I just got Tormek’s SVD-186, the newest version of their gouge jig. Having both the SVD-185 and 186 on hand I was able to compare them and weigh in on if it’s worth the $100 upgrade.
- The wider body would nice if you have really wide gouges but unless you’re doing hand-carving with bowl gouges this probably isn’t an issue
- The fixed clamping bar is appreciated, no more having to hold the spinny brass one in place with your thumb.
- Shame on Tormek for not using detents on the 185! They make switching jig settings as easy as you would expect
- The casting metal is different, it has a textured surface and is heavier. The new jig weighs 12oz as opposed to the 185’s 7oz weight.
Here’s a video review where you can the two jigs.
But in the end if you already own a 185 I don’t think it’s worth the cost to upgrade. The 186 is certainly easier to use but $100 could likely be put towards more useful shop upgrades.