March 30, 2012
So when you think "high-end level," you think, "Stabila." Right? Well, yeah, but as it turns out there is another player in the arena. We were contacted by Sola Levels last year and thought, "why not, we'll give anything a try." Honestly we had never heard of the brand and thought it was just another mid-range level vying for some market space. We got to talking to them and it wasn't long before we were convinced otherwise.
Continue reading: "Sola Focus Vial 4' Level - Review"
January 19, 2012
The renovation marches on and has gobbled up about 120% of my free time. I've got a whole lot more in the way of thoughts on the general aspects of the project, but I'll save that for later.
Here's a shot of the nightly tool storage area. Through the project, I've discovered a number of MVP tools that I'm going to cover in more detail in the coming days. These are tools that I've been using that have really helped things along. You can pretty much see them all here: the Milwaukee M12 Jacket, the DeWalt worm drive, the Bosch Impact Driver, the Makita 15 amp Recip Saw and the Hardcore Hammer. There are others, but those are the ones at the top of the mind (probably because I used them all last night).
September 19, 2011
Earlier in the year we got all in a tizzy over the Hardcore Hammer. It's a framing hammer with a two part face that solves some of the issues associated with the general wear and tear on a framing hammer. We really liked the thing, but it does get up into that "nearing $100 range for a hammer," which, no doubt, is pretty extreme. Our review is here. So Hardcore Hammer has recently come out with another model that has a little less bling and comes with a price tag that's much easier to swallow. That new item has the appealing name of "Blunt Force." How can you go wrong with a name like that? They sent us one so we could find out for ourselves.
Continue reading: "Hardcore Hammer Blunt Force Hammer - Review"
August 31, 2011
OK, it's official. We're totally inundated in levels. It feels like this is the 50th one we've reviewed this year, and it's getting tough to come up with interesting things to say. This one, made by Swanson, is the torpedo version of their Lightning Level that we reviewed a while back.
This one has all of the same features; an aluminum body, a little button that lights up the vials and a timed shut-off (10 minutes), so you won't drain your battery dead the first time you leave it on in your tool bag. It also has a groove along the top, so you can work with pipes.
We generally liked the larger version, but feel that the technology is actually more practical in the smaller format. A lighted 2' level is OK, but how often are you going to be using a 2' level in the dark? A torpedo, on the other hand, gets used in wall cavities, under sinks, in crawl spaces, and plenty of other areas where visibility blows.
We used it a bunch at the site and we liked it quite a bit. So yeah, this one falls in the positive side of the ledger book. It's going to cost about $25.
So there you have it, yet another review of a torpedo level! Huzzah!
August 25, 2011
Channellock, known specifically for things like pliers and wrenches have recently made a leap and expanded their line to include levels. Their first release in this area consists of three torpedo levels. One of each of them showed up on the doorstep, courtesy of Channellock, and we brought them to the site and handed them out in order to get some feedback. Here's what we got....
Continue reading: "Channellock Levels - Review"
August 24, 2011
If there ever was a tool with a catchy name...
There are a couple of ways to scribe something. Most people seem to use dividers, but we gave those up years ago in favor of any little scrap of wood that's handy. M.Power has a new method and it's a really clever idea. Best of all, it's called the "Perfect Butt," so we can't wait to see what kind of perverts google sends our way after posting this one up. M.Power sent us a sample so we could check out the item ourselves.
Continue reading: "M.Power Perfect Butt Profile Scriber - Review"
August 23, 2011
Floor squeaks are the last thing a client wants to hear after shelling out the big bucks for a new home or a renovation. It may sound like a squeak to you, but what your client is actually hearing is, "...the contractor is a dumbass..." Don't be that dumbass.
Squeaks are usually the product of a nail rubbing against wood. Wood, as our old boss used to say, is "a terrible building material; it shrinks, it rots, it expands, it warps, it splits," and on and on (after a glass of tequila, the rant could go on for a solid ten minutes) and one of the byproducts of this lack of structural integrity is the squeak.
Seems like more often than not, the squeak comes from the subfloor installation. There are a few ways to prevent the terrible noises at installation; A) smear PL or Liquid Nail all over the joists before nailing off the subfloor or B) screwing down the subfloor. Both methods are sort of time consuming and using construction adhesive adds a significant mess factor.
Paslode's new TetraGrip Subfloor Fastening System aims at being the fastest kid on the block (as well as the strongest). The basics of it are that it's a nailgun that shoots a special (and we mean 'special') nail that truly locks the subfloor down to the joists.
Continue reading: "Paslode TetraGrip Subfloor Fastening System - Review"
August 22, 2011
Our go-to on painting gloves are those latex ones that you can get in a box of 100. They're great as far as keeping your hands clean, but it's pretty wasteful to be constantly throwing them away (once they come off the hands, they ain't going back on). Recently, we were staring down the barrel of a complex staining/dyeing/shellacking/poly-ing process and we wanted to use a glove that would be a little more durable in the long run. Then we remembered that a couple months ago 3M sent us a pair of their TEKK painter gloves. So we gave them a shot. Here's what we thought....
Continue reading: "3M TEKK Painter's Gloves - Review"
August 9, 2011
Continue reading: "Swanson Speed Bevel - Review"
Swanson's new Speed Bevel combines the talent of their ubiquitous Speed Square and the bevel gauge. Since our experience is that those are the two most used measuring devices on a site, we were pretty interested in seeing their talents combined into a single unit. Swanson sent us a sample and like always, we dropped it in the tool bag and brought it to work. It's been well over a month and here's the verdict....
July 13, 2011
Porter-Cable is now in the oscillating tool game and honestly it's a tool that wouldn't have interested us a whole lot except that it has a funky quick change feature that looks to solve one of the key hassles with oscillating tool, the blade change-out. PC sent us one to check out and we've been absolutely pounding on this thing at work, trying our best to break its spirit. Here's how it did...
Continue reading: "Porter-Cable Oscillating Tool - Review"