September 9, 2015
The Ryobi 18 volt cordless platform is really pretty wild. Once you have a couple batteries and a charger, you can go bonkers on the bare tool purchases, like their new Drain Auger, set to be released later this month. While it may seem strange at first glance, after some further thought, this piece of gear makes a whole lot of sense. The specifics of the item are that it has a 25-foot cable, a power feed mechanism and can be effectively used on drains of up to 2-inches. It costs about $70 (bare tool).
That cost may sound steep but most plumbers I know (around the Boston area) have an hourly that is at least that and in most cases a decent amount more. If you have to deal with a drain clog, this tool will pay for itself fairly quickly.
I've got an old manual snake and it's a mess to deal with. It's the kind with the off-set Z handle, so wrapping it up and storing it is a chore. It sits in a milk crate somewhere in the back of the shop. I try not to think about it, even on the rare days that I come across it. But something like this Ryobi is a lot more user friendly. The electric ones in the style of the Ryobi (self feeding) are cheaper (which is nice), but they don't offer the quick plug and play of the cordless, like if you're trying to deal with an exterior line.
Read More in: Cordless | Inspection Tools | Plumbing
September 4, 2015
If you ever have a yearning to feel like Paul Bunyon, you should invest in a Peavey. It's a tool for maneuvering massive logs and because of the old-fashioned mechanical advantage it's about the most satisfying tool to use. They're technically called timberjacks, but Peavy is the "Kleenex" version (the company that everyone knows the tool by). But the nomenclature doesn't matter. Even if you call them "wood-handled, metal hooky thingies" you should still get one. If you're unfamiliar with the tool, you won't believe what you can do with them. Continue reading: "Peavey Timberjack - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Chainsaws
August 19, 2015
For this installment of Chainsaw Week (TM), we're taking a look at a little slice of history: Poppa ToolSnob's McCulloch Pro Mac 10-10 Chainsaw.
To me, this tool is what always first comes to mind when someone mentions the word "chainsaw." It's the first one I ever saw and it's imprinted on me like a momma chicken is imprinted on a baby chicken. FOTS (Father of Tool Snob) has had it as long as I can remember, which probably ages it somewhere around at least the 35 year mark. Continue reading: "McCulloch Pro Mac 10-10 Chainsaw - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Chainsaws
August 18, 2015
As part of our ongoing festivities with Chainsaw Week (TM), we're now going to take a look at the new Kobalt 80-volt 18-inch Cordless Chainsaw ($300).
The first thing I noticed is that it's an 18-inch model, which is rare for a cordless chainsaw. Most of the manufacturers seem to opt for the smaller 12 or 14-inch bars. But this one is backed by a mondo 80-volt battery, so it can supposedly crank out enough power to chug the longer bar through wood.
Continue reading: "Kobalt 80-Volt 18-inch Cordless Chainsaw - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Chainsaws
August 17, 2015
We're kicking off our first (and possibly last) Chainsaw week.
What's happened is that I've got a massive pile of logs that I need to turn into firewood and with the renovation over, I'm finally getting time to deal with it. This newfound freedom has also coincided with me trying to get a couple chainsaw reviews wrapped up. Add the two together and... *poof* ...Chainsaw Week.
So to get everyone in the mood, let's strap on the kevlar chaps and look back at some of our old chiansaw coverage...
Continue reading: "Chainsaw Week at Tool Snob"
Read More in: Chainsaws
August 12, 2015
Paslode is running what they call the Pick It Up Challenge and there is going to be someone, somewhere out there (you?) who wins a 2015 Ford F-150 for simply picking up a nail gun.
The rules are thus: The promotion runs through October 31st and in order to enter, just head your pretty little self off to a Lowes or Home Depot and find the display for the Paslode F325R Compact Framing Nailer, pick one up (I'm assuming that there is a sample available, likely chained to the display), then scan the QR code to enter. It all sounds very, very basic and easy.
And while you're at it, I would strongly recommend that you consider purchasing one of said compact framing guns. I recently reviewed it for Tools of the Trade and it's really great. The body of the gun is a little smaller than the norm, but the magazine is completely truncated. So sure, it has a smaller nail capacity (about 40 nails at a time), but it's easier to maneuver and way lighter. The whole thing isn't even six pounds. It's actually smaller than my old Senco finish gun.
Obviously if you're a framer, you're going to turn your sunburnt nose up at this thing, but a remodeler will really enjoy using it. Honestly, if you're a DIYer, this is really all you need. Why bother haul around a massive gun if you're not going to benefit from it. Is it that important to impress your neighbor? How many racks of nails are you really going through in a day?
At Home Depot
Read More in: Air Tools | Promotions
June 22, 2015
Last week I was able to head off to Milwaukee Tools for their annual Product Symposium where they unleashed all of their latest and greatest tools and gear. There is a lot coming too. To get a sense of what I'm trying to get at, picture a giant red tidal wave with white lightning bolts shooting out of it (a toolnami, if you will). Hearing about each and every one of these new tools over the course of a single day was like being attacked by a grizzly bear made entirely of information. Honestly, towards the end, my mind was beaten down to the point where I felt like Brad Pitt from 12 Monkeys. Now here I am a few days later, trying to decipher my scribbled notes and jumbled memories.
Here's what I've got for you... Continue reading: "Milwaukee Tools 2015 New Product Symposium "
Read More in: Benches, Stands, and Storage | Bits and Blades | Clothing | Cordless | Electrical | Grinders | Hand Tools | Inspection Tools | Levels | Lithium-Ion | Measuring & Marking | Plumbing | Power Tool Accessories | Power Tools | Safety | Work Lights
June 8, 2015
Here's a piece of advice: if you're a DIY tile guy...even if you only do a tile project once or twice every few years, you would be doing yourself a massive favor by tossing that little table top tile saw that you have in the garage and investing in a larger model with a sliding tray. The cost difference might sounds like a lot ($100 vs $500), but the ease-of-use and quality of the finished product between the two are miles apart. If you're just installing one bathroom floor and you're never tiling again, fine, get a table top. But if you're doing anything more than that, seriously, seriously consider getting a bigger saw. It makes all the difference in the world and it will save you loads of aggravation.
I'm speaking from experience here. During the full gut/remodel/addition of my house (aka: the Lost Years), I tiled three bathroom floors, two tub surrounds, a shower, and over 550 square feet of basement floor. For the first bathroom and a half, I had an old Masterforce that immediately died on me, so I ran out and replaced it with a Ryobi table top because it was the cheapest thing that looked half way decent. Around that time, Ridgid offered to send on their 8-inch Tile Saw ($500) for testing. Since I still had a boat-load of tiling left to do, I said, "Hells yeah, I'll give that thing a whirl." Turns out it was one of the best decisions I made during the entire renovation. The difference between a real tile saw and those little DIY ones is like night and day. After having used the 8-inch, I can never go back to a smaller one again. It's like learning to walk after crawling. Continue reading: "Ridgid R4040S 8-inch Tile Saw - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tools
June 6, 2015
Fellow tool-writer and long-time pal Rob Robillard of A Concord Carpenter is running a contest that is going to have one lucky person walking away with 5K off of their Feeney Railing DesignRail tab.
To enter, you have to send in an image of the view from your deck (where the railing will be installed). The most interesting view will be picked as the winner. My own submittal is above. Good luck suckas.
The timing of the contest is pretty good too. Most of us are just now getting around to checking out the status on the exterior of the house and, well, lookee here, rotted newel posts...twisted balusters. Could be time for a replacement.
All of the information that you need is here.
Read More in: Promotions
June 5, 2015
If you've never soldered copper pipe, you should give it a try. It's really easy and when you're done, you feel like you've accomplished something cool (at least I do). The most important part is having all the right ingredients on hand, and that's what BernzOmatic's new Trigger Start Plumbing Torch Kit does. It's a one-stop purchase that includes a torch (with a trigger-start), an acid brush, some flux, and a small roll of solder, basically everything you need to get going. BernzOmatic was nice enough to get one in my hands so I could check it out. Continue reading: "BernzOmatic Trigger Start Plumber Kit"
Read More in: All Reviews | Plumbing
May 6, 2015
When it comes to gluing down subfloor, I usually go with PL Premium. I've used a whole lot of the other brands out there like Lumber Lock and Liquid Nails, but I've never found anything that is as tenacious and fail safe as PL Premium. Just don't get it on your hands, oh Lord, don't get it on your hands.
But anyway, I got word that TYTAN has just come out with a High Yield Subfloor Adhesive ($18). It comes in a 29 oz can and attaches to a gun, like a spray foam set-up. According to TYTAN, one can can do the work of 12 28 oz tubes of traditional adhesive. Sounds intriguing, eh? Well, they were kind enough to send a sample so that I could try it out. Continue reading: "TYTAN High Yield Subfloor Adhesive - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Glues and Adhesives
April 27, 2015
Coast makes some pretty cool knives (and flashlights and headlamps). I carried their RX312 (or something close to it) for a while and always liked it. I still use it from time to time, but I've switched my EDC over to a utility knife (the Milwaukee Fastback). I just finally accepted the fact that my lifestyle is brutal on a blade and I don't have the time to deal with sharpening. Disposable utility blades are just so simple to deal with.
But anyway, Coast recently developed a very interesting item that they refer to as the LK375 Light Knife ($52). It's basically a combo between a ...wait for it... wait for it... wait for it... flashlight and a knife. It's a great pairing, kind of like chocolate and peanut butter, eggs and bacon, or
Ashton and Demi. Coast was nice enough to send me a sample so that I could check it out.
Continue reading: "Coast LK375 Light Knife - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Bits and Blades | Hand Tools
April 23, 2015
The two best things that could ever happen to a woodworker or serious DIYer:
1. A random visit from Norm Abram
2. Winning free Festool gear
Festool Products, our go-to spot for Festool gear can't help with the first, but they're going to hook someone up with the second. Right now, they're working some heavy sweepstakes action and giving away a free Festool DTS Finish Sander, a $255 value. The best part is that there's no purchase necessary.
I scoped out the rules and the only thing of note is:
By entering the Sweepstakes you agree to receive email newsletters periodically from The Tool Nut. You can opt-out of receiving this communication at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the newsletter.
I'm actually already on their subscription list and, as far as those things go, the newsletters coming from Tool Nut (who runs FestoolProducts) are totally not annoying. In fact they're usually loaded with some really nice deals, and not the kind where it's obvious they're just trying to offload some lame inventory that won't sell. For example, one had 50% off DeWalt circ saws, another had 15% off Jet and Powermatic tools, and yet another had 30% off Milwaukee M12 batteries. Plus, if you don't like it, you can always unsubscribe, which takes like two seconds.
So anyway, here's a link to the sweepstakes. Have at it.
Read More in: Promotions
April 3, 2015
When I rank all of the prybars that I've ever used, the number one spot goes to the Crescent DB18X Indexing Flat Bar (I reviewed it for Tools of the Trade here). With the articulating head, you can use it to delicately pry off crown moulding or bust up a foundation (both of which I've spent a lot of time doing). Because of the success of the Indexing bar, my ears always prick up a little when I hear that Crescent is releasing a new demo/pry tool. And that's exactly what they've just done with the Bull Bar ($95). Continue reading: "Crescent Bull Bar"
Read More in: Demolition Tools
February 26, 2015
Seems like every time I sit down to write a post about some tool of mine that has persevered through a long life of hard work and abuse, it's a Makita (check out my collection of old Makita circ saws here). This time, I'm giving a much needed call-out to my old Makita Belt Sander. Continue reading: "Warhorse Makita Belt Sander"
Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tools | Sanding
Last 100+ Entries
Complete list in the News Archives