All Reviews

November 4, 2015

Paslode Cordless CF325XP Framing Nailer - Review


Paslode is in the process of upping their cordless framing gun with the new CF325XP Framing Nailer. Honestly, I really like their original CF325 and didn't even think it needed updating, but that's probably why I'm not in R&D for a leading tool company. But in looking at what they've done to the new version, it does make sense.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

November 2, 2015

Ridgid R4331 13 in. Thickness Planer - Review


While a surface planer isn't an essential tool, having one really starts to open up the doors to some interesting projects. This is especially true if you're an unrepentant wood scavenger like I am. Anything that looks interesting, regardless of its condition, I will take. I have a pile of chestnut that looks like it has sat out in the woods for the last hundred years (probably because it has). It's mushy, rotted and completely filled with nails, but I know (I just know) that there is some good material in there, enough for a bedside table. But anyway, a surface planer is a tool that allows you to clean up rough-sawn lumber and to customize the thickness of your material. Ridgid sent one of their R4331 13-inch planers for me to test out and I've been giving it a good work over. Here's what I think...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 30, 2015

Karcher K3 Follow Me Pressure Washer - Review


Have you ever washed your house? It's crazy the difference it can make, especially on a white house. What it does is remove a "dumpiness" that you didn't even know was there. You look at your house every day, so you get used to how it looks and you never notice the slow degradation over time (sort of like your waistline). But, yeah, it builds up and when you clean it off, it's a total facelift. You can wash a house with a bucket, a scrub brush, and an extension ladder (fun level: 5%), or you can use a pressure washer (fun level: 95%). The last time I did it, I used the Karcher K3 Follow Me Pressure Washer, which they nicely provided for me to test.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 30, 2015

Ridgid Hyperdrive Cordless Brushless Nailers - Review


Is anyone else sitting around thinking that the era of the corded power tool is coming to a close? It certainly looks that way, doesn't it? These days finding an outlet and unraveling an extension cord just feels so....2013. The latest pieces of evidence in this ongoing evolution are the two new Hyperdrive brushless nailers from Ridgid; the 18-gauge brad and the 16-gauge finish. I've been testing them out for the past couple weeks and here's what I think...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 28, 2015

Ryobi Dockit - Review


Ryobi's new Dockit storage system is a clever idea and probably one that is headed to a garage workshop near you. It's a simple, common sense solution to the age old question, "where the hell did I put my drill bits?" The customizable system centers around a wall mounted carriage and relatively small, specifically organized bit and driver boxes that sit in said carriage. They sent on a sample for me to check out and the plain truth is that I really like it.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Arbortech TURBOShaft - Review


The innovative company Arbortech has once again found a new way to harness the awesome power of the angle grinder. The TURBOShaft is a strange little carving/shaping accessory that offers a high degree of subtlety, which is notable mostly because grinders are generally low on subtly. The TURBOShaft is a small shaft, about the size of a finger, that screws on to the spindle. At the working end of it are two carbide teeth proud of the shaft. When the grinder is activated, the two teeth, now spinning, become a precision carving tool. They sent us one to check out.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

October 19, 2015

Seek Thermal Camera - Review


A while back Seek sent us one of their little iPhone thermal imaging units to check out. It's a small camera that's barely bigger than a piece of Hubba Bubba that clicks into the charging port of an iphone (versions are also available for Androids). Through the phone and an app, the unit displays the heat image of whatever it is you point it at, whether that be a window, a wall, or your cat. It costs about $250 and comes with a nice little case.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

October 15, 2015

The Provident Prepper and Tools for Survival - Book Reviews


If you mention "prepping" to most people, my hunch is that they'll immediately conjure up an image of a family in a concrete bunker surrounded by shelves and shelves of canned goods (and, for a laugh, no can opener). Or maybe they'll think of Ted Nugent eating a deer head. Either way, people seem to see prepping as something that strange, reclusive "what's he building in there" kind of people do. Honestly, I think this is unfortunate. Maybe it's because I grew up at the end of a long dirt road in Vermont, and it wasn't uncommon for us to be snowed in with no power for three or four days at a stretch, but I think that having non-perishible food on hand, a load of batteries, flashlights, and first aid supplies (just to name a few things), and a plan (even if it's a pretty vague one) makes for a whole lot of common sense.

So recently I was sent two books along this line of thinking. The Provident Prepper: A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies, by Kylene and Jonathan Jones and Tools for Survival, by James Wesley Rawles.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 4, 2015

Peavey Timberjack - Review


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.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 19, 2015

McCulloch Pro Mac 10-10 Chainsaw - Review


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.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

August 18, 2015

Kobalt 80-Volt 18-inch Cordless Chainsaw - Review


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.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

June 8, 2015

Ridgid R4040S 8-inch Tile Saw - Review


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.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

June 5, 2015

BernzOmatic Trigger Start Plumber Kit


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.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 6, 2015

TYTAN High Yield Subfloor Adhesive - Review


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.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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