Wood Working

Tormek SVD-186 Gouge Jig Review and Comparison to the 185

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.

Some highlights:

  • 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.

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