August 12, 2013
The Pro Tool Innovation Awards looks like it's shaping up to be the Thunderdome of the tool world. In this Bartertown, hosted by the guys at Pro Tool Reviews, tool manufacturers put their newest innovations in front of a panel of independent judges who determine the best of the best. There are over 140 categories (yowza!) ranging from tools to accessories to fastening products. The winners are chosen based on how they've innovated to change the industry. Innovation comes in many forms: Ergonomics, power, weight-reduction, speed, battery-life, and value...these are just a few areas being looked at. So which tools are the best? We'll just have to wait a little longer to find out. The doors are now open for manufacturer's submissions.
More information is here including how to be alerted when the winners are chosen.
Read More in: Promotions
August 5, 2013
At least we hope it's for real. I think it was two years ago that it was on the verge of US release and then it was pulled at the last minute. It was so close that I got to test drive one at that year's JLC show. But then word went out that it was a no-go. If I recall, Festool said that it had to do with a performance issue.
But now, it's back again and slated for a September 1 release.
We're usually pretty impressed with Festool products, their four-headed drill is a champ and the RO 90 DX Rotex sands like the devil himself. I've never used any of their Trion Jigsaws, but I've actually heard quite a few luke warm things from those who have. Sort of a, "yeah, it's kinda cool, but...."
That said, the Carvex, their new line of jigsaws, looks to be above and beyond. That's really the only way to describe a tool that has a four LED strobe light that shines on the blade, timed to the stroke. So when you're using the tool, the blade looks like it's standing still. Seriously. Check it out here: Continue reading: "Festool Carvex Is Almost Here (for reals this time, yo)"
Read More in: Cordless | Power Tools
July 15, 2013
Rebuilding Together is taking entries for their Tradesperson of the Year award.
Tradesperson of the Year is a pro. Someone who builds for a living, but who also uses their trade experience to give back to his/her community in meaningful ways. For example, going the extra mile to help with Sandy reconstruction, working with Habitat, donating time to rebuild a historic structure in their town or working with Rebuilding Together, etc.
Rebuilding Together is seeking nominees right now and the finalists/winner will be declared at Deck Expo|Remodeling in Chicago.
The nomination page is here.
The prize is $500 cash, a $1000 Lowe's gift card, and a trip to the Super Bowl. Not bad.
It looks like there are also five runner-ups who will get $100 Lowe's gift cards.
Image from Homefail.com
Read More in: Promotions
July 3, 2013
This. Is. Warlord.
What better way for us to celebrate the 4th of July than to take a look at a perfect product of American exceptionalism and rugged individuality. Meet Warlord. Continue reading: "Warlord - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Demolition Tools | Hand Tools
June 25, 2013
So we just randomly got in a conversation with the guy who runs Contractors-Solutions.net and felt compelled to mention them on the site. They've got a huge selection of gear and oddly enough it seems like the one thing they don't carry are power tools, which is fine because there are plenty of other places to pick those up. Instead, Contractors-Solutions zeroes in on the other things, like workwear, generators, scaffolding, tool belts, material handling, and truck racks. They've got all the big names in those areas and were one of the first companies in the US to start carrying Blaklader work wear. We checked out some of their pants a while back and every chance we get, we yell from the rooftops about how great they are.
It's a pretty cool story about how Contractors-Solutions started. It began as an offshoot of the Kwikstand table saw stand. A builder named Scott Kahle saw an opening in the market (that opening is called, "most table saw stands are kinda lame") and designed a nice accessory with a built-in outfeed table. The tool was well-received, earning a Tools of the Trades "Editor's Choice Award." Wanting to make a go of the retail thing, Scott then started stocking products from other manufacturers to go along with his own. He decided (we think smartly) to offer unique and niche products, specific to the building trades, that you couldn't just get down at the local box store. So at this point, he's loaded up with a nice inventory of good quality gear. So go and support the guy, or at least check out his website.
Check them out over at contractors-solutions.net
Read More in: Benches, Stands, and Storage | Clothing | Safety | Tool News
June 24, 2013
Last week we looked at the bottomless well of confusing functionality that is the Klein MM5000 Multimeter (confusing because we're not that smart, not because of anything Klein did), but today we're checking out their latest GFCI receptacle tester, a much more friendly item to the electrically clueless. Continue reading: "Klein RT600 GFCI Receptacle Tester - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Electrical
June 21, 2013
Sockets are essential, but the process of keeping an organized and complete set is nearly impossible. All it takes is one fall off a table and three pieces are never seen again. The GO-2 Socket is a one-size fits all (well....most all) socket head that is made to cover all of the sizes from 3/8 to 3/4 SAE as well as 10-20mm. The makers of the tool recently sent us a sample to check out. We worked it over pretty good and this is what we have to say about it. Continue reading: "GO-2 Socket - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Hand Tools
June 20, 2013
Construction happens fast these days. Communications between client, contractor, designer, subs, and architect go back and forth like a bouncy ball in a shoebox. Part of this is due to the 'cover your ass' mentality that relies on email for the digital paper trail. Another part is that people no longer seem interested in the more efficient method of, well, just picking up a phone. I used to work with a project manager who would literally send hundreds of emails each day. Most of them just asking a single follow-up question to a previous email. Fella, just pick up the phone and it will be all over in about 3 minutes. But anyway, my point is that even crusty construction workers need constant access to a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, and for them, there's the Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter. Continue reading: "Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Cordless | Power Tool Accessories
June 19, 2013
The first time I heard about Kickstarter was when someone told me that multi-bazillionaire Zach Braff was drumming up money to make some unwatchable art film. I think he got 3.1 million dollars or something. I thought the ridiculously high ticket prices were donation enough, but I guess I'm wrong.
But anyway, recently I've found some worthy projects at the site, including my old friend who just raised enough coin to start bottling her own whiskey (now, THAT is worth donating to). And then, this morning, I got an email directing me to another campaign, this one for the Flipout Electric Screwdriver. Continue reading: "Flipout 7.2-Volt Cordless Screwdriver"
Read More in: Cordless | Lithium-Ion
I had a boss once who would refer to his multimeter as "the amazing tool that has a thousand uses, of which we know only two." That sentiment pretty much defines my relationship with the multimeter. I can do a little wiring, but I'm no electrician. I know how to use a multimeter to check voltage and current, but that's about it. Still though, they have that cool tri-corder vibe and if you bust one out in front of a client, it makes you look really intelligent (Oh my, he knows how to use that...he must be good!), so I'm all in favor of them, even if their true capabilities are way, way beyond my simple brain.
Klein has just released two new models and they dropped one of the MM5000 in the mail for us to check out. The MM5000 is certainly impressive looking, even if a large portion of its functionality remains a total mystery. Continue reading: "Klein MM5000 Electrician's TRMS Multimeter - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Electrical
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