Have you ever dropped tens of dollars or even hundreds on a woodworking tool or accessory that you never used? These are the tools that are collecting dust instead of making it… Maybe it was a deal too good to pass up. Maybe it was an accessory to your table saw or router. No matter how you came by it though, you’ve never found use for it.

The WoodNetter Mike C asked a similar question recently and we went and tallied up the responses to bring you the top five woodworking tools we buy but never use… And for the record “never use” roughly means “haven’t used once in the past year.”

Read through the list and let it be a warning to you… not that you shouldn’t buy any of these tools, but just to think twice before you do. Also, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for an interesting theory… or even a conspiracy… about why we buy needless tools ;)

Disclaimer: This survey represents a single forum’s opinions. There are different prevailing methods at different forums so don’t take this as the be-all end-all list of what tools are important in woodworking!

First off, from the thread are the guys whose frugality goes above and beyond the call of duty. These are they guys who, to the best of their knowledge and memory, claim to never have purchased a tool they didn’t use. Never bought a tool I didn’t use: 5

And here are the top 5 woodworking tools we buy but never use:

1) Jigs: 12

Woodcraft Tenon Jig: 5
Kreg pocket jig: 2
Dovetail Jig: 2
Taper jig (well I used it once, does that count?)
dowel hole jig
Beadlock Jig

2) Router/Bits/Kits: 6

Sears El-Cheapo routers
Router Bushings
Cheap GMC router kit
Most of the bits in my first router bit set
Router Bits

3) Mortiser: 5

Delta Mortiser: 3
DP mortiser attachment

4) Scroll Saw: 5

5) Biscuit Joiner: 2

Any surprises there? I for one didn’t expect to see so many scroll saws. There was one guy in the thread who suggested that folks who didn’t use their scroll saws just didn’t know what they were missing.

Ok, so here’s the rest of the tools mentioned in the thread, followed by the conspiracy I mentioned earlier… ;)

Everything Else (in no particular order):

Roto Zip
TS Blades
HVLP Spray gun
Pneumatic sander, nailers and other air tools
3 HF Mobile Bases
6″ Band Saw Riser ( I have installed it but have yet to cut anything over a few inches tall)
Stanley 38 fence
Delta drum sanding kit (duplicates most of my sanding drums)
Sander sitter
hvlp spray gun
HF wet grinder
tin snips
soldering iron
framing nailer
transfer punch set
hole punch set
Record #5 plane
hand held oscilating spindle sander
Table for jig saw that makes it a scroll saw.
jet wooden handscrew clamps
Stock miter guage that came with my table saw (never used it – just bought a higher quality miter guage that I use a lot)

The “Norm Abram Conspiracy” Explanation for Unused Tools:
This Woodnetter brings up a very good point…

Ok, maybe this is a complete coincidence, but do you see a trend here??? Take a look at the reoccurring tools:

Biscuit Joiner
Tenoning Jig
Dovetail Jig

Now think of the tools that Norm uses almost every show. Coincidence??? I think we may have watched one too many NYW episodes and thought “Oh ya, I need one of those!”

Cue spooky music ;)

How many purchased tools you never used?
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