March 10, 2008

Skil 7.2V Lithium Ion Power Driver - Review

Skil_7_volt_in_hand.jpgSkil has joined Bosch and Milwaukee (and now Hitachi) by getting into the compact driver market. Late last year they released a little 7.2V Pocket Driver, and we were pretty thrilled when they offered to let us try one out.

It's a very little driver that fits easily in the hands. It's got a 1/4" hex chuck for quick bit changing, a forward/reverse indicator, an 11 position clutch, and a little light to tell you when the battery is getting low.

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

February 25, 2008

Bosch JS5 Jigsaw - Review

Bosch_js5.jpgTo us, Bosch Jigsaws are some of the best out there. We've used a lot of different models and have always been impressed with their accuracy and quality. So when we heard that they were releasing a compact model, we were curious how it would turn out. Would they be able to pack all the goodness into a smaller package, or would the quality be somewhat sacrificed?

The JS5 has many of the features that are found on quality jigsaws these days. It's got a great tool-free blade change system, which is a real plus to anyone who used to carry around an 8 inch screwdriver for blade changing. Now, all you have to do is press the blade up into the slot and it clicks into place. To release the blade, just twist the collet, using a thumb tab, and the blade falls right out. It's similar to the system that is on some reciprocating saws.

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

January 31, 2008

Ryobi Procross AIRgrip Self Leveling Laser - Review

ryobi_level_on-wall.jpgWith the resources that are out there, homeowners are taking on more and more complex projects and are thus starting to use the tools that the pros use. With this move happening, it's no shock that Ryobi is on the leading edge of providing an affordable laser level to the general public. We recently tried out their AIRgrip Self-Leveling Laser and here's what we found.

First, a bit of general information on the tool. The laser itself projects from a little pendulum that hangs inside of the tool housing. The housing itself can rotate 360 degrees around, meaning that the level can be set in one corner of the room and even if the laser isn't projecting all around the room, one twist of a knob can move it. There is also a knob to move the housing up and down with about an inch of play here, so you can get the level all set up and you can still adjust some to get it to the desired height.

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

January 29, 2008

JacPac - Review

jacpac_case.jpgWe've been interested in Supplierpipeline's JacPac ever since we first laid eyes on it last month. It's a little portable pneumatic power source that clips on your belt, making you a one man mobile nailing army. It seemed to us that this might be one of those tools that really could change the way you work. Just imagine what it would be like to have all the ease and versatility of your nail guns without all the weight, noise, and hassle of the compressor setup. But we also had a nagging feeling that this whole thing would be a bit of a gimmick, that it wouldn't shoot nails very well, or that it be poorly made and fall apart after the first use. Well, thanks to the nice folks at Supplierpipeline, we got the opportunity to test one out and here's what we found.

The tank itself is filled with liquid CO2, which is easily available at any paintball supply store and it's pretty cheap. A quick google search located the nearest paintball emporium and $3.45 later the tank was ready to go. The rest of the setup is easy enough, just screw the tank into the regulator and you're done.

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

January 9, 2008

Tool Snob Top Five Reviews of 2007

idol_judges.jpgWe were just looking over the last year's traffic numbers and thought we'd let you know what the most popular Tool Snob reviews of '07 were. These rankings are just from the number of page views and don't account for how long the post has been up. That being said, the number two spot is occupied by a review that was posted on December 10th. So, in a just world, that one should really get the number one spot.

In descending order, we've got.....

5. Cadex CPB23.50 23 Gauge Pinner and Brad Nailer

4. Skil 7.2-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Wrench

3. Husky 84-Watt Portable Tripod Fluorescent Work Light

2. Ryobi 4-Piece Lithium-Ion Power Tool Kit

...Click through to find out the most popular Tool Snob review to date....


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

December 20, 2007

Maxus X-Lite Aluminum Compressor - Review

maxus_front.jpgAn air compressor is essential to anyone who goes beyond the basic levels of the DIY world. With the right attachments, they can serve a lot of purposes; they can power any number of nail guns, inflate anything from car tires to rubber rafts, and even act as a blow gun to get fine dust off of a workplace. There are a few drawbacks though; one is that they tend to be big and bulky items. Over the past few years, smaller 1-2 gallon models have come out, but they're still pretty heavy, although far lighter than the 4+ gallon contractor models. The other issue that the compressor owner is constantly dealing with is the corrosion of the tank. This manifests itself in a blast of rust water every time the compressor is drained (which is supposed to be daily, but we all know how that goes).

To address these two common complaints of compressors, a company called Maxus has recently released the X-Lite line of compressors. The difference between these and other compressors is that the tanks are made of aluminum, thus, in one maneuver, solving both of the aforementioned problems. It's true that hindsight is 20/20, but this seems like a no-brainer. How come no one thought of this before?

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

December 12, 2007

Wagner Paint Crew Plus - Review

pcp.jpgPaint Sprayers exist in that terrifying realm of contractors only. But now, Wagner, makers of the great PaintEater, have produced the Paint Crew Plus for the DIYer who wants to take advantage of the wonders of paint spraying.

The Paint Crew Plus (PCP) has the general look and feel of a pressure washer. It has the same two-wheel dolly set-up, complete with a telescoping handle. The machine is easy to roll around, and when it comes time to carry it up a flight of stairs, it's relatively light. It has a removable hopper, 25' of hose, and a roller head that attaches to the sprayer. After some minor assembly (putting the wheels and handle on), we were ready for action.

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

December 10, 2007

Ryobi 4-Piece Lithium-Ion Power Tool Kit - Review

Ryobi_Li_set.jpgLithium-ion batteries are a big deal right now. They last longer, charge quicker, and are half the weight of other batteries. But the catch is that they're quite a bit more expensive. There has been a lot of talk lately about Ryobi and their new line of inexpensive li-ion tools. But are they any good? Bad tools for a good price are still bad tools. Well, we spent all week using and abusing the 4-piece set and we're here to report back our findings. For the review, we're going to look at each tool individually and then wrap things up with some thoughts on the set as a whole.

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

December 5, 2007

Skil 14.4-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver - Review

skil14.jpgA little bit ago, we reviewed Skil's 18-Volt Lithium Ion Drill/Driver. We found it to be a nice tool for the casual user, but probably not for the contractor. Now we've gone and taken a good look at the Skil 14.4-Volt Drill Driver and can report that the tools are basically identical, except that the 14.4 is a little more affordable, lighter, and a little less powerful.

Like the 18-Volt Drill, the 14.4-Volt has the strange battery design with the exposed terminals. But this time, we took our heads out of the sand and realized that this serves a purpose. With the charging terminals located at the bottom of the battery, you are able to charge the battery with the tool attached. So there's a purpose to it, but does it make sense? Even in a really rushed situation, we've always had time to take the battery off the charger and plug it into the tool, so it can't be a time-saving issue. But maybe this is more for saving workbench space, so if you're someone with limited room, this could be a good thing.

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

December 4, 2007

Proxxon Oscillating Detail Sander - Review

proxxon.jpgWe're big fans of the Fein MultiMaster. In our opinion, it's one of the best tools to come around in a long time. And we thought that it stood alone, with no other tool like it. We've been hearing about the Bosch PMF 180 E Multi, a similar tool that's available in Europe and may or may not be coming to the states, but what we didn't know about was the Proxxon Delta Sander. It's the Mini-Me of the MultiMaster and we were lucky enough to get a chance to test one out.

The basics of the tool are the same as the Fein. There's the oscillating head with interchangeable blades, sanding pads, files, scrapers, and polishers. If you're familiar with the Fein, then all the controls will be familiar to you. The accessories change out the same way, with a little hex key, and there's a little dial to control oscillation speed.

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

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