If a woodworker of more than six months' experience told me he never purchased a tool that turned out to be useless, I would assume that he has a very poor memory or he, shall we say, is accuracy-challenged.
This subject got opened recently on rec.woodworking, the leading Internet news group for woodworkers. Usually the group is full of cries for help and replies with assistance. But this question started one of the longest threads I've seen there:"What tools or equipment have you bought that, on retrospect, turned out to be a waste of money?" a gentleman asked anyone who cared to respond.
I've collected some of them for your edification and consideration.
"Ryobi radial arm saw - the worst of all time."
"The only tool I regret buying is my Craftsman radial arm saw.
"It was the top-of-the-line model. After extensive set-up and adjustment the saw wasn't all that accurate . . . The saw is not safe or easy to rip with."
"Bought a Woodmaster Stroke sander to sand panels and doors a few years ago, worked OK. Now that I bought a drum sander, the stroke sander is just sitting there collecting dust. In retrospect, should have bought the drum sander in the first place."
"Three-cutter shaper head for radial arm or table saw. Looks kinda neat but every time I'm getting something out of the storage area in the base of my radial arm saw and I see this contraption, chills run down my spine."
"An aluminum miter cut-off jig for a radial arm saw. This is not a bad idea, but you can make one that is much better with two pieces of hardwood and a scrap of plywood in 30 minutes. A sled on a table saw works even better."
"Offset dovetail saw, Bosch 3107dvs orbital sander, a tie."
"Would have to be my Craftsman router table, which I am replacing today. And my Craftsman radial arm saw. It just sits there in the garage with a pile of clamps on it."
"PC Profile sander, noisy and semi-useless."
"My Shopsmith Jointmatic. It's supposed to do all sorts of neat stuff but it's a pain to use and very limited in its ability to do mortise and tenons (that's why I bought it)."
"Sears BisKit (a biscuit attachment for a router). Set-up took forever and the holes it cut were always too big and the wrong radius. This would be because the cutters are a smaller diameter than a real biscuit tool."
"An electric brad nailer. It was just too heavy although it worked OK. I didn't want to invest in a compressor at the time."
And this gentleman adds some words of great wisdom:
"Perhaps more important than detailing the items I've wasted my money on (which I can be quite good at) would be the observance of how I wasted the money. The common thread has always been the attempt to save money by making a tool do something it really wasn't meant to do (as with the router attachment), or by avoiding the traditional way of doing something in favor of a cheaper, unproven way, as with the nailer.
"I now have a proper biscuit joiner as well as compressor and brad nailer. Both work much better."