October 2, 2007

Cadex CPB23.50 23 Gauge Pinner and Brad Nailer - Review

cadexcpb23_50.jpgPin nailers have been around for a bit, but only in the past few years have they started filtering down into the hands of the non-specialist and the day-to-day carpenters. They're little guns (smaller than a brad gun) and they shoot very small pins that don't even have any heads. Because of the size of the fastener, the guns are ideal for some very delicate operations. At the moment, most of the major pneumatic brands have pinners available. We had read good things about the Cadex CPB23.50, but weren't ready for just how nice of a tool it is.

Awhile back, we reviewed Grizzly's H5527 Brad Gun and gave it some high marks for being a solid no-frills gun at an affordable price ($25), well now we're on the other end of the spectrum; with Cadex's new gun they've created a perfectly tuned, versatile nail gun that manages to raise the bar on all pin nailers.

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First, the stats. The Cadex CPB23.50 shoots both 23 gauge headless pins and 23 gauge slight headed pins (an unusual feature in pinners – most just shoot headless). It can handle lengths from 5/8" up to 2" (another unusual feature). The gun comes with two no-mar tips that easily fit onto the nose of the gun as well as a small container of gun oil and three different hex wrenches that fit the various fittings on the tool. There is a dry fire lock-out feature and a nice little viewing window to see how many pins are in the gun. It's got a built-in belt hook, a swivel coupling, and a little thumb operated blow gun that you can use to clear your work piece of dust and debris. The whole package comes in at just a hair over 2-1/2 lbs.

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

September 27, 2007

Husky 2-In-1 Ultra-Thin Combination Knife - Review

combo_knife.jpgHusky, the makers of solid, innovative hand tools, have recently released their 2-In-1 Ultra-Thin Combination Knife. The Combo Knife has a fully-retractable standard razor blade as well as a folding drop point knife, both stowed away in a package that's about 4-3/4" by 1-3/4".

Both of the blades extend out of the same end of the tool making for safe and easy usage. The razor blade is extended with a sliding thumb tab, similar to any standard utility knife, and the drop point blade extends with a flick of a little nub that's on the blade itself, also like many standard flip knives. The folding blade has a nice locking mechanism so it won't flip back and close over your knuckles.

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

September 5, 2007

C.H. Hanson SuperPencil - Review

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C.H. Hanson continues their Signature Series with the new Superpencil, a pencil so blatantly powerful that other pencils warp when it comes near. What it is is a regular looking carpenter's pencil that is made entirely of a graphite composite. The result is a pencil that has a ridiculously long life and always has a variety of edges to choose from.

C.H. Hanson says that the SuperPencil lasts seven times as long as a normal pencil. From our experience with it, this might be a low number. As they advertise, you really don't have to sharpen it because, somewhere, there is always an edge. Sure, we had to get a bit creative from time to time and hold the pencil at an odd angle, but still, it's impressive. With rough framing, we opted to just use one of the thick edges, but as things got to finish work, we went ahead and sharpened it to a point and used that.

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

August 20, 2007

Dremel 75th Anniversary Rotary Tool Kit - Review

kit.jpgJust about everyone agrees that Dremel is the king of the rotary tool, but did you know that they've been at it since 1932? Way back then, they released an electric razor blade sharpener and soon after introduced the Moto-Tool, their first rotary tool. Since then, it's been one success after another and now they have decided to mark their 75th anniversary with a limited-edition commemorative tool kit. Needless to say, we were pretty thrilled when they kindly let us test one out.

The tool comes in a metal case with the commemorative Dremel logo imprinted on the lid. Although it's a bit impractical for throwing in the back of the truck and heading off to the jobsite, the case is very cool and fits the limited-edition nature of the kit. The tool itself also has a retro look and feel with a number of chrome accents, including the collet, brush caps, on/off/speed switch as well as a chrome version of Dremel's old-school logo printed on the side. The set comes with, you guessed it, 75 accessories. The accessories cover the basics of the rotary tool world; there are sanding bands, polishing wheels, cut-off wheels, steel brushes, grinding stones, and even a small container of polishing compound. It's a solid starter set, with just enough of everything to get you interested and wanting more.

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August 15, 2007

Grizzly H5527 Brad Nailer – Review

brad-gun.jpgWhen we read that Grizzly was selling a brad gun for $25, we were pretty suspicious of it's quality. A brad gun is at least an $80 purchase, right? Would this Grizzly gun work? Would it constantly jam? Would it not have the strength to put a nail into a piece of wood, and if it did would the nail go in at some freaky angle? All these questions were in our head when the nice folks at Grizzly agreed to send us one to test out. And test out we did.

As far as the gun goes, it's a no frills machine, which we like actually. We can get frustrated with tools that have too many moving parts, too many dials, micro-adjusts for this and that, a lot of which aren't even necessary. For features, Grizzly's H5527 can boast only one: an adjustable exhaust. For some reason we had thought, and had written earlier, that there was an adjustable depth of drive setting, but we were wrong. This is about as stripped down as a brad nailer can get.

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

August 8, 2007

Ace Sensations - Review

01_sensations.jpgRecently, Ace released a line of paint called Ace Sensations. But don't think that it's an ordinary, run-of-the-mill paint, because it's not. It's somehow made with Scotchguard, giving it extra stain blocking abilities. Is there finally a paint on the market that is perfect for insanely messy people or those of you with children who haven't yet mastered the art of eating while not throwing? Well, the good people at Ace were nice enough to get a gallon of the stuff in our hands for us to test out, and we had at it with some of the nastiest, greasiest pasta sauce we could find.

First, some basics about the paint: it's latex, so the application and cleanup are relatively easy and clean. It is mildew resistant, making it ideal for bathrooms and other high-moisture areas. And it is available in both flat and satin finish.

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August 7, 2007

Husky 5-in-1 Drywall Tool - Review

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Putting up drywall is a pain in the ass for a number of reasons. You have to deal with awkward 4x8 sheets of material, the work gets dusty and messy, and even though you barely even have to be accurate to a quarter inch, if you cut a piece a hair too long, it's nearly impossible to shave off that extra bit with any grace whatsoever. In addition to all of this, there are a number of tools you need in order to be efficient. Sometimes you don't have all the tools with you, and sometimes they just aren't in arm's reach when you've got a sheet of blueboard propped up on your knee and you need to cut out for a light fixture. With this last issue, Husky may have something that can help out quite a bit.

They have recently released a new 5 in 1 drywall tool to be your one stop, Swiss Army Knife of the sheetrock set. The five tools contained are, a keyhole saw, a utility knife, a sanding rasp, a screw pull, and a tube punch. The tools are all set-up in traditional multi-tool style, pivoting out of the handle, except for the rasp, which is set in to the back of the tool. The entire tool is about the size of a double wide utility knife.

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July 11, 2007

Wagner PaintEater - Review

painteater1.jpgWe're pretty vocal about our dislike (hatred, really) of painting. We're happy to spend 10 hours shaping a piece of wood, but for some reason we don't have the patience to paint it. And if painting isn't bad enough, there's scraping to think about. If painting is like getting your fingernail pulled off, scraping is like being drawn and quartered. So when we heard about Wagner's new PaintEater, we dove at the opportunity to test one out and see if it makes the unbearable at least somewhat bearable.

First, about the tool. The PaintEater is about the size of a coffee can. It's got an adjustable Velcro hand strap around the main grip as well as a secondary handle that can retract back up to the body of the tool when not in use. The handle, when in the down or up position, locks in place preventing any slipping or unexpected movement. The on-off switch has a nice dust protected cover over it and is located in a convenient spot. At the bottom of the tool is the brillo-like pad that does the actual paint eating. The pad is a bit hard to describe, it reminds us more of a sea creature than anything else. It's much more rigid than a brillo, but there is a bit of a give to it. The disc can be easily removed with an arbor stop and a twist of the pad. The tool is pretty light (3.8 lbs), so there should be no problem spending a day on a ladder with it.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (8) | social bookmarking

July 10, 2007

Ridgid Lithium-Ion 18-Volt Compact Drill - Review

drill_top.jpgBecause Lithium Ion batteries are so much lighter and more powerful than standard batteries, tool companies have a lot more leeway as far as design is concerned. The problem is that most of them are still intoxicated by the technology, focusing on creating the "lightest ever" or the "most powerful ever" tools. The small little screwdriver-style drills are handy and the 36-volt tools are total overkill, but what about that middle range? What about having a nice, reliable, no-frills, 18 Volt drill? If you feel the same way, look no further than Ridgid's new 18-Volt Compact Li-Ion Drill.

The drill is very light, 4.5 lbs. to be exact. It's interesting, but when compared directly to the Makita 14.4, which is about 4.6 lbs, the Ridgid feels much lighter. We figure that this has something to do with the fact that two thirds of the weight is no longer in the battery and the balance is much more even. The Ridgid feels solid in the hands and once we put it to work, we were not let down at all.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (24) | social bookmarking

June 27, 2007

C.H. Hanson Pivot Square - Review

closed.jpgC.H. Hanson, a company known for their high-quality layout and marking tools, has begun rolling out a new line of innovative tools they call the Signature Series. Kicking off this collection is their new Pivot Square, an all-in-one roof and stair layout tool.

At first glance, the Pivot Square looks like a traditional measuring square with a few level vials built-in. But upon closer inspection there are plenty of differences. First, it's larger, with the sides measuring 8" as opposed to 7". Secondly, and more significantly, there is a portion of the square that pivots out and can be locked in position, much like a bevel gauge. But, unlike a $4.99 bevel gauge, the pivot square tells you the degree as well as the roof pitch of the captured angle. Also, the hypotenuse has a ruler on it, as opposed to a degree finder.

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

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