May 20, 2009
If you're down with dopey flash games, click over to Xactware and go to town. They've got three games, all of which make the original Pong look like advanced computing technology. But still, if you've got nothing to do for three or four minutes, they're worth a look and they're all vaguely construction related.
There's a memory game, an obstacle course game, and one where you move items around a floor plan. Exciting.
Xactware is the maker of some high-powered construction software for estimating and project management.
The games are here.
May 12, 2009
If there ever was a beauty pageant for the tool lover, it's the National Hardware Show (in Vegas no less). All of the latest and greatest tools are exhibited and the Judge Judys of the tool world (i.e. magazine editors, freelance writers, and obnoxious bloggers like us, etc) are on hand to snoop, sniff, and generally suss out the successes from the failures. Popular Mechanics was on hand for the event and they've released their thoughts on the best tools to emerge from this year's crop.
Looking at their list makes us wish we had made the trip out to the show. They've collected some tools we're familiar with, like the Goldblatt Blade Runner and the amazing Nail Jack (our review here), but they've also found a few things that we've yet to see or even hear about, such as the Little Giant Six-Foot Step Ladder, the Deck Wrecker, and an amazing looking level from C.H. Hanson.
We're hoping to get a closer look at some of these tools in the upcoming days, but in the meantime, do yourself a favor and check out the list at Popular Mechanics.
Best of 2009 Hardware Show at Popular Mechanics
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 28, 2009
We've seen references in a few places about the launch of a new site called tools.com. Currently the site is nothing more than a placeholder with some extensive legal disclaimers and a place to leave your email address so you can be notified when the site officially launches. The tag line, "the right tool at the right price," makes us to think it's some sort of retail/price comparison site, maybe with a reader ranking system like over at Tool-Rank and ToolCritic or possibly some kind of auction site. Judging from the detailed legal disclaimers, it's either backed by a little coin or someone has a kickass legalzoom.com account. We're also pretty intrigued by the line, "Our site is not directed towards children 13 years of age or younger..." Sweet.
No matter what it is, 'the best thing to happen to tools since electricity' is quite a claim, particularly after watching an episode of Hot for Tools. So head on over to tools.com and log in to get alerted when the site launches. Or if you don't want to, we've done it and we'll probably post something here when it all goes down.
April 24, 2009
Apparently as part of Lenox's trade show demonstrations they've been cutting cars in half (more pictures here). From the looks of it, they're just cutting the roof and the stripped out floor of the car, not the doors or any of the exhaust system underneath. So in a functional sense, when you think about the amount of metal being cut, it's impressive, but not too surprising that a high-quality recip blade is up for the task. But from a showmanship perspective it's a different story. You've got to love the amount of effort involved just to make a cut that takes ninety seconds. Watching this makes us wonder if the $500 trade-in on the old Jeep is worth it, or if we should keep the vehicle around for blade testing purposes.
Here's a video...
Lenox blades at Amazon.com
April 21, 2009
Cool Tools (the website, not the TV show) is currently looking for an editor to take over for at least a few months while Kevin Kelly finishes up his book. This is a good opportunity for anyone out there who reads sites like Tool Snob and thinks that they could do a far better job of it because running a daily website is totally easy.
If you're a writer with an interest in all of the odd little items that make life easier, you should consider applying. Not only would it be a good experience, but Cool Tools would be an great site to be associated with. Don't fool yourself though, there's a decent workload associated with the position. Posting every day takes a lot of time, especially at first.
There are details on what they're looking for, how much you'll be paid, and how to apply here.
March 17, 2009
Here is another collection of photos showing the safety practices of people with room temperature IQs. This stuff boggles the mind.
See the photos at IBEW Local 725
See our first installment of Safety Last here
March 10, 2009
If you like pounding beers while you're out 'working' in the garage but don't want anyone to know how much of a boozer you are, this could be the best $300 you'll ever spend. Designed by Genuine Hotrod Hardware, the Tool Box Refrigerator is made to look exactly like a regular old tool cabinet. In all functional respects, it's a standard dorm room fridge (complete with Dispense-A-Can can stacker!), but in order to hide it's real purpose, the fridge has simulated drawer pulls, a top drawer lock, and it rolls around on locking casters.
via Random Good Stuff
March 4, 2009
With the December arrival of Tool Snob Jr., you all knew that it was just a matter of time before we started dredging up this kind of stuff. We promise though that we're going to keep it to a minimum and that we're not going to turn into one of those irritating people who never stops talking about their kids, so just give us this one pass.
So Bosch makes these little tool toys for the (really) junior woodworker in your life. There are two items here; one is a full on workbench, complete with a vise, hand tools, and some nuts and bolts; the other is a little jackhammer that comes with some work gloves and ear protection. We think it would be more authentic if they each came with a little plastic cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, but that's just us. Six months ago, we would have thought these toys were about the lamest thing ever, but now we think they're pretty cool. Funny how that happens.
We were tipped off about the Bosch Tool Toys by none other than the great Rob Foster. Follow his twitter updates here.
Bosch Tool Shop at Target
Bosch Jackhammer at Amazon.com
February 20, 2009
Yesterday, Tool Snob turned a whopping two years old. After some routine celebration (pictured), it occurred to us that we should honor this prophecy-breaking, logic-defying event with a sort of Tool Snob Retrospective. So we went and collected together the articles that come to mind when we think back over the past two years. In most cases, they're not the most popular or the ones that got linked to by anyone important, but just some of the ones that, for one reason or another, stick out in our memory...
DeWalt Offers Saw Blade Sharpening Service - This was our first official post (there is actually one before it, on a snow blower, that was a test post done by someone else). It's an ok post, but pretty lame for the big opener. Wouldn't you think we'd have done something on a Festool track saw or maybe a new Bosch release? Nope, we thought we would underwhelm you with DeWalt's new sharpening service. By setting the bar so low, there was really no where to go but up.
Ridgid Fuego - This was one of our first real reviews. We have fond memories of climbing up the ladder and dropping the saw, just to make sure that the footplate would, as the product literature states, survive such a tumble (it did). It's also worth noting the ridiculous length of the review. It's like Herman Melville without the talent.
Pole Wrap - This is an interesting little product that dresses up a lally column. The post had the line, "[Pole-Wrap] wrap[s] around the Lally column, making it look not so much like a stripper's pole and more like a piece of intentional architecture." Simple enough right? We thought so, until we started getting all sorts of traffic from people searching for, "how to build stripper's pole," and "install stripper's pole in basement." It was our first real lesson on search terms.
Ryobi 4-Volt Li-Ion Screwdriver - It's funny, but sometimes we get all excited about a post and it turns out that no one really cares. With all the insanity over Ryobi's four-piece li-ion kit, we were sure that our post on the 4-volt would be popular. In reality though, not so much. Maybe ten of you read it.
Arbortech AS160 Brick and Mortar Saw- Then there are times when the opposite happens. We saw the Arbortech AS160 at a trade show and thought it was a cool item, so we wrote up a piece on it. We had never heard of the company and we thought the saw was a real niche tool and that the article would quickly disappear into the shadowy depths of the Tool Snob archives. But the word got out and people were searching for it, so over time it became one of the most popular things we've ever put up on the site. Go figure.
Cadex CPB23.50 23 Gauge Pinner - Of all the tools we've reviewed over the past two years, this one might be the finest. It's not necessarily our favorite (although it might be), but it's a complete stand-out in the arena of quality. We get a little buzz each time we hold the thing.
Keith Walendowski: American Hero - We love Keith and all that he represents.
...And there it is. Thanks to everyone for reading.