November 10, 2008

Rockwell SoniCrafter Oscillating Tool - Review

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Of all of the new oscillating tools heading to the market in the wake of Fein's patent expiration, the Rockwell is the dark horse. Everyone knows Dremel and Bosch, but who are these Rockwell guys and why should you drop some coin on a tool from a relatively unknown company when the tried and true fellows have some nice items to offer?

Before using the SoniCrafter, we knew very little about Rockwell, other than that they offer a reciprocating saw with a cool handle and that they produce the JawHorse, an interesting clamping device that is seemingly identical to the Triton SuperJaws (Triton is an Australian company and we're not sure who had the tool first or what the relationship between the two is). But here they are with an oscillating tool. If the tool is a success, it's sure to catapult Rockwell into the upper echelon of tool manufacturers, cementing their name and popularizing their products, if it's a failure, well then, they're just another company that makes passable tools.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (51) | social bookmarking

October 21, 2008

Bosch T308B Extra Clean Wood Jigsaw Blades - Review

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It looks like we're the last ones to the party here. Both Toologics and CopTool have done nice reviews of Bosch's new Extra-Clean Wood Jigsaw Blades, and honestly, there's not a whole lot we can add. We tested the blades ourselves and, like the others, found them to be something of a revelation. In fact, we've never such clean cuts come from a jigsaw.

bosch_jigsaw_blades.jpgThe science behind it is that the blade is divided in half, with one set of teeth cutting on the up-stroke and one set cutting on the down-stroke. The results are astounding, leaving a clean cut and causing absolutely no chipping or flaking. We would recommend these blades to anyone interested in his jigsaw cuts not looking like they were chewed by a dog.

Over at Ohio Power Tools and Amazon, the blades are selling for just under $10 for a five pack. This puts them at just a little more expensive than the rest of the herd, which goes for anywhere between $7-$8. We think the extra buck or two is a small price to pay for what you're getting.

At Ohio Power Tools and Amazon.com

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

October 15, 2008

PDY Systems Lift-N-Lok Organizer - Review

lift_n_lok_all_open.jpgWe're starting to have a bit of a storage issue. The big stuff is fine, it can go on shelves, it's the small stuff that starting to get to us.; the small hand tools that keep ending up in a pile at the end of the workbench; the fasteners that we have so few of left, they don't deserve a box, but we hate throwing them out; things like our glue gun and our Skil Power Wrench, which aren't big enough for their own dedicated box, but which also have enough accessories that there needs to be some containment. We recently tried out a new organizer called the Lift-N-Lok to see if that would help us with our clutter problems.

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

October 13, 2008

Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool, Bosch PS50 Oscillating Tool - Review

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Update: Because there is so much interest in these tools, we're going to keep updating this article as we use the tools more and as you write us and let us know any questions or comments that you have. In a sense, this will be a 'living document.' Sounds very intellectual for a review of a couple of power tools.

Update II: We've spent more time with these tools and have updated our review with further thoughts. We also have review up of the Rockwell SoniCrafter Oscillating Tool and the Fein MultiMaster.

*****

We're going to review these tools together because it seems that there are two questions to be answered here: 1) should I get an oscillating tool? and 2) which one should I get? The answer to the first question is a simple, yes. Of course you should get an oscillating tool. The Fein Multi-Master, which has essentially been the only one on the market for years (aside from the mini-model making Proxxon) is without question one of our favorite tools. Its durability and versatility make it the go-to in a wide range of circumstances. Oscillating tools can cut, plunge cut, sand, grind, and polish. To this point, they've been indispensable to the carpenter, and because of the price, unreasonable for the homeowner.

But now that Fein's patent has worn out, both Dremel and Bosch are offering their own versions at lower prices. A while back Proxxon struck some sort of licensing deal which allowed them to make their oscillating tool, but due to the fact that it was so much smaller than the Fein, it wasn't a competitor (our full review of the Proxxon is here).

This review is going to be broken down into the following categories; ergonomics and ease of use, power, accessories, the case, and price. We're going to comment on both the Dremel and the Bosch for each one and add in comments on the Fein and Proxxon where we see fit. Our goal isn't to pick a winner, but rather, since we've already decided that you need an oscillating tool, to lay it out which one's best for your needs.

So onward with the Bosch v. Dremel v. Fein v. Proxxon smackdown...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (37) | social bookmarking

October 6, 2008

Clarke Power Products Crocodile Saw - Review

Croc_saw_front.jpgClarke Power Products has recently released something called the Crocodile Saw, which, at first glance, looks like a hybrid between a grinder and those great little trim saws that Makita and Porter-Cable make. The hook on the Croc is that it has the ability to handle wood, tile, stone, and metal. It has a 4 amp motor and a number of interesting safety features to help it along this task. We've had one in the shop for about two months now and have come to our conclusions. Is it too good to be true; to have one saw to deal with all of these materials? Read on to find out.

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

October 3, 2008

Husky Tough Tape - Review

Husky_tape.jpgImpressing us with a tape measure is a tall order. We're all but legally married to the Stanley Fat Max 25 footer. To us, it's the pinnacle of tape measures. All other tapes bow before it like serfs before King Conan. But every once in a while one of those serfs gets uppity and decides to challenge the king in hand to hand combat, and that's just what Husky has done with their new Tough Tape. So we grudgingly set down the Fax Max and picked up the Tough Tape for a few weeks and here's what we found.

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

September 29, 2008

Milwaukee Hackzall - Review

Hackzall.jpgThe most interesting tool in Milwaukee's newly expanded 12-volt line of tools is, without question, the Hackzall. The easiest way to describe it is to say it's a 'one-handed Sawzall,' but we think that's like calling a sports car a 'mini-tractor trailer.' Sure, they've got some a few functional similarities, but beyond that, they are two entirely different creatures. The Hackzall doesn't just do what the Sawzall does but less of it, but by virtue of its size and reduced power, it creates its own to-do list and excels at tasks that you wouldn't even think of using a Sawzall for.

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

September 15, 2008

Paslode Roofer's Choice R175-C Coil Roofing Nailer - Review

Paslode_roofer_side2.jpgRoofing is probably the toughest job in residential construction. You're up and down a ladder all day long, carrying heavy bundles of shingles and equipment; when you're working, you're usually bent over; you're rarely standing on a flat surface (which is murder on the calves); when you are standing on a flat surface, it's likely that you're dealing with the face-melting chemicals involved with rubber roofing; and if you happen to have the misfortune of working up in the Northeast, there are about five days a year where the weather is perfect for working up on a roof all day. Roofing beats the tar out of clothes and tools (not to mention knees and lower backs), so you've got to have a roofing gun that you can trust. It's with this idea in mind that Paslode created their new Roofing Coil Nailer, the R175-C.

Paslode has a lot to say about this new gun. They claim that it has 20% more power than most of the guns on the market; that it can blast out 8 nails per second; and that,

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

September 11, 2008

Bosch PS20 12v Max Pocket Driver - Review

bosch_max_in_hand.jpgA while back Bosch unleashed their 10-Volt, Lithium Ion-Driver to much acclaim; it was pretty powerful and very compact. But then, some other companies released similar tools that were more powerful by two volts. These new 12-Volt tools clearly out-matched the 10-Volt Bosch, so now, Bosch's 10-Volt has been upgraded to a 12-volt capacity.

Nope.

When Bosch released their original tool, they called it a 10-volt, because that was the nominal voltage. When the other companies released their 12-volt tools, they decided to pick the name based on the maximum voltage, even though the batteries were pretty much the same. So, you see, Bosch's 10-volt is, and always was, in the same class as their competitors' 12-volts. So, not wanting to get continually screwed by shoppers who rightly assume that 12-volts is more powerful than 10-volts, Bosch has recently re-released their 10-volt as a 12-volt. So those of you who own the 10-Volt, don't hang your head thinking that your tool has already been outdated, because it hasn't. Well, it sort of hasn't. The Bosch 12-Volt Max has an increased speed and torque, both about 25% higher than the previous model. But our point is that the battery is the same.

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

September 9, 2008

DAP Kwik Seal 3.0 - Review

dap_quickseal.jpgDAP has recently released their Kwik Seal 3.0, a sort of super caulk that apparently excels in virtually every category when placed head to head with traditional silicone. It's supposed to dry faster, be tougher, and fend off mold. We got our hands on a tube and gave the kitchen sink a much overdue caulking and here's what we thought.

Probably the coolest thing about Kwik Seal is its drying time, or rather its skin-over time. All it takes is three hours and the caulk can withstand water. To us, this meant applying the Kwik Seal in the early afternoon and still being able to use the kitchen sink for dinner. Under normal circumstances, with a normal silicone, the sink would have been off limits until the next day and we would have had an excuse not to do the dishes.

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

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