Canadian Woodworking

Small shop essentials 2018

Woodworking products to help you tool your shop.


Woodworking products to help you tool your shop.

There are lots of choices to be made when setting up a first workshop or upgrading an existing shop. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned woodworker, these hand and power tools, machines, and workshop accessories will help you work smarter, safer and more efficiently. This is our 11th annual roundup of Small Shop Essentials.

Cuts MDF, Chipboard, Plywood and Laminates

This A.G.E. MD10-601 10″ blade is specifically designed for clean cuts in plywood, MDF, chipboard and   single-sided laminates. It leaves a smooth, clean, chipfree finish on the top and bottom edges. The triple   chip grind and 12º hook angle provide an excellent balance between feed resistance and cut finish. The   blade is also available with an ArmorMax nonstick coating, #MD10-601R


With all the time and care you put into building your projects, don’t compromise when it comes to gluing and assembly. The right clamps provide a successful, stress-free glue-up. That’s the reason for using Bessey parallel clamps – they’re the ideal choice for problemfree glue-ups that deliver optimal clamping pressure with jaws that remain parallel throughout the clamping process, eliminating racking, and making it easier to align material. And BESSEY’s new generation K BODY REVOlution (KRE) clamps are even better – they feature a two part handle with a steel socket for use with a hex key to maximize clamping pressure, and a new operating jaw that stays put during set up. Bessey-quality clamps – designed to last a lifetime.

ShapeFX Router Table

While you can do a lot with a hand-held router, you will have a greater degree of accuracy, ease, efficiency and safety if you’re using a router table. The CWI-RT500 stationary cast iron router table is a robust, feature packed router table. Key features include a precision ground cast iron 31″ × 24″ top, steel tool drawer, dust box with 4″ dust port and easy access magnetic door, huge 4-1/2″ × 32″ heavy steel and anodized aluminum fence with 2-1/2″ dust port, two Bow extreme performance feather boards, a very heavy built steel stand, and a precision router lift that fits both 3-1/2″ and 4-1/4″ fixed based router motors. A mobility kit and start/stop switches are available as options.

Arbortech Ball Gouge

This new Ball Gouge is a wood carver’s dream tool. Attach it to any 4-1/2″ angle grinder and you have an efficient alternative to traditional wood sculpting and carving methods. At 1-3/16″ in diameter, the Ball Gouge will carve rounded features in just about any small to medium project. Carve concave surfaces, easily hollow out and undercut sections of wood or add a chiseled texture to your project. The Ball Gouge can handle up to 12,000 RPM making it the most efficient and high performance tool of its caliber on the market.

Tormek T-8 Sharpening System

The most advanced water cooled sharpening system available is Swedish made and allows you to sharpen your tools to the finest edge, without removing more steel than necessary. The Tormek T-8 is built for continuous duty and has a unique and efficient drive system that manages to hold a constant speed, even under full load. Your tool’s edge is continuously cooled by the water, which means there’s no risk it gets overheated. Supplied with the machine is a number of accessories, including the unbeatable Square Edge Jig SE-77.The most versatile sharpening system you can own.

DEWALT Carbon Fibre Composite Squeeze Tacker

The carbon fiber composite structure on the new DEWALT Squeeze Tacker (model DWHT80276) helps to reduce muscle exertion and lightens the tool belt load without sacrificing performance. It features a carbon fiber composite housing that weighs 50 percent less than competitors models and reduces muscle fatigue by 25 percent, compared to standard Stanley models. The 2-in-1 manual tacker accepts 18 gauge brads (1/2″ and 5/8″) and heavyduty staples (1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″, and 9/16″). Tested up to 450,000 cycles for maximum product reliability and jobsite performance.

Exchange-A-Blade Starlock Carbide Tipped Wood & Metal Blade

Carbide tipped oscillating blades last 30 times longer than regular bi-metal tools. Combine that with EAB’s green exchange system and you’ll realize substantial savings. When the blade gets dull, simply return it to your retailer for a $5 discount toward a replacement blade. The EAB flush cut 3/4″ blade (#1071502) fits the new Starlock blade mounting system and OIS compatible tools. These are top quality blades made in Switzerland, and are designed to easily cut through a wide variety of materials, including wood, metals, nails, particle board, and more. $29.99 (includes a $5.00 exchange credit).

Cordless Without Compromise

Get the power of a corded sander with the convenience of lighter weight with a Festool Cordless Compact Sander. Features a brushless motor, ergonomic design, and 30 minute run time (with an 18V 3.1 Ah battery). Use with an AC adapter for continuous operation. Three models to choose from – 80x130mm orbital, 100x150mm detail, and 125mm random orbital.

Mirka Direct Electric Orbital Sander (DEOS)

The DEOS 383CV has a 2-3/4″ by 7-3/4″ pad, while the DEOS 353CV has a 3″ by 5″ pad. Both feature a 3mm orbit. The new design enables these sanders to get closer to the work surface, easily accessing hard to reach areas. A brushless motor delivers a high power to weight ratio when in use, while the low-profile design makes for a compact, lightweight and easy-to-use tool. An integrated Bluetooth vibration sensor provides guidance on vibration levels. The DEOS is optimised for Mirka’s NET abrasives by incorporating more than 45 holes in the pad, offering an excellent scratch pattern and a dust-free work environment.


The new 2018 Stanley FATMAX Tapes are now more compact and durable than ever. They’re tether-ready and feature an ergonomic impact-resistant case for more on-the-job security. They feature a new compact design and truer, straighter 13-foot standout than the original STANLEY FATMAX tapes. Plus, with Mylar blade coating and MaxShield Blade Armour, they’ll last twice as long as current FATMAX Tapes. This is the tape the pros turn to when performance matters.

Grizzly 10″ Hybrid Table Saw with Riving Knife

You get the best of both contractor style and cabinet style table saws with the Polar Bear Series Hybrid Table Saw. Like a high-end contractor saw it’s super easy to transport, yet it has the dust control and full features of a cabinet saw. The G0833P features a quick-change blade guard with anti-kickback pawls that can be positioned away from the work piece. The interchangeable riving knife offers protection for operations that require you to remove the blade guard, such as with “non-through” cutting operations. The saw also features a serpentine belt/pulley system for quiet operation and more efficient power transfer.

CSA certified. $1095 USD.

Grizzly Heavy-Duty Mobile Base

Based on years of customer input and months of product development and testing, the T2800 “Bear Crawl” is one of the best universal mobile bases available. Features include thick tubular framing, solid welded seams, heavyduty adjustable hardware from a single point, 2 wide in-line fixed casters, 2 swivel casters, and toe flip-stops. If you’re looking for a super stable platform and easy shop machine mobility, then the Bear Crawl is what you need. $59.95 USD.

Hang Like a Pro

The Hang ‘Em Fast Joist Hanger (1010-508) is the fast and easy way to install joist hangers on all sizes of dimensional lumber. It not only makes the job go a lot quicker, it improves accuracy and ease of nailing. The high strength polypropylene handle is made to last.

King Canada 18″ Rolling Tote Tool Bag

Keep your tools at hand, organized, and safe with this heavy-duty rolling tool bag. Constructed of a tough, water-resistant 600-denier polyester fabric, the KC-18RTB has a 100 pound capacity that is supported by durable ball bearing wheels. There’s a large zippered main storage compartment and 18 storage pockets for you to organize your tools, and 2 rear-mounted tape loops. A telescopic handle makes for easy transportation. Retails for $99.

King Canada 10″ Portable Worksite Table Saw

On the worksite, time is money. You don’t want finicky tools that are time consuming to set up, or that constantly go out of alignment. Which is why you should consider a King Canada KC-5015C. It features a durable, light weight all-steel frame with a large 20″ by 25″ cast aluminum table top, and a sliding table extension with a 24-1/2″ rip capacity to the right of the blade. Its powerful 15 Amp motor can rip or crosscut stock up to 3-1/8″ thick at 90° and a full 2″ at 45°. Complete with anti-kickback pawls, miter gauge, push stick and 60 tooth carbide blade. Retails for $249 – $269.

Benchmark Drywall Sander

You’ll find it easier to sand large areas of drywall in a shorter amount of time with the Benchmark Drywall Sander (#1078-614). The cushioned tapered edge enables you to sand into corners without damaging the wall, while the no-flip bracket allows for worry-free sanding. The hook and loop holding system makes it quick and easy to change out the sandpaper, and keep the paper nice and tight with no slipping. The end result is a more even sanding finish. Use it with Benchmark Premium 9″ Drywall Sanding Discs with CeraMax technology for super fast sanding. Available in 80, 120, and 180 grits.

Makita Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow

Gardeners, landscapers, renovators, carpenters – anyone who has to cart around building or landscaping materials, is going to love the new Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow. It’s available in two formats – with a tough tubular steel flatbed tray (model DCU180ZX1) or with a durable steel bucket (model DCU180ZX2). Powered by any Makita 18V Li-Ion power pack (sold separately) and a brushless motor, the Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow can carry up to 287 pounds, and easily handle inclines up to 12°. With an 18V 6.0 Ah power pack installed you get up to 60 minutes of runtime. For added convenience you can install a second 18V power pack and get up to 2 hours of runtime. There are two speeds you can select from. For lighter loads, and faster going, choose the high speed, which moves the wheelbarrow along at 3.5 km/h. When you have a full load, or going up and down inclines, switch to the low speed of 1.5 km/h. A huge ribbed front wheel, equipped with a 7″ mechanical disc brake for faster stopping, is designed for rough terrain. There are also two rear wheels, which can be adjusted from 19″ to 30″ apart to accommodate the material you’re moving and the work environment. For added braking power the rear wheels have standard foot-activated pedal brakes. The rear wheels can be easily replaced with optional L-shaped legs. L.E.D. lights on each side of frame illuminate the work area, while rubberized soft grip handles provide increased comfort on the job. The handles can be adjusted to 3 different levels to better accommodate user heights and arm reach. The Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow weighs only 86 lbs (with bucket) and 95-1/2 lbs (with flatbed tray).

Magnum Industrial 1 HP Dust Collector with Canister Efficient dust management is crucial in every workshop. The MI-11150 mobile dust collector comes standard with a 1 micron canister that filters the extra-fine dust that is most harmful to your lungs. Cleaning the canister is easy with the built-in lever shaker. The 1 HP motor delivers an airflow capacity of 550 CFM, which easily handles debris from workshop machinery. It also has built-in swivel-style casters, so it can be positioned close to your table saw, jointer, planer, or sander to collect dust at the source. For smaller shops, the MI-11150 provides both efficient dust collection and excellent filtration. $399.99

Magnum Industrial 8″ Benchtop Jointer

Smooth, straight stock begins at the jointer. However, most jointers take up a lot of floor space. But, with the MI-81180 benchtop 8″ jointer you get the cutting capacity of a larger machine with the convenience of a benchtop model. 16 double-sided carbide inserts can handle even the most highly figured wood. The MI-81180 features a 1 HP, 12 Amp motor that delivers a cutterhead speed of 12,000 RPM, a 30″ long jointing surface, and a 4″ dust outlet with a 2″ reducer so you can connect the jointer to a shop vac. It’s the perfect choice for medium to light-duty jointing in the small workshop or can easily be transported to a jobsite. $729.99

Magnum Industrial 10″ 2 HP Cabinet Saw

Arguably the most important machine in any workshop, the MI-51100 is a true left-tilt cabinet saw with base-mounted trunnions for vibration-free operation and easy fine-tuning, and a forged one-piece arbor that guarantees minimal saw run-out. Features include a powerful 2 HP motor that operates on either 220 or 110 Volts, a precision self-aligning T-square fence, extra-large table insert for easy blade changes, removable riving knife, and a see-thru guard with antikickback features. $1,599.99

Magnum Industrial 13″ Helical Head Planer

One of the biggest advantages of helical cutterheads over conventional straight knife cutterheads is that they eliminate tear-out, especially on wood with figured grain or rising and reversing grain. They’re also noticeably quieter, and the cutters are easier to replace than straight knives. The MI-31160 features 26 double-sided carbide cutters, a 15 Amp motor that delivers a 26 foot per minute feed rate at 10,000 RPM, and a four-post table that ensures stable feeding and minimizes snipe. This portable planer is ideal for small shops and jobsite applications where a high-quality finish is critical. $729.99

Magnum Industrial Benchtop Oscillating Spindle Sander

An oscillating sander works exceptionally well for sanding concave surfaces. As well as rotating, the spindle moves up and down, ensuring that a larger surface area of the sleeve is used and less heat is generated, with the result that the abrasive produces a more random scratch pattern and lasts longer. The MI-16100 features a powerful ½ HP motor, a table that tilts up to 45°, precision- ground spindles from 1/4″ to 2″, and a cast-iron dust hood that fits up to 4″ hose with adapter for efficient dust collection at the source. $579.99

Magnum Industrial 14″ Benchtop Drill Press

The 1/2 HP motor on this space-saving drill press delivers a full range of spindle speeds, from 280 to 3,000 RPM, while the 5/8″ precision chuck and taper provides accurate vibration-free drilling. The MI-76100 features 3-1/2″ of spindle travel, a laser guide, chuck guard, durable metal hood, precision bearings, extralong handles that allow for better feed control, and a built-in work light with a separate on/off switch. $399.99

CNC Shark II

The Shark II boasts a heavy duty gantry reinforced with plate aluminum and a rigid interlocking 16″ by 36″ aluminum table. It has anti-backlash, wear-compensated high precision lead screws on all 3 axis and is built to handle either large 2-1/4 HP routers or the new water-cooled spindle from Next Wave Automation (router motors and spindle are sold separately). Adjustable bearings give greater stability during heavy cutting. Upload designs via a USB flash drive. The Shark II includes VCarve Desktop V9 Design software, Vector Art 3D Sampler Pack, and CNC Shark control software.

Canada’s Sandpaper Specialist

Sandpaper is one of the most commonly used consumables in the workshop, and the Sandpaper Family (formerly Royce Sales) has been the premier source for quality abrasive products for over 25 years. They carry premium sheets and discs in both hook and loop and PSA backings, along with standard size and custom belts, rolls, and spindle drum sleeves. Their premium discs and sheets are made of open coat aluminum oxide with a top coating to reduce loading.

The Sandpaper Family carries an extensive grit selection and pricing is very competitive, providing you with fantastic dollar value. You’ll be pleased with their consistent product supply, great pricing and prompt delivery.

CNC Piranha FX

This entry level priced CNC router, with a 12’’ × 18’’ table, which fits easily on top of a workbench, has all of the base capabilities of the larger CNC Shark. With its 3D carving capability, and the included library of 3D models, you can carve expensive corbels, cut intricate inlays, and create beautiful engravings. Design your work with the included VCarve Desktop V9 Design software on a PC computer with a USB 2.0 port, save the program onto a USB flash drive (user supplied), plug it into the CNC Piranha FX, and you’re ready to rout.

Fein Starlock Accessories

While an oscillating tool supplies the power, it’s the accessory that does the work. Starlock accessories are made from premium steel in Germany, and provide fast, precise, clean cutting. Many of the Starlock accessories feature a stepped design that enables you to work flush to the surface for better accuracy. Starlock accessories are designed to work seamlessly with Fein’s MultiMaster, SuperCut and MultiTalent oscillating tools, as well as with Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee and other tool brands. The unique Starlock design ensures a super tight fit between tool and accessory, for maximum power transfer to the accessory. Fein offers over 75 accessories for a full range of sawing, sanding, scraping, and other tasks.

Fuji Mini-Mite 3

The Mini-Mite 3 is an award winning HVLP turbine system. It features Fuji’s innovative Heat Dissipation Chamber located at the rear of the casing that reduces heat build-up from the turbine, and Noise Reduction Covers over the air filters that reduce turbine noise. A powerful 3-stage motor develops up to 6.5 PSI, enabling it to atomize and push out just about any finish. The Mini-Mite 3 is equipped with your choice of a T70, T75G or G-XPC Fuji non-bleed turbine spray gun containing stainless fluid passages and a patented side mounted fan pattern control. A 25ft Hi-Flex hose, a quick-connect air control valve, #4 viscosity cup, cleaning brush, and user manual are included in this system. Plus, a full 2-year warranty on parts and labour. The Mini-Mite 3 is a real favourite with cabinet makers and professionals. Made in Canada – Canuck Tough.

Steel City 6″ Jointer

This 1HP 6″ jointer is available with either a standard straight cutterhead equipped with 3 high speed steel knives (#30-200) or a helical cutterhead equipped with 16 2-sided HSS inserts (#30-200H). The jointer features a cast iron machine body to eliminate vibration and an extra long 55-3/4″ cast iron infeed/outfeed table with a 1/2″ rabbeting capacity. The cast iron fence has 3 angle stops at -45°, 0°, and 45°. Hand wheels with retractable handles make table adjustments easy, and a large cutterhead guard provides optimal user safety. It also includes a solid steel integrated mobile base, lockable magnetic switch, and 4″ dust port.

Steel City Select Cast Iron Router Table

A router table offers you maximum routing precision and optimal routing flexibility. The model 45-135 is a heavy-duty router table that includes a 1-1/2″ by 24″ by 32″ cast iron table top for superior rigidity and vibration absorption. It comes with a four post router lift with aluminum top and 4 insert plates. The router lift accommodates most fixed-based router motors. It includes a 36″ aluminum adjustable parallel guide fence with dust collection outlet and transparent guard, flip stop, and lockable power switch. You also get a dust box mounted below the table with a hose connection to the guide fence for superior dust collection and a utility drawer for storing router bits and accessories.

Steel City 10″ Industrial Table Saw

The Steel City model 10-300 is powered by a 1-3/4 HP motor. The cast iron top measures 27″ by 40-1/4″ and the side table extends total width to 76″. Rip capacity is 51″ to the right of the blade and 11-1/2″ to the left. The T-square fence locks and unlocks with one hand and glides easily over the robust rail system, providing precision cuts every time. User protection devices include a blade guard, anti-kickback, and European style riving knife with a lock protection device for a rapid change of the riving knife. A dust chute under the blade allows better dust extraction and minimizes clogging of the lift and tilt mechanisms, while a shaft lock button makes for quick blade change over.

Steel City 5/8″ Bench Top Mortiser

For production runs of mortises, nothing beats a dedicated bench top mortising machine. The Steel City 5//8″ mortiser (#40-510) features a 1/2 HP motor equipped with a lockable magnetic power switch and both left and right table extensions. It works with chisels from 1/4″ to 5/8″ and can accommodate stock up to 4″ thick. There are integrated stops for setting plunge depth and for stock height and length. Its all-cast iron construction (including frame, table, guide, column and head) helps reduce vibration for smoother mortising.

Steel City Oscillating Spindle Sander

Spindle sanders work exceptionally well for sanding curved surfaces. As well as rotating, the spindle moves up and down reducing heat build up and producing a more even scratch pattern. The 1/2 HP model 50-610 delivers 29 oscillations per minute at a speed of 1,720 RPM. It’s equipped with a 5-1/2″ spindle and comes with 5 interchangeable spindles from 1⁄4″ to 2″ diameter, and 3 table inserts that can be stored on-board. The 14-1/4″ square cast iron table top tilts up to 45°. There is a 2″ dust port for connecting to a shop vac and a 4″ adapter so you can also connect it to your dust collector.

Steel City 15″ Professional Band Saw

A band saw is one of the most versatile shop machines – it’s superb for ripping rough and dimensional lumber to size, resawing lumber into shop-made veneer, and cutting curves, irregular shapes, and a variety of joinery. The Steel City 20-400 band saw has a powerful 1-3/4 HP motor, equipped with an emergency brake, and can be operated at either 575 or 905 RPM. It features a robust steel frame that helps eliminate vibration, a quick tension adjustment and locking handle, steel 11-3/4″ by 14-3/4″ table that tilts -10° to 45°, a graduated rip fence that slides on ball bearings, and two 4″ dust collection outlets.

WORX Sidekick Folding Worktable

The 13 pound, portable Sidekick WX066 is an ideal work table for small shops, as well as for use in the garage, patio or yard. The sturdy 23.6″ square tabletop sets up in seconds, and is supported by a tubular steel leg set that fold up for transport or storage. Inch and millimeter scales are molded into the tabletop. SideKick interlocks with other SideKick tabletops through Link-Lock for an expansive work surface area. The portable worktable supports loads up to 300 lbs. with a working height of 32 in. Four clamp dogs are provided for holding lumber and other materials. $79.99

WORX 20V 6-1/2″ Circular Saw with ExacTrack

With an ExacTrack WX530L circular saw you can make precise rip, crosscut, and plunge cuts in sheet goods and solid stock. Simply clamp an edge guide, or any straight length of ply or solid wood, along your cut line, and the innovative ExacTrack feature will keep the saw blade flush against the edge guide for a precise, perfect cut. In standard mode the saw makes regular 90° or bevel cuts up to 50°. Cut stock up to 2-5/32″ thick at 90° and 1-17/32″ at 45°. At just under 6 pounds, the WX530L is easy to use. No table saw? No problem with ExacTrack! $159.00

WORX 20V Oscillating Multi-Tool

With a multi-tool you can cut, saw, sand, scrape, shape, and polish. And, the oscillating action makes it one of the safest power tools to use. The WX682L uses the WORX Universal Fit System, which means you can use blade accessories from any manufacturer, including Fein, Bosch, and Imperial. The 2.9 lb., variable-speed multi-tool has a 3.2° oscillating angle and is powered by a 20V 1.5 Ah battery. The WX682L includes five accessories, 5-hour charger, blade wrench and carrying bag. It’s the essential tool box addition. $139.99

Last modified: September 29, 2023

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