Being an avid movie buff, the Oscars are something I look forward to every year. Even if my favorite movie of the year isn’t nominated or a particular moving performance won’t be recognized, I always have a blast matching up who I believe deserves Best Actor, Best Picture, etc. to what the academy chooses. The Oscar-equivalent for contractors, woodworkers, and metalworkers has to be when Fine Woodworking & Fine Homebuilding unveils their annual Tool Guide. The special edition issue is more than just doling out awards, though; the experts offer many tips to help newbies and seasoned workers alike carry out a multitude of different jobs and to choose the right tool for them.
The 2012 Tool Guide contains many “tool tests” for a wide range of power tools and machines. Take the Heavy Duty Midi Lathe category, for example. The experts put 5 of the best “midi-lathes” through a series of tests to determine which one is the best. In this case, Delta’s 46-460 12-1/2″ Variable Speed Midi Lathe is the clear winner. Unlike many lathes (including the other ones tested) the Delta model does not lose a lot of speed (only 20%) when operating at a lower speed. It also is reversible, whereas most of the others aren’t. Its 1 HP motor allowed the experts to turn full-size bowl blanks with ease, whereas the weaker motors gave them headaches. Test after test worked in the 46-460’s favor, and so it snagged the award for best overall lathe with ease.
Unlike the Oscars, the results in Fine Woodworking & Fine Homebuilding’s 2012 Tool Guide are not based on popular opinion. The best tools are chosen by workers just like you who want to use the tools best suited for their line of work.
Written By Sean Cram