What's your favorite "cheap" tool?

Chris C

Chris
Senior User
I find myself reaching for this Miller's Falls #14 all the time.... and I have plenty of Stanley's that size ready to go.

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I paid $5 bucks for it and it was a dog. It's still rough but it cuts like a dream... very little backlash.....flat sole. An awesome user that most people would have passed on.
 

NOTW

Notw
Senior User
These little plastic scrapers, seems i am always finding something to use them for, removing stickers, prying light things, used them to remove the emblem off my wife's car.
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Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Someone wrote about the squirrel tail plane (Christopher Schwarz??) and I thought, hey that is cool, then I got one, not a Stanley and $26.50 off fleabay, maybe not in the $5 full-sized #5 plane deal, nor the Horror freight clamps (that litter my garage) but I reach for it so much now that if I drop it or something happens tot it - I will find and buy another one quickly.

Example - yesterday I needed to put epoxy in a hole - I snapped a pop-sickle stick in half lengthwise and it broke at an angle, I took my trusty squirrel tail plane and made a nice thin applicator!
Need a chamfer on a small or short board - easier to hold than a block plane and when sharp - is VERY effective.

Probably not for everyone - since if you have "meat-hooks" it will likely feel like a toy and a block plane would be better suited, but, for me, the design puts the tail in my palm and my index finger right on the divot on the toe of the plane!

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FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
I have a few cheap tools. None have reached favorite status. Mediocre at best.
 

mdbuntyn

Matt
Corporate Member
Either my Starrett 4" double square that I paid around $15 for, or a pair of 4" Brown & Sharpe dividers that were less than $10.
 

Canuck

Wayne
Corporate Member
Picked up a 14" Delta model #28-275 bandsaw fourteen years ago for $ 125! Alleged blown motor. Got it home, plugged it in and nothing - hit the little red reset button and she has run like a top ever since!,

Great Craigslist find!
 

cpw

Charles
Corporate Member
I have tons of "favorite" "cheap" tools.

The one that comes to mind right now is my Empire Level 6-Inch Pocket Combination Square - $8 through Amazon the first time I bought it in 2013. Bought a second for my wife in 2019 so she'd stop stealing mind. It was $9. Just checked and they're running $13.89 now.
 

creasman

Jim
User
I'd have to say my Starrett 6" steel rule is a favorite. These aren't cheap if you have to buy them, but mine was a free hand-me-down. I probably touch it more than any other tool on average when I'm at my bench.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Many years ago Radio Shack sold red and blue handle reversible screw drivers. I should have bought 10. The steel was excellent and they actually work. I still have one set I will never give up.

If "cheap" means low priced, I love my 12 Oz Eastwood trim hammer. Not cheap compared to others, but drives nails like magic so cheap for the job it does.

I learned never to buy "cheap" sandpaper. Too expensive and just makes me mad.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Thanks. I'll try theirs . I have been using mostly 3M, gold or purple. I know there are as good or better for less. I try to use scrapers instead.
 

cpw

Charles
Corporate Member
Charles what color vial? They make 2 yellow and highly accurate blue
Blue. The cover photo on Amazon is incorrect. I also have their 12", but it is not as accurate and I've never bothered to fettle it.
 

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