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

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

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

June 19, 2007

Home Depot Tape Measure Gift Cards – Review

home_depot-Gift.jpgIn the race to provide the most over-the-top gift card (Best Buy apparently has one that plays videos), Home Depot now offers one with a built-in level and tape measure. Yep, built right into the gift card. It sounds strange, we know, but it’s actually pretty cool.

They were good enough to send us one to look at and to be honest, we were expecting something pretty cheesy. But when it got here, we have to admit to being impressed with the little thing. We’re not saying that it’s going to be replacing your Stanley Fat Max tape measure, but it will definitely find its way into your kitchen junk drawer and come in handy at some point when you’re trying to hang a picture.

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

May 31, 2007

Husky 45-Piece Stubby Set - Review

stubby_set.jpgHusky has recently come out with a 45-piece set of little truncated tools, lovingly named the Stubby Set. They were nice enough to send us one and it didn’t take long before we realized that, although it‘s small and has a humiliating name, it’s a really great collection of useful tools.

The contents of the Stubby Set include a ratcheting screwdriver, a dual-drive ratchet (able to accept 1/4” sockets on one side and 3/8” sockets on the other) and an adjustable wrench. For accessories and bits, the Stubby Set comes with:

  • 10 driver bits
  • 13 SAE sockets (5/32” to 3/4”)
  • 14 metric sockets (4mm to 17)
  • Adapter for using the 3/8” ratchet with 1/4" sockets
  • Extension bar
  • Adapter for using the 1/4" sockets with the screwdriver
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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (7) | social bookmarking

May 30, 2007

Ryobi HT230 229-Piece Rotary Tool Kit - Review

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Rotary tools are on the rise and we couldn’t be happier about it. We’ve been using them for a while now and are constantly blown away by how versatile they are. Depending on the bit, you can sand, grind, drill, cut, and polish, and they are capable of handling wood, metal, and just about every other material under the sun. To do good work, you have to be detail-oriented, and rotary tools are just the thing for that last pass on a job to make every last detail perfect. Cut-out tools, like the Roto-Zip, are extremely handy and useful, but to deal with projects that need more finesse than power, you need one of the little hand-held models. And Ryobi has just entered the fray with their 229-Piece Rotary Tool Kit.

Just opening the box, we were stunned. We’d seen the picture, but seeing it in person is still impressive. Ryobi has crammed 229 pieces into a medium-sized plastic case. Everything is laid out in an easy to see way and bits and attachments are grouped with like items, making the case itself is a feat of spatial engineering.

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

May 28, 2007

Husky Heavy-Duty X-Sawhorse - Review

xbench_1.jpgOur pals at Husky recently sent us one of their Heavy-Duty X-Sawhorses to check out. It’s a small, portable, lightweight, collapsible table that is good for a variety of tasks, not the least of which was being the MVP of our Memorial Day cookout.

The sawhorse unfolds from a central pivot and, when set-up, looks like a giant X. There is a little top that sets into it creating a table. When folded up, the top piece easily snaps onto the center bar, creating a something that is very easy to store, measuring only 31” square by 3” thick.

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

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