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.
February 11, 2009
Our ongoing investigation into the depths of human stupidity continues with the story of Criss Angel. It appears that Criss is some sort of daredevil/stuntman/illusionist, kind of like a David Blaine for the Pantera crowd. It looks like he's done some work in Vegas as well as on some TV show called Mindfreak. We just stumbled across a video of him attempting to catch a nail shot from a framing gun.
After enough posturing to fill a WWF superdome (we're always suspect of someone who loves to show off their scars), the nail is shot, it busts through the glass that Criss is, for some reason, standing behind, and our dear stuntman ends up with the projectile impaled through his hand. The next few moments are of Criss running around frantically, yelling for an ambulance and using other words that form a nearly continuous bleep.
But we smell a rat here (or in Criss's case, a "ratt"). In our own days of careless stupidity, we've manually pulled back the safety on a framing gun and shot a nail across the room, but because there's really no barrel (and definitely no rifling), the nails quickly start flipping end over end and lose much of their power in a relatively short amount of time (don't even bother try it at home. It's not safe and not all that impressive either). We can't imagine any situation where a nail could break through glass and still have enough force to puncture a man's hand. But in Chriss's stunt, the nail goes through the glass, maintains 'spear-formation' and still manages to go in one side of his hand and out the other. Either the gun has had some military modifications, or Criss figures he'll capture more eyeballs by being a failure rather than a success. And as if the credibility of this stunt isn't threadbare enough, the 'official onlooker' of the event is Anthony Michael Hall. Apparently there were no carpenters in the audience, because everyone seems stunned at the results.
So the sad part here is that Criss is not really a moron with a nail gun, he only pretends to be one.
January 23, 2009
We have mixed feelings about snowblowing; one one hand, we love firing up a piece of heavy machinery and blasting snow into our neighbors yard, but on the other hand, we're rarely thrilled to wake up at 5am to deal with nine inches of snow just so we can get to work.
But if there ever was a snowblower that would get us fired up every time we started it, this is it. Recently featured over at Popular Science, this monster is equipped with a V-8 engine (stripped off a Chevy) that gives the snow throwing blades a speed of 6000 rpm. The fact that it looks like something Mad Max would use to clear his walk only adds to the effect.
Check out the article and all the rest of the details over at Popular Science.
January 15, 2009
Did you know that spiders actually create scaffolding when they build their webs? We didn't. And when they're done with it, they eat it, probably because it's cheaper than having the staging company come and break it down. We found this interesting video over at Bits & Pieces (a thoroughly entertaining website) that explains the fascinating process.
It's sort of humiliating to know that something the size of a pencil eraser is better at building things than we are.
January 14, 2009
We just noticed that DeWalt has chosen a winner in their finish carpenter contest. Taking the grand prize is Stan Foster with an amazing curved staircase. Over at DeWalt, you can see about 1,000 images of Stan's winning project. It takes a while, but it's worth flipping through them, particularly if you have any interest in understanding how much effort goes into making a curved staircase.
Stan, our hats off to you. Absolutely amazing work.
Check out the contest results over at DeWalt
January 13, 2009
A bunch of our favorite tool blogs have done year end round ups of their most popular articles. Here's the run down:
Tool Crib's 25 Most Popular Articles
Toologics' 10 Most Read Articles of 2008
Charles & Hudson's Most Popular Posts 2008
CopTool's Top 8 Blog Posts of 2008
And of course, our own list of the Top Five Reviews that appeared on Tool Snob.
January 6, 2009
We thought we would take a look back at the traffic numbers of the past year to let you know which articles were the most popular (America voted!). Like last year's list, this ranking is taken from just straight up page views, so it naturally favors articles that appeared earlier in the year. It's interesting though that numbers five, four, and three were all written last year, so they had far more exposure than the number one review (which absolutely crushed the competition) written in the beginning of November!
So here they are, in descending order....
5. Ridgid Lithium-Ion 18-Volt Compact Drill
4. Ryobi 4-Piece Lithium Ion Power Tool Kit
3. Wagner Paint Crew Plus
2. Dremel Multi-Max / Bosch PS-50
...and the number one review of 2008 is....
Continue reading: "Tool Snob Top Five Reviews of 2008"
December 19, 2008
Six days without power and eight without phone and cable. It's all over now and we're watching a new storm start up. This one promising 6-12 inches of snow. There's also another one due for Sunday (snow mixing with rain). Fantastic.
We're back up though and in the coming days we're going to have reviews of the Rockwell Jawhorse, the Arbortech Power Chisel and Mini-Grinder, a new little hand sander, the Craftsman AutoHammer, and plenty more. We'll also announce the winners of the Paslode contest. Thanks for bearing with us through our 'technical difficulties.'
December 15, 2008
Last Thursday our town was pulverized by the ice storm that rolled through New England. The force of the storm came in two interlocking phases; first, the freezing rain covered everything in ice, and secondly, the wind worked over the heavy frozen branches causing them to snap like little tiny sticks. The destruction was impressive and the center of town looks like a tornado bounced through it. One of the many trees that fell managed to tear our power lines right off our house, which is why we've been under radio silence for the past few days. Not that we're complaining though, our neighbor's garage was practically sliced in two by a massive elm.
We kept the house going with a wood stove for the weekend, but finally realizing that we were doing little more than waste a whole lot of good wood, we moved our operation in with some relatives who have taken pity on our miserable state. Because our power was cut between the main line and the house, we're pretty low on the priority list as far as getting our power back goes.
We're not sure how much time we'll be able to spend on the site this week, but as soon as we can, we'll be back with daily updates (and a lot of articles on portable generators, flashlights, and hand-crank radios).
December 11, 2008