September 5, 2012
Next month, Black and Decker will be getting into the modular tool arena with something called the Matrix. It's sort of their version of the Ridgid JobMax. It's a battery-powered handle with a PTO end that can accept a variety of different tool heads ranging from a sander to an oscillating tool to a router to a mini-circular saw. It looks like B&D has two different bodies to choose from; one powered by a 12 volt battery and one powered by a 20 volt battery. An AC version in en route and will arrive early next year.
The kits come with a drill/driver attachment and the other available heads are...
From the B&D website:
Impact Driver Attachment
• Up to 1,300 in-lbs of torque** for tough fastening applications
Oscillating Multi-Tool Attachment
• Up to 18,500 OPM (oscillations per minute)** for precision and performance when sanding, cutting, scraping, grinding, or paint removal
• Tool-free release that allows users to quickly change between accessories
• Up to 2,800 SPM (strokes per minute)** for fast straight cutting or detailed curve cutting in wood, metal and plastic
Detail Sander Attachment
• Compact tool for access into tight spaces
• Up to 9,000 RPM (revolutions per minute)**- ideal for use on decorative edging projects, small woodworking projects and more
Trim Saw Attachment
• Up to 3,400 RPM (revolutions per minute)** for use on plywood, paneling and fence boards
One thing that's funky about the Matrix is that they've opted to go with a screw gun-like base, rather than a 'lightsaber' base like Ridgid used. Not sure how easy the router head will be with the Matrix, but we'll see. There are always drawbacks with the 'one-tool-does-everything' scenario and here the handle may cause some issues.
It's doubtful that the Matrix will be able to handle the abuse of a construction site, but that's OK. If it functions as advertised, it could be a nice item for a DIYer looking to consolidate or an apartment dweller who is looking for a lot of functionality but only has room for one or two tool boxes.
At Black and Decker
Read More in: Cordless | Lithium-Ion | Oscillating Tools | Routers | Sanding
September 4, 2012
A while back, a company named Uffy Tools sent us one of their TH-T-1825XP brad guns to review (and we've had it waaaay too long...sorry guys), so we set it up on site and let each and everyone borrow it. Because Uffy Says their tools are durable, we encouraged rough and careless behavior among the guys. Continue reading: "Uffy TH-T-1825XP Brad Gun - Review"
Read More in: Air Tools | All Reviews
August 30, 2012
We covered this a couple weeks ago and LaGesse Products, the manufacturer, was nice enough to send one along for us to try out. So we swapped it with our old rusty Stanley combo square and went to town. It's been our primary combo square for about a month. So far it has helped us run a bunch of trim, frame a wall, and plumb a sink, along with all of the other odds and ends that combo squares gets used for. Continue reading: "LaSquare - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Hand Tools | Measuring & Marking
August 29, 2012
It is our opinion that Veto Pro Pac makes the best tool bags in the industry. Hands down. No question. They can handle any and all abuse, there are a wide variety of models available, and most importantly, they're designed for not only storage but organization. The unique vertical pockets means a lot of tools in a little space with all of them somehow remaining accessible. We've had one of their XLs (review here) for over a year and we have no idea what we would do without it (or how we survived before it). Continue reading: "Veto Pro Pac TP3 - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Benches, Stands, and Storage | Clothing | Hand Tools
August 15, 2012
A few months ago, we wrote up a touching and tearful obituary about our old and dear friend, the Makita orbital. We'd had that little fella almost since the start of our carpentry career and it had always delivered and never complained. Heaving it into the dumpster was one of those moments when you realize that time flows like an unstoppable river. It was like watching the kids pack up and head off to college, except that it wasn't kids and a college, it was a tool and a dumpster. Sort of the same thing really. Continue reading: "Makita BO5041K 5" Random Orbit Sander - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tools | Sanding
August 9, 2012
Imagine if a Dremel mainlined Human Growth Hormone and anabolic steroids for weeks on end. The result of such an ecstatic binge of doping would be a massive, bulked-up handle with a spinning head capable of whirling an abrasive bit into thick metal. It would be a durable tool that could withstand the constant abuse of a jobsite and remain unfazed at being casually thrown into the back of a pick-up truck. This newly engorged tool would look exactly like Bosch's new cordless die grinder. Continue reading: "Bosch DGSH181K 18 Volt Cordless Die Grinder - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Cordless | Grinders | Lithium-Ion
August 8, 2012
Some time this past winter, we were sent a press release about The Art of Fixing Things by Lawrence E. Pierce. We were asked if we'd like a copy to review and we said, "sure, sounds like it could be cool." We figured that since we spend about 80% of our waking hours fixing things (are you listening, Tool Snob Jr.?), we ought to give it a look see. So it was sent it on for us to look at. Like we said, this was back in winter, in the midst of the worst part of the renovation (phase one), so this review is long, long overdue. Apologies to the author.
First off, we dig the Frank Miller vibe that the cover has. We opened the book and quickly discovered that it consists of a series of tips. It doesn't have chapters, but it's broken down into categories: The Basics, Automotive, Appliance/Household/Garden, and General. The 154 numbered items each come with a title and, in most cases, a paragraph or two of description. All but a few have accompanying photos. We went through the book a few times and came to learn that it's a collection of all of those small nuggets of information and tid-bits that one accumulates over a lifetime of working with their hands.
On the whole, it's an interesting, wide-ranging, and sometime baffling selection of tips ranging from "Tip 115: Vice Grips: A Must Have Tool" to "Tip 128: Making Gaskets."
We thought the book was entertaining and we enjoyed paging through it. With 10+ years in construction, there were only a few items that were new to us (all in the automotive section), so the book won't be much use to someone with a lot of experience, but someone just starting out might be able to save some time and hardship by paying attention to these items.
Oh yeah and...
Tip 67: Oil That Sewing Machine.
Yup, with 154 tips, there are bound to be a couple duds.
$11 at Amazon
Read More in: All Reviews | Books
August 6, 2012
The whole "Fein owned the patent to the oscillating tool" thing has been well documented. The eventual fall out is that now that the patent has expired, there are all kinds of oscillating tools on the market; some for $40 and some for $400. We've always admired Fein for sticking to their guns with their own product during this onslaught of competitors. Seeing company after company undercut them on price (and quality), they never blinked. Their tool remains what it always was: a hand-held piece of finely engineered cutting, sanding, and grinding goodness. They didn't release a DIY version made from cheaper materials and they didn't make a less functional one for short money. Continue reading: "Fein 250Q START MultiMaster Kit - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Oscillating Tools
July 30, 2012
It wasn't until last year that we even knew about Sola levels. We were approached out of the blue by the company, an act that leaves us with two distinct thoughts:
1. Thank the heavens that they contacted us.
2. How the hell did we not know about this company?
Sola, a company with a big market in Europe and is now making inroads in the US, makes some top-notch levels that use a unique method of vial stabilization. If you cut open an inexpensive level you'll see that the vial is probably held in place by wishes and unicorn dreams. A Sola, on the other hand, uses a two part system, one rigid and one flexible, that ensures the vial won't move even in extreme temperature situations (more info on that here). According to Sola, it's a system that is superior to the one that is used by the mighty Stabila. We reviewed Sola's 4' level here.
The company recently sent us one of their torpedo levels to check out. And check out we did... Continue reading: "Sola MM 5 25 Torpedo Level - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Levels
July 26, 2012
Since we started writing this site, we've become aware of a strong flashlight sub culture; a group of people obsessed with lumens, watts, and focused beams. These apparent dwellers of the dark seem to go hand in hand with knife enthusiasts, because, when you think about it...if you need a flashlight...there's a good chance you could also use a knife. So it's not much of a surprise that Coast is a company that has built a reputation around this marriage of steel and light beams. Recently, they sent us a knife to check out (more on that another day) as well as a flashlight, their HP7, and a headlamp, the HL7. And while we're by no means manic about flashlights, we are definite fans of their practicality and lead a lifestyle where they are an essential part of existence (i.e. "is that a raccoon up in that tree?" and "yes, dear, I'll go out to the wood pile even though it's 11:30 pm and the wood box is full).
So on to the review... Continue reading: "Coast HP7 Flashlight and HL7 Headlamp - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Work Lights
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