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I have to admit that I will buy the cheapest tools. I can see the benefit of spending a bit more of better quality tools but I don't do enough woodworking to warrant spending the extra money. I'd rather have lots of cheap tools than only a few expensive ones. I realise that this may be a false economy in the long run but I think it works for the occasional 'hobbyist' like me. So, here's a quick list of my tools, in roughly the order I got them;
  • Chop Saw: I've had a few of these. I started with a hand mitre saw ... but a guy really wants power tools so I quickly upgraded. The cheaper smaller Chop Saws are good for portability. For accuracy and ease of use in a workshop you really need to invest in a better tool ... but I only use it to cut stuff to length so opted for a slightly-better-than-budget-range saw [B&Q].
  • Table Saw: I started with a hand-held circular saw. Then built a table to mount a circular saw in. This worked quite well but was really crude. The main drawback was that the adjustment was fiddly. In the end I got a budget Table Saw [B&Q] and I've been really happy with it. I don't have enough space in my workshop to rip boards so I really don't have the need for anything more fancy.
  • Pillar Drill: I started with a small press jig [Machine Mart] for a heal-held drill but that was pretty rubbish, just didn't have the depth of adjustment. I got a cheap table-top pilar drill [Clarke, Machine Mart] which suits my needs. I also got a mortice attachment [Clarke, Machine Mart] that seems to work well, but I haven't used much yet.
  • Frett Saw: probably the only tool I haven't used yet ... but it was really cheap in a sale ... I will use it one day.
  • Router Table: Again, I built my own table (which was actually an interchangeable top for my home-made table saw) but the purchase of a dedicated table saw meant it had to go. I then got a small bench-top table [Machine Mart] into which you mount your own router. I haven't used it yet, I think it's one of those things you need to practice with ... plus a hend-held router is probably easier to use.
  • Band Saw: My latest toy. Again it's a smaller table-top device [Clarke, Machine Mart] but performs really well. I can see where a larger device would be useful but even if I had one I don't have the space to use it properly ... so this one will do me just fine.