Hot New Tools: Issue 94

Solid value in a new saw

Rikon 10-205 Left-Tilt Contractor Saw


  • Hybrid saw design
  • 13⁄4-hp, dual voltage motor
  • 291⁄2" rip capacity (to right of blade)
  • 3⁄4" maximum dado capacity
  • Left-tilt blade
  • Integrated retracting casters
  • Magnetic insert plate
  • Effective dust collection
  • Good power, low vibration.

Rikon has a new “contractor saw,” but this designation doesn’t do the tool justice. Instead of hanging the motor off the back of the saw and relying on a long V-belt to transfer power to the blade arbor pulley (standard contractor saw configuration), Rikon has located the motor inside a fully enclosed cabinet. The resulting powertrain, with its short, segmented V-belt, minimizes vibration, and the 1-3/4-hp, dual-voltage motor provides ample power for general woodworking tasks. The saw’s smooth-running performance is also due to well-machined parts, a cast iron top, and an overall weight of 260 lbs.

I tested a prototype model of the 10-205 identical to the production model that Rikon now sells. There are plenty of parts to assemble, but the owner’s manual provides clear instructions. In a few hours, I was able to make my first cuts. 

In spite of its table-mounted trunnions, many of the machine’s characteristics reflect cabinet saw design. Height and bevel adjustments are rock-solid, thanks to stout, well-machined trunnions and other internal components. The sturdy plastic dust chute that covers the entire bottom of the fully enclosed cabinet funnels sawdust to a 4"-diameter port, allowing efficient sawdust capture, which is a marked improvement over traditional contractor saws. 

The box-style rip fence locks down solidly at both ends and incorporates all the necessary adjustments to keep it true in use. I also appreciate the convenient onboard storage for the rip fence, miter gauge, and blade guard, as well as an included plastic push stick.

The machine’s few shortcomings don’t come close to being deal-breakers, especially at this price point. The miter gauge that came with my saw slides without slop in both T-slots, but it doesn’t have any slot-fit adjustment in the bar. And you might have an issue with the retractable caster assembly that’s incorporated in the base. 

The foot-actuated mechanism provides excellent mobility for this heavy tool. But the 260-pound saw comes down hard on the floor when you retract the wheels.

All in all, if you’re a serious woodworker who can’t justify the expense of a high-end cabinet saw, Rikon’s new offering will allow you to stretch your dollars without having to settle for sub-par table saw performance.

—Tester, Tim Snyder

These teeny turners are simply the best

Easy Wood Tools Mini Hollower Tools

Hollow-form turning has been around for some decades, but largely as the sovereignty of professional turners. However, in recent years, the technique has become more widespread as woodturners in general push the boundaries of what they can do on a lathe. And, as always, Easy Wood Tools is here to help. 

With EWT’s new mini hollowers, turners can more easily shape tiny hollow forms such as delicate sculptural vessels and vases. Such forms were once reserved for only the most experienced turners, but with these snack-sized utensils, anyone can play.

The numbered tools indicate the order in which you use them. The straight #1 plunges into the workpiece to hollow its center. The 45° #2 removes the inner bottom portion of the cavity. And to clear the top near the mouth, the 90° #3 moves into action. 

We’ve come to expect stout, quality tools from EWT, and these little hollowers are no exception. Despite the tools’ relative heft, they aren’t made to turn vessels larger than 3" in diameter.

The tools are a good size and well balanced. The bars are 3-1/4" long and 5/16" thick with rounded edges and flat bottoms. The handles are 12" long. On the business end, you’ll find EWT’s Ci5 rotatable negative-rake carbide cutters. The negative rake reduces catching, making these handy hollowers even more suited to their task. 

In addition to hollowing work, you could use the #1 to excavate small bowls, turn coves on petite spindles, or even to shape pens. And the #2 could clear material near the rim of a small bowl. But these tools are designed specifically for turning small hollow forms, and work well as advertised. There’s nothing quite like having the right tool for the job. 

—Testers, WM staff

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