Tool Review Videos

Evaluating Yonico Router Bits

There are many different brands of router bits available on the market, from good quality brand name router bits, to much lower quality unknown names. The better quality brand name router bits almost always will come with some sort of a guarantee, the no-name brands may or may not come with some sort of a guarantee, you need to ask.
How much use a router bit gets is often one determining factor on whether or not to purchase a brand name bit or not. If a router bit is being used a lot, maybe even in a commercial setting, good quality bits are essential, not only because of their warranty and performance, but in some cases, also because of the longivity as a working tool bit.
There are also many small and hobby woodworkers who do not run production facilities and from time to time need to use a router and router bit. In some cases, they may only use a router bit once or twice in their lifetime, if it is some sort of specialty bit. Sometimes novice woodworkers simply are unable to afford the price of premium bits, and in these cases they look for alternative bits.

It's often hard to select a router bit with an unknown name, while you are standing in a store. Often you have to take the clerk's word on whether it is good or not, if they even know or have any experience with the bit, and often they have never used them first hand, only getting feedback from other who may have used them. So how do you find a decent quality bit when you are on more of a budget. The first thing to do is to look closely at the bits, do they look well made? does the coating on the bit (if there is one) appear to have been applied in professional manner (i.e. there are no drips or runs on the shaft of the bit), does the carbide appear to be well seated, and what kind of warranty does the bit come with. This alone will sometimes tell you the quality of the bit, if someone provides some sort of warranty on the bit, it means they will stand behind it.


The next issue is to see how well it performs, and the only way to do that is to take the bit and try it out in your shop. Single bits, i.e. those not it matched sets, are less likely to have problems, regardless of the manufacturer, but even single bits can have issues and that is why they need to be tried out.

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The Rockler Glue Tool

Some of the greatest frustrations in woodworking come from seeminly simple tasks. Like when you glue boards together, it's important not to get glue on parts of the boards where you don't want it because when it dries it can effect the finish of the wood. Over the years I have tried everything to spread glue from my own fingers, to little wooden sticks, foam brushes, good quality paint brushes, disposable paint brushes, chips of plastic ... pretty much anything that I hope will work. I always seem to be looking for something that is easy to use and more importantly, something that spreads the glue evenly over the area to be glued so I am not wasting glue, but so I am getting enough so that I avoid getting voids in the joints.

Now, someone has invented a little glue brush that spreads glue evenly, particularly over the edges of boards such as when you are glueing narrow boards together to make wider boards. One of the problems with gluing boards together is that if you miss putting enough glue on a particular spot, when the glue dries you get "Voids" in the wood, little areas where there wasn't enough glue and it leaves small holes between the boards being joined. These are most annoying because they are hard to fill and stand out like crazy when you are trying to finish a woodwork piece. This little brush actually does a great job of spreading glue evenly because of it's large bristles. If by chance you are like me and often forget to clean the brush after you use it, the dried glue can be easily cleaned off after it is dry.

These are great little brushes .. inexpensive and easy to use and one of the great little addtions to helping to keep the frustration out of your woodworking time.

Copyright Colin Knecht

Comparing Saw Blade Quality


Working with wood can be challenging enough with out having to be fighting tools as well. One of the drawbacks of working with wood is that it is always moving due to moisture in the air that wood is constantly either absorbing or releasing  depending on the humidity.

As woodworkers we are always striving to make the most accurate, and straightest cuts we can and that is why we purchase expensive machinery with highly accurate fences and micro adjustments, so that we can make perfect cuts. The reason we want perfect cuts is the wood is MUCH easier to work with when we work with flat, straight and right angle cuts. When these cuts are bad, wavy rough or otherwise at some sort of an angle, it either means wasted wood, or having to re-do of fill something, which costs more time and money.

One of the best investments is purchasing excellent quality table saw blades. Even if your saw is not the best in the world, you can still make excellent cuts if you have an excellent blade to work with. One of the features of a good blade is reduced vibration during cutting. A blade that is "dead" is far more likely to product a good, straight and accurate cut that one that wants to vibrate.

We decided to test some Freud blades with their non-stick Permashield trademark coating to see if this actually make any difference to the "resonance of the blade" ... have a look a the video and you will see that an excellent quality "dead" blade is not  created that way with coating, but during the actual manufacture of the steel. There is no substitute for good quality tools


Sharpening Drill Bits with Drill Doctor

There is nothing more annoying than trying to drill some accurate holes in a project and having the holes all ragged, or even worse, having them off centre because the drill bit is dull. I'm always amazed at home many times we drill holes in things, no wonder manufacturers are always coming out with newer and better corded and cordless drills ( and drill presses too). Woodworkers are a lucky bunch, we can use almost any drill bit to drill wood and most will at least do an acceptable job ... that is ... if they are sharp.

Of course the most common drill bit is the simple twist bit. Certainly it is not the oldest type of bit, in fact it really only came along with the introduction of powered tools to drive a bit of this design. Prior to power drills we had to use braces and similar tools with auger and spoon bits to drill holes. But twist bits remain the most common, though not always the most ideal for the job ... but none the less, the most common because they can drill wood, metal and plastics. Other bits like auger bits, Brad point tipped bits and forstner bits are pretty much only for wood.

There have been tools and jigs around for many years that can be used to sharpen twist bits, but we have not found any that are easy and convenient to use. To sharpen twist bits you really need a dedicated machine, and thats precisely what Drill Doctor has done. They have introduced a line of sharpening tools that will sharpen a long list of twist bits and some Drill Doctor tools will even  Masonry bits.

The Drill Doctors are easy to use and will produce consistent results of sharp drill bits. If you find that the diamond grinding grit wheel in your unit is becoming warn, it is easily replaced with either a 100 grit or 180 grit wheel for finer grinding points.

Read more: Sharpening Drill Bits with Drill Doctor