May 7, 2009
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.
April 13, 2009
We 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.
Continue reading: "Nail Jack & Nail Hunter - Review"
April 7, 2009
"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?
The 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.
The 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
March 13, 2009
We 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
March 9, 2009
Bosch 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
March 5, 2009
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.
November 21, 2008
The 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.
October 8, 2008
We are all in favor of the Artillery Bar. We gave it a positive review a while back and since then have only grown to like it more and more. We trash a ceiling, a decks, and a subfloor with it and it is currently in the hands of a friend who is taking a dormer off. Now, to make the tool even more functional, Artillery Tools is taking pre-orders for a number of new attachments set to be released very soon.
The new attachments are:
- 25" Fiberglass Handle
- Ball Grip and Cap
- Deck Blade
- Staple and Finish Nail Blade
- 8" Blade (pictured)
- Deck Fulcrum
- Rebar Bender Head
- Buried Nail Blade
Of these, the Rebar Bender and the Buried Nail Blade look to be the most interesting. The attachments range in price from $20 (Ball Grip) to $55 (Rebar Bender).
At the moment, the new attachments aren't on the website (except for the 8" blade), but if you're interested in more information, go to the contact page and drop Joe a line. He's a great guy and he'd be happy to hear from you.
At Artillery Tools
October 7, 2008
It looks like Bosch has entered, like Makita and Milwaukee before them, the realm of heavy-duty, house-destroying, 15-amp reciprocating saws. Their model is called the RS35 and from the picture it looks like quite a bruiser.
According to Bosch, the saw is equipped with "Constant Response circuitry, which maintains consistent, controlled power, combined with adjustable aggressive orbital action provides superior cutting performance over a broad range of materials." It also has an anti-vibration system, much like the Makita and the Milwaukee. The blade change can be done with one hand, which makes us believe that the chuck is similar to the spring loaded Makita, which ejects the blade when you unlock it (we're pretty sure the Milwaukee has this too). This is a great feature to have because recip blades can really heat up.
Another thing worth noting is that, thankfully, on this model, they've attached the cord to the tool, abandoning the 'plug directly into the body of the tool' concept that really irritated us in earlier models.
The Bosch is going to retail for around $200, (Makita $175, Milwaukee $200) and, like the Makita, it has a one-year warranty (the Milwaukee has a five-year). We usually don't mention warranties, but for something that you're going to abuse as much as a good recip saw, it might be worth considering.
June 9, 2008
Our pals over at Charles & Hudson have put together their list of the top tools for breaking, ripping, smashing, prying, and generally dismantling. Their choices range from the primitive (14 lb sledgehammer) to the mechanically advanced (DeWalt's Demo Hammer). Although we'd probably add the Artillery Bar, we think their list is pretty right on. .
Check out their list here