March 25, 2011
Work boots are sort of like pick-up trucks. In the same way that there are Ford people and Chevy people, there are Red Wing people and Chippewa people. We even know some Carolina people, and we've met a few Timberland people. Brand loyalty is strong with boots, as it should be. Your feet are getting pounded on all day, so when you find a boot that works, you're going to stick with it.
We used to be in the Chippewa camp until they discontinued our favorite boot and replaced it with a crappy one that drove us crazy for a number of reasons. Then almost two years ago we switched to the Red Wings 606, which we now see as the gold standard in working footwear. They're phenomenal and we see no reason to ever look at another boot as long as we live. So then, here comes Timberland asking if we would like to try out a pair of their new PRO Helix boots. Apparently, they've got a number of interesting features that set them apart from the pack. Even with our allegiance firmly with the Red Wing family, we thought we'd give the Timberlands a shot. Why not?
Continue reading: "Timberland PRO Helix Work Boot - Review"
March 23, 2011
Channellock has just released an 8" version of their High Leverage Linesman Pliers. We reviewed their 10" set back in mid-September. At the time, we spent the better part of an afternoon making asses out of ourselves trying to destroy the things (we couldn't), so this time, our reviewing process has been much simpler.
Continue reading: "Channellock 8" 368 High-Leverage Linesman Pliers (and Bottle Opener) - Review"
March 21, 2011
If you're ever on the look-out for some high-concept work clothing, there's no where else to go other than Ergodyne. Melding science and gear, this company has a stunning selection of clothing and accessories that seem like they come straight from Dr. Bunson's Muppet Labs. Take, for example, their N-Ferno Warming Vest. This is a lightweight vest that can be inflated with Argon in order to increase its insulating properties. So yeah, it's pretty much like any old vest you can get at T.J. Maxx.
A while back they sent us one of these vests to use and test out. We've done quite a bit with it and we've now reached our conclusions...
Continue reading: "Ergodyne N-Ferno 6900 Warming Vest - Review"
March 18, 2011
So you've got all the right tools, but you also need something to put them in so you can carry them around. The options are actually pretty slim. There's the hand-carved wooden tool box that some long-dead relative of yours made out of an apple tree that he cut down with his own hands, but who wants to lug that to a construction site. Then there's the duffel bag style that we've been subscribing to, which is okay, but tools get lost in the bottom of it and no matter how hard we try to use the side pockets, everything ends up in the center mess anyway like some giant metallic game of pick-up-sticks.
There is also the devil (a.k.a. The Bucket Buddy), but if you use one of these, we really can't muster up any respect for you. You're investing in nice expensive tools and carrying them around in a plastic bucket? It might be easy to move around and the pockets might work out for you, but there's no escaping the fact it's a freakin plastic bucket.
But there's actually another option...the Veto Pro Pac. This tool bag allows you to carry around all of your tools by positioning them vertically, meaning a lot of equipment in a small footprint. A bit ago, the company sent us one of their LC bags to test drive. When it arrived, we happily dumped out the duffel, threw it away and started loading up the new rig.
Continue reading: "Veto Pro Pac LC - Review"
March 15, 2011
A while back we told you about an interesting new framing hammer going by the slightly ominous name of Hardcore Hammer. Made with a unique, dual-surfaced striking face, the tool is intended to last longer than the average hammer and, on a daily basis, operate in a superior fashion. We got to talking to the manufacturer and they were nice enough to ship us one to review. As soon as it arrived, we took it out of the box and began using it for the task that we use all of our framing hammers for: aggressive demolition...
Continue reading: "Hardcore Hammer - Review"
March 11, 2011
We see tools as having two types of features. The first is when an engineer says, "hey, here's a little free space on the tool, let's add a (fill in the blank with a useless feature)!" The other kind of feature is one that stems directly from the needs of the person using the tool. They make work faster, easier and more efficient. The new Bostitch gun might have more features than we've ever seen on a single tool and in a somewhat amazing feat, they are all fully integrated into the design and, astonishingly, every single one lands in the second category.
Continue reading: "Bostitch N62FNK-2 Finish Nailer - Review"
March 8, 2011
I recently wrote a review of the Kett KSV-432 Vacuum Saw for Tools of the Trade Magazine and it's just been posted up at their site. If you're unfamiliar with the tool, think of a cross between the 12-volt Makita circular saw and your DeWalt corded drill. It's an odd looking item, but throughout all of the use I've put it through, I discovered that it's a great one as well. I used it yesterday in fact. And the day before that too.
The details are all in the review which is here. The Kett is available at Amazon.com.
I also wrote the Product Watch section of the magazine, which highlights some new and interesting items that are hitting the scene. Everything from the Liftpod to the new cordless Panasonic rotary hammer. For the full list, go here (and then scroll down a bit). While you're at the site, make sure to browse around a bit and check out all the other good reviews.
And if you're into tools enough to come to Tool Snob on a regular basis, I definitely suggest subscribing to Tools of the Trade. It's very well done and filled with all kinds of great tool information. Subscription information is here.
March 4, 2011
A while back Johnson sent us a tape measure to check out. We incorporated it into the tool bag where it has resided along side our old standby, the Stanley Fat Max 25' Tape. Just the other day they sent us another one, a magnetized one, and we thought, "did we ever review that first one?" Answer: Nope.
So we spent a little time with the new one and here are our thoughts on Johnson's tape measures...
Continue reading: "Johnson 25' Tape Measures - Review"
February 28, 2011
The Ridgid Tri-Stack Compressor really impressed the hell out of us when we first heard about it a few months ago. It's a 5-gallon compressor that splits apart into two smaller units that can be used all sorts of ways. But seeing something on the internet or reading a press release about it is very different from actually using one first hand. So Ridgid sent us one to test out for ourselves. Since about mid-December we've had one that we've used around the shop, in the house, and on a bunch of other projects we've got going on. Does it still impress us? Read on....
Continue reading: "Ridgid MobilAir Tri-Stack 5-Gallon Compressor - Review"
February 25, 2011
We've always found that of all the levels, a four footer is the most useful. It's long enough to deal with framing and it can also handle most trim applications as well. The shorties are too little for twisted and crooked studs, and the six footer is a bear to deal with on the horizontal. So when we leave the shop, it's usually with our four foot Stabila, the level that we hold head and shoulders above all others. But Johnson recently sent us their new four foot box-beam level so, for a few projects, we used that one instead. Here's what we thought....
Continue reading: "Johnson Glo-View Heavy Duty 48" Aluminum Box Level - Review"