Johnson 10" Magnetic Welder's Torpedo Level - Review

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Johnson recently released a torpedo level specifically intended for the welder and were nice enough to send us one to check out. Unfortunately, we didn't have any welding projects and, in fact, we've yet to hook up the 100 amp line that we buried out to the garage last summer, rendering our welder inoperative. So anyway, we just tossed the level in the tool bag and used it for a number of weeks as our primary torpedo.

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

April 11, 2011

Porter-Cable 557 Plate Joiner - Review

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A number of years ago, we were in a pinch and bought the DeWalt biscuit cutter (we've always called them biscuit cutters and everyone we know calls them biscuit cutters). It's always been reliable and we've never had any real complaints with it. But earlier in the year, we were using the fantastic Porter-Cable Pocket Jig System and it occurred to us that the Porter-Cable biscuit cutter is also highly regarded. We put two and two together and decided we wanted to explore more of this tradition of joining tools that the brand seems to have developed. We were also looking at a massive shelving project that would require hundreds and hundreds of biscuits (over 300 and counting), so we talked to the people at Porter-Cable and they were happy to send us one of their 557 Plate Joiners (aka biscuit cutter) to test out and review.

So for the past month or so, we've been using the tool constantly (and we mean constantly). There's a lot to it so we'll try not to ramble like we usually do....

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

March 30, 2011

i-drill 12-Volt Impact Driver and Flashlight - Review

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A number of years ago, we read a book by Virginia Postrel called, The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, & Consciousness. It's a good book and in it she talks about how, in a more and more diversified culture, the look and feel of something is plays an expanded role in purchasing decisions. Why are we talking about this? Because right now we're looking at an impact driver that no carpenter we know would ever use. But at the same time, it's an impact driver that would be happily be purchased by someone who likes things that look all kinds of clean and sleek and Steve Jobsy.

As you've already surmised, i-drill was nice enough to send us a couple more items to test out (we reviewed their 12-volt drill/driver here) and this time we're going to look at their impact driver and LED Flashlight. As with most of our reviews, we simply put the tools in the rotation and used them when we could. As it turned out, we're in the middle of a room renovation, so these two items got a good workout. Here's what we thought...

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

March 25, 2011

Timberland PRO Helix Work Boot - Review

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Work boots are sort of like pick-up trucks. In the same way that there are Ford people and Chevy people, there are Red Wing people and Chippewa people. We even know some Carolina people, and we've met a few Timberland people. Brand loyalty is strong with boots, as it should be. Your feet are getting pounded on all day, so when you find a boot that works, you're going to stick with it.

We used to be in the Chippewa camp until they discontinued our favorite boot and replaced it with a crappy one that drove us crazy for a number of reasons. Then almost two years ago we switched to the Red Wings 606, which we now see as the gold standard in working footwear. They're phenomenal and we see no reason to ever look at another boot as long as we live. So then, here comes Timberland asking if we would like to try out a pair of their new PRO Helix boots. Apparently, they've got a number of interesting features that set them apart from the pack. Even with our allegiance firmly with the Red Wing family, we thought we'd give the Timberlands a shot. Why not?

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

March 23, 2011

Channellock 8" 368 High-Leverage Linesman Pliers (and Bottle Opener) - Review

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Channellock has just released an 8" version of their High Leverage Linesman Pliers. We reviewed their 10" set back in mid-September. At the time, we spent the better part of an afternoon making asses out of ourselves trying to destroy the things (we couldn't), so this time, our reviewing process has been much simpler.

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

March 21, 2011

Ergodyne N-Ferno 6900 Warming Vest - Review

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If you're ever on the look-out for some high-concept work clothing, there's no where else to go other than Ergodyne. Melding science and gear, this company has a stunning selection of clothing and accessories that seem like they come straight from Dr. Bunson's Muppet Labs. Take, for example, their N-Ferno Warming Vest. This is a lightweight vest that can be inflated with Argon in order to increase its insulating properties. So yeah, it's pretty much like any old vest you can get at T.J. Maxx.

A while back they sent us one of these vests to use and test out. We've done quite a bit with it and we've now reached our conclusions...

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

March 18, 2011

Veto Pro Pac LC - Review

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So you've got all the right tools, but you also need something to put them in so you can carry them around. The options are actually pretty slim. There's the hand-carved wooden tool box that some long-dead relative of yours made out of an apple tree that he cut down with his own hands, but who wants to lug that to a construction site. Then there's the duffel bag style that we've been subscribing to, which is okay, but tools get lost in the bottom of it and no matter how hard we try to use the side pockets, everything ends up in the center mess anyway like some giant metallic game of pick-up-sticks.

There is also the devil (a.k.a. The Bucket Buddy), but if you use one of these, we really can't muster up any respect for you. You're investing in nice expensive tools and carrying them around in a plastic bucket? It might be easy to move around and the pockets might work out for you, but there's no escaping the fact it's a freakin plastic bucket.

But there's actually another option...the Veto Pro Pac. This tool bag allows you to carry around all of your tools by positioning them vertically, meaning a lot of equipment in a small footprint. A bit ago, the company sent us one of their LC bags to test drive. When it arrived, we happily dumped out the duffel, threw it away and started loading up the new rig.

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

March 15, 2011

Hardcore Hammer - Review

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A while back we told you about an interesting new framing hammer going by the slightly ominous name of Hardcore Hammer. Made with a unique, dual-surfaced striking face, the tool is intended to last longer than the average hammer and, on a daily basis, operate in a superior fashion. We got to talking to the manufacturer and they were nice enough to ship us one to review. As soon as it arrived, we took it out of the box and began using it for the task that we use all of our framing hammers for: aggressive demolition...

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

March 11, 2011

Bostitch N62FNK-2 Finish Nailer - Review

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We see tools as having two types of features. The first is when an engineer says, "hey, here's a little free space on the tool, let's add a (fill in the blank with a useless feature)!" The other kind of feature is one that stems directly from the needs of the person using the tool. They make work faster, easier and more efficient. The new Bostitch gun might have more features than we've ever seen on a single tool and in a somewhat amazing feat, they are all fully integrated into the design and, astonishingly, every single one lands in the second category.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (7) | social bookmarking

March 8, 2011

Kett KSV-432 Vacuum Saw - Review

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I recently wrote a review of the Kett KSV-432 Vacuum Saw for Tools of the Trade Magazine and it's just been posted up at their site. If you're unfamiliar with the tool, think of a cross between the 12-volt Makita circular saw and your DeWalt corded drill. It's an odd looking item, but throughout all of the use I've put it through, I discovered that it's a great one as well. I used it yesterday in fact. And the day before that too.

The details are all in the review which is here. The Kett is available at Amazon.com.

I also wrote the Product Watch section of the magazine, which highlights some new and interesting items that are hitting the scene. Everything from the Liftpod to the new cordless Panasonic rotary hammer. For the full list, go here (and then scroll down a bit). While you're at the site, make sure to browse around a bit and check out all the other good reviews.

And if you're into tools enough to come to Tool Snob on a regular basis, I definitely suggest subscribing to Tools of the Trade. It's very well done and filled with all kinds of great tool information. Subscription information is here.

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

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