November 4, 2015

Paslode Cordless CF325XP Framing Nailer - Review


Paslode is in the process of upping their cordless framing gun with the new CF325XP Framing Nailer. Honestly, I really like their original CF325 and didn't even think it needed updating, but that's probably why I'm not in R&D for a leading tool company. But in looking at what they've done to the new version, it does make sense.

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

October 30, 2015

Ridgid Hyperdrive Cordless Brushless Nailers - Review


Is anyone else sitting around thinking that the era of the corded power tool is coming to a close? It certainly looks that way, doesn't it? These days finding an outlet and unraveling an extension cord just feels so....2013. The latest pieces of evidence in this ongoing evolution are the two new Hyperdrive brushless nailers from Ridgid; the 18-gauge brad and the 16-gauge finish. I've been testing them out for the past couple weeks and here's what I think...

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September 9, 2015

Ryobi 18-Volt Drain Auger


The Ryobi 18 volt cordless platform is really pretty wild. Once you have a couple batteries and a charger, you can go bonkers on the bare tool purchases, like their new Drain Auger, set to be released later this month. While it may seem strange at first glance, after some further thought, this piece of gear makes a whole lot of sense. The specifics of the item are that it has a 25-foot cable, a power feed mechanism and can be effectively used on drains of up to 2-inches. It costs about $70 (bare tool).

That cost may sound steep but most plumbers I know (around the Boston area) have an hourly that is at least that and in most cases a decent amount more. If you have to deal with a drain clog, this tool will pay for itself fairly quickly.

I've got an old manual snake and it's a mess to deal with. It's the kind with the off-set Z handle, so wrapping it up and storing it is a chore. It sits in a milk crate somewhere in the back of the shop. I try not to think about it, even on the rare days that I come across it. But something like this Ryobi is a lot more user friendly. The electric ones in the style of the Ryobi (self feeding) are cheaper (which is nice), but they don't offer the quick plug and play of the cordless, like if you're trying to deal with an exterior line.

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

June 22, 2015

Milwaukee Tools 2015 New Product Symposium


Last week I was able to head off to Milwaukee Tools for their annual Product Symposium where they unleashed all of their latest and greatest tools and gear. There is a lot coming too. To get a sense of what I'm trying to get at, picture a giant red tidal wave with white lightning bolts shooting out of it (a toolnami, if you will). Hearing about each and every one of these new tools over the course of a single day was like being attacked by a grizzly bear made entirely of information. Honestly, towards the end, my mind was beaten down to the point where I felt like Brad Pitt from 12 Monkeys. Now here I am a few days later, trying to decipher my scribbled notes and jumbled memories.

Here's what I've got for you...

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

February 10, 2015

Loftek Portable Floodlight - Review


There's a special ball of rage deep in my belly that I reserve for halogen work lights. How a tool that is so irritating in all ways has become a job site standard ranks right up there with the Easter Island heads for total depth of mystery. They're bright, yes, but beyond that, pure torture. "Whoa, the housing is like a million degrees...what's that smell, oh, a burning moth...let it cool down for an hour before you change the bulb...make sure to wear gloves so you don't get any oil on the bulb...where's your screwdriver to open up the cage?...Oh those little ceramic bulb ends are pulverized in the sockets?...right, why don't you just pick up a new one the next time you're at the lumber yard."

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

February 13, 2014

Craftsman SpeedShot 19.2-Volt Cordless Brad Nailer

craftsman_speedshot.jpgWell, this is interesting. While researching for another article, I just ran across this little fella at the Craftsman website. It's a cordless brad nailer and it looks like it carries a lot of the same mojo as the Ryobi AirStrike which was released last year (our review is here).

Both tools can handle 18-gauge brads from 5/8 to 2-inch. They both have LEDs and two firing modes. Belt hooks, you name it...they're pretty similar.

I'm a big fan of the AirStrike and think that it really opens up nail guns to the non-pro crowd. Compressors are a hassle and not everyone wants to deal with them, and the cordless nail guns that are already on the market are priced waaaay too high for the casual user. So here comes Ryobi, and now Craftsman, both well established brands with solid battery platforms offering a relatively inexpensive ($130 for the Ryobi, $140 for the Craftsman) nailing options.

So as far as which one to get, it probably comes down to a couple questions:

1. Do you already have any 18-volt Craftsman or Ryobi tools?

If none, proceed to question #2.

2. Which is closer: Home Depot or Sears?

Speedshot at Sears ($219 with Charger and one battery) and bare tool at

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

January 16, 2014

Bostitch BTC400LB 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver


Update: Bostitch just informed us that the pricing on the drill should be $150 and not the $80 that Amazon is selling it for. Who knows what's going on over at Amazon, but they just bumped the price down another $10 and added "only one left in stock," so go on and get while the Gettins good.

Sooo...Bostitch is into power tools now. At the moment, they've got a basic line-up; Standard carpenter gear, nothing too fancy. Jigsaws, recips, circ saws type things. No routers or anything specialized. We were curious about the line-up and the quality level, so Bostitch was nice enough to send us one of the 18-volt drills to check out (the flagship tool of just about every product line).

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

November 5, 2013

Senco DS212 18-Volt Li-Ion Auto-Feed Screwdriver - Review


A little while back Senco updated their line of cordless auto-feed screwdrivers. The new versions are not only powered by a li-ion battery, but they also have a space age look to them, giving it the appearance of something that Ripley from Aliens would use. Senco was nice enough to send us one of their DS212 18s to check out and here's what we thought.

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

September 30, 2013

Ryobi AirStrike 18-Volt 18 Gauge 2-inch Brad Nailer - Review


So it's no secret that we're on board with the cordless Paslode for all of our finish nailing needs. If we can take the compressor out of our routine, we're going to do it. But what about a cordless brad gun? Ryobi was kind enough to get one of their new 18-volt AirStrike Brad Nailers in our hands and we've been playing around with it for a little while. Here's what we think:

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

September 5, 2013

Paslode Fuel + Nail Packs - Review


This isn't a review as much as it's a high-five, fist-pound, belly-bump to Paslode for their Fuel + Nail packs. Since we got the li-ion version of the Paslode finish gun, we've hardly even picked up a pneumatic nailer. Why bother? The Paslode has all of the power with none of the compressor hassle. Gone are hoses, finding an outlet for the compressor, obnoxious filling noise, and just lugging the thing around. Goodbye.

So Paslode offers, these Fuel + Nail packs where you get 1000 galvy finish nails and a fuel pack. By a total coincidence, a fuel pack is good for approximately 1000 nails. They sent us one to check out and it all works like you'd expect it would. One really nice touch is that each pack includes an adapter nozzle so the gas canister can be used with the NiCd version of the tool. The connection in the Li-Ion gun is much better and not as fragile, but if you already own the older gun, these will work for you too.

Overall, they're really convenient and they eliminate that constant feeling we used to have where we were always worried about running out of fuel half way through a job.

The packs are around $20 and are available at Home Depot or online (or your local tool store).

At Amazon

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

August 5, 2013

Festool Carvex Is Almost Here (for reals this time, yo)


At least we hope it's for real. I think it was two years ago that it was on the verge of US release and then it was pulled at the last minute. It was so close that I got to test drive one at that year's JLC show. But then word went out that it was a no-go. If I recall, Festool said that it had to do with a performance issue.

But now, it's back again and slated for a September 1 release.

We're usually pretty impressed with Festool products, their four-headed drill is a champ and the RO 90 DX Rotex sands like the devil himself. I've never used any of their Trion Jigsaws, but I've actually heard quite a few luke warm things from those who have. Sort of a, "yeah, it's kinda cool, but...."

That said, the Carvex, their new line of jigsaws, looks to be above and beyond. That's really the only way to describe a tool that has a four LED strobe light that shines on the blade, timed to the stroke. So when you're using the tool, the blade looks like it's standing still. Seriously. Check it out here:

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

June 20, 2013

Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter - Review


Construction happens fast these days. Communications between client, contractor, designer, subs, and architect go back and forth like a bouncy ball in a shoebox. Part of this is due to the 'cover your ass' mentality that relies on email for the digital paper trail. Another part is that people no longer seem interested in the more efficient method of, well, just picking up a phone. I used to work with a project manager who would literally send hundreds of emails each day. Most of them just asking a single follow-up question to a previous email. Fella, just pick up the phone and it will be all over in about 3 minutes. But anyway, my point is that even crusty construction workers need constant access to a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, and for them, there's the Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter.

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

June 19, 2013

Flipout 7.2-Volt Cordless Screwdriver


The first time I heard about Kickstarter was when someone told me that multi-bazillionaire Zach Braff was drumming up money to make some unwatchable art film. I think he got 3.1 million dollars or something. I thought the ridiculously high ticket prices were donation enough, but I guess I'm wrong.

But anyway, recently I've found some worthy projects at the site, including my old friend who just raised enough coin to start bottling her own whiskey (now, THAT is worth donating to). And then, this morning, I got an email directing me to another campaign, this one for the Flipout Electric Screwdriver.

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

June 17, 2013

Milwaukee Tools: Annual Shindig 2013


Last week I was lucky enough to get invited to the annual Milwaukee Tools Product Symposium. It's their yearly event where they showcase all of the new things they have coming down the pipeline. And lets just say that this time around, it was a seriously big pipeline.

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

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