Hot New Tools: Issue 53

Mighty midi

Jet 1221 VS Lathe

Compact lathes offer a popular middle-ground for woodworkers who want more muscle than a mini-lathe provides, but aren’t willing to devote the money or shop space to a full-sized lathe. Despite its appearance, Jet’s latest 1221 VS offers features you’d find on lathes twice its size and price, including a digital control panel, reverse rotation, and an indexing head. The electronic variable speed (EVS) enables you to control spindle speed from 60 to 3,600 RPM. (To switch between high and low ranges, you’ll need to move the drive belt, which is a cinch due to the large access door and ratcheting handle.) While other midi lathes bottom out at 250 RPM, the Jet can be downshifted as low as 60 RPM. This super-low rotation allows more control when turning large diameter work and performing specialized operations like cutting threads and finessing ornamental work.

The stock model has a 121⁄2ʺ swing capacity and a spindle length capacity of 201⁄2". You can increase the distance between centers with the purchase of an optional bed extension. And don’t worry; the 1-HP, 6-amp single-phase motor has enough muscle to spin posts and bowls as easily as pens.

#856325  $799.99
Tester: Ben Bice


Tanos Systainer® Storage System

Although originally intended for European craftsmen whose “workshops” are rarely larger than their current jobsite, the Systainer’s ability to keep tools well organized and easily transportable makes this storage system equally suitable for space-strapped New World woodworkers. The Systainers employ a unique case-lock system that enables the boxes to be stacked and linked together. Festool owners will be glad to know that their T-LOC cases can be locked on top of the largest Tanos MAXI-Systainer.

The 100% ABS polymer construction and stable design structure combine to make cases that are sturdy, impact-resistant, and even dust-proof. In the unlikely event that a part should fail, every component–body, lid, handle, or catch–can be bought separately and replaced easily, guaranteeing long life for the system. Handles are available in a variety of colors to color-code your tool collection, and a wide variety of containers and foam inserts allow custom fitting to accommodate any assortment of tools and fasteners.

For the full product line and current pricing, please visit

Tester: Andrew Bondi

Slicker rail-guided saw

Festool TS 55 REQ Plunge-Cut Saw with T-LOC and 55" Rail

Rail-guided saws have already proven themselves to be precision-cutting solutions on construction sites and in high-end cabinet shops. If you’re still on the fence about buying such a system, now’s the time to take the plunge.

The TS 55 REQ features micro-adjustable depth controls, a flush side housing for making cuts about 1⁄2" away from walls or adjacent surfaces, a bevel range from -1° to 47°, and a blade sight window. The tool also includes the standard host of Festool rail-guided saw features such as a retractable riving knife that prevents blade pinch, a pair of guards that eliminate splintering on either side of the blade, and the FastFix system, which locks the switch and arbor when changing blades. Electronic variable-speed control maintains a constant blade speed under load.

As for cutting capacity, the 61⁄4"-diameter blade can saw 115⁄16" deep at 90° and 17⁄16" deep at 45°. The 55"-long rail included with the saw makes breaking down sheet goods a cinch because you simply align the rail with two reference marks to establish your cutline. The blade remains tangent to the edge of the guide even when angled to make bevel cuts.

The Festool TS 55 REQ includes a T-LOC Systainer SYS 4 storage box, 48-tooth carbide tipped blade, 55" guide rail, limit stop, and chip deflector.

#561556  $585.00
Tester: Andrew Bondi

Two-stage upgrade

Oneida Air Systems Super Dust Deputy

If you own a 1⁄2 to 3 HP single-stage dust collector, here’s your chance to upgrade your dust system for less than the cost of a good shop vac. Once installed between your tool and existing dust collector, Oneida’s high efficiency cyclone separates out 99% of wood waste before it reaches the dust collector’s filter; resulting in fewer clogs or reductions in airflow.

Cyclones are available in two flavors: metal for more permanent installations; and molded static-resistant plastic for portability. The optional 17-gallon steel drum (not shown) includes a lid with an opening and hole pattern designed to mate with either cyclone.

#154755, Super Dust Deputy Cyclone, Metal, $199.99

#158396, Super Dust Deputy Cyclone, Plastic, $179.99 (available July 1)

#154756, 17-gallon steel drum kit, $89.99

Tester: Peter Collins

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