The Top 3 Bench Tools for Your Workshop

If you are considering outfitting a home workshop here are the most common and versatile specialty machines you will want to have.

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Dual-Wheel Bench Grinders

The high-speed, rotating wheels on bench grinders are used for sharpening and maintaining tools. One wheel of this grinder is suitable for rough grinding, while the other is for finishing or fine grinding. Dual-wheel grinders have varying designs: some may have wet and dry grinding wheels, while in others the second wheel may be replaced by a belt sander mounted in a fixed position on the grinder body. Always bolt the grinder securely to a fixed workbench.

Table Saw

Essentially a table-mounted circular saw, a table saw is designed to make straight cuts in wood that you feed toward the blade. The blade can be angled for mitered cuts and the height adjusted to make a variety of other cuts. Most manufacturers supply a push stick, which is used to guide materials across the saw table and is most useful with smaller items rather than larger sheet materials.

Band Saw

This is perhaps the most versatile of all workshop saws and can be used to make many different types of cuts — much like a fixed version of the jigsaw. Using a band saw is straightforward, but take the time to familiarize yourself with the adjustment and setting guides before you start. Some resetting is required each time you change blades. To avoid mistakes, check that everything is adjusted correctly each time you cut. Mount a band saw on either a workbench or the stand supplied by the manufacturer.