Router vs. Table Saw as first major tool purchase

IMHO compared to doing it entirely by hand the most labour/time saving machine is the planer/thicknesser, followed closely by table saw. It's quite possible to get by without a router - very over-rated in my view - they are pressed into use for many things but do all of them badly. You mention the wobble saw - this gets a bad press but is actually very useful if you do lots of slots along the grain e.g. in frames to hold panels, but less good across. Along the grain is fast, accurate, quiet, dust free (compared to router) and infinitely adjustable to precise width between limits - so replaces hundreds of router cutters in one tool.

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