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
June 18, 2013
Good news. Weller is providing one of their new soldering irons for us to give away to one of you. Pretty cool. They've got a couple different models and the one they sent us was the standard duty model. They've all got LEDs at the nose which is always a good feature (wasn't it like five years ago that LEDs didn't come on any tools?) The soldering iron has a very nice ribbed rubber gripping area and above that is a triangular housing where the LEDs live. The thought behind this is that you use the round handle to roll the iron how you want it, then grip the triangular area for working stability. Continue reading: "Weller Soldering Iron Giveaway"
Read More in: Power Tools | Promotions
June 17, 2013
Last week I was lucky enough to get invited to the annual Milwaukee Tools Product Symposium. It's their yearly event where they showcase all of the new things they have coming down the pipeline. And lets just say that this time around, it was a seriously big pipeline. Continue reading: "Milwaukee Tools: Annual Shindig 2013"
Read More in: Cordless | Lithium-Ion | Power Tools | Tool News
June 10, 2013
The average product blog is loaded with fast flowing information that heads in the front door and out the back without even stopping for a high five. Because of this overload, relevant and important posts are buried just as quickly as the lame ones. The format also makes it difficult to do thorough side by side comparisons or full-on category reviews because they take so much time and that just doesn't work with a (nearly) daily schedule.
So anyway, the solution is TheSweetHome. In a way, it's the anti-product-blog. The articles over there are absolutely epic in scope and consist of what have to be the deepest product dives on the internet. The pieces are long, thorough, and very engaging (particularly considering how long and thorough they are). The site just launched a couple weeks ago and I've been part of the team of writers involved with the project. At this point, I've written two pieces (and a third is in the docket). Combined they've taken me about 100 hours of research and writing time. It's safe to say that it's a little different from blog posts that can be done in less than 30 minutes.
So far I've looked at cordless drills and home tool kits. Keep in mind that the audience is the average person and not the un-average gear-head like most of you reading this. While you're at the site, make sure to browse around a bit, there's some pretty fascinating pieces over there.
Read More in: Distractions | Tool News
May 27, 2013
Circular saws generally come in two flavors; sidewinders and worm drives. Sidewinders are what you generally associate with the tool. They're the classic, small-bodied saws with the direct drive motors. Worm drives are quite a bit larger and heavier because they're geared down, exchanging some of that motor speed for more torque.
Over the years I've slowly evolved into a worm drive person. Even though they're heavier than sidewinders, I like them for their never-ending strength and solid handling. Years ago, they were predominantly a west coast thing, but I've been seeing more and more of them here on the east coast. Now with the magical interweb being able to ship whatever where ever, the two saw styles are in the process of fully mingling. Continue reading: "Skil MAG77LT 15-Amp Magnesium Worm Drive - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tools
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