November 27, 2008
We had the opportunity to email Chris Grundy (the host of DIY Network's Cool Tools) some questions and he was good enough to give us some answers....
1. What do you think of the cordless 36-volt tool systems (Bosch, DeWalt)? Isn't 18-volts enough, or do you think that there are enough occasions where the extra power is needed to warrant 36-volts?
The additional run time for the more power hungry tools like saws definitely make it worth it for pros on the jobsite or serious DIYers that don't want to get tangled in extensions or working with an umbilical cord of power just is not an option.
2. Do you have a favorite out of the new crop of oscillating tools? Rockwell, Dremel, Bosch, others?
I haven't tried the Rockwell yet. As for the others - gotta love that the Bosch is cordless but Dremel's pricing on the tool and accessories brings this handy tool to everyone, including the folks that didn't even know that they could work without it. We can't forget the Fein Multimaster either. It was the original oscillating tool and is still a great choice - it's well engineered tool though often a little pricier than the competition.
3. Festool Kapex...worth it?
Worth it?...Please, is my Ferrari worth it? I could still be driving my Pacer but it just doesn't handle the same. The Festool systems are important when you want the ultimate accuracy and that comes with an ultimate price tag. I know, I know "It's not the tools it's the craftsman", riiiight... ask Tiger Woods to play with a hockey stick. It never hurts to have the best possible club in your bag. And I also find it exciting in the way they are inspiring the rest of the industry to kick it up a notch.
We've actually never seen Cool Tools because we scrapped our cable service in a fit of disgust over a year ago, but we've seen clips and it looks pretty cool if you can handle Grundy's heavily-caffeinated personality. They will be airing a special "Holiday Blitz" of Cool Tools episodes for the Thanksgiving weekend (starting 11/27 through 11/30), and the new season of Cool Tools will air immediately after the Holiday Blitz on Thursdays at 9pm. So check that out and let us know how it is.
More information about the show is here. It looks like they've also got a contest with a $15,000 cash prize.
November 26, 2008
We saw over at CopTool that Ridgid has unveiled their 2009-2010 Calendar. It's not exactly "family-friendly," but if you don't mind your workshop looking like the back room at the auto-parts store, it might be perfect for you.
It costs $15 and is available directly from Ridgid or if you purchase over $100 of Ridgid tools at Ohio Power Tools you can get one for free. Details here.
November 23, 2008
On Friday, we told you about Tool Crib's scoop on the possible Nail Jack takeover of a Nebraskan Vise-Grip factory. Today, we're lifting another one of their posts, this one containing a new video of the famed SawStop.
We've all seen the SawStop vs. Hot Dog video and have been impressed, but there was always a part of us that thought that using a hot dog to demonstrate the finger-saving blade brake was a little lame. If this tool really works, why doesn't someone from the company step up and jam their finger in the thing? Well now, the inventor of the tool Steve Gass has done just that.
The clip looks like it's a segment from some Discovery Network show. It's got a lot of great video of the saw brake in action and at the very end, you get to watch a guy stick his finger in a whirling table saw blade. The whole thing is amazing.
Check out Tool Crib's post here.
November 20, 2008
At least when you lose your tool bag, you know that it's still on the same planet. Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, while doing some external maintenance on the International Space Station on Tuesday watched helplessly as her bag of tools floated away from her and into the history books.
Stefanyshyn-Piper was in the first stages of a five hour space walk when the incident occurred. It seems that one of the grease guns in the tool bag leaked all over her hands and while she was cleaning off her gloves, the bag, which was supposed to be tied down, floated away.
The bag contained a couple grease guns, two scrapers, a trash bag and a debris container. The reported value of which is somewhere around $100,000, which makes us wonder where the hell they do their shopping.
Space.com has an article about it here.
Check out the video.
November 11, 2008
Each year, Popular Science culls through the latest innovations and inventions to create their comprehensive Best of What's New Issue. It's a huge undertaking and the results are worth at least a 1/2 hour of your internet browsing time.
They just went live with their website for this year's issue and you should go there and check out all the winners. Obviously, we're most interested in the 'Home Tech' category, but, like we said, it's a site built for browsing, and all of the selections are, at the very least, interesting.
And while you're over at their site, check out the article on DeWalt's new corded technology. We covered the basics the other day, but they actually get a look inside the motor and explain why the new tools are so powerful. Read the article here.
Check out Popular Science's Best of What's New list here.
October 29, 2008
This Old House has sponsored a pumpkin carving contest and the results are completely off the handle. Over at their website, you can page through the entries and vote for the ones that you like and dislike. Think of it as a 'Hot or Not' of the Halloween set. Voting is going to be open until noon tomorrow (Thursday).
We went through quite a few and although there are some weak ones in the bunch, the majority are really amazing. We've always been partial to Marty Feldman, so that one got our vote.
Check out the pumpkins and vote here.
Tool King has a new site up and it's called Tooliday. It's a simple one page with a new deal each day. Yesterday it was some spade bits for a few bucks, today it's a dead-blow hammer for $3.29. Monday, it was a finish gun.
Each deal is available for one day only (act now!) and there's even a convenient little ticker that tells you how much time you have left, adding even more pressure to buy. It's the sort of thing where if you go looking for something, you're not going to find it, but if you go there, you'll find something you need. Does that make any sense?
If you're hesitant about spreading that credit card around to online retailers you've never used before, we can vouch for Tool King. We've bought plenty of stuff from them over the years and they're as legit as they come.
Go to Tooliday here. It's worth a bookmark and a daily check in.
October 24, 2008
Continue reading: "RotoZip Cuts Martian Permafrost"
We're not kidding. Earlier in the week, while researching Rotozip's Dust Extraction Kit, we stumbled across the following press release:
September 18, 2008
We stumbled upon this interesting article at a site called Sippican Cottage. The writer describes his top ten tool list the following way:
These little tools matter. It's not that I can't get along without them. It's more like I'd lay down on the floor and die if they were taken away from me.
It's a great list and we admire his generally old-fashioned attitude toward things.
Read the list here.
September 16, 2008
...And we thought Keith Walendowski was worthy of praise. How about John Milkovisch? In 1968, Mikovisch, sick of mowing his lawn, started covering is backyard with decorative bits of metal, rock, redwood, and concrete. With the lawn completely covered and his artistic star wanting to shine brighter, Mikovisch then began to re-side his house with crushed beer cans.
When he was done, it was estimated that over 50,000 beer cans were used. If you look at the picture above, it becomes clear that Mikovisch wasn't just buying them and pouring them out. He might have one of the best muffin-tops we've ever seen.
Mikovisch passed on in 1988, but his amazing legacy lives on. His Beer Can House just underwent a seven-year, $400,000 restoration (we're not kidding) and is now open to the public on the weekends.
Visit the official site of the Beer Can House.
New York Times article about the house here.