GearWrench has been nice enough to set aside 10 (ten, diez) of their new 120XP Flex Head Ratchet for us to giveaway here at the site.
They also sent one a couple weeks ago and we're nothing but impressed with the thing. It has an adjustable head with six positions, a 3/8" drive and a nice long handle - 11-1/2" from pivot to tip. The rubberized grip is comfortable and the action on the pivot is nice and firm. The head of the tool has a low profile and the toggle switch is even recessed a little, making this a great tool for tight spaces.
The scene stealer, though, is the ratcheting action. The 120 in the name of the tool comes from the number of 'stops' in one complete revolution. This is done with this double pawl mechanism, so there are actually two locking mechanisms in the head of the tool. If you click it slowly enough, you can hear the difference between clicks. Our pal Stu from ToolGuyd, took one apart and posted up this video of the gears in action:
So yeah, I've got ten of these to giveaway. To get in the mix for the random drawing, just leave a comment at this post explaining:
1. Why you like the looks of this tool.
2. Your most recent DIY disaster. I'm in the middle of a 2 year renovation and need some support group help. There must be others out there like me....
Either question is fine and doesn't affect the outcome. The drawing is completely random.
If you don't like the looks of the 3/8-inch flex head, GearWrench has the following which should be available at fine tool retailers everywhere:
• 1/4" Drive Flex Head Ratchet in full polish or cushion grip
• 3/8" Drive Flex Head Ratchet in full polish, stubby and cushion grip
• 1/2" Drive Flex Head Ratchet in full polish
• Two-piece cushion grip Flex Head Ratchet Set, with a durable foam storage tray
• Four- piece full polish mixed ratchet set, which includes ¼", 3/8", and ½" drive 120XP full polish Flex Head Ratchets and 3/8" drive 120XP full polish stubby Flex Head Ratchet in a durable foam storage tray
Since we first heard about them a year and a half ago, we've been very impressed with Hardcore Hammers, so when they dropped us a line letting us know they were getting into the hatchet business, we were pretty excited. Then, when they asked if they could send us one to review, we went out and told the woodpile that the day of reckoning was near.
We covered this a couple weeks ago and LaGesse Products, the manufacturer, was nice enough to send one along for us to try out. So we swapped it with our old rusty Stanley combo square and went to town. It's been our primary combo square for about a month. So far it has helped us run a bunch of trim, frame a wall, and plumb a sink, along with all of the other odds and ends that combo squares gets used for.
It is our opinion that Veto Pro Pac makes the best tool bags in the industry. Hands down. No question. They can handle any and all abuse, there are a wide variety of models available, and most importantly, they're designed for not only storage but organization. The unique vertical pockets means a lot of tools in a little space with all of them somehow remaining accessible. We've had one of their XLs (review here) for over a year and we have no idea what we would do without it (or how we survived before it).
Adding the prefix "La" to anything construction is a bit unexpected, but in this case, it's a play on a guy's name, so it passes the test. The guy in question is Robert LaGesse and he's the inventor of the LaSquare. What's cool about the LaSquare...well, it's a combo square with a 2" wide foot on it.
Why is this interesting and worth a mention? Have you ever used a combo square to mark a metal stud, a piece of tubing, or a pipe? With the traditional tool, there's not enough flat edge to wrap the curve, but with the LaSquare's extended foot, the task becomes much easier.
Check out the video if you're not sure about what we're talking about...
So you're probably all familiar with the Little Giant Ladder. If not, it's a freaky sort of extension ladder that can transform itself through a lengthening or shortening of the legs into one of about fifty different configurations. They're very handy. They're also pretty heavy, but overall, great to have on site.
So last year, Little Giant brought the technology into the step ladder format and called it the Select Step. We thought this was a little strange and redundant, seeing as the standard Little Giant already can convert into something of a step ladder. We got in touch with the company and they sent us one to review. We've had this thing for a while now and honestly, it spent much of that time leaning against the wall in the garage. We never really dug into it until a few months ago when we brought it to the site.
Since then it has become something of a jobsite MVP.
Earlier in the year we got all in a tizzy over the Hardcore Hammer. It's a framing hammer with a two part face that solves some of the issues associated with the general wear and tear on a framing hammer. We really liked the thing, but it does get up into that "nearing $100 range for a hammer," which, no doubt, is pretty extreme. Our review is here. So Hardcore Hammer has recently come out with another model that has a little less bling and comes with a price tag that's much easier to swallow. That new item has the appealing name of "Blunt Force." How can you go wrong with a name like that? They sent us one so we could find out for ourselves.
There are a couple of ways to scribe something. Most people seem to use dividers, but we gave those up years ago in favor of any little scrap of wood that's handy. M.Power has a new method and it's a really clever idea. Best of all, it's called the "Perfect Butt," so we can't wait to see what kind of perverts google sends our way after posting this one up. M.Power sent us a sample so we could check out the item ourselves.
If you're a fan of Hardcore Hammers (and who isn't, really?), then we've got some news for you. Two things, really....
1. HH has just released a smooth faced version of their hammer called the Blunt Force. It's not the astounding piece of machined metal that their original hammer is (our review here), but it's pretty cool (and about 1/2 the price). We got our hands on one and have it sitting at the jobsite where it takes a daily beating. We hope to have a full review up soon.
2. HH also teamed up with Base Camp X, the makers of some very badass axes, to create a very ominous looking hammer. More details here (scroll down).
We recently reviewed (and gave exceptionally high marks to) Veto Pro Pac's LC and LC-OT tool bags. We liked them for their easy tool organization and their durable construction. At the time of the reviews we were pretty convinced that they were the greatest thing out there in tool transportation. Well, at the time, we hadn't yet put our hands on the LX which is a size larger than the other two. Well, now we can say that this one is the best tool bag ever. Really. It is.
Our homies at Channellock have set aside a roll of hand tools for us to give away to you, one of our readers for Father's Day. The tool set commemorates Channellocks 125th year in existence and will be engraved with "1886 - 2011 -- 125 Years Strong." The tool roll includes five tools:
430 Tongue and Groove Plier
420 Tongue and Groove Plier
337 Cutting Plier
3017 Long Nose Plier
526 Slip Joint Plier
Sorry about the bizarre red-tinted fire and brimstone plier image. The tools are much cooler looking in real life.
So yeah, it pretty much covers all of the basic pliers that a guy could want. We've been testing out the set and we really can't find anything wrong with them. They're made in the USA too, if that's important to you (and to a lot of you, we know it is). As far as we can tell, the tools are indestructible. The roll itself is cool too and very handy if you don't already have some kind of tool storage system going. We think our favorite are the needle nose. We end up using those for everything from holding a brad for nailing to fishing things that have fallen into ductwork.
So to enter to win, let us know your what your big summer projects are, either at work if you're a tradesman or at home if you do the DIY thing. Are you looking forward to the tasks, or are you dreading them? Feel free to make us laugh.
The non-anniversary version of the tool roll is priced at about $80. We'll pick a winner in about a week. If there are a lot of good entries, Marlowe the SuperCat will do the picking for us. Good luck.
Actually, we just noticed that Channellock has their own sweepstakes going as well, so you can get more information on that here.
Assorted Channellock items are available at Amazon
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.
Channellock has recently released the third version of their rescue tool. This latest generation is smaller than the rest and can fit in a back pocket. Designed for firefighters, first responders, and EMTs, the little item is filled with features that have little to do with everyday construction projects and everything to do with saving lives.
Everyone who's anyone has a set of locking pliers. Note: We're aware that they are more commonly referred to as Vise-Grips, but that is the name given to the tool by the most popular and influential manufacturer, Irwin. Swanson once sent lawyers after us for using 'Speed Square' in the generic sense, so we want to avoid having to deal with that BS again. Locking pliers are an essential part of the toolbox and their functionality seems to have remained fairly unchanged since the dawn of time. That is....until now (cue 2001: A Space Odyssey music).
Ralph A: This would have come in handy the last time I read more Richard K: Trying to replace the old interior door between my garage read more Kevin: me too. I'm my own worst enemy, as much as read more jeff_williams: I'm totally with you. Loathe painting, especially ceilings. Good to read more Jack Elliott: I have had my master bathrolm apart for the better read more