Blue Spruce Toolworks is a rather unique woodworking toolmaker, creating customized hand tools with rather striking visual appearances.
I believe that it was Blue Spruce’s woodworking squares that first caught my attention and prompted me to sign up for their email newsletter about a year ago. Each time I open a Blue Spruce newsletter, or visit their website, I am tempted further and further to finally buy what will probably be the last square I ever need.
With these squares – a woodworking staple – you can choose the color of the stainless steel blade, the color of the aluminum handle, the color of the steel hardware even, and of course the species of wood used for the handle inlay.
You’re also not limited to the options on the website. Blue Spruce says that you can email them for a current list of options for custom orders.
My first Blue Spruce tool order will probably be for their larger square in blue, silver, and curly maple.
You can order a matching bevel square, or change things up with a different color scheme.
Curly maple, African blackwood, and cocobolo are the standard infill options, and for body color you can choose from several anodized or cerakote colors.
Or maybe my first purchase will be for one of Blue Spruce’s round wooden mallets, made with resin-infused wood and with a machined steel rod core. Here, you choose the types of wood for the handle and head, as well as the weight (13 oz or 16 oz), and the color of the ferrule that sits at the middle.
They also offer customized chisels.
And a marking knife too.
One of their pricier tools is a customizable “Ultimate” coping saw.
Blue Spruce tools are said to be made exclusively in the USA. As I understand it, they contract with machine shops to manufacture the steel components of their tools and designs, with finishing, assembly, and wood customizations made on-site at Blue Spruce’s workshop.
Steel tool components are also cleaned, polished, and sometimes honed on-site. Popular Woodworking details this, as they toured Blue Spruce’s factory a couple of years ago.
A Blue Spruce Toolworks blog post from 2017 mentions their in-house machinist and CNC operator, and so I’d guess their aluminum handle and inlay work might also be done on-site.
The mallet starts at $75, the square at $100 for the smaller size and $135 for the larger, and the marking knife currently starts at $70.
Blue Spruce’s tools are perhaps more than what many woodworkers need, both in terms of quality and price, but it certainly looks like they’re worth it.
I’m at a place, tool-acquisition-wise, where I might treat myself to a square or other such frequently-used layout tool of “heirloom-quality” design, aesthetics, and construction. I’ve been telling this to myself for about a year now, and might act on it by the end of 2020. If there are many review requests, that’ll likely speed up the process.
I have heard nothing but positive things about Blue Spruce Toolworks and their beautiful tools.
USA-made tools can be pricey, but that seems to be especially true for woodworking tools that involve a lot of machining. If I’m going to spend a premium, I love the idea of having some control in how the tool looks.
No, blue anodizing and a curly maple wood inlay won’t make a square perform any better than a blander design, but it would certainly add to the user experience for me.
As mentioned, there are some standard options on their website, and you can contact the company if you’re looking for something different.
If you’ve used any Blue Spruce tools before, please tell us about your experiences!