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WOOD® Magazine Innovate Awards 2021

WOOD® magazine editors name their picks for the best new woodworking tools and accessories.

Gear up for drilling

Powermatic’s new drill press uses gears to transfer rotation and torque from the motor to the spindle, so there are no belts to slip when the boring gets tough. This 110-volt heavyweight (336 pounds) provides infinitely variable speed in two ranges (150–870 and 600–3,600 rpm) set by a front-mounted dial. The large center section of the 1514 ×2012 " cast-iron table can be swapped out for optional downdraft- or gridded-dovetail-slot accessory tables.

Gear-driven 20" drill press 

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Powermatic
no. PM2820EVS, $1,999
800-274-6848, powermatic.com

Need more capacity? Slide it on over

This lathe outperforms its footprint, but only when needed. To double the between-centers capacity, from 20" to 40", the motorized tailstock bed extends with the push of a button. That also opens up the area below the headstock spindle to increase the swing from 23732 " to 3114 ". An included tool-rest extension lets you use the banjo on the lower bed, or you can buy an optional bed insert to fill the gap and skip the tool-rest extension.

30×40" wood lathe

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Rikon
no. 70-3040, $3,800
877-884-5167, rikontools.com

This air filter is a real self-starter

You’ve probably never done this, but we sometimes forget to turn on the air scrubber until we see a fog of dust. General’s new line of air-filtration systems constantly monitors air quality, turning the machine on when needed, and shutting down when the air is sufficiently clean. The ceiling-hung units (models 10-1000 and 10-2000) also help light the shop with a bottom-mounted LED panel. The floor-standing cylinder unit (model 10-1440) rolls on casters.

Air-filtration systems

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General
no. 10-1000, $400
no. 10-2000, $800
no. 10-1440, $600
(all available late 2020/early 2021)
 888-664-0449, generaltoolsusa.com

Who needs pneumatics?

Although battery-powered nailers are so common now that they threaten the existence of pneumatic models, most tend to be much larger than their pneumatic equivalent. This Milwaukee 23-gauge pin nailer, however, is about the same size as a pneumatic pinner. Powered by a rechargeable 12-volt lithium-ion battery, this compact nailer fires 12 –138 " pins. Milwaukee says it will shoot up to 750 pins per charge.

M12 23-gauge pin nailer

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Milwaukee
no. 2540-20 (nailer only) $199; no. 2540-21 (with one battery and charger) $249
(available early 2021)
800-729-3878, milwaukeetool.com

Easy on/off holesaws

The unique quick-connect system of Extreme Quickcore holesaws lets you change saws on the mandrel in a flash. Simply pull back on the mandrel sleeve, and the three pins retract to release the holesaw. To remove a cutaway plug from the holesaw, disconnect the saw from the mandrel and use the pilot drill bit to push the plug out. This set includes the mandrel, two pilot bits, a hex wrench, and holesaws in 34 ", 78 ", 118 ", 138 ", 112 ", 134 ", 2", 218 ", and 212 " diameters.

Blue Mol Extreme Quickcore holesaws

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Disston
no. 231, $100
800-446­-8890, disstontools.com

Speedy clamps work on- and off-track

Tracksaw makers might claim you don’t need to clamp the track to a workpiece, but we feel better when we do. And most tracksaw manufacturers sell their proprietary clamps as optional accessories. Bessey’s EZR clamps fit into the clamping slot on most tracks to hold them in place from below, but the tail jaw reverses to work as regular one-hand bar clamps for day-to-day use.  The EZR clamps also come with a removable 2" jaw extension that helps reach and clamp over something that might otherwise be in the way.

6" EZR one-hand table clamps

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Bessey Tools
pack of 2 clamps, no. EZR-SET, $30
800-828-1004, besseytools.com

No straightedge needed for lots of slots

To create parallel shelf dadoes, rout the first dado using this jig’s fence as the guide. Then, fit the fence into that dado to rout another one parallel to it. The jig lets you space slots from 18 " to 6916 " apart, using bits 1834 " in diameter. Its plastic base comes predrilled to mount several popular routers.

Indexing dado jig

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Rockler Woodworking & Hardware
no. 59237, $70
800-279-4441, rockler.com

Look Ma, no handwheels!

CNC-inspired automation comes to the home woodworking shop with General’s new 3-hp cabinet saw, which features a fully digital, motorized rip fence and similarly operated blade-height and -tilt controls. A touchscreen on the fence helps you program in some repeatable functions and settings, and provides the ability to add any software updates in the future. General also plans to sell the rip fence as a retrofit accessory for existing tablesaws; pricing has not been set yet.  

Digital 10" tablesaw

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no. NC tablesaw, 36"-rip $3,800; 52"-rip $4,000
(available late 2020/early 2021)
888-664-0449, general.ca

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