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

March 4, 2011

Johnson 25' Tape Measures - Review

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A while back Johnson sent us a tape measure to check out. We incorporated it into the tool bag where it has resided along side our old standby, the Stanley Fat Max 25' Tape. Just the other day they sent us another one, a magnetized one, and we thought, "did we ever review that first one?" Answer: Nope.

So we spent a little time with the new one and here are our thoughts on Johnson's tape measures...

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

February 28, 2011

Ridgid MobilAir Tri-Stack 5-Gallon Compressor - Review

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The Ridgid Tri-Stack Compressor really impressed the hell out of us when we first heard about it a few months ago. It's a 5-gallon compressor that splits apart into two smaller units that can be used all sorts of ways. But seeing something on the internet or reading a press release about it is very different from actually using one first hand. So Ridgid sent us one to test out for ourselves. Since about mid-December we've had one that we've used around the shop, in the house, and on a bunch of other projects we've got going on. Does it still impress us? Read on....

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

February 25, 2011

Johnson Glo-View Heavy Duty 48" Aluminum Box Level - Review

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We've always found that of all the levels, a four footer is the most useful. It's long enough to deal with framing and it can also handle most trim applications as well. The shorties are too little for twisted and crooked studs, and the six footer is a bear to deal with on the horizontal. So when we leave the shop, it's usually with our four foot Stabila, the level that we hold head and shoulders above all others. But Johnson recently sent us their new four foot box-beam level so, for a few projects, we used that one instead. Here's what we thought....

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

February 23, 2011

I-Mark 16' Tape Measure - Review

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This one is kinda strange, but also kinda cool. It's a 'pencil-free' tape measure. Just pull out the tape and line up your measurement to the little red arrows at the mouth of the tape, lock it, and press the tape into your workpiece. On the underside of the tape is a little stamp that marks out a line. Like we said, kinda strange, but kinda cool.

I-Mark sent us one a while back and we've been using it off and on. The erratic use of it has come, not because we've forgotten about it, but because getting us to use a tape measure differently from the way we've always used one is like trying to get us to hold a fork in a new way. It's a lot to ask, breaking a habit like that.

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

February 22, 2011

Makita LCT208W 12-Volt Combo Kit (Driver and Circ Saw) - Review

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UPDATE: The mini circ saw is now available as a stand alone, with two batteries and a charger. Makita's page is here and it's available at Amazon.com here.

Anyone who was on a jobsite in the 90s is probably familiar with the 9.6 volt circ saw that Makita used to manufacture. You know, the one with the long, skinny handle. Yeah, that one. Well, it's taken a while, but they've finally updated it for their new 12-volt platform (they've bundled it with one of their 12-volt drivers). They shipped us a kit to test out and for the past month, we've been driving it like a stolen car and here are our conclusions.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

February 4, 2011

Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level - Review

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Tiling is all about layout and once you get used to spotting bad tile layout, public bathrooms become even worse places than they already are. How could someone leave a 3/4" wide tile at one corner and a 4" tile at the other? Auuugh...the horror.

So anyway, Johnson Level & Tool recently sent us a nifty little item called the Tiling and Flooring Laser Level. Unfortunately, we don't have any tiling jobs coming up, but we are in the process of laying out some wall to wall bookshelves and so we utilized the laser for that project.

The tool basically projects two lines at a right angle. The unit is marked with degrees (sort of like a rafter square) and it has standard and metric measurements along the short sides. These latter marks were nice because we could position the laser against an inside corner and check for square using the measurements as offsets (5-1/16"). It also projects the laser lines a solid 1-1/4" off the floor, so you don't have to worry about the lines getting blocked as you're laying down thick tile.

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In a short time we've come to think that calling this a Tiling and Flooring laser sells it a bit short. We'd suggest maybe going with "Right Angle Layout Level" or something like that. This tool will no doubt be a help to anyone laying tile, but also to anyone marking out a 90 degree corner of anything, whether it's a stud wall or (like we were doing) a set of shelves. It was great to be able to finalize our corner location and know where both walls of shelving would end up. Without the laser, it would have been a pretty tedious process.

One thing that did bother us about the laser is that the battery case doesn't stay on all that well. On a bunch of occasions, we would grab the body of the laser and the little black lid would fly off. There is also no easy way to use the tool on the vertical, like for a tiling job in a shower or something similar.

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If you're a DIYer embarking on a tile job and you've invested all this money in tile and supplies, the $40 spent on this tool will go a long way to ensure that the results will look good. Also if you do a lot of non-tile layout, you might want to consider this as well. It sure took time off of our project.

The Tiling and Flooring Laser Level comes with batteries and a case.

At Amazon.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

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