German-made tools are well regarded within carpentry and woodworking circles for the quality of their craftsmanship and their professional results. Among German tool manufacturers, both Stahlwille and Festool manufacture power tools. Many German companies draw on long artisan histories to produce high-quality hand tools, including Ulmia, E.C. Emmerich and Wilhelm Pultsch. Whether you're looking to add a single high-quality tool to your collection or to invest in a German-crafted workbench, there are many types of tools and manufacturers from which to choose.
Wilhelm Pultsch has been manufacturing saws in Remscheid, Germany, since the late 1800s. The firm produces both one-man and two-man crosscut saws, with either standard or hand-sharpened finishes. The two-man crosscut saw is available without handles, though you can purchase them separately.
If you're looking for a bow saw or fret saw, a narrow-bladed tool ideal for fine work, Ulmia produces one made of red beech, limewood and steel.
For an electric jigsaw, Festool produces two different models, with either a standard "D-handle" or a barrel grip design.
Planes help to smooth and pare back wooden surfaces or edges. They may have wooden or metal frames, which house a sharp blade. E.C. Emmerich produces a wide range of wooden planes, including smooth planes and rebate planes for both right- and left-handed carpenters. Whereas smooth planes are used for large boards, rebate planes cut rebates, or grooves, into wood.
If you prefer a plane with a metal body, the German manufacturer Kunz Tools makes smoothing planes, block planes and pocket planes. Compact block planes and ultra-compact pocket planes work well for fine work and around tight angles. Materials include grey cast iron and locally-harvested cherry wood.
Vices and Workbenches
Any carpenter realises that his tools are only as effective as his workspace allows. German-made vices and workbenches are generally regarded as offering rugged and precise performance. If you have the opportunity and budget to buy a German-made workbench, Ulmia builds a number of benches, generally costing over £1,300, as of September 2010.
Regardless of the kind of workbench you use, you can combine it with German-made vices. Select from small or large vices, quick-release vices, heavy-duty vices, vices with chain-driven screws and short or long tail vices.