Hot New Tools: Issue 69

Power in the palm of your hand

Bosch JS1220 Cordless Jigsaw

Weighing in at just 3.3 lbs., the Bosch JS1220 has the same features found on full-sized jigsaws, including orbital and straight-line cutting modes, an adjustable base, a no-scratch overshoe/baseplate, and an LED light, but in a palm-sized package. The 12V, 2 Amp-hour Li-Ion battery can’t compete with a corded saw for marathon-sized projects (like notching stair stringers), but I found the run-time/1-hour charger combination more than adequate for general woodworking, such as cutting templates or making double-sink cutouts, for example. If you need more run time, buy another battery.

The saw’s compact size permits greater maneuverability in tight spots, but the flyweight status opens up other possibilities. This easy-to-grip saw is good for older woodworkers wrestling with bouts of tendonitis, and junior woodworkers with smaller hands.

Tester: Joe Hurst

3 heads are better than 1

Arbortech angle grinder accessories

Arbortech’s array of carving and sanding accessories can turn a right-angle grinder into a versatile woodworking machine. The 21⁄2"-long shaft on the Contour Random Orbit transforms a grinder into a detail sander with the ability to reach into turned bowls or hollow areas that might be out of reach of larger sanders. The flexible sanding pad molds to the surface shape without digging in or burning the work.

Sporting a pair of carbide teeth, the TURBO Shaft is an easy-to-control accessory for freehand carving and lettering. When used with a template, the integral, adjustable collar can serve to effectively control the desired cutting depth.

If you’re looking for a tool for freehand carving and sanding, check out the Mini TURBO Kit. Although it lacks the random-orbit feature, this multi-function shaft can be outfitted with either the carbide cutters or sanding head. For more control, the carbide-tipped cutter can be attached to the grinder without the shaft.

Tester: Ben Bice

No-set advantage

Veritas Detail Flush-Cutting Saw

By now, most woodworkers own a flush-cut saw in one form or another and already appreciate this tool’s ability to level pegs and exposed joinery. What makes this 26 tpi pull saw different (and I think, better) is its beefier blade. While still flexible enough to tackle flush cuts, the blade better resists diving which can either scratch the surface or stop short of leveling it. The tapered blade enables the saw to fit into spots inaccessible to wider blades. Since the teeth lack any set, the saw can be used from either side without scratching.

The most surprising attribute is how well this no-set saw follows a line. When it’s not trimming pegs, it may become your go-to tool for all sorts of small-scale joinery.

Tester: Joe Hurst

More grit

Norton ProSand Multi-Air Sanding Discs

Norton has found a way to get more from less. Suitable for use with any 5" random-orbit sander, Norton’s ProSand hook-and-loop pads sport a unique pattern of tiny laser-cut holes that create a “vortex effect” to draw debris away from the work more efficiently than the larger, evenly spaced holes found on other discs. The obvious advantage to smaller holes is that the discs have more abrasive surface to contact the work. According to Norton, this additional grit can shave sanding time by 30%. Another plus: You don’t need to align the disc’s hole pattern to your sanding pad.

In use, the discs went the distance. The stearated ceramic alumina abrasive cut without clogging while the fiber-reinforced backing resisted tearing. I only wish the discs were color-coded (like Norton’s 3X sandpaper) to make it easier to identify different grits.

Tester: Joe Hurst

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