I've gotten quite a few questions about what tools I use and recommend. I wanted to create a list of the core tools and equipment I use daily. Keep in mind, there's a ton of quality equipment out there, some fits right into our budget, while others... we can dream right?! A lot of makers will tell you "Buy the best" or "Save up and buy the best" which to me, is just stupid. That's like saying... don't buy a car unless its a Ferrari or go homeless until you can afford a mansion.
A good starting point is working within a budget. Early on I only bought an item if would pay for itself in the time it saved. If the cost was too high, I would simply find a different way, borrow or rent it. I never let my budget hinder what I wanted to make.
Table Saw - Grizzly G0960
I wanted a cabinet table saw but it just wasn't in my price range. I looked at various hybrid saws (They're a cross between a cabinet and a contractor saw) but I felt compelled to suck it up and buy the best cabinet saw I could afford. At that time I had two portable table saws so things were cool it wasn't a big deal but honestly there have only been a handful of times that the cuts I make now actually require the cabinet saw. Sure it's way nicer but was it needed.... yes and no. I felt a confidence boost when I fired up the G0960. It was that whole "Wow look at me I'm doing man things" haha! My advice, if you're getting serious about woodworking, upgrade the backbone of your shop first. With a good table saw and a router you can build anything!
Miter Saw - Ryobi P3650
I've owned couple miter saws over the years. My first was a Ridgid then switched to Bosch's CM12 and now I am running this Ryobi. It had a much larger crosscut capacity, runs on two batteries and there was no comparable difference in cut quality! I didn't need three miter saws so I put the other two on Craigslist and they sold within hours. Now I have a lightweight, battery operated saw I can throw in the Jeep and cut literally anywhere.
If you are looking for a miter saw, get one that has a cross-cut capacity of at least 11 1/4" that way you can easily cut a 1x12" easily. Prior to this saw I always needed to flip the board and it was virtually impossible to get it a clean second cut.
Router Table - Woodpecker Everything Featuring a Portamate Spindle
This dude is amazing! A router table changes the playing field, the options for them are limitless and there so much you can do with it. You can sink a small fortune into them but if you subscribe to Woodpecker's newsletter, periodically they sell off some blemished ones and you can snag one like I did at a huge savings!
Saws - Circular | Scroll | Jig | Table
It appears I have a lot of saws! Really each one has its own purpose. Starting out a table saw and circular saw will take you far then as you progress you can certainly add in some speciality saws.
Planer - Dewalt D735
I log, harvest and mill 90% of the lumber i use. The Woodmizer LT15 Sawmill tool marks sand out but getting a planer was a top priority for me. I went with this guy based off the reviews and wasn't disappointed.
If you're in the market for a planer check the cost and availability of replacement of knives, it is the only real maintenance cost . The knives on this model are reversible so once you dull or chip one side, you have a second set ready to go!
RO Sanders - Ryobi | Rigid | Bosch
A lot of people dislike sanding but it's really what separates good from great work. If you take your time progress through the grits and have the patience of a 500 year old oak tree.... you'll have a work of art when your finish. As you're sanding for what feels like 500 years, it helps to have efficient and effective sanders handy. I'm a firm believer in having a few different options. The beat-to-hell Bosch was my first RO and as time went on I picked up the 6" Ridgid as well as a few different Ryobi makes until I settled in on the 18v One+
Ridgid 6" R2611 - Heavy and Bulk Removal
Ryobi P411 - Final and Detail Sanding
Bosch ROS20VSC - Extended sanding when battery life is a factor
Routers - Plunge | Fixed | Palm Based
I find myself using the hand-held routers far more frequently than I do the router table. It's kinda crazy, I have the Lamborghini of Router Tables sitting in the shop and I rarely use it!! Why you ask?? For so long I didn't have a router table, I just designed around not having one and continue to do that. I plan to change that though! Remind me to use it!!
Ryobi P601 Palm Router
Hitachi M12VC Fixed and Plunge
Ryobi RE180PL1G Plunge Router