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Top Ten Tools of 2008

The viewers have spoken - Loudly!

By Tom Hintz, owner, Newwoodworker.com

Posted 12-12-2008

The frequency at which I posted new Tool Reviews in 2008 declined slightly from the previous few years under pressure from an expanded How-To editorial load. However, the Tool Reviews section once again increased its traffic by a remarkable 8-percent anyway. What didn't change was that the mix of tools garnering the highest traffic numbers remains as diverse as the NewWoodworker.com LLC demographic.

A surprising development this year was an influx of unsolicited "write in ballots" sent by hundreds of NewWoodworker.com LLC viewers over the last 60 days or so. It is becoming apparent that you folks want to participate in this process so these "write in ballots" were factored in, along with the pure traffic numbers. Though I will not solicit "write in ballots" in the future, they will remain a part of the rating process.

The Top Ten Tools of 2008 below are presented in the order of their popularity as determined by number of page views each amassed over the last year. The POWERMATIC PM53 Helical Head, 6"Jointer led the pack in page views but was followed closely by the remaining tools in this years list. Some of the Top Ten positions were separated by less than 8000 page views for the year! The Bessey K Body Revo Clamps and the V-Clamp Vacuum Clamps nearly tied with only a 313 page view difference in their traffic numbers for the last 12 months!

Note: The link to the reviews at the end of each description opens a new window. This is in response to viewer requests over the last few years and I hope it eliminates some of the back and forth necessary to work your way through this list.

Top Ten Tool Reviews

1. Powermatic PM54 Helical Head, 6"Jointer

Long one of the stalwarts of the woodworking shop it was no big surprise to see the POWERMATIC PM54 Helical Head, 6"Jointer at the top of this years list. Oddly, in pure "write in ballots" this machine came in a close second to the Rockler Universal Fence Clamps, which took second place overall. The POWERMATIC PM54 Helical Head, 6"Jointer also lead the pack in happy user emails received at NewWoodworker.com LLC since the review was posted which bolsters its position as a winner with woodworkers.

See the review - Click Here

2. Rockler Universal Fence Clamps

Despite being one of the newest reviews, the Rockler Universal Fence Clamps were an immediate hit with the viewers and continue to hover near the top of the page views list in daily traffic numbers. In the "write in ballot" campaign, the Rockler Universal Fence Clamps narrowly topped the POWERMATIC PM53 Helical Head, 6"Jointer which took first place overall. Take a look at these handy innovations from Rockler and I think you will agree with the masses!

See the review - Click Here

3. Boeshield 3-Part Tool Care System

I was not surprised to see this popular metal care system show up on the Top Ten list. Nearly all woodworkers have cast iron in their shops and the Boeshield 3-Part Tool Care Kit has been very popular with them for a long time. When this review was posted, viewer response was fast and frequent! Since using the Boeshield 3-Part Tool Care Kit during the evaluation I have become a believer and use these products on all of my cast iron surfaces.

See the review - Click Here

4. Woodpeckers Super Fence

Woodpecker's products have always done well with NewWoodworker.com LLC viewers because they like well made tools. The Woodpeckers Super Fence lives up to those expectations and then some. Many of the emails I have gotten regarding this fence system tout its quality, accuracy and the fact that it is a complete fence solution for their router table. Once again, Woodpeckers has produced a winner, something that seems to be a habit with them.

See the review - Click Here

5. Bosch PS20-2A Pocket Driver

Bosch drills/drivers have always been well received on NewWoodworker.com LLC and their new line of "pocket" sized drivers was no different. The new Bosch Lithium battery technology along with their motor design/development makes this a very useful tool with surprising capabilities. The Bosch PS20-2A Pocket Driver is another tool that I continue to use daily in my shop. Judging by the email I have received on this tool, so do many of you.

See the review - Click Here

6. JET JWBS-18QT-3, 18" Band Saw

JET's new line of band saws with their revolutionary triangular-shaped frames drew lots of attention despite this representing a major tool purchase. The list of standard features reads like an accessory list for many competitor machines and NewWoodworker.com LLC viewers noticed that value. The JET JWBS-18QT-3, 18" Band Saw with its long feature list, super-rigid frame and large capacities has become a favorite "first" as well as "last" band saw for woodworkers of all experience levels.

See the review - Click Here

7. LeeCraft Zero-Clearance Inserts

Virtually everyone recognizes the benefits of using a ZCI on a table saw and LeeCraft has been a favored brand for a long time. Their use of high-quality materials and high-tech machining insures a great fit, superior function and a very long service life. If you don't have a ZCI in your table saw you need to rethink that plan and then check out the LeeCraft Zero-Clearance Inserts review!

See the review - Click Here

8. Powermatic PM1300 Dust Collector

Dust collection/prevention is always a popular topic on NewWoodworker.com LLC. When they released their line of dust collectors, the POWERMATIC PM1300 Dust Collector instantly caught my viewers attention. The canister design is a very popular feature with NewWoodworker.com LLC viewers because of its high-end filtering capabilities, low maintenance and long life. The POWERMATIC PM1300 Dust Collector instantly became the only dust collector in my shop and it has never lacked for power or filtering capability.

See the review - Click Here

9. Bessey K Body Revo Parallel Jaw Clamps

Another relatively new review the Bessey K Body Revo Clamps grabbed lots of attention very quickly. Though I expected the Bessey K Body Revo Clamps review to be very popular, it instantly broke into the top five in daily page views and remained there for weeks. That remarkable run led to the ninth finish in the yearlong traffic numbers. This new revision of a very popular line of clamps was a big hit with NewWoodworker.com LLC viewers right out of the box - literally!

See the review - Click Here

10. V-Clamp Vacuum Clamps

When the V-Clamp review made the Top Ten list in convincing fashion I was surprised. I thought that this was more of a specialty tool that just would not generate such large traffic numbers. The viewer response proved me wrong to the point that the V-Clamp review missed 9th-place by a mere 313 page views, one of the closest finishes in the Top Ten Tools list ever. The V-Clamp system is very versatile and has caught the eye of many NewWoodworker.com LLC viewers.

See the review - Click Here

Honorable Mention

Kreg K4 Pocket Hole Jig Kit

The Kreg K4 Pocket Hole Jig Kit review was posted very late in the year but nearly cracked the 2008 Top Ten Tools list when the NewWoodworker.com LLC viewers flocked to that review in huge, consistent numbers. The video within the review led all NewWoodworker.com LLC videos for nearly two weeks, a very rare occurrence. If you have not looked at pocket hole joinery you need to check out the Kreg K4 Jig Kit review. I think you will see why it deserves this Honorable Mention.

See the review - Click Here

Have a comment on the Top Ten Tools of 2008 list? - Email Me!

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