Iam planning to buy a mortising machine for an upcomming project, but I have
a few questions.
- is it really worth it?
- is the $99 HF machine good enough for light usage (like a 1 project a
month type thing)
- I imagine that the HF mortising bits are crap (this type of stuff usually
is crap at HF), but how crap are they really, how much should I expect to
pay in a "real" place (woodcraft) for the bits
In a recent FWW tool guide, they gave a very good review to the Delta
14-651. (Tops were General International and Woodtek, in that
order...both very substantially more expensive.)
I just bought one last night on Amazon...they had it on sale for $199,
and with the $20-off promo, that brought it in at $179, with free
delivery to boot. For that money, I couldn't say no. (Woodcraft sells
the same machine for $269.)
I just looked, and the price has risen to $229, but that now qualifies
for the $40-off promo, so your delivered cost is just $10 more.
I (obviously) haven't used the tool yet, nor any other mortiser, so
can't answer you about which is the best model, other than based on a
But I sure as ^%$# can't wait to get mine. It comes with four chisels
as well, which I figure are probably crap chisels too, but an
_excellent_ opportunity for me to learn to sharpen them, probably burn
the &^%$ out of them, then throw them away and get better quality once
I've gotten over the learning curve.
I needed one for a cradle I made my Gdaughter. After checking the reviews I
went with the Shop Fox and am very happy with it. Check at www.grizzly.com
for latest prices. I also bought the set of chisels they sell. Still sharp
after 160 holes in butternut and white oak.
Al in WA
Bought the HF unit - have about the same needs as you. Went on ebay and
bought some extra chisel/bit combos. Much better than the HF originals and
the combo works fine. There are quite a few excellent quality chisel/bit
combos available that fit the HF unit. Cut 120 1/2" mortises with no problem
other than boredom. :)
I'll second the shop fox recommendation. IIRC, it was the most adjustable
one made when I bought mine. Also, most other brands were 1/2 hp whereas
the shop fox is listed as 3/4 hp. (I don't know if the extra 1/4 hp is
really necessary as mine has never bogged down in even the hardest of
woods). One other thing to note- the shop fox machine runs at 3450 rpm,
whereas most other brands run at 1725 rpm. Dunno why. It's a great
I have a GI and it is fine. But like most of these units the hold down is less
than great. We mounted an x-y vice and it made a fantastic difference. It is
much quicker to make the mortises and they are much neater (tenons fit better).
The chisels and bits that came with it were ok. I am hoping someone will report
on the ones that Lee Valley now sells as its time to replace a couple of mine.
"Cyrille de Brébisson" wrote:
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