

Motor power

As we mentioned before, the motor determines how quickly the blade spins. Smaller blades need less power to reach the same RPM as bigger, energy-consuming blades, but everything depends on your unique specifications. You’ll typically want a motor that can deliver at least 3,500 RPM for neat cuts.

QEP 22650Q 650XT 3/4 HP 120-volt Tile Saw

QEP 22650Q 650XT

Plunging action

This is perhaps for only the most meticulous workers that need to make artsy curved cuts with a wet tile saw. Similar to a miter saw the most advanced wet tile saws will have a plunging head to help in making curved cuts. Keep in mind that it’s not a commonly used feature, thus many models can’t plunge down into the tile or stone.

Which wet tile saw to get

By now, you should have a basic understanding of what a wet tile saw can do for you. If your line of work requires cutting down ceramic, porcelain, stone, or marble tiles down to size, you should consider investing in a wet tile saw, otherwise you can rent a model from your local department store. Here, we’ll give you our recommendation of the top 5 wet tile saws you can use to make slicing tiles much easier.

5 QEP 22650Q 650XT 3/4 HP 120-volt Tile Saw

This 15.6-pound tabletop wet tile saw by QEP comes with a ¾ HP motor that delivers up to 3,600 RPM, making it capable of slicing through a wide range of tiles of various materials (including marble and stone). The 22650Q 650XT comes with a 7-inch blade that cuts through tiles as thick as 1-1/4 inches.

QEP 22650Q 650XT 3/4 HP 120-volt Tile Saw

QEP 22650Q 650XT

You can also adjust the table to allow for 22.5° and 45° cuts. The table is completely adjustable and includes an 8-inch extension for increasing the rip capacity of either side of the blade. The 650XT features a water recirculation system to keep the blade adequately cooled and lubricated, though there’s no device to filter out the tile dust from the reused water.

Check how much you can save, buying the QEP 22650Q 650XT on Amazon >>>

4 PORTER-CABLE PCE980 Wet Tile Saw

The PCE980 by PORTER-CABLE is another tabletop wet tile saw that weighs roughly 33 pounds fully assembled. It comes with a 1 HP motor that delivers up to 3,600 RPM for tiles and other hard objects. The PCE980 uses a 7-inch blade which can cut as deep as 1-3/8 inches through tiles.

ORTER-CABLE PCE980 Wet Tile Saw

PORTER-CABLE PCE980

The table and fence allow for mitered cuts through whatever materials you feed the blade, and its built-in stop lets users make repeated cuts at any angle and width. This model comes with a water basin for holding water and spraying it to the blade to keep it running smoothly, though, like the QEP, the basic doesn’t come with a filtration system.

Check how much you can save, buying the PORTER-CABLE PCE980 on Amazon >>>

3 Lackmond Beast Wet Tile Saw (BEAST7 Model)

The Lackmond Beast is a 58-pound bench-top wet tile saw that comes with a 13.0 amp motor that delivers up to 4,200 RPM. The Beast7 comes with a 7-inch blade that cuts up to 2-3/8 inches deep for cutting cleanly through tiles, granite, and stone.

Lackmond Beast Wet Tile Saw (BEAST7 Model)

Lackmond Beast BEAST7

In addition to making diagonal cuts through tiles, you can also cut diagonally into tiles with the 22.5° or 45° bevel. You can feed tiles up to 24 x 24 inches diagonally through the blade so you know you’re getting huge rip capacity. The lubricating system shoots one or two sprays of water at the blade to prevent dust from going airborne, and it features a filter to keep tile slurry away from passing through the spray nozzle.

Check how much you can save, buying the Lackmond Beast BEAST7 on Amazon >>>

2 SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

This SKIL-made wet tile saw weighs around 54 pounds and comes with a 1-3/4 HP motor for delivering speeds of up to 3,600 RPM. The depth of the cut is limited to only ¾-inch deep so only the thinnest can be cut cleanly with a single pass.

SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

SKIL 3550-02

The blade of the 3550-02 doesn’t bevel, but operators can adjust the table to 22.5° and 45° to make beveled cuts. The sliding extension table allows for materials up to 18 x 18 inches in size to rest comfortably on the table and back fence. The proprietary HydroLock guards water from splashing above and below the table, though it doesn’t the water basic and system doesn’t come with a filter to keep slurry from gunking up the blade and ruining cuts.

Check how much you can save, buying the SKIL 3550-02 on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT D24000S Heavy-Duty 10-inch Wet Tile Saw

Finally, our number one pick for the best wet tile saw is the DEWALT D24000S. As you can probably guess, the D24000S uses a large 10-inch blade for producing cuts as deep as 3-1/8 inches. It supports cutting tiles diagonally of up to 18 x 18 inches in size at 22.5° and 45° angles.

DEWALT D24000S Heavy-Duty 10-inch Wet Tile Saw

DEWALT D24000S

The rip capacity is up to 28 inches thanks to the saw head’s plunging action. There’s no special beveling mechanism in this unit so it’s built specifically for all-purpose, everyday tile-cutting applications. Finally, this kit includes a stand which supports the 69-pound D24000S so you can make cuts anywhere without having to drag or carry your heavy worktable with you.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT D24000S on Amazon >>>

Conclusion

This concludes our article on wet tile saws. Hopefully, you’ll have the knowledge to make an educated purchase decision if you feel that a wet tile saw can truly be a valuable addition to your workshop.

Lackmond Beast Wet Tile Saw (BEAST7 Model)

Lackmond Beast BEAST7

At the end of this article, you should know that the most important features to look for in an all-purpose wet tile saw are where the water used to lubricate and cool the blade comes from and whether it has a filtration device in place, how large a blade can be fitted into the wet tile saw and the various cutting depths they produce, bevel and miter mechanism to help in cutting down tiles to the perfect size and shape, how powerful the motor and how quickly the blade spins to make neat cuts every time, and whether the saw’s head can plunge down into materials.

In the end, our top pick for the best wet tile saw is the DEWALT D24000S. The 10-inch blade is perhaps the largest blade you’ll ever find in a residential-grade wet tile saw, and looking at how deep the blade cuts, we feel that it performs perfectly for almost all DIY projects, home projects, and even commercial settings.

SKIL 3550-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw

SKIL 3550-02

The table allows for huge-sized tiles – up to 18 x 18 inches diagonally – to pass through the blade, and the plunging head can increase the length of cuts to up to 28 inches.

The kicker is the stand that comes with along with the wet tile saw. No longer will you need to worry about whether your next job site will have a table or workbench readily available to you. If you need to cut tiles indoors or outdoors, the stand that comes with the D24000S will hold the tile saw perfectly.