More Power, More Efficient, More Accurate. No matter the tool, no matter the application, there has always been a seemingly endless strive for tool optimisation. From a few useful attachments to your traditional marking square to high-tech laser enhanced measuring systems, we list 10 of the best woodworking tool innovations in the past 25 years.
10. Milwaukee Tick—Equipment Tracker
Many a craftsman has been there, you’ve got the dimensions down, plans and preparation are complete. You go to reach for that trusted tool to start the job and of course, it’s gone missing in the jungle that is your workshop. With Milwaukee’s TICK Tracker those days are long gone. Being the first professional grade Bluetooth tool and equipment tracker, The team at Milwaukee have taken away the responsibility of putting your tools in a place you’ll remember!
The Tick can be attached to any tool or equipment (of any brand) with straps, rivet, screws or glue and are built to withstand the harshest of conditions. Multiple Ticks can be paired with your mobile device and works off a replaceable coin battery
9. BESSEY® Cabinet Face Frame Clamps
Bessey’s Heavy Duty, steel made, Cabinet Face Frame Clamps combine the multiple steps of face frame cabinet installation into one, saving time and leaving less room for mistakes in the process.
The clamps are made to hold individual cabinet edges together while keeping them aligned. From here frame can be tightened, pre-drilled and screwed with precision, all without having to readjust the clamp.
8. Portacube STR
Workspace too crowded or have a mate that needs a hand sawing a piece for their next project? Protamates Portacube STR workstation is an innovation that helps you do this, making your workstation and mitre saw portable and more efficient.
The Portacube STR comes at 31”x29”, and has an adjustable tool mount to fit any mitre saw, up to 26.5” in width. When finished cutting, the Portacube is capable of rotating the saw underneath the bench, making room to utilise the entire 7ft table as a workbench. The workstation also features adjustable tool tables that raise the height of the saw for cutting long boards and has adjustable feet for working on uneven surfaces. Amazing!
7. Infinity Precision Setup Blocks
If you’re a perfectionist when it comes to measuring, marking and laying out workpieces Infinity’s Precision Setup Blocks will likely become one of your favourite tools. Providing an arsenal of measuring blocks at different thicknesses, there are an abundance of combinations possible and make measuring flexible and fast.
The Setup blocks are made from solid aluminium and black anodised, coming with laser etched inch scales to edge and ends of the block.
Infinity’s sleek measuring blocks can make a great addition to any workshop, helping to measure saw and bit height, joinery cuts and depth of holes… It also works as a great ruler and If all else fails, at least the 1-2-3 block makes for a great sanding block.
6. Starlock Oscillating Multi-Tools
With any multi-tool, ever would be buyer looks for more power, more precision and more efficiency. With Bosch’s Starlock Oscillating Multi-Tool, It’s hard to see the next big advancement in tooling when you’re holding one in you hands.
The Starlock interface is compatible with a range of tool brands, such as Milwaukee and Makita, and have the power to cut through a 2×4 in one pass. Starlock also helps you figure out which blade is right for your job, through their multi-colour blade system. White blades are for everyday uses such as wood and nails, blue is for cutting metal and other harsh material and purple is for softer material such as carpet.
Coming with a manoeuvrable barrel shaped body, the multi-tool weighs about 2.5kgs, comes with a 13 ft long cord and operates in near silence, featuring variable speed options. One of the standout features of this multi-tool though, is the easy clip on/clip off attachment blades, making work faster and more efficient with little downtime and no loss in power or accuracy.
“There’s about 60 thousand medically treated accidents on table saws every year. About 3,000 take a finger of…which is about 10 a day”Steve Gass, Inventor, SawStop
A huge development in table saw safety, the SawStop cleverly uses our natural electrical conductivity to sense when skin (or a salty, wet beef sausage) comes into contact with the saw blades—reading at up to one thousandth of a second.
With all that power decelerating instantly isn’t pretty for the machine, though, the Sawstop may become useless when activated, working like a car’s airbag. That said, saws are easily replaceable, your body parts…not so much!
4. Bora MiteriX
Another great innovation in measuring tool, the Bora MatriX Angle Duplicator is specifically designed to ensure that your miter cuts are at the perfect angle. A simple mechanism, the Angle Duplicator allows you to measure, lock and then transfer that locked-in measurement to your saw—no need to scribble down measurements or second guess. The tool collapses down for easy storage and also measures external angles.
3. Diamond Cross FastTrack Sharpening System
Need to sharpen your chisels? The Diamond Cross FastTrack Sharpening System is a great innovation that allows for free-hand chisel sharpening in a small, easy to use kit. The system uses a carriage top design to sharpen the chisel against a diamond plate with lateral strokes. If you’ve ever used a cheese grater before, then you’ll surely be a master of the Diamond Cross FastTrack Sharpening System. It’s that easy.
Whilst not being one of the most technological innovations the Combination 3D Try Square from MPower Tools adding necessary extra features to the traditional marking square design. It provides all the accuracy and precision of traditional tools, but its attachments open up the door to a new world of applications.
The Combination 3D Try Square separates itself from traditional marking squares with its:
- Saddle Square, allowing simultaneous face and depth marking
- Hidden bevel gauge for marking
- Scribe attachment for marking, but can also be attached to a blade for scoring, striping and marking.
1. Bosch GLM 50 C Laser Measure
Once you’ve used a laser measurement device, you’ll never use anything else. Laser measurement tools are extremely versatile and can be used in nearly every measurement application imaginable. They provide precise measurements and are now an essential tool for any craftsman out on the field or in the workshop.
The Bosch GLM 50C provides full clarity with coloured, backlit screen. Integrated orientation sensors flip the screen depending on how the tool is standing and features a Bubble Level Function, Angle indicator and comes with free mobile application. The mobile application is a great tool within itself, it lets you create projects, lets you record measurements you’ve made with the measure, upload sketches and take photos of your project and dimension it too. While I could spend an entire article writing about the uses of Laser Measurement Tools, here’s a quick video to give you a better idea of their potential in your future projects.