October 10, 2013

Outlaw Fasteners: A Kickstarter Worth Contributing To

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"One bit to rule them all...."

So we've been getting a lot of kickstarter emails lately. People have come up with ideas and they're trying to get the word out. That's fine. For the most part, we're somewhere between "meh" and "zzzzzzz" on most of the products. A drill with one new feature isn't going to get us too charged up. But the other week, a package arrived from a start-up called Outlaw Fasteners and their UniGrip drive system is a doozie.

It's a complete fastening system based around a single tiered drill bit. For a boring old Philips bit you need three bits to drive all three sizes of screws. Outlaw changes all of that. The bit looks like a Devo helmet (which automatically makes it awesome) but it's squared off like an Allen wrench. For the #2 size screw, two of the tiers fit into the screwhead, for the larger #3, three tiers fit in. With so many faces and edges making contact, there's hardly any way for one of these to strip out.

The fastener solves a lot of problems. First off, because all of the fastener sizes work off a single bit, it means no more ridiculous Altoid container loaded with P#1, P#2, P#3, R#1, R#2, and on and on. You just need to keep one bit loaded in the screw gun to deal with the entire range of screws.

Also, the fastener head is attractive, so it would be no problem being exposed on decking.

It's simply a great idea and in a perfect world it would eliminate Philips and the simply terrible and dreaded Robertson drives.

The Kickstarter campaign is live and it looks like they're already half way to their goal. We wish them luck.

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

September 30, 2013

Ryobi AirStrike 18-Volt 18 Gauge 2-inch Brad Nailer - Review

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So it's no secret that we're on board with the cordless Paslode for all of our finish nailing needs. If we can take the compressor out of our routine, we're going to do it. But what about a cordless brad gun? Ryobi was kind enough to get one of their new 18-volt AirStrike Brad Nailers in our hands and we've been playing around with it for a little while. Here's what we think:

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

September 19, 2013

Arbortech Mini-TURBO - Review

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We've been fans of Arbortech for a long time. First we heard about their insane AS170 Brick and Mortar Saw (here are our thoughts on an earlier version of the tool) and then we discovered that they also carry a line of interesting woodworking/carving tools, most notably, the Power Chisel and the Mini-Grinder. Not too long ago, they released a very intense grinder attachment called the TURBOPlane. It took the concept of a power planer and stuck it on the end of a whirling grinder chuck. It's pretty badass and the rate at which it removes wood is really impressive (our review is here).

So now, we got word that they're on the verge of releasing a smaller version of the tool called the Mini-TURBO. They were nice enough to get one into our hands. We gave it a good test run and here's what we think.

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

September 5, 2013

Paslode Fuel + Nail Packs - Review

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This isn't a review as much as it's a high-five, fist-pound, belly-bump to Paslode for their Fuel + Nail packs. Since we got the li-ion version of the Paslode finish gun, we've hardly even picked up a pneumatic nailer. Why bother? The Paslode has all of the power with none of the compressor hassle. Gone are hoses, finding an outlet for the compressor, obnoxious filling noise, and just lugging the thing around. Goodbye.

So Paslode offers, these Fuel + Nail packs where you get 1000 galvy finish nails and a fuel pack. By a total coincidence, a fuel pack is good for approximately 1000 nails. They sent us one to check out and it all works like you'd expect it would. One really nice touch is that each pack includes an adapter nozzle so the gas canister can be used with the NiCd version of the tool. The connection in the Li-Ion gun is much better and not as fragile, but if you already own the older gun, these will work for you too.

Overall, they're really convenient and they eliminate that constant feeling we used to have where we were always worried about running out of fuel half way through a job.

The packs are around $20 and are available at Home Depot or online (or your local tool store).

At Amazon

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

September 3, 2013

Festool Carvex 420 Jigsaw - Review

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We've been waiting on the Festool Carvex for a while...maybe almost three years since we first heard about it. We got a chance to play with one at the JLC show a few years back and at the time it seemed like the jigsaw that would solve all of our jigsaw problems (accuracy, straight cuts, tight scrolls, etc). Then we heard that its release was delayed...and it disappeared for a while...but now it's here. When Festool offered to send us one to check out, we hopped at the opportunity. This one looks like it has it all. And as it turns out, it does have it all. But only if "all" includes a functionality problem that unfortunately cancels out much of the good that it has to offer and makes it a tool we can't recommend. A real and total bummer.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (10) | social bookmarking

July 3, 2013

Warlord - Review

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This. Is. Warlord.

What better way for us to celebrate the 4th of July than to take a look at a perfect product of American exceptionalism and rugged individuality. Meet Warlord.

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

June 24, 2013

Klein RT600 GFCI Receptacle Tester - Review

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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.

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

June 21, 2013

GO-2 Socket - Review

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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.

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

June 20, 2013

Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter - Review

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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.

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

June 19, 2013

Klein MM5000 Electrician's TRMS Multimeter - Review

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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.

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

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