February 4, 2010

Bosch Bulldog Xtreme - Review

Bosch_Bulldog_Xtreme.JPG

Our normal reviews go something like this: we find an interesting tool or get a press release on something new; then we query the manufacturer (or their PR company) and beg and plead that they send us a sample to test out; if they are kind enough to take pity on us and do so, it arrives at the shop and we spend a few weeks giving it the once over; we then sit down and write a Pulitzer-worthy review of said tool (making sure to comply with new FCC regulations and let you know that the tool came from the manufacturer). Well, this time it's different. We didn't just get our hands on our two Bosch Bulldogs, and we didn't get them from Bosch. We paid for them outright and to be honest, it's some of the best money that we've ever spent on any tools.

It's easy to review the precision or functionality of a tool, but when it comes to durability we usually combine 'general feel' with 'previous experience with that company's tools' and add in a few drop tests, and come to our conclusions. Here, that's not the case. We've had one of these tools for about five years and the other one (the dirty one) we had on an aggressively brutal jobsite for about 18 months. We can only say that these tools are phenomenal and that if you're thinking about getting one, just go ahead and do it. There were days when we treated these tools so poorly, you'd think that we hated them. They've been dropped, tossed, kicked, stepped on, and one of them was even lost in a snowbank for a short period of time. As far as tools go, they're like the paperboy from Better Off Dead; always there, ready to go, non-stop (minus the annoying voice).

In addition to the unreal durability, there's the power/size ratio which, in our eyes is perfect. If you're a carpenter, you really don't need some massive hammer drill, but you still want the ability to chip concrete and spend a day driving tap-cons. This tool does all that, and it doesn't take up that much room in the back of the van.

They cost around $200 and there are a couple different versions with different handles and features, but they've all got the same ass-kicking quotient.

At Amazon.com

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

January 18, 2010

Artillery Tools has a New Website

artillery_flooring_set.jpgWe just checked out the Artillery Tools website and saw that it has gotten a much needed facelift. The new site is a lot easier to navigate and has a nice product page, making it easy to build your own destruction bar. They also sell pre-assembled bars or complete sets.

If you're in the market for a high-quality demo bar, we recommend looking at the Artillery. It's a small company built solely on the enthusiasm and determination of founder/inventor Joe Skach. If you call to place an order, it's likely Joe will be the one answering the phone.

Our review of the Artillery Bar is here

The new Artillery Website is here.

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

August 13, 2009

Stanley Fubar 30" Forcible Entry Tool

stanley_forcible_entry.jpgWith a name that only appeals to firemen and career criminals, Stanley's 30" Forcible Entry Tool is one of the newer additions to their stud bending, nail ripping, sheetrock destroying Fubar line.

Along with the standard nail-pullers, 2x jaws, and demo hammer, the Forcible Entry Tool comes with a few features specific to emergency responders. It's got a hydrant wrench, a gas shut-off wrench, as well as heat-resistant grips.

It all sounds good to us and it costs about $150, which is a hefty amount of dough (about the same as we paid for the boots that we're currently obsessed with). If you like the idea, but want something a little smaller, check out the Channellock Rescue Tool.

Because it's such a specialty item, it's only available at select retailers. The list is at Stanley.

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

May 7, 2009

The Ridiculous Power of Excavators

When it comes to large scale demo, all the fancypants prybars in the world aren't going to help you. So put away your Artillery Bar, your FuBar, and your Dead-On Annihilator and hire an excavator. Here are two videos we found of just that kind of awe-inspiring destruction.

We've seen a similar scene first hand and what it did was leave us with a blinding respect for the power of hydraulics. When these things get going, it's like the house isn't even there.

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

April 13, 2009

Nail Jack & Nail Hunter - Review

nailjack.jpgWe consider nail pulling to be one of the deepest hells of construction, and that's why we're pretty interested when a new tool comes along that might make the process a little easier. Enter the Nail Jack and the Nail Hunter, both from Nail Jack Tools. Can these funky looking pliers give a little relief in the nail removal department? We tested them pretty extensively in order to find out.

ArrowContinue reading: "Nail Jack & Nail Hunter - Review"

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

April 7, 2009

Dead On Annihilator Wrecking Bar - Review

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"9 out of 10 gutless thieves prefer stealing the Annihilator over other leading wrecking bars"

So how cool is this tool? Well it's so cool that it only spent three days on the job site before some spineless, worthless, piece of doggie doo-doo stole it. Because it was sitting right next to two traditional crowbars, the theft is actually a testament to the Annihilator's curb appeal. Why grab a simple wrecking bar when you can get something that looks like it kills ghosts?

dead_on_annihilator_head.jpgThe good news is that in those three days, we gave the tool a workout and were really starting to grow fond of it. As you can see from the photo, the Annihilator has a lot going on. There's the hammer end, the nail puller, a wrench, a chisel, an axe, a stud straightener, and the always important bottle opener. It's really a one-stop destruction machine and in the fast-paced world of demo, it was nice not to have to keep switching off tools. The only way we could see improving on the Annihilator is if it was equipped with a LoJack or better yet, some kind of remote detonation device.

dead_on_annihilator_beer.jpgThe Annihilator comes in two sizes; 18" and 14". The 18" is obviously the larger of the two and offers more leverage and swinging force. We unfortunately couldn't photograph this size because the one that we had is now residing in the hands of a slimy, dishonest, lazy scrap of human debris. We could photograph the 14" though and while it is definitely smaller, it can still do some serious damage. They both fit the hand nicely and unless you're a full time carpenter or a serious DIYer, the 14" will probably do you fine. It's worth noting that the jaw of the 14" model is wide enough to grab a 2x4.

As for price, the Annihilator isn't cheap, but it isn't all that expensive either (this is assuming that you're buying it and not stealing it). The 18" retails for around $40-$50 and the 14" is a bit less expensive than that. It might sound like a lot, but when compared to the $75 Fubar it's really not that bad for a high quality demo tool.

The bottom line is that if we were pilfering losers who still lived with mom, we'd probably lift this tool too. And if the asshead who now possesses the Annihilator is reading this, we honestly hope that you do something stupid and break your nose with it.

18" Annihilator at Amazon.com and Dead On
14" Annihilator at Dead On

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

March 13, 2009

Dead On Annihilator Wrecking Bar

dead_on_annihilator.jpgWe saw this at the local Home Depot the other day and boy does it look baaaad assss. Seriously. We're fans of the Artillery Bar and we've always liked the Fu-Bar, but this is the first demo tool that we've seen that could also be used to fend off a goblin raiding party.

This thing has it all; a jaw for straightening 2x stock, a hammer head, a nail puller, an axe edge, and a mean looking chisel point at the base of the handle. We read somewhere that the hole at the tip can be used as a bottle opener, as if it wasn't impressive enough already.

The Annihilator costs about $40-$50 which is a good price for a high quality demo bar.

At Dead-On and Amazon.com

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

March 9, 2009

Bosch Vibration Control Rotary Hammers

bosch_rotary_hammer.jpgBosch is introducing a new family of rotary hammers that they say has both reduced vibration and increased impact strength. The technology behind the improvement has something to do with, "an innovative new approach to the striker pin assembly."

According to the press release,

"A slightly longer air cushion between the piston and the striker pin significantly reduces vibration at the point of impact while increasing impact energy by about 10% at same time. The new design ultimately yields significantly faster drilling (+ 20%) in concrete. The second component of the system is a shock-absorbent main handle. Rubber damping elements at the top and bottom of the handle further isolate the user from vibration. The end result is greater productivity and all day comfort."

It looks like the Vibration Control technology is going to be present in the new 11264EVS and 11265EVS 1-5/8" rotary hammers and the 11321EVS 12-pound demolition hammer. No word if this technology will be transferred to the smaller hammer-drills like our favorite, the Bosch Bulldog. These tools are available now and will all cost between $550 and $600.

Bosch Rotary Hammers at Amazon.com

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

March 5, 2009

Nail Extractor Extracting Pliers

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If you're the salvaging type like we are, you've got a pile of lumber out in the workshop that most people would have tossed in the dumpster by now. They're good looking boards with a lot of character, but they're peppered with nails, staples, and brads. If only there was some quick way of getting the nails out...

The Nail Extractor looks like just the thing for removing protruding nails. They're sort of like a set of pliers but with the heel of a pair of end-cutting pliers (our standard nail removing tool). The parallel jaws and the innovative way that they hinge creates a grip that will only yield when the user releases pressure on the heel of the tool. Because the tool essentially locks itself on the nail, you're left devoting your energy to the leverage part and not the gripping part. And the long handles assist with the leverage.

It's worth nothing though that the Nail Exractor is only going to be effective on fasteners that are already protruding from the surface, so if you're taking apart some framing that you just put together, you'll still need the cat's paw to get the nails started.

The Nail Extractor sells for just under $30 which seems to us to be a good price for a tool that appears to be very well made and quite useful.

At NailExtractor.com

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

November 21, 2008

Nail Jack to Purchase Vise-Grip Factory?

nailhunter.jpgThe guys over at Tool Crib have broken an interesting story about the fate of a Nebraskan tool factory. It appears that Irwin, makers of Vise-Grip tools has decided to pull up stakes and relocate their manufacturing to China, which leaves a bit of a vacuum for all of the workers at this factory. But it seems that Nail Jack, an innovative new company, has entered in negotiations to buy up the location. According to Tool Crib, many of the employees of Irwin would be able to continue working at the same factory, just with a different employer.

From what we can tell, Nail Jack makes two nail pulling devices; the Nail Jack and the Nail Hammer, both of which are sort of a pliers/pry bar hybrid. They look like smart tools and potentially very popular.

There's more to this story, including the history of the Vise-Grip factory, but there's no point in us repeating everything you can read first hand over at Tool Crib. They've done their research and it shows. There's even some impressive video of the Nail Jack in action.

Read the article at Tool Crib here.
Check out Nail Jack (the company) here and Nail Jack (the tool) here.

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

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