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  • Bench Top Tools

    Has anyone had any experience with Tradesman products. I am looking at two items that sears has on sale. They have an 8' Drill press for $49.99 and a 16' scrollsaw for $109.99. They each have a five year warranty. This sounds like a good deal, but would like an opinion or two from all of the experience on this message board.
    Thank you all in advance for all your help.

    Thank you Clifford_Parker for your very prompt e-mail return last month about how to make a walking stick for my girlfriend's dad. It is so wonderful to find people that are willing to share their knowledge. Like your website. You are truely an artist!

    Brad (CC)

  • #2
    Re: Bench Top Tools

    Brad, I have no direct experience with Tradesman. However, I suspect they are made in China and are probably the same ones sold by Harbor Freight. HF sometimes sells the drill presses for $29. The way the Chinese can sell stuff this cheap is cutting corners. The gears are not heat treated, the motors have fewer windings (less torque), the switches are cheap plastic, etc. Like with carving tools, you get what you pay for. I bought a Delta 8' drill press (Taiwan) and it is not great even for $99. However, I bought a $375 DeWalt scroll saw that has perfomed beyond my expectations. Anyway, I would highly recommend you consider a 10' or 12' drill press. My 8' is never quite big enough.

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    • #3
      Re: Bench Top Tools

      I agree with the Captain.......although for the price, and a five year warranty from Sear's, you probably wouldn't go too far wrong. It is still far better to buy the craftsman brand from sear's as this is a better quality machine. On the other hand, (are different fingers) most, but not all, major brand tools are manufacture in China, Taiwan, Japan, or the Phillipines. Some are JUNK, and others, when manufactured to the Brand Carrier's specs, are excellent tools. If I can find a product made in the USA I will buy that even if the price is a little higher. I don't care what ANYBODY says, I believe the US workman produces the highest quality products available anywhere. Problem is........just try to find a tool made in the USA. A lot of US companies have outsourced their manufacturing to foreign countries, where wages are a tenth of what US labor cost are, and that is a shame. I am not a great supporter of the union status in this country, but find it disgraceful, that I cannot find a US made product anymore. I would gladly pay the difference to know that I am purchasing something MADE in the USA!!!!!!!

      Time to get off my soap-box. Buy what you can afford, but buy the BEST you can afford! and even if it busts your budget a bit; buy USA whenever possible!

      Al

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      • #4
        Re: Bench Top Tools

        OK, the Canuck's do a right fine job, too! Bombardier etc. makes some mighty fine stuff!

        Al

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        • #5
          Re: Bench Top Tools

          I can just tell you my experience with Craftsman's scroll saws...In the early 80s I bought their small model to play with (very light, easy work)and wore it out in a year so I bought the larger model. In exactly 2 days it died so I took it back for repair which took 2 weeks. When I got the blasted thing home it died again in an hour so I returned it and asked for a replacement. You guessed it .........the replacement didn't work. I got a refund and bought an RBI - one of the best tool inestments I ever made.
          I'm very sorry I replaced that great RBI with an Excalibur.

          I have a Craftsman 8' table model drill press that has had HARD usage for many years and works like a champ.

          Or, am I confusing Tradesman and Craftsman ?

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          • #6
            Re: Bench Top Tools

            Haven't been to Sear's in a while, Nancy, but I think the Tradesman moniker is a step down from their Craftsman line, and the warranties aren't quite as good. I've had pretty good luck with the Craftsman line, but they are a bit cranky to set up and adjust. Haven't tried their scroll saw, so I can't comment on that one. I 've got an OLD Chicago Machine jigsaw that weighs about a hundred pounds and shakes like an earthquake, but kinda like Timex, it keeps on tickin'! I won't get rid of it till it dies!

            Al

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            • #7
              Re: Bench Top Tools

              Can't comment on the quality of the machines. Where they are made really doesn't tell the whole story (even the Swiss make cheap watches). However, if you have room for a larger drill press don't go for the 8'. I suffered with one for years. It was almost always too small or underpowered. Upsized about two years ago and have been happy happy happy. As to the scroll saw, I haven't seen any for around $100 that looked like they'd make me happy. A lot of people are very happy with the Dewalt and I can't say enough good things about my RBI (two bad things (kinda) it's HEAVY and a little pricey).

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              • #8
                Re: Bench Top Tools

                I was luck Ed, I got mine when the were selling demos. However, It was still pricey for sure. Yes, it is heavy also. But I love it. I love my Hawk220. The Dewalt for the money would be a great one. Maybe out of price range for some. I understand the suffering as I am still suffering on a little 8' drill press. However, I do feel an upsize comeing on. Found out Grizzly has a showroom in Springfirld Mo and I go through there often(to make my little bride happy(going home to MAMA)) .
                May take the Uptruck and buy one.

                If you are going to cut a little on a scroll saw, then the cheap ones may be what one would want. I am torn between carving and fret work and a little furniture building so I had to have one that would hold up. The Craftmans wasn't.

                Have a safe and nice holiday weekend.
                Kenny
                Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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                • #9
                  Re: Bench Top Tools

                  Hi,I bought a benchtop sander from sears. After using it a few times it got real noisey.
                  Took it apart and foung two set screws in same shaft hole.It of course had no set screw in the side face sander.
                  Again you get what you pay for.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bench Top Tools

                    Hi,I bought a benchtop sander from sears(95.99),after using it a few times it got real noisy. I took it apart and found two set screws in one shaft hole. Needless to say there was no set screw in the face wheel sander. Again you really get what you pay for.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Bench Top Tools

                      Thanks all for the information. I am just starting out with carving, so I know only what I can read about. I am interested in relief carving. The first project I will be doing is a walking stick for my girlfriend's dad. He is going in for knee surgery and I thought it would be a great gift.

                      Thanks again Clifford_Parker for all the info you have given me.
                      Thanks all!
                      Some day I hope to be able to help others as you have me!

                      Brad

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bench Top Tools

                        Oh!

                        Have a happy and safe Memorial weekend!!

                        Brad

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                        • #13
                          Re: Bench Top Tools

                          All my walking staffs and canes have been carved with a knife, Both pockrt and fixed bladed ones. I use 0000steel wool to smooth up edges and if needed a little sanding.Tifflers and dentist picks are also used, But mainly knives.
                          Now I did start with tools that I could afford at that time but have replaced them over the years with better ones except the drill press. Still using the Deta 8' one.
                          Hope this helps you out.
                          Safe and nice holiday week end to all

                          Ken
                          Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Bench Top Tools

                            Hi Brad
                            The tools you buy really depend on your budget and what you want them to do. I have a craftsman full size drill press for several years and have never had any problems. I also have a sears scroll saw and it shakes and rattles like my old '58 chevy did. The table top models are typically light weight and you can expect them to do light weight work. Spend what you can afford and use the warranty if you need to. Good luck in your wood adventures.
                            Cheers
                            Ric

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