My Christmas List - somewhat long

Introduction:
I spent my youth with cheap tools.
B&D jigsaws that shook so badly you couldn't focus on the line because it was moving so fast.
Japanese ( in the 1950's, now Chinese) sockets that wouldn't fit, and ratchets that would only ratchet one way after the first use.
Screwdrivers that twisted the shaft putting screws in pine and bent the shaft when trying to change my bicycle tire.
The list goes on, of course.
When I finally got old, and could afford to throw down $160 for a Bosch 1587, I thought they had found a way for the blade to track the pencil lead on the surface. WOW.
Anyway,
Since I'm enjoying my "later years" in the woodshop, my wife and kids want to buy me woodbutcher stuff for Christmas. And I want to keep them OUT OF Sears and Wal-Mart, at least as far as tools go. For paper towels, I don't care.
Here's my dilemma. I don't know some of the arcane brand names of quality for various things. For example, I'd love to pitch my set of HF brad-point bits and Forstner bits. But I don't know what brand is among the top in quality and utility with which to replace them.
Some things are easy for me, such as Forrest or Freud for cabinet saw blades, or CMT and Whiteside for router bits. Others are more difficult. How do I know my holesaw will stand the test of time?
So here's my request to the wreckers who have spent a lifetime working with these things.
Reply with brand names that, in your experience, are top quality. I don't mean the most expensive and best ever, just names that provide reliable, above average quality stuff. When I tell my second-born son I want brad-point bits, and DON'T go to Wal-Mart or Sears or the BORG, what brand names (note: names! plural... maybe more than one) should I tell him to select from.
Keep it simple. Limited words. Here's a perfect response:
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Holesaw: Lennox Straightedge: Starrett or Veritas
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AND, although we Americans think there are no skilled people living beyond our shores, the internet encompasses the globe, and vendors sell world-wide. So, don't disparage any Kiwi suggestions, because you can probably buy a quality tool via internet from anywhere in the world that it may be made.
AND, please don't turn this thread into a "mine's bigger" argument. If you had a bad experience with a brand name, keep that to yourself and reply with what worked for you. If only one person names "GoodStuff" wrenches and 100 people suggest SK tools, we'll get the idea. No Craftsman bashing.
So, have at it. Neander tools, Normite tools, general hand tools, blades, files, screws (McFeeley's is good), razor blades, 36" lathes (for those whose wives won Powerball), benchtop drill presses, you name it, but remember, it's all about quality and the items should be currently available. It doesn't matter that NimBor made the finest hacksaw blades in the world if they closed their doors in 1934.
Thanks. I'll monitor the replies, and put together a synopsis of top quality equipment, to be posted just before Turkey Day.
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else. I typically highlight items in their Christmas catalog and the stuff appears. I have two of their spoke shaves, apron plane, marking gages, Starret square, shoulder plane, and their tapered screw pilot hole drills with countersink. I have their honing guide , square awl, and the list goes on. Their tools normally come out of the box working.
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I always bought the CMT from Sommerfeld cabinet door bit sets until my cash flow got low and I got a magazine in the mail from MLCS. I started using their matched pair stile & rail bits and have no complaints. I also switched from CMT to the MLCS raised panel bits. They hold up well under almost daily use and for 70 bucks a set for the R & S compared to $130.00 in CMT The raised panel bits come in at around 40 compared to close to 100. For me, anyway, it's better to buy the MLCS twice than buy 1 good one and try to get it sharpened. IMHO
Rick
--
Rick Nagy
Johnstown, PA
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Don't laugh, but for hand tools-- Try Snap-on http://www.snapon.com / The guys with the truck. Tried a snap-on tool once, WOW!! If I had the money.....
Phil
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I agree, BUT. Snap-on is a great tool. If you buy a ton of their tools you may finally realize how over priced they are. If they were competitively priced they would be a much better value. And screw the truck. I want to replace broken tools on my time and not only when the guy in the truck rolls up.
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Ask for tools from the US Mint. (Provided you're in the US.) That is, you get the money for the tool and get to go to the store and look around.
That's what my family does for me, as they don't understand what it is I'm looking for. (I want a hardware MPEG capture card... Ok, what we'll do is give you the money and you can get the one you want.)
Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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On Sat, 04 Nov 2006 23:24:07 GMT, "Jim Murphy" < snipped-for-privacy@nc.com (add rr between nc and com)> wrote:

Cordless Drills - DeWalt 18v, Makita 2.6amp Sawsall - Milwalkee heavy-duty Router - Porter-Cable 690 Jigsaw - Bosch Hammer Drill - Bosch Drill bits - DeWalt (I like them, anyhow) Clamps - Bessy K-bodies or Irwin F-clamps Table saws - Delta Unisaw or Contractor models Grinder - Delta Taps - Greenfield Chisels - black handled Craftsman (Yes, I said it- and I'm sticking to it) Bandsaw blades - Lennox Cabinet scrapers - Lie Neilson ROS sander - Bosch Circular blades - Freud, Delta, Oldham Signature Belt sander (handheld) - Makita Belt sander (stationary) - Ellis (absolutely top-notch) or Delta Miter saw - Delta Industrial Lathes - Delta Midi, Jet Mini, Oneway Radio - DeWalt radio/charger (sounds better than the Bosch or Milwalkee, IMO) Bandsaw - Delta 14" Calipers/dial indicators - Miyoto or Starret. Rules - Lee Valley Cabinetmaker's rules (set of four or individual) Measuring tapes - Stanley FatMax or Craftsman.
Two warnings-
DeWalt changes products frequently, and accessories are not necessarily compatable with older or newer models. Get any accessories you want when you buy the tool.
Delta Industrial is the good stuff- avoid the "Shopmaster" line at all costs.
Hope that helps- I know others will have other favorites.
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On Sat, 04 Nov 2006 23:37:12 -0600, Prometheus wrote:

Absolutely!
Although I just bought a Milwaukee 5625 router and am presently happy as a pig in mud with it. It could use an electric brake ... but otherwise built like a truck and (AFAICT) running dead true.
Bill
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Yeah- Milwalkee makes a lot of good tools, but I haven't used them all, so I didn't want to suggest something that might be the lame duck of their line. I know their HD sawsall is a thing to be reckoned with- I've used those to cut stuff I would have thought needed a chainsaw's attention on several occasions.
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Router bits - Bosch Jigsaw - Bosch Jigsaw blades - Bosch Progressor Belt Sander - Makita Sanding Belts - 3M Purple (butt-spliced, not lap-spliced) Brushes - Purdy
Happy gathering,
Jeff
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wrote:

Oh yeah- brushes!
Purdy *are* good. I also like Coronas.
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On Sun, 05 Nov 2006 20:00:02 -0600, Prometheus wrote:

I've never used a Corona but can strongly endorse the Purdys. I use HF "cheaper by the box" disposable brushes where the final result isn't critical (such as shellacing a jig or fixture) and Purdys anywhere the end result actually makes a difference.
I am not brand conscious about many things, but I DO like my Purdy brushes. Bill
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Back to the original request: Router bits: Infinitytool.com Forstner bits: Lee Valley Hand planes: Lee Valley, Lie Nielsen, and Steve Knight Shop apron: Duluth Trading Router: DW618 Jigsaw: 1590 Clamps: K-body; UniKlamp for lighter jobs Cutoff guide: Plastic rafter triangle with a stick screwed on Gift cards: Lee Valley, Japan Woodworker, Woodcraft, Rockler (One specific Christmas suggestion: nice medium shoulder plane if you don't have one, especially if you make a lot of M&T joints. Or a low angle block plane if you're just getting into the world of quiet tools.) Andy
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