Right out of the box I was impressed. They come in plastic resealable tubes, unlike other brands that are often packaged more cheaply. The handles are made of maple and the shafts on these guys are out of solid stainless steel.
And even better.........
The tips are made of carbide! This means that they NEVER need to be sharpened. When a tip gets dull you can rotate it to a fresh cutting surface and it cuts like new again. When the tip is completely worn out, you just replace it. Carbide is somewhere around 10 times as hard as high speed steel so a sharp edge lasts quite a while compared to other tools. I talked with Craig Jackson who founded EWT and he says a carbide tip on an Easy Roughing Tool will last through about 20 hours of cutting when using it on hard maple. That's pretty amazing, and it means that the tips are a huge money saver for beginning turners. Because the tips are replaceable you don't have to buy any sharpening equipment that can cost hundreds of dollars. You just wont be needing things like electric grinders, files, special jigs, and sharpening stones. It also means that your time in your shop is spent making items for you and your online store, instead of sharpening tools every 20 minutes. Can you say efficient? So before I even started cutting wood I was pretty impressed.
But now for the test. This weeks project is a goblet. I had seen a video of Craig making a goblet using his tools and he made it look and sound really easy. I would soon find out just how easy it really is.
I decided to make my little goblet out of hard, "curly" maple. This special wood was donated by Paul and Brenda who own the local Woodcraft store here in Greenville, South Carolina. It is the same kind of wood that is famous for making butcher's blocks out of , and also for dulling ordinary tools very quickly. This would be a good test.
Here is the goblet I ended up making on my very first try using the EWTs.
How do you think it turned out?
Okay, I am a professional woodworker. That much is true. But I decided that using these tools has such a small learning curve that I could teach people how to make a goblet like this, that had never even turned on a lathe before. It was that incredibly easy. The tools cut beautifully and they are still razor sharp.
For goblet making I have no choice but to give these tools 5 pink hardhats out of 5.
They were a pleasure to use, don't require sharpening, are incredibly tough, and gave me beautiful results. In short, I couldn't find a fault with them.
So what will I do with my goblet?
I am thinking of making a matching set and breaking them in on Christmas Eve.
By the way, if you want to buy EWT lathe tools my friends at Woodcraft carry them. Those of you who are thinking of getting into turning need to put these on your Christmas list.
Next week I will be testing the EWTs on another project. I am far from done having fun with these, so check back next week and see the results.
Do you need your tool or product tested and reviewed? If so, contact me for details.