Help a woodworking newbie invest in power tools?

Julien I think one really really important thing you left off your list and should be #1 is an air filter. You might think this would be something for later but if you cannot breathe there is no later. Rikon, Jet and others make air cleaners that are affordable and hanging from the ceiling do not take up any floor space.


As mentioned several times, a cabinet saw is one of the most versatile tools in the shop. I too, can’t recommend SawStop enough. It is a quality saw that is very safe. If you make jigs for the saw, it can do about anything. Put it on wheels so that you can move it around the shop when not in use.
Another thought. Since you have limited space, consider making a fold-down-from-the-wall table out of plywood. I have one that is 4x8 and, when deployed is the same height as my table saw, making an excellent outfeed table.
I have used a thickness planer a lot since getting the Shapeoko. (Yeah, I’ll plane down projects that didn’t come out right). My new favorite tool is a Jet 10-20 drum sander. I have been buying cheap cedar fence boards and sanding them down. The boards make great projects.
Throw in a nice miter saw and you should be on the road to a nice shop.
Did I recommend the SawStop?
Good luck


Almost forgot…sanding, we all hate it.

You can use your cabinet saw to make this


I once planned down a project that was a 18 hour cut simply because I was not satisfied with the result…
this one,


Allright @Griff and @Superlucky, I give in, the cabinet/table saw is back “on the table” :slight_smile:

@AndyC: the modularity of that Triton “workcentre” sounds interesting when space is a concern, I’ll have to review that option. I definitely also had a router table in mind to round off edges when I

@gdon_2003: couldn’t agree more, in fact I did not mention air filtering since I already have a ceiling-mounted Jet filter. Maybe not the best there is, but quite efficient as far as I can tell (I have light spots nearby and the occasional dust dancing in the lights is taken care of in less than 10 minutes). In my next garage I will FINALLY be able to open the door (long story…) to properly clean-up the shop now and then too. I’m borderline-paranoid when it comes to safety/health, and I do my sanding outside (which gets me weird looks from the neighbours when I’m on my front porch at 11pm manually sanding a piece I just cut on the Shapeoko…)

I think I’ll spend sometime in the 3D home design planner, to figure out how/where I would install the tools.


I started my hobby years ago with ‘trash’ tools, and upgraded as I went - and now have quite a broad selection of Bosch ‘domestic - green’ tools, which have served me well, with a sprinkling of Bosch Professional (blue) tools.

I have, however, just developed a yearning for Festool tools, having bought a track saw and a few bits and bobs for it, and I must say I’m really impressed with it, as it cuts boards like a dream. They are expensive (at least in the UK) but maybe cheaper on the continent as they are German-built? They do seem to fix their prices somewhat, but there are a number of less expensive UK-based web retailers they can be bought from (e.g. here and here - just make sure they will deliver to France)

Festool also gives a 3 year warranty with free of charge repair and a replacement if it gets ‘nicked’.

A router is next on my list :+1:

Oh, and their advertising improvements in battery technology, so cordless might be the way to go for some tools.


You might want to check out the Milwaukee brand of tools as well. They may not have all you would want in the way of power tools, however, their quality, I believe, is very good


Some design/organizing that have come in handy for me. Pick and choose what you like.


  1. SawStop 3hp cabinet saw
  2. Sliding compound miter saw - essential for remodel projects like crown molding.
  3. Band saw - once you discover re-sawing and how much it adds to the CNC experience…
  4. Finish nail pneumatic nail guns - 18, 16 and pin

I have a few tools already, but am looking to buy some more serious ‘woodworking’ tools. this is my take on it so far:

  • I own a Dewalt DWS780-XE 12" compound mitre saw. good quality, gets used a lot. I can put in a 250mm wide board and cut it due to the sliders on the saw
  • If you don’t have one a random orbital sander is about $50, mine is Bosch but most are pretty decent
  • I bought a super cheap tracksaw from an (Australian) big box store, has a few flaws but has been incredibly useful breaking down bigger material.
  • Currently Looking at table saws - the Dewalt DW745XE as mentioned is great value and a cheaper option. I’m also looking at a bit more money in the Laguna F3 and Harvey ALPHA HW110LC-36
  • Currently looking at router tables, the Kreg router table has my attention at the moment, seems fairly well priced and built.
  • I have quite a collection of Bosch 18V tools; Drill, reciprocating saw, angle grinder, rattle gun. These all get lots of use in my other hobbies but not so much in woodworking (the drill does get used a lot in woodworking)

I think either a quality tracksaw or table saw would be the best start, then a router table.

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Hi Julien,

The advice here is great, i will add my $0.02. (And this got way too long winded)

I volunteer at a woodworking club and i also follow a number of very skilled woodworkers on instagram and i have to say thay if you get a tablesaw please consider the sawstop. I have seen too many accidents and it just takes a split second. Our club now has 3 sawstops and they definitely have saved fingers.

A proper cabinet saw with a 3hp+ motor is truly worth having if you have the space and $$$. With jigs and fixtures you can do extremely precise and safe work. And indeed it can serve as an additional work space and the table top is nice flat surface to do precision assembly etc…

All that said, because i have access to a tablesaw i don’t own one. I do have a festool tracksaw and vacuum which has been truly amazing i use it all the time. Combined with a table with precisely laid out 19mm holes and a replaceable mdf top (like the mft or diy – btw cnc is great for making a template for holes and a plunge router with template guide to make them) you can quickly and precisely break down sheet goods. There is no need for a fence i just use aluminum dogs ( easy to make on a lathe) and the bessy or festool clamps designed for these types of tables to hold the work. It is super efficient and actually easier than trying to use a tablesaw with sheets.

I wish i had a bandsaw. It is definitely on my list of next purchases. I also need a thickness planer i dont have a lot of room so i’m probably going to get the dewalt benchtop dwx735. But again i have access to a 20 inch general planer so i just process raw lumber at the club and bring it home.

(Maybe there is a woodworking club in your area with a reasonable membership price? It isnt just access to the tools, there are also some really skilled individuals who you can learn from, it certainly sped up my acquisition of good woodworking skills and practices)


Just concur with @stutaylo a router table is certainly a must… it is actually something i spent effort and $$$ on. Its was my manual cnc machine before i got the shapeoko. If you have any aspirations to doing builtin cabinets a router table, a track saw are a powerful combo


A space saving option for SawStop and other table saws would be to replace the left extension wing with a router table top - like this.

or this

Both are cast iron, which is best IMO.
2- light weight 12mm Baltic Birch crosscut sleds with T-Mitre Bars will help protect the cast iron tops from damage and rust, greatly extend your crosscut capacity and accuracy, as well as give you useful work space.
It’s really hard to control dust from miter saws. I move mine outside whenever I use it.


Router tables are really nice, definitely a luxury if you don’t have much space but for CNC it’s terrific to leave a template/roundover/chamfer bit setup in it so you can turn it on and perfectly remove tabs in seconds. I like my jessem setup but there’s a lot of good options. The lift is the most important part, if it’s hard to adjust the height it can become really frustrating to use.


You might want to think about dust collection when you’re doing your design. Using a dust collector like this one (with a HEPA filter) that provides both adequate flow for stationary machines (4" ductwork, hoses, and dust ports) and adequate static pressure for smaller (1.5" - 2") dust ports/hoses should work nicely with properly designed ductwork and blast gates (to route suction to the machine/tool being used). Inexpensive/lightweight 4" PVC sewer pipe and fittings should work nicely for the fixed ductwork.

In my experience, Dewalt, Bosch, Festool, and likely many other random orbital sanders do a good job of controlling dust if connected to a good vacuum. Likewise with Bosch and Festool routers.

There’s a lot of valuable information here about dust collection basics and system design/analysis.


Regarding the Random Orbital Sander I would agree with Falcmike. The Mirka Deros (made in Finland) is the bees knees! I have owned mine for a year and used together with Mirka’s Abranet abrasive and either a Mirka or Festool dust extractor there is just no dust at all. Yes they are expensive but I guarantee that you will not regret it.


One of our shop members demonstrated that it does work. FYI - Some time back someone mentioned that Bosch was working on something similar - even superior, but I read that SawStop is trying to sue them for patent infringement.

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From a ergonomics standpoint, the Mirka is the best option I’ve found outside of air powered. I’ve had mixed luck with them, and considering the money, I wish it was better luck. But still the best in the hand. I wish they still made the old model with power supply. The Festool Rotex works great, but outside of flat panel work, I find it lacking the ergonomics.

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Wow, that is too bad its been discontinued, i love my mirka Ceros. I havent tried the Deros. If you have enough air compressor air sanders are amazing but not very mobile.

I wish Oneida had that supercell collector 2 years ago. I probably would have gone for it. I had to go with a mini gorilla because my basement is height challenged. (I have exactly 6’ 2")

Actually that brings up another issue. Power. Make sure you have lots of room in your panel and plan for 220V. Or run a pony panel into your shop. You’ll need more circuits than you think. Youll need to have cnc, 3d printer, dust collector and other tools running together…


Many great thoughts above. I’ve been woodworking for 20 years now and have had quite a few tools (partly because a tornado wiped them all out once). I have a lot of thoughts and opinions on all of the tools, but I really wanted to back up your thoughts on the sawstop. I “exercised” my cartridge a little over a month ago for the first time (I’ve had it since 2013). I feel like I’ve always done things very carefully, but one can always improve. This accident happened while using a push stick on a part that was probably a bit too small. I’m not even 100% sure what happened, but it happened FAST and I didn’t see or hear anything strange, other than the blade was just gone and I was pushing my part through air. It took me a second to realize what happened, look down and see a bit of blood. Long story short, this thing worked perfectly after not needing to the first 7 years. I’m convinced I would have had multiple missing fingers and maybe a hand issue since it appears it was pulled into the blade. After a few days, it was mostly healed. The saw itself is amazing in all other aspects (quality, designed very well thinking of anything the customer could use, etc). It saved me $1000’s in medical bills (I know, you could argue it shouldn’t happen) and more importantly, I got to continue doing the hobby I love the next day. Mine is 52”, 3hp. Probably the biggest pain is swapping out the cartridge if you want to use dado blades, but it’s honestly a quick changeover. It’s by far the most used tool in my shop, followed closely by the jointer and planer as well as the Shapeoko.


Glad you had a sawstop! The cost of a cartridge and possibly repairing the blade is a small price to pay for keeping your fingers.