December 2, 2013
Rockwell has just hit the scene with a little circular saw. 4-1/2-inch blade, to be exact. This is a good sized step down from the standard 7-1/4 or the increasingly popular 6-1/2 inch blades. These smaller trim saws aren't uncommon, but Rockwell decided to give theirs an "in-line" body style, as opposed to a traditional circular saw body. The result is that it looks like one of those "all-purpose" saws that claims to cut tile, stone, and wood. But given my experiences with those saws, I'm happy to report that this one is nothing like them and thankfully, is only geared towards wood. Rockwell sent us one to check out and here's what we thought... Continue reading: "Rockwell 4-1/2 Inch Circular Saw - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tools
November 22, 2013
Because I grew up in Vermont, those super-stiff John Deere mesh baseball hats have a special place in my heart. My childhood is filled with images of ancient farmers with those boxy green and yellow hats perched way up on the tops of their nearly bald heads. What this boils down to is that even though we're heading into winter, I'm going to make note of the new line of mowers that Deere released earlier in the year, the X700 Signature Series.
These tractors have a lot to offer, but it's the Auto-Connect that is the real stand out. It's a great solution to taking the mower on and off the tractor. Here's a video:
The tractor also got awarded a "Best of What's New" from Popular Science, which is no small bag o peas.
The tractor is about 10K, but as we all know, nothing runs like a Deere (full press release with tons more info and all the rest of the features is after the jump).
Also, pick up one of the great old boxy JD hats at Amazon. Or if that's not your style, they have other ones that have a more "this century" feel to them. Like this one. It's a cool hat, I used to have one similar to it that we wore all the time. That hat started a lot of conversations, but not any more because it got stolen by some lowlife a couple years ago. Continue reading: "John Deere X700 Signature Series"
Read More in: Lawn/Garden
November 21, 2013
Klein has a very distinctive style of screwdriver. It has a reversible shaft and at each end fits a reversible bit. Also, the hex ends (which are different sizes) can be used as nut drivers. Its a clever way to have multiple driver tips at quick disposal. We were happy to see that they've also released something called the Multi-Bit Power Driver. It's an accessory that takes that same concept and puts it on the end of your drill or impact driver. They have two sizes available; one holds five different drivers and the other six.
Klein was nice enough to send us a sample of each to check out and we pretty impressed with them. There's not a whole lot to say, really. They're easy to use, convenient, and, according to Klein, rated for impact guns. Continue reading: "Klein Multi-Bit Power Driver - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tool Accessories
November 18, 2013
A while back Festool released a little worklight, called the SysLite. They sent us one a looong time ago and we haven't gotten around to reviewing it until now. This is actually pretty strange. It's not like we've forgotten about the light. How could we? We use it for literally everything.
Most work lights don't offer much beyond, "here is the bulb and here is a swivel adjustment." Not so with the Festool. The SysLite is a whole different animal. Continue reading: "Festool SysLite High-Intensity LED Work Lamp - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Work Lights
November 8, 2013
Couple weeks ago, we mentioned the Rockler Koostik kit. It looked like a cool little diy project for just about anyone. Rocker was kind enough to send us one to check out so we took a little time from the schedule and assembled it and this is what we think. Continue reading: "Rockler Koostik Kit - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Benches, Stands, and Storage | Radios
November 5, 2013
A little while back Senco updated their line of cordless auto-feed screwdrivers. The new versions are not only powered by a li-ion battery, but they also have a space age look to them, giving it the appearance of something that Ripley from Aliens would use. Senco was nice enough to send us one of their DS212 18s to check out and here's what we thought. Continue reading: "Senco DS212 18-Volt Li-Ion Auto-Feed Screwdriver - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Cordless | Lithium-Ion
November 4, 2013
I consider my front door to be one of my prized possessions. It's original to the house, just about 100 years old, and it's made of the good old heavily shellaced, tight-grained pine that doesn't exist anymore (with a casing made of chestnut...which also doesn't exist anymore). It's got that nice red look to it and it takes a good shoulder shove to get it to close. It's a great old door.
But because the world is a creepy place, I needed to put a deadbolt in it and that meant drilling a few holes. Installing a lockset from scratch isn't really a difficult thing to do, it's just drilling holes. But the placement has to be exact. That's where door lock jigs come in. Over the years I've proved to myself that I can indeed drill out for a door lock freehand, but that doesn't mean I want to suffer through the process each time. I really don't. It's tedious and if I can avoid it, I'll do it. I knew that Milwaukee recently designed their own jig, and they nicely agreed to send me one to test out. Continue reading: "Milwaukee Door Lock Installation Kit - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Jigs
October 25, 2013
I carry a knife all the time and honestly I'm pretty abusive toward it. I see it as not only a knife, but a screwdriver and pry bar too. It also works as a bottle opener. It's not very surprising that a nice edge doesn't last long. I have a couple of those scraper/sharpeners that are popular and every so often I stop long enough to swipe the knife across them a few times. So it was pretty cool when AnySharp contacted us asking if we wanted to take their AnySharp Plus for a spin.
(See below for a 25% off coupon code at AnySharp.com) Continue reading: "AnySharp Plus Knife Sharpener - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Sharpening
October 21, 2013
Oh man, just look at this thing. It's called the Trucker's Friend and it really makes us wonder who who exactly are the trucker's enemies.
According to the website, the tool is "specifically designed to meet the needs of professional truck drivers." What needs are those? Dismembering hitchhikers?
"Anyone know where I can get a Trucker's Friend?"
The tool has:
- Curved Axe (fully resharpenable)
- Hammer and Nail Puller
- Spanner (for hose couplings)
- Pry Bar and Lever
- Tire Chain Hook
- Wire Twist (for removing lightweight security seals)
- Ice and Debris Remover
Can you imagine stopping at a gas station in the middle of nowhere and a semi pulls up next to you and out pops some dude with this thing in his hand. Oh, just scraping a little ice, no big deal. Nothing to see here.
If you want one of these, it's $60 at Amazon.
Read More in: Demolition Tools | Distractions | Hand Tools
October 18, 2013
Couple years ago, Bosch shook things up with the release of the 12 inch Axial Glide Miter Saw. Built around a two bizarre gliding arms and discarding any rails, the saw can be backed right up to a wall and still work with no problems. We reviewed it here and really liked it. We still use ours all of the time, but because it's so massive, it's become our "stay in the shop" saw, while the Hitachi 10 inch is the "grab and go."
We prefer 10 inch saws and feel that they're big enough for most people. 12s are just too big and unwieldy and you really only need the big blade if you're timberframing or cutting up some crazy crown.
We just saw (via the new Acme Tools catalog) that Bosch has finally gotten around to releasing a 10 inch version of the tool. This is good news. The 10 inch version will be lighter, less bulky, and all around easier to lug in and out of the truck. Right?
According to Bosch's website, the 10 inch version of the Axial Glide weighs 64 pounds. The 12 comes in at 65 pounds (DeWalt weights 51 pounds, the Hitachi is in the 40s). So, yeah, they shaved one single pound off of the tool. How much of that is just the weight of the smaller blade, blade housing, and blade guard? That's got to be most of it. It's only a pound.
So if these numbers are right (and because they're on the Bosch site, we imagine they are), the 10 inch Axial Glide is basically the exact same tool as the 12 inch version, just with a smaller blade. Pricing seems to be about the same too. Amazon has the 12 inch for just under $700 and that's where Acme had the 10 inch.
So if you're a big fan of 10 inch blades, there is now a great (but heavy) saw to add to your list. If you were hoping that the 10 inch was going to be a lighter, more portable version of the 12 inch, it looks like that's not the case.
Either way, we fully recommend the Axial Glide technology. Among other things, it can really free up a lot of space in a crowded workshop.
Read More in: Power Tools
October 17, 2013
OK, so we promise that we're not going to turn this site into a PR machine for Kickstarter ventures, but we wanted to mention this one. It's a strange shovel that looks like it probably works and the dude is really, really close to hitting his mark. There are only a couple more days left and he's about 8K short of where he wants to be. He's already raised $52K and if he doesn't break the 60 mark, he gets nada. That's how it works.
So check out out the shovel and maybe throw him some coin if you're into it.
Here's a video:
The Kickstarter page is here.
Read More in: Distractions | Hand Tools
October 14, 2013
This is just too cool and bizarre not to mention. Rockler is selling a kit for the Koostik, an iphone speaker that just works on natural acoustics. No electricity, no volume buttons, just wood with some strange 'ear canal' looking channels carved through it.
From the press release:
"When the iPhone is placed in the Koostik cradle, the music is instantly amplified due to the carefully designed sound channels and acoustic chambers. The sound will fill the room without using any additional power beyond what the iPhone uses to operate," says Scott Ekman, Rockler's Vice President of Marketing.
It apparently amplifies the music by two to four times, so you're probably not going to be able to shake the windows with Sepultura. But a little Chet Baker while you're reading is entirely doable.
The kit comes in two pieces (body and face frame) and is unfinished, so you can put it together with any flourishes you want and coat it with whatever makes you happy. It costs $50. Which is about half of the price of one if you buy it assembled
Read More in: Distractions
October 10, 2013
"One bit to rule them all...."
So we've been getting a lot of kickstarter emails lately. People have come up with ideas and they're trying to get the word out. That's fine. For the most part, we're somewhere between "meh" and "zzzzzzz" on most of the products. A drill with one new feature isn't going to get us too charged up. But the other week, a package arrived from a start-up called Outlaw Fasteners and their UniGrip drive system is a doozie.
It's a complete fastening system based around a single tiered drill bit. For a boring old Philips bit you need three bits to drive all three sizes of screws. Outlaw changes all of that. The bit looks like a Devo helmet (which automatically makes it awesome) but it's squared off like an Allen wrench. For the #2 size screw, two of the tiers fit into the screwhead, for the larger #3, three tiers fit in. With so many faces and edges making contact, there's hardly any way for one of these to strip out.
The fastener solves a lot of problems. First off, because all of the fastener sizes work off a single bit, it means no more ridiculous Altoid container loaded with P#1, P#2, P#3, R#1, R#2, and on and on. You just need to keep one bit loaded in the screw gun to deal with the entire range of screws.
Also, the fastener head is attractive, so it would be no problem being exposed on decking.
It's simply a great idea and in a perfect world it would eliminate Philips and the simply terrible and dreaded Robertson drives.
The Kickstarter campaign is live and it looks like they're already half way to their goal. We wish them luck.
Read More in: All Reviews | Fasteners
October 9, 2013
Our homies over at ProToolReviews.com have wrapped up their first ever Pro Tool Innovation Awards and posted up the winners over at their site.
It's a great competition and it's cool to see the champs. Everything is broken out into categories so it's easy to browse around. It's totally worth your time to head on over. While you're there, stick around and dig into the rest of the site. It's all good.
Read More in: Distractions | Tool News
September 30, 2013
So it's no secret that we're on board with the cordless Paslode for all of our finish nailing needs. If we can take the compressor out of our routine, we're going to do it. But what about a cordless brad gun? Ryobi was kind enough to get one of their new 18-volt AirStrike Brad Nailers in our hands and we've been playing around with it for a little while. Here's what we think: Continue reading: "Ryobi AirStrike 18-Volt 18 Gauge 2-inch Brad Nailer - Review"
Read More in: Air Tools | All Reviews | Cordless | Lithium-Ion
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