August 18, 2010

Ergo Shoulder


In the mental tool rolodex, the Ergo Shoulder sits pretty close to the Extreme Balaclava that we talked about last week; looks silly, easy to make fun of, will probably need it some day, slightly jealous that we didn't come up with the idea first.

The Ergo Shoulder is a bullet-free bandolero-like strap with a pad on the shoulder portion. The premise is very simple: add a little comfort to your shoulder when carrying heavy items. Other benefits include not destroying your clothes and having a larger area to balance your load. We see all the good of this item and like we said, it makes sense. We just can't see someone saying, "oh wait guys, hold on a sec. Before we unload that truck lemme put my Ergo Shoulder on."

The Ergo Shoulder is just under $40 and is available at Nomic Designs

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August 12, 2010

Ergodyne Extreme Balaclava with Hot Rox Heat Exchanger

ergodyne_hot_rox.jpgFile this one under, "strange, but yeah, I guess it kinda makes sense." Ergodyne, a company serious about their work gear has recently released an extreme balaclava (bet you never thought you'd hear those words) with a little built-in heat exchanger called the Hot Rox. The gizmo works by trapping heat and humidity from your exhale (aka your nasty coffee breath) and adding it to your inhale, thus keeping your core temp nice and toasty. in a way it's like you're constantly kissing yourself.

It's pretty easy to make fun of this thing now, especially since we've been sweltering in about three weeks of 95 degree weather, but come February, we probably won't be laughing anymore (and if you think you hear us laughing, it's probably just our teeth chattering). There's going to be a time when we'll be needing warmth so badly, we're going to want one of these things, even if it does mean looking like a robotic ninja.

The press release is after the jump.

$26 at

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June 14, 2010

SallyeAnder Hogwash! Soap - Review

sallyeander_hogwash2.jpgBecause there are now so many tool blogs out there, we've decided to shift focus away from tools and towards things like soaps and facial scrubs. The first foray into this territory is SallyeAnder's Hogwash! Soap.

Actually the truth is that we were contacted by SallyeAnder, who thought that their multi-purpose soap would be a good match for all of you, our readers. Being the tool-using types, you're also probably the greasy, grimy, muddy pants types. If you've ever heard, "don't even think that shirt is going in the laundry with my blouse' then we can relate. You probably have a bar of Lava sitting on your basement slop sink.

And that's sort of where Hogwash! fits in. It's basically an all-natural Lava. It's made with an olive oil and soy base and doesn't have any artificial dyes. It has some cornmeal in it which gives it that pumice vibe, good for scrubbing glue off your fingers. It comes in a 6 oz. bar which is basically a 1-1/2" by 2-1/2" by 3" cube.

sallyeander_hogwash.jpgSo on to the whole, 'does it work?' part of the review. Since our samples arrived from SallyeAnder over a month ago, we've been using Hogwash! on a daily basis and its size has hardly diminished at all. In fact the only wear is that the crisp edges of the brick are a little rounded over. This bar of soap is going to be around for a long, long time whether we like it or not.

And thankfully, we like it. We might even name it. It works great on everyday filth and SallyeAnder also claims that it works on grass stains and blood stains. We ended up testing both of these conditions (you'll have to wait until tomorrow's post to find out where the blood came from), and the soap does indeed work. Our stained rag was nice and clean in no time.

If you're concerned with the 'naturalness' of the products that you buy, it appears that all of the soaps that SallyeAnder makes are edible. We cut a small chunk off of our Hogwash! and gave it a go. It tasted terrible and it took about two hours before our mouth returned to normal, but if you're stranded on an island, at least it's something.

We also wanted to mention that SallyeAnder also sells a soap (and lotion) called No-Bite-Me which is a bug repellent in addition to a soap. We tried out a sample of this and it works great. There are also shave soaps and other similar things available. They're neat products with some really great packaging and we're happy that they took the initiative to introduce themselves to us. It's nice knowing that funky little companies like this are out there.

At SallyeAnder

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June 8, 2010

Snap-On SuperGrip Gloves - Review

snap_on_gloves_hand.jpgSnap-On, makers of the disorganized mound of tools that you see at your mechanic's garage, has just released a new work glove. The interesting thing here is that the palm side of the glove is covered with these little silicone nubs in order to provide increased gripping power. They were nice enough to send a pair our way so we could check them out.

To evaluate the gloves, we simply tossed them in the truck and used them at work over the course of a few weeks. We even let someone borrow one (and only one), which was returned with the statement, "sorry, got a little paint on it" (see photo below for what a 'little' paint looks like).

snap_on_gloves.jpg snap_on_gloves_texture.jpg

For the most part, we use Mechanix gloves, which we like for a lightweight, light-duty glove, but we're really not a fan of the aesthetic. Unfortunately, they decided to print the word, 'Mechanix' all over the gloves, giving them a strange and way too flashy look. It's actually a little embarrassing, wearing a pair when talking to a client. Anyway, the Snap-On are the same style, but minus the obnoxious bling. They're thin enough so you can pull a single nail out of a pouch and they tighten with the Velcro wrist strap. They're nice gloves. The silicone nubs are good too. They do add extra gripping power, but thankfully, they don't interfere with any other operations, like using a pencil or tying the boots or anything like that.

We're in favor of the Snap-Ons and after using them for a while, we're going to start getting them instead of the Mechanix. It's basically the same price so the extra gripping power and the lack of flair easily tip the scales.

$25 at Auto Zone and Pep Boys

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March 15, 2010

ToolRider GSR Suspension Rig - Review


There are two main factions in the tool belt world; the leathers and the nylons. It's sort of like the carpenter version of the Sharks and the Jets. Us? We usually dodge the question by opting for the simple nail pouch with a separate hammer loop. Our quasi-supervisory role at work doesn't allow us to spend too many days fully tooled up. But on those days when we're forced to do it, we go for the old leather belt that we have. In our opinion, there's something about them that just feels more...well...authentic. But we don't have anything against the nylon belts, it's just that we've never really found one that we've been all that into. They seem a little too modern and futuristic for us.

But we're open-minded folks so we jumped at the chance to review the the nylon ToolRider GSR Suspension Rig when Rooster (also makers of McGuire-Nicholas rigs) offered to send one on.

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August 12, 2009

Red Wings 606 - Day One

red_wings_606.jpgIf you read this site with any regularity, you might know about our recent search for a new pair of boots. We ended up getting a pair of Red Wings...the 606 model. We chose these because they are nothing more than a boot. No insulation, no fancy grommets, no waterproof baggie in the lining, no steel toe. Just high-quality, seemingly well made boots.

We just got through our first work day in them and are pretty damn happy about our decision (dropping $150 on anything tends to make us nervous). They're extremely comfortable and the fact that they're going to break in, leaves us convinced that they're going to fit like a second skin in about a week. We'll likely give more updates as time goes by (because we know you're extremely interested in our footwear selection), but if the first day is any signal, we may be on the Red Wing wagon for a long, long time.

Red Wing 606s at Red Wing

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July 28, 2009

Chippewas or Red Wings?


So here's the deal: Chippewa used to make these great basic work boots. They weren't winter-lined and they weren't water-proof. They just protected our feet and gave us great traction on bad surfaces. We loved these boots and went through about three pairs. Then we found out that Chippewa discontinued the boots in favor of other models with all sorts of bells and whistles. We can't stand bells and whistles in our work boots, but we had driven all the way to the store and figured a pair of Chippewas 'new and improved' water proof, lined boots couldn't be that bad. It's now about four months later and the things are falling apart. The grommets tear the laces, the lining boils our feet, making them sweat and then the waterproofing (aka the bag in the boot) seems to prohibit any breathability, so now the boots have a stench that could kill someone at fifty paces. All we want is a pair of basic boots. We now wear our old ones when we can, but that's less and less often because they're really on their last legs. We've asked a lot of them and we keep asking for more.

So what do you guys say? We're probably going to make the switch to Red Wings, but it's kind of a Ford/Chevy thing so we thought we'd solicit your advice first. What boots do you wear and do you like them? Like we said, we're looking for the basic boot. Nothing fancy.

We also spent a year chewing through a pair of $15 Wal-Mart boots every three months. Not worth it, so please don't tell us to do that.

Sound off in the comments section. We'll randomly pick one at the end of the week and send out some tool we have cluttering up the workbench.

Red Wings at Red Wings and

Chippewas at Chippewa and

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June 24, 2009

Summer '09 Baseball Hat: Dead-On Tools

dead_on_hat.jpgEvery summer, we burn through a baseball hat. We don't wear it every day, but it's a nice item to have in the truck for keeping the sun off our face, the sweat out of our eyes, and the rain off our noggin. This summer's fashion selection is the blue cap from Dead On tools.

It's good because not only are we spreading the word about a tool company that we really like, we're also walking around with the American Flag/Skull and Crossbones combo on our forehead. Can't beat that.

We would also like to note that we never wear the hat backwards, and we never, never never hip-hop it off to the side like Michael Phelps does.

These hats are currently only $8 which is a great price for a nice hat from a cool company. You only have to pass on coffee break for three or four days and you'll be able to budget for one. It's a good way to support a little independent company without shelling out $40 for their Annihilator Wrecking Bar.

At Dead On

Check out our review of the Dead On Annihilator here.

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November 17, 2008

Carhartt Coat

When it starts to get Chilly up here in the Northeast, we head straight for the old Carhartt coat. We got this thing about five years ago and for the rest of our lives, we'll never stray from the brand. It is, without question, the warmest, most durable thing we've ever worn. It doesn't look like much anymore, and in fact it sort of makes us look like we're homeless. But we don't care at all about that because it keeps us warm and after five years of abuse, there isn't a single tear in the thing. At this point, we're thinking we'll be able to get at least another 4-5 years out of it. Maybe more.

The pockets are deep, the zipper is indestructible, there are snaps for a hood (if you're into that, we're not), and like we said, the quilt lining is very warm.

carhartt_coat_pocket.jpgIt takes a while for them to really break in and get that nice faded look, so for a while you just have to deal with looking like the guy with the brand new Carhart coat, sort of like the kid on the playground with the brand new white sneakers. But once the coat starts relaxing, it really starts taking on character. We can still see the original color of ours under the pocket flaps.


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August 21, 2007

DeWalt Sells Shoes?

DeWalt_shoe.gifLooks like DeWalt is into the footwear market. We knew that they sold reference guides, but until this morning, we had no idea that they sold boots too. We're not sure what the deal is; if DeWalt actually designed them or if they're a name brand that's been co-branded. Either way, the boots look nice and range from sneaker-style to big old traditional leather work boots.


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

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