While I appreciate tool reviews and tips and techniques for woodworking, what I like most in a woodworking magazine are projects which I find interesting and attractive. I have found Popular Woodworking to be the woodworking magazine that meets my expectations in this area.
Yes, there are tool reviews, which are particularly useful when considering the purchase of a new tool (with prices these days, we need all the help we can get) and there are plenty tips and techniques.
But I do enjoy the projects the most. Don't get me wrong, not every issue has a project I want to tackle (thank goodness, or I wouldn't get anything else done), but I will usually find something that I want to make or that illustrates a method of work which will help me with other woodworking projects. Also, the projects are not just limited to pieces of "fine" furniture, they also include things like functional outdoor woodworking and practical furniture.
This is one of only two woodworking magazines to which I regularly subscribe. If you like woodworking projects, you may like this magazine.
I look forward to every issue. The projects are top notch. I have subscribed to several woodworking magazines. Popular Woodworking is one of the best.
A Real Fine Woodworking Magazine
This magazine has taken the lead in fine woodworking, especially in regard to its emphasis on hand tools and traditional techniques. So if you want to learn how to use hand tools and also get good historical perspectives on tools and techniques, there is no finer magazine.
One of the Best
This magazine surprises me. It looks like just another mass media pulp magazine, but it's really solid on the inside. These guys actually go to the shop and do woodworking. They are enthusiastic, thorough, honest, and funny. The articles seem to aim toward the moderately experienced amateur, but there's plenty of stuff for beginners. And the price can't be beat. This and Fine Woodworking are my favorites - put them together and you have everything you need.
Popular Wood Reading
It's very easy to write off Popular Woodworking without even reading it. One tends to assume that it is going to be the Readers Digest of woodworking. One imagines countless overly simplified articles on how to build bookcases or select the right shop vacuum. Actually, this couldn't be further from the truth.
Admittedly, Popular Woodworking is not a high-end magazine. It is for the moderately funded woodworker who wants to get the best out of his or her tools without a huge outlay. It's also for folks who like a wide coverage of the woodworking field. Plans, tools, jigs, wood, techniques, and workshops.
In going through a recent issue repeatedly, I kept finding little articles that I have missed on earlier readings. This is a compliment to the editors in that they try to answer many needs. On the other hand, it indicates that magazine layout and structure is a bit haphazard and cramped. You just have to keep perusing it until everything sinks in. Take the time to do so and I think you will agree the Popular Woodworking is worthwhile reading.
Its definitely a must read
I have to admit I enjoy reading about woodworking almost as much as doing it - just remember I did say "almost"!
This magazine is among my top five favorite magazines on the topic and I have to say that I enjoy it greatly. The articles are well written and the photography is very good, which when combined equates to my clear understanding of their project plans, etc. This is of course crucial for any how-to magazine and there are few disappointments here. I find that there is almost always one project in every issue that I make plans to build "someday". Though I don't get to all of them, it is nice to have so many projects to choose from!
I also really appreciate the tool reviews. Between Popular Woodworking and my other four favorites (Fine Woodworking, Wood, American Woodworker, and Workbench) nearly every type of woodworking tool is reviewed at least once every 18 months.
Overall, this is a solid magazine with good content and a clear purpose and I feel it is well worth the money.
Good mag for the regular joe Woodworker
This magazine does well for the regular joe woodworker geared to a garage shop or small separate shop (less towards a pro or highend furniture maker, but plenty of tutorials to help get you there.)...nice to have tips and tricks that i would actually use, and a decent companion website.
four stars only because they need to do more of what they do best and drop the tool issue and replace with a regular issue.
as with all wwing mags it is only 6-7 issues per year.
This magazine tries hard, but its quality is perhaps the lowest in the woodworking magazine field. Photos not lighted well, illustrations lacking in detail, and lots of rambling text pretty much sums it up. The annual tool issue is a wasted issue IMHO.