What's your Favorite shop tool?

i don’t know what that is, but I know it’s pretty!


@lairdknox knew that was playa! it is like nothing else!

@MikeH Ooooo have always wanted to play on one of those! I think my lathe is from the 20s, but I like it:slight_smile:

And yes the cordless drill(s) are a staple in my shop too, Ridgid here – lifetime batteries!!


can I be your best friend?


I would have to agree that the Makita drill is the most used tool in the shed. Well, except for the drill batteries themselves - they do double duty with the flashlight I most use in my photos.


Damn that’s nice.

Got the Ridgid multi-tool, which is rapidly becoming a fav. Has the swap out heads. Right angle drill, impact, jigsaw, recip saw and multi vibration cutter - all run by the same power unit.
Register, and free lifetime warranty, all parts including batteries!

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The choice between cordless drill brands has changed a fair bit since I got my Makita.
It was in 2005? I had been using NiCad-based drills (in both yellow and blue flavors) and was ready for an upgrade. My theatre/stagecraft shop teacher surprised us with an assortment of new drills from most of the major brands; he was going to replace all the drills and wanted to test out the choices before committing to a large bulk order.
The brushless, 18v, LiON makita was so far above and beyond the brushed, NiCad competition that it wasn’t even funny. I bought one for myself shortly after, and have had to purchase replacement batteries two or three times since then.

Now all the brands have powerful and lightweight drills, so the choice is more about battery cost and what color you like. I have the matching makita impact driver. I also have a tiny little Bosch drill that is amazing for its size.

This was previously favorite tool. My wife and I moved this one in pieces down to the basement of our townhome. The lathe is in the same place but needed some hired help.


hubba hubba!


I LOVE the fact that this is in your town house basement!!!
How is programming the 4th axis? I have never done it, hundreds of hours programming 3 axis machines thou. I played around with it a one point and all my back plots looked like porcupines!
We have an old Fadal CNC that I keep toying with the idea of making a 4th axis for.


Not as much as I do!

I’ve got an 8-in rotary table for a 4th axis but haven’t needed it so it isn’t set up yet. At 100+ lbs it’s a bit more than my back can handle these days. I have the pieces to make a much better 4th axis that could also function as a 3,000 rpm table-mounted lathe but have yet to assemble that either. The priority for that diminished quite a bit when the CNC lathe arrived.


I need more likes!!! That is so cool. My lathe fettish is starting to flare up :smile:


Probably my 1/2" Makita corded drill that’s currently mounted in one of those stupid sears drill-press adaptors. I don’t have to baby it. Got it when I needed to put an airconditioning vent through a quarter-inch aluminum skylight base with a flycutter.

Lately I’ve become more than a little amazed at how old some of my tools are. The 10" slip-joint channelocks are 40 years old now and look about as good as they did then.

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I can’t pick a favorite. The rest would get jealous. I can pick a least favorite though my Makita Jigsaw. I really should pick up a Bosch and maybe my opinion would change. I gotta ask @MikeH what types of things are you milling with those?


We just replaced our old B&D jigsaw with the Bosch, Its dreamy! I couldn’t believe my dad spent that much but it is totally worth it.


I dont even like to see Nikons treated like that!


Better than sitting on a shelf. :wink:

All it took was about an hour and then they looked like this:

They have now been to Burning Man three times in addition to all the other fun places I’ve taken them. They are still clicking like the day I got them. One time in Yellowstone I had several people stop and ask me if I was with National Geographic. :slight_smile:



I did Tea Ceremony with a man in Japan once. I was in the 2nd Position so it was my job to keep the conversation rolling. Naturally i asked about the Tea Bowl i was drinking from. He replied:

"To us Japanese there is nothing worse than seeing a beautiful object not fulfilling its destiny. I saw this Tea Bowl in a museum and it made me sad to see it dying like that so i gave them a blank cheque and told them to write a fair price. At first they refused but in the end they could see it needed to serve its purpose."
I asked why was it in the museum in the first place.
He replied: “Because there are less than 10 tea bowls left in existence made by Sen No Rikyu and that is one of them.”

I rather rudely asked his son later how much the tea bowl cost and it was more than $2m (US equivalent in late 90’s)

I am very glad i did not drop it


Unfair question.
Most used: drill /drivers
Most loved smart tool : I can’t choose each does something that the others can’t
Should have bought years ago : bandsaw


I’ve been thinking of the correct answer to this question all day.

I love my tools. Different tools for different reasons.

I have a pair of ratcheting hedge clippers that I bought for 3x what I intended to pay for clippers; but bigger and ratcheting seemed like a good idea and I was feeling desperate. It was one of my first opportunities to find that I have never regretted buying a quality tool I love it for the lesson, though I hate yard work.

I love my set of Ryobi 18V 1+ cordless tools. I know that they are super introductory. I know that other brands are tougher; but they do what I want them to do. It’s an expanding toolset.

I love my Estwing hammer because my dad always used to give me the cheap crappy wooden-handled “toy” hammer and reserve the “good” hammers for my little brothers because it’s a “manly” tool. I’m every bet as capable with my Estwing as any of my brothers.

I love my tools because most have a story to them, and when I use them competently, I enjoy them for their sake, I enjoy the process of building, I enjoy improving my world, and I enjoy them because they are validating to me.

Every successful project I have completed validates that any person can be a maker if they want. It has much to do with intent and passion, and nothing to do with gender, race, or anything else that divides people.

Then… I really like a 5-gallon bucket for at least 35 different uses. :slight_smile: