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Setting up Shop | What tools shold I buy first?

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  • Setting up Shop | What tools shold I buy first?

    Here's my question:

    I'm starting to build my shop. I'm at the point where I want to buy some powertools. The order is the only thing in questions. I have a drill and a jigsaw and that's it! [img]smile.gif[/img] My first tasks will be to build my workbench, build a deck next summer and then probably gut and refinish my basement. I want to eventually build a dining room table (laminated), but that's down the road.

    I'm thinking:

    1. Circular Saw
    (looking at Milwaukee 6390 for quality and Rigid R3200 for price, it's 70$ cheaper, but a 24tooth blade?)
    2. MitreSaw
    (looking at Rigid MS1250LS as it's the right price for options)
    3. Router
    (fixed or Plunge?) (havent considered Brands yet)
    4. Table Saw
    (have no clue [img]tongue.gif[/img] )

    I have about 400$ right now for my first purchase(s).

    So what would you get first & why? Thanks for you input.

  • #2
    Whatever you do, think twice about 18 volt cordless drills by Ridgid. I returned three of them because of wobbly chucks. Check around these forums and you'll find a few others who had the same problem.

    Pretty good shop vacs, though...


    • #3
      If it was me, I think I would by a good mitre saw first. It will definitely take care of your first project if your building it out of 2 x lumber and will be invaluable on your deck as well. Get as good as one as you can afford ,minimum 10' blade and upgrade to a good high tooth count blade for all saws as they rarely come with a good blade on them, just the way it is. You don't need contractor grade tools but if that is what you want, then go for it. Just do some looking around and get some feedback on the model you are interested in to avoid problems. Don't worry about gimicks like lasers and such though. You should be able to get a very good 10" for 250.00 -$300. and a real decent affordable one for 200-250.

      Then I would by a good set of 18Volt cordless tools Primarily for a good trim circular saw, drill driver and buy a couple extra batteries. You don't need a 6 piece combo set that just drives the price up. I would do some good reseach here. There are some very good tools out there. Definitely get the best you can afford here. I would shoot for something besides Ridgid on this due to the problems read about on the board here. It is a shame. These are contractor grade tools or supposed to be and there are many problems with the drivers it sounds like. Consider Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch and even the Hitachi line at Lowes. These will become very handy along with your mitre saw when you do the deck (as well as your bench ) and when you finish your basement as well.
      I would then save your money for a nice table saw. This will be good for your future furniture buildg projects, cutting sheet goods and worth the investment. Worry about that later and you will have time to do research and know exactly what you want and the kind of projects you want to do.
      Buy a router last for the projects like your table where you need fancy edges & jointery etc. and get a good orbital sander at the same time. You should be on your way to having a quality shop by then! Then you can fill in with other remodelling tools like recipro saws etc.
      Hope this helps, just my 2 cents.


      [ 01-04-2005, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: Corey ]
      \"If it ain\'t broke, you just aren\'t trying hard enough!\"


      • #4
        That is pretty well the order that I did it. The Ridgid 5" random orbital sander was the sander that I went for. I found it more comfortable to hold and with a good long cord.
        [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
        Chris Berg


        • #5
          Agreed on the Orbital. I haven't used the Ridgid, I have a Porter Cable that is about 10 years old,Model 332 that isn't dustless and uses the stick on paper. Wife insisted on a dustless sander when I did some work in one of the bedrooms so.. dang I had to get a new tool!! She bought me the Dewalt which is very nice as well.
          So much to choose from.
          White castle, what drill and jig saw do you have?

          \"If it ain\'t broke, you just aren\'t trying hard enough!\"


          • #6
            I have a Dewalt 12V Cordless I got about 5 yrs ago. It's a great drill. I just bought a B&D Orbital Jigsaw about 2 months back. I don't have much occasion for a Jigsaw so didn't opt for the high end models.


            • #7
              Whitecastle, you already have a good cordless drill it sounds like. I keep two on hand. I would still look for a good combo with a drill driver and cordless circular saw. The second driver will come in handy. If you are absolutely happy with the drill driver and don't want another, and don't necessarily want a cordless circular saw, then I would opt for a good corded circ saw next. There are so many good ones out there, again, I would shoot for a Milwaukee, Porter Cable and Ridgid if you like that one.

              On the jig saw, unless you are doing a lot of whoopty doos on shelves and furntiure, I don't think you will need much more than you got. It will work just fine for notching out etc. Use a good blade. You can always upgrade to a better model if you need to later. Oh, on a router, depends on the stuff you want to do. If you primarily want it for edge work then I don't think a plunge is necessary. If you want to do decorative grooving, jointery with it, you might want a plunge. Personally, I have 4 non plunge routers. All set up for different operations. One is mounted in a router table for jointery etc.

              \"If it ain\'t broke, you just aren\'t trying hard enough!\"


              • #8
                I would look at a tablesaw for the workbench. The tablesaw can take a dado head which can be use for making hap lap joints for the base. I would look the the Ridgid Ts 3650.
                Andy B.


                • #9
                  Hi whitecastle - In most shops, the TS is king. Common advice is to buy the best TS you can afford that will suit your needs....your budget and research effort should focus here to start with IMO. The TS, planer, and jointer complete the main work triangle in most shops. Those three tools will allow you to make flat, square, straight stock out of nearly any lumber so that you can start each project with vrey tight tolerances. A router and router table are incredibly useful and versatile, and should be high up your list IMO.

                  Consider some dust collection somewhere in the mix too...


                  • #10
                    Here's the tools I've got that match your "menu"

                    CS - Millwakee with the tilt lock $140 and oodles of power. Never bogs and the pros use millwaukee for a reason. That will change soon probbably with the acqusition by TTI so the current products are top dog IMHO

                    CMS - 12" ridgid and stand 4 years ago $300, love it totally but have only had prior experience with real crappy ones so maybe I don't know anything. I just replaced the stock blade after all this time and made a new ZCP for it

                    Router - PC 690 almost 9 years old bought in kit w/ plunge and hand held and just bought the 3hp monster to drop into the TS wing. If I did it over right now I'd buy the PC 2.25hp kit with table height adjustment features, and most likely be done with out the 3hp monster

                    TS - Ridgid 2424 floor model $375 what can I say always wanted the TS and kept waiting,, and found the deal. Would still be waiting to buy one if I hadn't gotten a deal.

                    You only need a few tools to really do alot, invest in some books about jigs and shop tricks & you'll be amazed what you can do with just a good router, and a CS. The CMS is the one tool in the shop that is always hot and always set up in my shop. EVERY project needs it for one thing or another, start there go to the CS, and then the router. The TS is the heart of my shop and it would be real hard to think about not having one now, but the pratice I got using cut off sleds, rigging fences, and the mistakes I made then help me get much more out of the TS and all of my tools.



                    • #11
                      Get a good cordless drill, Kreg Pocket hole jig and a good CMS. I use my CMS as much or more than my table saw. You would be amazed as to what you can build with these three things.



                      • #12
                        Thanks everyone! I got some good rational now for an informed decision. I think I'm going to start with the CS, and then the CMS. I'm feeling the pressure on the Milwaukee CW since one of my stores in town said it's discontinued and with Milwaukee being bought, I think I'll snap that up first. Man, I can believe the exchange though! that's saw is $219 here in Canada!


                        • #13
                          Good luck! One thing is sure buddy, you will have that Milwaukee for a long long time! Enjoy!

                          \"If it ain\'t broke, you just aren\'t trying hard enough!\"