All Reviews

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.

ArrowContinue reading: "Peavey Timberjack - Review"

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.

ArrowContinue reading: "McCulloch Pro Mac 10-10 Chainsaw - Review"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | 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.

ArrowContinue reading: "Kobalt 80-Volt 18-inch Cordless Chainsaw - Review"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | 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.

ArrowContinue reading: "Ridgid R4040S 8-inch Tile Saw - Review"

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.

ArrowContinue reading: "BernzOmatic Trigger Start Plumber Kit"

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.

ArrowContinue reading: "TYTAN High Yield Subfloor Adhesive - Review"

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

April 27, 2015

Coast LK375 Light Knife - Review


Coast makes some pretty cool knives (and flashlights and headlamps). I carried their RX312 (or something close to it) for a while and always liked it. I still use it from time to time, but I've switched my EDC over to a utility knife (the Milwaukee Fastback). I just finally accepted the fact that my lifestyle is brutal on a blade and I don't have the time to deal with sharpening. Disposable utility blades are just so simple to deal with.

But anyway, Coast recently developed a very interesting item that they refer to as the LK375 Light Knife ($52). It's basically a combo between a ...wait for it... wait for it... wait for it... flashlight and a knife. It's a great pairing, kind of like chocolate and peanut butter, eggs and bacon, or Ashton and Demi. Coast was nice enough to send me a sample so that I could check it out.


ArrowContinue reading: "Coast LK375 Light Knife - Review"

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

February 26, 2015

Warhorse Makita Belt Sander


Seems like every time I sit down to write a post about some tool of mine that has persevered through a long life of hard work and abuse, it's a Makita (check out my collection of old Makita circ saws here). This time, I'm giving a much needed call-out to my old Makita Belt Sander.

ArrowContinue reading: "Warhorse Makita Belt Sander"

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

February 13, 2015

Hardcore Hammers Ultimate Survivalist Hatchet - Review


A while back I reveled in reviewed the Hardcore Hammers Naturalist Hatchet. I loved it for it's....everything. Late last year, they sent along their newest hatchet, the Ultimate Survivalist for me to try out. And try out I did. Over and over and over. This new version polishes up some of the functionality of the older one and adds a few things. It also has a head that is nearly indestructible and holds an edge for a long time, which is really what you want if you're out in the middle of nowhere relying on your tools.

ArrowContinue reading: "Hardcore Hammers Ultimate Survivalist Hatchet - Review"

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

February 10, 2015

Loftek Portable Floodlight - Review


There's a special ball of rage deep in my belly that I reserve for halogen work lights. How a tool that is so irritating in all ways has become a job site standard ranks right up there with the Easter Island heads for total depth of mystery. They're bright, yes, but beyond that, pure torture. "Whoa, the housing is like a million degrees...what's that smell, oh, a burning moth...let it cool down for an hour before you change the bulb...make sure to wear gloves so you don't get any oil on the bulb...where's your screwdriver to open up the cage?...Oh those little ceramic bulb ends are pulverized in the sockets?...right, why don't you just pick up a new one the next time you're at the lumber yard."

ArrowContinue reading: "Loftek Portable Floodlight - Review"

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

January 23, 2015

Where I been....


Since exactly none of you have been wondering why this site has slowly evolved into a ghost ship, I'll raise my hand, call on myself, and give an answer.

Most importantly, I've been wrapping up my renovation (yes, still...). I just looked at the first permit the other day (the renovation has two separate permits) and saw the issue date of November 2011. Yeah, that's a while ago. It's been a slog. I've been in full donkey mode for four years...building cabinets, framing, tiling, window restoration, flooring, painting, oh man, it's been a lot. Yesterday, I had the final electrical inspection and soon it will be time for the big kahuna building inspector to come through. If everything passes OK, I'll likely head to the nearest saloon for 2-4 months or maybe Tijuana. Once the "decompression" phase ends, I'm looking to get back to regular posting here at the site.

But along with the renovation, I have been keeping up with quite a bit of writing. A number of tool-ish reviews that I've done have been posted up at Tools of the Trade. If you're into tools, ToTT should really be one of your first stops. There is a lot of great coverage over there. Recently, I reviewed the new Makita 8-1/2-inch Compound Slider. It's a great little tool and if you want an easily portable slider, this should be one of the first saws you look at. I thought there were a couple small drawbacks, but they pale in comparison to all of the goodness that this tool brings to the table.

I also did a piece on my three favorite work gloves; one for general construction, one for demo and digging, and one for cold weather. When I first started in construction, I thought the fingerless framer gloves were totally silly, but over time I've completely bought into the concept. And now with all the use of touch screens, it's nice to not have to keep taking the gloves on and off all the time. The Kleins are a great representation of the design.

The StoneBreaker Rancher gloves deserve a special call out too. I have a hard time explaining to people how nice these gloves are. Most leather work gloves look like floppy Fozzie Bear hands, but the StoneBreakers are so form-fitting that they really fit like a...well....glove.

The RoboReel Air was another interesting item I reviewed for ToTT. It's a pneumatic hose with and electric recoil. It's all very similar to the RoboReel Electric that I covered here a while back. It's pricey for sure, but really handy to have.

Over at Fine Homebuilding I covered a similar item, the PneuPower Recoiler. It's also a retractable hose system, but this one is manual with a hand crank on the body of the tool.

If I were to choose between the two, it's tough to say which I'd go with. The Recoiler can get tangled up from time to time, but it's also less than half the price of the RoboReel and much easier to lug around. It also has 100' of hose while the RoboReel has 50. But still, the RoboReel winds up with the push of a button.

I've also been doing plenty of work over at If you've never checked it out, I highly recommend doing so. It's a site that really strives to recommend the best gear that fits the needs of most normal people. They've got comprehensive articles on all kinds of homegoods from bath tissue to rice cookers to air conditioners (check the sister site for digital gear like cameras, tvs, and computers). I've written a lot of the tool guides, such as...The Best Hammer, The Best Utility Knife, and The Best Adjustable Pliers and plenty of others. I've also done some yard gear like The Best Lawnmower and The Best Leaf Blower) and a few oddballs that ended up being completely fascinating to research...The Best Picture Hanger, The Best Duct Tape.

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

November 4, 2014

Vampliers Pro - Review


I have to admit that the name "Vampliers" was a little off-putting at first. It sort of sends the vibe of, "yeah, the tool doesn't have much going for it, so we gave it an interesting name." Turns out, that's not the case at all. The Vampliers are, in fact, a unique, useful and interesting variation of a set of linesman pliers. The fact that they're very well made only adds to the goodness.

ArrowContinue reading: "Vampliers Pro - Review"

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

October 17, 2014

Powerstrike Framing Hammer - Review


The Powerstrike Framing Hammer is easily the strangest hammer I've ever seen. With it's exposed welds, its nuts and bolts vibe, and the hollow metal handle, there is nothing about it that says "normal operating procedure." They sent me a couple to check out and I've been pounding on them for at least a month now. They're great too, maybe not perfect, but really nice.

ArrowContinue reading: "Powerstrike Framing Hammer - Review"

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

October 6, 2014

Irwin Vise-Grip Cutting Pliers - Review


[I updated the piece with more info on the handles]

The other day Irwin sent over a sample of their new line of cutting pliers and man o man, are they nice. Really nice. They ain't cheap, but they're slick.

We first saw these a while back when Stu from ToolGuyd mentioned them, noting that they're manufactured by NWS. NWS is a German company and beyond the message board tool junkies, they don't have much presence in the US. Everything I've ever read about them has been positive but I've honestly never even held one of their tools until now. That apparently was a mistake.

ArrowContinue reading: "Irwin Vise-Grip Cutting Pliers - Review"

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

Join the Mailing List Newsletter
Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz
Subscribe - RSS

facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg

Recent Reviews
Recent Comments
Kevin: classic, we had mac chainsaw in my house growing up read more
John Stone : When are they going to make a cordless pin nailer? read more
Tanvir: We would like to buy 40-0912 self leveling cross-line laser read more
Jennie McBride: I have been trying to find a Scribe holder for read more
Tomonthebeach: The Rigid is powerful and large, but even the most read more
Site Navigation

Visit our other properties at!


This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
All items Copyright © 1999-2015 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy