Guides

November 23, 2011

A Couple Black Friday Tool Deals 2011

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Here are some deals that have come across the desk as well as the names of some trusted retailers....

Rockwell
Rockwell BladeRunner, $159.00, plus free shipping
Rockwell VersaCut Saw, $119.00, plus free shipping
Rockwell JawHorse & Plywood Jaw, $169.00, plus free shipping
Rockwell JawHorse & Work Table, $169.00, plus free shipping

These special exclusive online offers will be available here on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24 and Black Friday, Nov. 25, 2011.

Powermatic
There's a bonanza in store for woodworkers who take advantage of POWERMATIC's Golden Black Friday sales event from November 25-29. Save up to an extra 15 percent off selected products and all accessoriesto keep your workshop running at peak performance. Click the this link to view POWERMATIC woodworking products included in the five-day sale.

Jet
From November 25-29, you'll save up to 28 percent off selected JET woodworking machinery and 15 percent off all JET accessories and mobile bases. Over the course of the code-red sale, JET will highlight its major product categories with tools to keep your workshop humming at peak performance. Click here to see products on sale now.

Also, while you're on the website, enter JET's Workshop Sweepstakes. New prizes are given away each month and winners qualify to win the grand prize valued at $3,400.

WORX
Lawn and garden enthusiasts can dodge Black Friday shoppers by simply
logging onto the net and clicking here for once-a-year deals on some of your favorite WORX yard tools, including:
WORX TriVac Blower & free Leaf Collection System, $89.00, plus freeshipping
WORX GT Trimmer & free Blower Sweeper, $119.00
WORX JawSaw & free sharpening for life, $119.00
WORX SnowThrower, $219.00
This exclusive online offer will be available on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24 and Black Friday, Nov. 25, 2011.

As far as retailers that we'd recommend, we'd have to stick with the old faithfuls...

Ohio Power Tool
(a sponsor of this site)
Tool Nut (crazy Jets fans from NY)
Amazon (Juggernaut)

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

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August 11, 2011

AnswerArmy.com

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Husqvarna has gone and snagged the greatest domain name since HampsterDance.com and established AnswerArmy, an online help desk for all of their associated brands. This means there's info on Husqvarna, Poulan, Poulan Pro, Weed Eater, and McCulloch.

We roamed around on the site for a bit and it's nicely organized and looks like it has some good information on it. In their press release, Husqvarna states that,

The "Army" is virtually staffed by Husqvarna product experts with over 500 collective years of category experience, who verify that all answers are accurate and correct.

We love statements like this because we always immediately imagine a 500-year-old fossil checking all of the answers.

Become a PFC in the AnswerArmy.

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

May 25, 2011

Tools of the Trade - Product Watch

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The latest issue of Tools of the Trade is out and with it, my latest Product Watch column. It's a roundup of a about 20 new items of interest to the tradesman. It's not all hand and power tools either (although there is a lot of that), so there's plenty that you'll see that isn't covered on Tool Snob. It's got everything from a freaky mixing paddle to a bizarre and very unsettling jobsite security system to a extraordinarily useful ladder.

Have at it here.

And do yourself a favor and subscribe here.

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

April 21, 2011

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hardwood Flooring (but had no idea you had to ask)

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The guys over at OneProjectCloser have put together a mega-mondo-eXtreme-BigBubba-Uber-Darth Vader compendium on how to install hardwood flooring. We checked it out and it seems to us that they've got all the bases covered. They even talk about the crucial (but often ignored) step of acclimating the wood before install. We can't tell you how may floors we've seen open up because of people ignoring this step.

So if you've got a hardwood floor install in your future, go and bookmark that puppy for later reference.

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

March 10, 2011

DiggersList Now Nationwide

diggerslist.gifOver a year ago, we told you about the launch of DiggersList, a new classifieds list specifically covering the types of things that fiscally conscious DIYers go bananas over. Old sinks, antique moldings, funky tables, and five-panel doors.

At the time, the site was only really active in a number of areas, but we've just gotten word that they've fully expanded to every corner of the country. We just checked our area and at the moment there aren't a huge number of listings, but what is there looks good, and hopefully as more people find out about the site, it'll only improve.

Press release with all the facts and figures is after the jump.

Otherwise, check out DiggersList.

ArrowContinue reading: "DiggersList Now Nationwide"

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

November 28, 2010

Mega-Mondo-Uber Reader-Generated 2010 Holiday Gift Guide for Tool Snob

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Well, we did our gift guide now you guys have done yours. Last week we opened the discussion to get your take on what tools you're all hoping to get this year. You guys responded and after looking through your comments, we've assembled this list. It doesn't have all of the items that you all suggested, but it has a lot of them. At first, we were going to rewrite everything into an ordered fashion, but we scrapped that idea once we realized how long it would take. Since we want to get this done for the big Cyber-Monday shopping bonanza, we've decided to simply use your own words.

We've also decided to separate out these first five items because they were mentioned over and over and over...

1. Milwaukee M12 Radio
2. Bosch Axial Glide Miter Saw
3. Milwaukee M12 Jacket
4. Senco Fusion
5. Rockwell Jawhorse

...and so the rest of this list is....

...On the top of my list is definitely a new 18ga finish nailer. I'm thinking either the Bostitch or Ridgid, as they seem like good tools and are available at most local HDs...

Oneida Dust Collection System would just generally make my workshop a more comfortable place to work - not to mention healthier and cleaner.

Porter Cable Quik Jig
Nice new take on pocket hole jigs. I'm going to be finishing a kitchen with butcher block countertops that I need to join on end and I think this would work really well for that.

Hitachi NV45AB2 7/8-Inch to 1-3/4-Inch Roofing Nailer
Going to be roofing a barn next summer. A roofing gun would be great!

Makita AN611 1-1/4-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch Coil Siding Nailer
Also going to be siding said barn.

Makita LXT407 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 4-Piece Combo Kit
Sometimes my old 14.4v Makita Drill/driver and Impact Driver just don't cut it... er... drill it or drive it.

Fluke 1AC-A1-II Volt-Alert AC Non-Contact Voltage Tester
A known and trusted name in testing and this one has a distinct advantage, regular AAA batteries!

Klein JSDS02 7-Piece Journeyman Screwdriver Set
The tips on my old craftsman set have finally died. Screwdrivers are an oft over-looked item and a well made set can make the difference between cramped hands, stripped screws and ergonomic comfort and easy driving.

Milwaukee Fastback Knife. Looks like it might be a lot friendlier to use than my current knife.

1. I'd like to get a nice aluminum track straight edge I can use for a saw guide.
2.Some more Plano 3700 organization boxes for storage.
3.World peace.
4. A subscription to "Shop Notes".
5. A router with 1/2" chuck.

...The strait Flush Saw and since I had to put in a new kitchen floor this past week I realize the need for a toekick saw and wail I'm listing all the saws I want throw in a jam saw...

...I'm really interested in both the Milwaukee M12 Inspection Camera and the Milwaukee M12 Sub-Scanner this Christmas. I live in a ~100 year old home and frequently work in a few nearby. These things would come in very, very handy for all the nooks-n-crannies and settings where homes have been remodeled 10+ times with no documentation or easy access to where stuff is at...

...I'm just getting started in woodworking so my full list is quite big. I would love to have the Bosch Colt router as a small router to go alongside my 1617EVSPK I just got...

1. M12 Palm Nailer
2. M12 Hackzall
3. And a new 18v hammer drill/drill. My Bosch Brute is about done.

Bucket Boss type thing
Self centering drill bits
Oscillating spindle sander
Wool socks to keep my feet warm
A Stormy Kromer to keep my head warm

Sawstop 1.75hp Professional Saw - I'm a woodworker limited to a 120v shop, and I'd really like to upgrade from my 10 year old Delta Contractors saw, and this is by far the best upgrade. I like my digits.


Veritas Medium Shoulder Plane
- been on the list for quite some time....

Milwuakee Compact 12v Drill/Driver and Impact Driver combo... for when my herd of Bosch 12v critters just don't have the ooompah.

Stanley makes a panel carrier that's inexpensive and looks quite handy, just hard to find.

...Milwaukee's M12 2426-20 Multi-Tool (bare tool for me - since I've already bought into the line) is on my list - along with a Makita BPB180Z (bare tool) cordless bandsaw...

...my wife let me buy a new milwaukee m18 driver and impact set for my b-day. now lets see if she lets me get the matching circular saw...

...On the top of my Christmas wish list for tools is a Festool T15+3 drill. As a DIY guy, I have helped family members build houses; built 500+ linear feet of 6 ft. board-on-board fence; And with the help of my father, finished a basement. In the process, I have "smoked" three cordless drills. My fourth, an 18v (brand omitted) is now starting to emit electrical smells when driving even small stuff. I suspect failure is near. In addition, at 18v, I am sure it will not be pretty...

...I've got a set of wera screwdrivers, some drawer liner, a Streamlight MicroStream Flashlight and a pair of digital calipers on my list...

...I would like a festool tracksaw and a dewalt 12 volt lion impact driver for Christmas...

...I'd be happy with one of those rolling storage cases that Stanley or B&D makes....

...I'm getting into M12 this year, starting with the new oscillating tool and an impact driver, then maybe their version of a Seesnake so I can see what's going on in my 80+ year old ceilings. I'm anticipating dozens of teeny tiny mouse skeletons...

craftsman screwdrivers
B&D Workmate
gloves, glasses, earplugs, utility knives, Stanley Powerlock tape measures can never have enough of them.

...Jet parallel clamps. It would be fun to do a glue-up just once that I wasn't frantically trying to get everything square while my mind ticks down through the glue's open time...

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

November 27, 2010

Our Trusted Online Tool Retailers

credit_cards.jpgWe guard our credit card info like it's the last beer on earth. Not just anyone with an online store front gets our 16 digits and you're probably the same way. So we're going to highlight three online tool retailers that we can vouch for. We're not saying that these are the only good ones out there, but they're the ones that we've dealt with and bought from and can say with 100% certainty that they're trustworthy, legit, and beyond stellar on the customer service front.

So here are the chosen few who, if they wanted, could steal our info and head off to Mexico with the Tool Snob fortune:

1. Ohio Power Tool - This is a great family run business located in Columbus Ohio (and sponsors of ours!). Our pal Jay (the second generation) is busy streamlining their online presence and writing the great tool blog Coptool. While OPT is geared toward heavy-duty tradesman tools, you never know what you're going to find while sifting through their online catalog. They also have a great parts selection (which we discussed in detail here).

2. Tool Nut - Another family-owned brick and mortar store that is making the move to the online world. Their prices are great, but make sure to sign up for their weekly newsletter in order to get the real steals. Tool Nut actually goes far beyond power tools with a great selection of building materials (including plumbing, electrical, and HVAC) as well as wood shop equipment (lathes, planers, drum sanders, etc.). They're also one of the very few US retailers of the Tanos Systainer storage cases (our review here), the ones that Festool made famous. The site for those is called Systainerworld.

3. Tool King - Again with the whole family run store taking the jump to the online world. These guys have a large selection and also a section for reconditioned tools, if you're into that. Tool King is also in the blogging business with Toologics.com and they also operate Tooliday.com, a site which highlights a new bargain each day.

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

November 25, 2010

Black Friday Tool Deals - 2010

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So there's a lot going on and here are some things that caught our eye...

For starters, there are big tool bargain roundups at blackfriday.info, dealnews.com, and theblackfridaynews.com

Amazon's HQ for Black Friday (probably through at least Monday) sales is here. We'd call out some items, but it's likely that they'll be shifting things around all weekend, and knowing them, probably on an hour by hour basis.

Ohio Power Tool - They're offering free shipping until the end of the year. Their top deals page is here. The one we like is that if you get the Milwaukee M12 driver and Hackzall kit, they'll throw in an M12 drill for free. More info on that one here. There's also the Ridgid Pinup Calendar, free with any Ridgid order or $15 on its own here. We also got word that there are going to be other cool deals starting Monday.

Tool Barn - They've also got free shipping, in addition to an automatic 10%-15% off depending on the brand. More info here.

Tool Nut - There are some nice deals listed here (make sure to check out the title of the page), particularly the Fein MultiMaster price ($299 for the FMM Top...oh snap!). They also have some crazy deals on woodworking equipment here.

Sears - It looks like there will be a shifting selection of deals here. Right now, there's a lot of nice prices for hand tool sets and tool storage.

Acme Tools (formerly Tool Crib) - Their front page has a scrolling selection of bargains. Some good prices as well as some 'buy one, get one free' sort of things.

Harbor Freight - We're not sure if HF is having any Black Friday sales, but everything is so inexpensive there, it's sort of like every day is Black Friday. Their tag line is, "Quality Tools at Ridiculously Low Prices." At least they've got it half right. Actually, we shouldn't say that, there are a lot of people who have contacted us saying that their $35 oscillating tool works great.

Tool King - There are a lot of deals here, so check their main page
for the low down. Seem like they've got some stellar deals on the DeWalt 12-volt line among others.

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

November 15, 2010

Tool Snob's Official and Unexpurgated Guide to Making a Tool Demolition Video

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So this is officially a trend: tool companies making videos of themselves, or their surrogates, distributing violence upon one or more of their tools. I've been dribbling these videos out to you as I get word of them, but since I now see it as a full on fad, I've decided to collect my thoughts on the genre. After viewing all of the tool destruction videos I could get my eyes on, I've come to some distinct conclusions on what makes a good one and what makes a bad one. I've compiled this list of six items that I feel should be taken into consideration when putting together one of these anarchy-riddled videos.

ArrowContinue reading: "Tool Snob's Official and Unexpurgated Guide to Making a Tool Demolition Video"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (6) | social bookmarking

November 12, 2010

Tool Snob 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

holiday_gift_guide2010.jpgBosch GCM12SD Axial Glide Miter Saw - This one is a late addition and it wasn't on the first version of this list because we hadn't yet been able to get any real hands on time with it. Well one showed up at the shop and we're not pretty confident in saying that if someone on your list likes tools, this saw, as a gift, will make their jaw hit the floor. There's a lot good to say about it, but the brass tacks are that its footprint is very small when compared to a regular 12" saw...or 10" for that matter. And that's simply something that anyone from the working carpenter to the DIYer will appreciate. Without a sliding rail system, the Bosch can be backed right up to a wall, saving a foot of space. Might not sound like much but take into account the need for a work support to the left and right of the saw. Now, you see what we're saying. Technology like this isn't cheap, but all things considered, the Bosch is a (we think) very reasonable $700. Amazon.com

Rockwell JawHorse - Might as well get this one out of the way first. Since it's release, the JawHorse has been Lord of the Tool Snob Gift Guide. If it seems like we're hell bent on making sure that every house in America has one, it's because we are. We use ours for everything. If someone you know has a garage workshop, this funky tool will become their best friend.
Our review here.
$170 at Amazon.com
There are also accessories available at Amazon.com

Ridgid JobMax - It slices, it sands, it pounds, it twists, it drills, and it all fits in a small duffel bag. Redefining what a multi-purpose tool is capable of doing, the JobMax is a good gift for everyone from the most experienced carpenter to the handy apartment-dweller. Our review here. Kits starting at $99 at Home Depot.

Worx GT 24-Volt Trimmer - Has your loved one ever drop-kicked a string trimmer across the driveway? Have they ever thrown a chainsaw at a tree? This is a common behavior response to an uncooperative 2-stroke engine and, at least on the string trimmer side of things, Worx has put a stop to the hair-pulling frustration. Their trimmer is light as a leaf and powerful enough for most standard lawn tasks. If you're trying to clear a haying field, look for something else, but if you're looking for a pain-free way to tidy up the lawn, this is it.
Our review here
$150 at Amazon.com

Insulate and Weatherize - Sure a book about insulation sounds boring, but it's really not. This is actually a fantastic book that every homeowner should read, particularly those of us who have an affinity for old houses. It's not so much about insulation as it is about how a house functions and what it takes to get the most out of the conditioned space. It's good for someone interested in the science behind their home as well as the person looking for an insulation game plan. We highly recommend this one.
Our review here
$13 at Amazon.com

Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool - Our favorite of the never ending line of rotary tools pouring out of Dremel HQ. This one has some serious kick to it and it's about as comfortable in the hands as a tool can get. The different kits come with different accessories, the tool is the same.
Our review here
Dremel 4000 2/30 at Amazon.com ($80)
Dremel 4000 3/34 at Amazon.com ($87)
Dremel 4000 6/50 at Amazon.com ($150)

Irwin GrooveLock Pliers - Hellloooooo stocking stuffer.
Our review here
Various sizes for various prices at Amazon.com

Made by Hand - We liked this book when we initially read it, but now, as time passes, we think back on it and that fondness has sort of grown. It's a funny little book about the author's forays into the DIY lifestyle. It's not meant to be a how-to as much as a source of inspiration. So it's a good gift for someone who might be thinking about walking down the enlightening and treacherous path of altering, fixing, and re-purposing. And if nothing else, the book might provide the spark needed to start home-brewing kombucha (it did us).
Our review here
$17 at Amazon.com

MegaPro 13-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver - If a $40 screwdriver sounds insane then you've obviously never used the MegaPro. It's got it all; hidden bit storage, smooth ratcheting action, and a nice, solid feel. Mrs. Tool Snob absconded with our review sample, she liked it so much.
Our review here
$40 at Amazon.com

Jake's Run - This is a book that has nothing to do with tools, other than the fact that the main character is a part-time carpenter and it was written by Father of Tool Snob. We think it's a fantastic book, but we're definitely biased, so don't take our word for it, take those of Howard Frank Mosher: "Jerome R. Mahoney is a fine writer, with a great sense of humor. He understands small-town life inside out and knows how to create characters that readers will care about. Jake's Run is an entertaining and insightful novel." So if someone on your gift list enjoys a) a good (and truly funny) story and b) the rural way of living, they'll enjoy this book.
$15 at Amazon.com and JeromeMahoney.com

Skil Flooring Saw - We just reviewed this one and it's sort of a DIY wonder tool. It's a table saw and a miter saw in one small, portable package. While it works great for flooring projects, it's also perfect for the small scale DIYer who wants a lot of functionality, but doesn't have a whole lot of space. If you know any ambitious apartment dwellers, this tool could take them to the next level.
Our review here
$150 at Amazon.com

Senco Fusion F-15 Cordless Finish Nailer - Along with the Bosch Axial Glide Miter Saw, the Senco Fusion has been one of the big stories in the tool world this year. This finish gun provides pneumatic power with the ease of a cordless tool. We've grown to love ours and the person on your gift list will grow to love theirs too (if you can afford to buy it, that is. This one ain't cheap).
Our review here
$400 at Amazon.com

Oscillating Tools
- Instead of recommending a single brand, we'll give a quick rundown of our general thoughts on the category. *Ahem.* Get the Fein MultiMaster if you want the best. There is no real comparison between this one and the others. The Fein is simply of a far superior quality. It's expensive though (kits starting at $250 at Amazon.com...our review here...and make sure to get the 250Q with the quick change chuck). The Rockwell Sonicrafter is a nice tool as well and is good if you're not willing to spend the cash on the Fein (kits starting at $125 at Amazon.com...our review here). We're generally wary of the cordless models, but found the Craftsman to be very nice ($85 at Amazon.com...our review here).

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

November 10, 2010

Six Home Improvement Magazines

jlc_cover.jpgMarc over at Home Fixated has compiled a nice list of six magazines that he feels are essential reading for the DIY minded.

We like his selections (particularly when he mentions Tool Snob), but we would like to add, for consideration, the mega monster known as JLC. Unquestionably, the best building magazine out there and no doubt geared towards the pro, each issue of The Journal of Light Construction is jammed with information that would be useful to any aggressive DIYer. We've been reading it for years and we still smile when we see it in the mailbox.

Check out Home Fixated's magazine list here.

Check out JLC online here.

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

October 15, 2010

Basement Waterproofing Pro

foundation_stone.jpgWith a 100 year-old farmhouse, complete with an ever-shifting fieldstone foundation, we are becoming full-time students of the various theories of basement waterproofing.

One site that we've found that has been of particular help is Basement Waterproofing Pro. It's a good one stop site for pretty much any question we've ever had about interior and exterior drainage. How do you prevent seepage? Is waterproofing the walls from the inside even worth it? etc. Even if you're not going to do the work yourself, it's a great place to get information so you don't get scammed. We've found that everyone we've ever spoken to has a different theory on basement waterproofing and this site makes the most sense out of all of them.

It's not a flashy site, so don't go there expecting flash movies of cartoon people digging sump pumps, but it is a very informative one. There is also a state-by-state directory of waterproofing companies as well as an article on how to avoid getting scammed by shady contractors.

Check out the site here.

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

September 2, 2010

International Woodworker's Fair Coverage at Woodworker's Journal

We just discovered that Chris Marshall from Woodworker's Journal was at the IWF this year and he brought a video camera. Jay from CopTool picked out the non-uber-woodworkery videos and posted them up, with some commentary, here. If you're interested in the full compliment of videos in all of their clamping, dovetailing, and biscuit joining glory, you should head directly over to Woodworker's Journal IWF page. Here's a video on the Porter-Cable pocket hole system (discussed here) that should whet the appetite...

By the way, we've spent some time hanging out with Chris Marshall and not only is he a great writer and extremely knowledgeable, but he's a really great guy as well. It's worth following him over at WJ.

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

July 30, 2010

DiggersList.com

diggerslist.gifIf you're a scrounger, you know there are a lot of deals on building materials out there. And one more resource to add to your repertoire is Digger's List, which is basically a specialized CraigsList for the home improvement crowd. At the moment, it has pages for 31 cities and will likely be expanding as time goes on.

One thing that separates Digger's List from the rest of the online classified is that they've partnered with Habitat for Humanity ReStores (a seller of donated building materials), so there's likely to be a good rotation with their stock.

The layout an navigation are nice and it didn't take long before we found about ten things that we want to buy (from a ShopSmith to a pile of reclaimed lumber). We also have a garage half-full of things we need to sell which looks like it's pretty easy to set up as well.

The site is still pretty new, so there's not an overwhelming amount of stuff, but what they have it worth a look. We hope that it catches on.

Check out Digger's List

There's a press release after the jump, if you want more details...

ArrowContinue reading: "DiggersList.com"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

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