Bits and Blades

April 27, 2015

Coast LK375 Light Knife - Review

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Coast makes some pretty cool knives (and flashlights and headlamps). I carried their RX312 (or something close to it) for a while and always liked it. I still use it from time to time, but I've switched my EDC over to a utility knife (the Milwaukee Fastback). I just finally accepted the fact that my lifestyle is brutal on a blade and I don't have the time to deal with sharpening. Disposable utility blades are just so simple to deal with.

But anyway, Coast recently developed a very interesting item that they refer to as the LK375 Light Knife ($52). It's basically a combo between a ...wait for it... wait for it... wait for it... flashlight and a knife. It's a great pairing, kind of like chocolate and peanut butter, eggs and bacon, or Ashton and Demi. Coast was nice enough to send me a sample so that I could check it out.

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

September 15, 2014

Spyder Rapid Core Eject Hole Saws

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There's no doubt that the lamest part of using a hole saw is ejecting the core from the saw. I wonder how many flat head screwdrivers have been irreparably damaged over the years. A while back, Lennox advanced a solution to this problem with their Speed Slot line. These saws come with a cool "step" pattern up the side of the saw, giving you a series of spots to pry your screwdriver against. I have a set and they're nice. Milwaukee recently released a similar design.

But Spyder is wiping the slate clean and approaching the problem from an entirely different angle. Their thinking is, "why move the core, when you can move the saw?" It's a cool idea too. How it works is that once you make the cut, a release button lets you slide the hole saw back along the bit. This leaves the core in place where it can be easily removed. Then press and slide the saw back in place.

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

June 20, 2014

Holdsabit - Review

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On-board bit storage on a drill is like cheese on a cracker (and I'm not entirely sure what I mean when I say that). I think the point is that it's kind of essential, or at least, if it's not there then it feels like something is lacking. But the bar here is set pretty low; even the best drills only come with room for maybe one or two 1" bits. This is alright, but if you're really getting into a project, it sure would be nice to have a spot to stick a bit for pre-drilling or to have room for four or five additional bits (P1, P2, P3, R1, R2, T15, etc). So yeah, wait a minute, here comes something called the Holdsabit. It actually looks like a one of those backpacks that you put on a dog for camping, but instead of holding Alpo and whiskey, it holds bits.

Holdsabit was nice enough to send us a sample to test out and we've been playing with it for a while now and have come to our conclusions.

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

January 2, 2013

Skil iXO Vivo Power Corkscrew - Review and Giveaway

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Skil has recently hit the scene with a drinking tool. The Skil power corkscrew has been available in Europe for a couple years now (see our original coverage here) and it's now available in the states. Bosch owns Skil and in Europe, green Bosch is their DIY brand (read: Skil), so in all likelihood, the two items are exactly the same. Skil sent us one to check out and we were pretty interested in it. If it has to do with wine drinking and it flew in Europe, it has to be good, right?

Right?

Turns out, maybe not so much.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (14) | social bookmarking

December 18, 2012

Arbortech TURBOPlane - Review

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We were impressed with Arbortech way, way back when we first saw their AS160 AllSaw at a tradeshow in May of 07. Then we got a chance to test some of their woodworking tools out and loved those too. The Mini Grinder and Power Chisel, still now, are tools that we feel we've only scratched the surface of their potential. Recently we were contacted by the company again, this time to take a look at their new TURBOPlane. What is the TURBOPlane you ask? Read on...

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

October 29, 2012

Bosch DareDevil Spade Bits - Part Two

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So during our renovation, we had to drill 30 3/4" holes through this 8-1/2" beam. It wasn't easy and it wasn't fun. It also would have been impossible if it wasn't for the Bosch DareDevil Spade bits.

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

January 11, 2011

Boar Blades

boar_blade.jpgMilwaukee recently released their new fancy pants recip saw blade with all the extra teeth and the lone fang, good for plunge cutting and hacking through nail-embedded wood. We saw them in action and there's no question that they're great, but we also just stumbled across another interesting recip saw blade that we think is worth a mention as well.

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

September 15, 2010

Milwaukee's New Sawzall Blade

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UPDATE: We just saw that Jay from CopTool got his e-hands on some videos of the blades, so we shamelessly stole them and added them to our post. Make sure to also check out what Jay has to say about the blades here.

Of all the things we saw on our last trip to Milwaukee (the heated jacket, the new line of hand tools, the new battery, etc.), the one thing that made a real lasting impression was the new Sawzall blade design that they have in the works. We've spent way too much time working with recip saws and seeing the functionality of the new blades was almost too much to take. But, as with the battery, there was an embargo on the information while they ironed out the final few details, so we had to stay mum about it all until now. But we got word late yesterday that we can now blab, blab, blab. So, if you're a contractor, listen up, because you're going to like this...

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

July 26, 2010

Milwaukee 2010 Product Symposium

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The reason we were so light on posts last week is that we were lucky enough to be at Milwaukee's annual Product Symposium. While there, we ate some great food, hung out with a solid group of our tool-writer pals, enjoyed a lot of great conversations with the Milwaukee crowd, and most importantly had the opportunity to get a look at this year's line of new tools.

The nitty-gritty of the event has been covered by a few of our fellow compatriots here and here, so we're going to stick to just a few thoughts on some of the new items that we saw...

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

March 24, 2010

Kreg Deck Jig

kreg_deck_jpgWe've used a number of hidden deck fasteners and have gotten some mixed results. We've had some good experiences (Eb-Ty) and some not-so-good experiences (Tiger Claw). Even the successful Eb-Tys were labor intensive with us having to biscuit out for each and every fastener. The results were great, but the process was tedious.

So Kreg, masters of all that is jiggy, are entering the ring with their new Deck Jig and at a glance it looks like a fast, efficient way of doing things (on the one condition that you have 2 drills). Like every other product that Kreg sells, the Deck Jig boils down to a method of drilling and setting a screw at a specific angle. In this case, it assists with toe-screwing a deck board to a joist.

The jig is set up like other Kreg jigs with the special drill bit and the adjustable depth collar. There are three drilling holes, one for screwing straight on and the other two for angled screwing, like when two boards meet on a joist. The kit also comes with little board spacers, to ensure your deck boards are nice and parallel.

The one thing that worries us about this whole thing is that the jig uses a specialized drill bit (replacements are about $14). So if you're making your deck out of ipe (which is becoming more and more popular), there could be an added expense of additional drill bits. Spending a day drilling through a species of wood that has the same fire rating as steel doesn't bode well for the longevity of the bit. But then again, cutting biscuit slots in it is no treat either.

The jig costs about $100.


Available May 15th at Amazon.com

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

March 11, 2010

Bosch Nailkiller Auger Bits

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Showing absolutely no sensitivity towards the nail community, Bosch has dubbed their latest auger bits, "Nailkillers." Frightening stuff if you're a nail. But if you're a carpenter or electrician who is sick of chewing through $15-$30 auger bits every time one hits a screw, it's really not so bad.

According to Bosch, these bits last 9 times longer than the average non-killing, peacenik, flower-child auger bit. In their press release, Bosch states that, "Independent testing of the Nailkiller bits revealed that a 1" Nailkiller bit was capable of driving through up to 301 hidden nails, versus only 33 for the current market leader, when used with a right-angle drill."

That's a serious difference (and a lot of mourning nail families).

The bits are just now becoming available and vary in length from 7-1/2" to 24" and diameters from 1/4" to 1-1/2".

According to Bosch, the bit will be available online at Tyler Tool, but it looks like the website hasn't yet been updated accordingly.

The press release is after the jump. It's worth browsing because there is quite a bit more to these bits. Or if you don't know how to read, Bosch has set up a nailkiller microsite here.

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

March 9, 2010

Rockwell SoniShear - Review

sonishear.jpgNow that most of the big players have their oscillating tools on the shelves, the first phase of the oscillating extravaganza of '09 is coming to an end. At the moment, it looks like we've just entered phase two: accessories. This era will likely be marked by companies releasing all manner of accessory, each more creative (and strange) than the last. We recently checked out Fein's orbital sander attachment and we were very impressed. Today, we just finished up our testing of Rockwell's new SoniShear. The function of this attachment is to turn your SoniCrafter into a pair of shears. When Rockwell said they'd send us one, we really didn't know what to expect.

When we first saw it on youtube, we thought that attaching it to the SoniCrafter was going to be a hassle, like we had to take apart the head of the tool or something. As it turns out, that's not the case at all; it fits on just like any other attachment.

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Once it was on, we started a cuttin'. We began with the terrible blister pack that it came in and the SoniShear zipped right through it at an impressive speed. Then we went to corrugated cardboard and had the same results. After that was a thin strip of poplar. Here, not so much. The SoniShear couldn't handle the 1/8" bulky wood. It wasn't from lack of trying either, we actually loosened the whole attachment while we were jamming the thing into the wood (note: no where does Rockwell say that the SoniShear is able to cut wood, we just wanted to push the accessory). So you can't cut wood, but how about aluminum flashing? The SoniShear had no problem here, but the bulk of the tool made things a little awkward, so we'd probably stick with tin snips in the future. We didn't get around to cutting carpet, but from what we saw, the SoniShear would have no difficulty with that material.

sonishear_mess.jpgThere's no question that it's easier on the hands then regular snips or shears. It's also no problem cutting curves. But with the accessory offset from the tool body, there are going to be times when the tool isn't going to fit where you want it. It's a minimal concern and shouldn't stop anyone from taking a closer look at the SoniShear.

It's inexpensive enough at $25 that it sort of falls into the, "eh, why not?" category. Unless you're lined up to remove a carpet, there's probably no reason to go running out to get one, but if you see one at the store and you've got some cash in your pocket, why not have it on hand in your arsenal? It'll definitely come in handy at some point.

And because the SoniShear wraps around the body of the tool, it is incompatible with the other brands of oscillating tools.

We also just noticed that Rockwell has cleaned up their website a bit, check it out here.

It'll be available at Amazon.com and Rockwell Tools

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

February 23, 2010

Final Cut 7-1/4" Blade

FinalCutCircSaw.jpgA couple years ago, we reviewed something called the Final Cut Saw Blade. It's really nothing more than a piece of sandpaper stuck to a saw blade. At first, it sounds pretty goofy, but it actually works pretty well, not only with making a nice, smooth cuts, but also with preventing kick-back and blade binding.

After releasing 10" and 12" blades, Final Cut has moved on to the next inevitable step, the 7-1/4" blade. Now, you can have that same sanding/cutting action with your standard old circ saw.

Read our review of the larger size blades here.

The blades cost $20 and will be available at finalcutblade.com

The press release is after the jump.

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

January 5, 2010

Liberate Blades for the Fein, Bosch, and Dremel Oscillating Tools

liberate_blades.gifA while back, we reviewed some oscillating tool blades that were sold under the name of Yaeger Blades. Soon after the review, the company went dark, which caused us to get a lot of emails that went along the lines of, "WTF? Why can't I access their website?" As it turned out the fellows at Yaeger were in the process of redesigning their blades so as not to infringe on any patent issues with Fein.

We just got the email the other day that Yaeger Blades 2.0 is up and running. The new company is called Liberate Blades and you can access the website here. According to Liberate Blades,

The redesign allows for incremental angling of the saw blades just as the OEM blades do, which is not seen in any of the other aftermarket oscillating saw blades. Even though the connector opening is round the unique design allows the blades to lock into place no mater which machine they are being used with. Additional changes have been made to attach the blade to the connector which provide amazing consistency in the manufacturing process, which equates to a better product for customers.

The new blades are compatible with the Fein, Bosch, and Dremel tools. The cost is $10-12 per blade, which is a good savings when compared to the $15 or so that the Fein blades are sold for (assuming the quality is exactly the same). Liberate blades are also available in a 10 blade variety pack for $105.

At Liberate Blades

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

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