The Low(e)down on ShopSmith

It has been around for years, and years. And still, through development, the ShopSmith appears to be surviving. A lesson for other promising products perhaps?

I doubt we’ll get to see it in our version of Lowes (Masters), but I’m interested in knowing what the hype is about, and more importantly, what gives ShopSmith the longevity.

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5 Responses

  1. Stu,

    Do you mean to tell me that ShopSmiths are still made? I had no idea. I see them posted in classified ads quite often in the range of $400-700. I’ve never seen one in person nor have I heard any hype about them.

    Chris

  2. As a Shopsmith owner I can suggest that their longevity can be attributed to their flexibility for such a small tool. For those with limited space the Shopsmith can undertake the function of many tools in a fraction of the space ….. that being said each additional function, whilst they function well, cannot match the quality or ease of use of the standalone tool, however back to point one, standalone tools are not suitable in some situations.

    Australia had a real fixation with Triton. I would go out on a limb and suggest that the Shopsmith is the USA version of a Shopsmith – in terms of a tool that can be purchased relatively cheaply and upgraded and added to as required as needed. It can also do so much more than the Triton system ever could.

    To their credit they also look to be constantly upgrading the unit as new technology come available. The variable speed motor seems to be a recent upgrade but given the Shopsmith can be a table saw, lathe, jointer, drum sander, disk sander, drill, morticer, router and god only knows what else, the variable speed would be quite handy.

    Whilst I would not rush out and get a replacement (I prefer the flexibility of standalone machines) having one since beginning it certainly has been a handy tool to own and has managed, and still does, helps me undertake tasks for which I do not have the standalone machine.

    Cheers

    Stinky.

  3. I have an old Shopsmith: It is considerably overengineered which accounts for its popularity and longevity. I would NEVER use it in table saw mode: it is just too dangerous. Excellent horizontal borer and sander.
    By the way, it is hard to disagree with Stinky’s contention that ‘the Shopsmith is the USA’s version of a Shopsmith’!

    • Yeah I obviously meant to say that the Shopsmith is the USA’s version of Triton!

  4. I just recently inherited my father’s Shopsmith which was manufactured in the late 1950′s. I can remember using it as a lathe in my younger years growing up. We only had a one-car garage, so this tool came in very handy with it’s many functions all rolled into one machine. Now that I have it, I’m just waiting on the new PowerPro headstock, then I’ll use it as a training tool until I can afford to buy the standalone products. Then again, it might turn out to be all I’ll ever need!

    John
    Sanger, Texas

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