March 13, 2009

Dead On Annihilator Wrecking Bar

dead_on_annihilator.jpgWe saw this at the local Home Depot the other day and boy does it look baaaad assss. Seriously. We're fans of the Artillery Bar and we've always liked the Fu-Bar, but this is the first demo tool that we've seen that could also be used to fend off a goblin raiding party.

This thing has it all; a jaw for straightening 2x stock, a hammer head, a nail puller, an axe edge, and a mean looking chisel point at the base of the handle. We read somewhere that the hole at the tip can be used as a bottle opener, as if it wasn't impressive enough already.

The Annihilator costs about $40-$50 which is a good price for a high quality demo bar.

At Dead-On and Amazon.com

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

March 11, 2009

Irwin Announces Grand Prize Winner of Vise-Grip Contest

Thumbnail image for irwin_chopper.JPGA week or two ago, we told you about the three finalists in Irwin's Vise-Grip contest. There was the guy who had his exhaust system clamped to his manifold for 28 years with a pair of Vise-Grips; the Navy surgeon who removed some pins from a soldier's spine with a pair of Vise-Grips; and lastly, the fellow who crimped his brake line with a pair of Vise-Grips during the Baja 500.

As their big winner, Irwin chose the Navy surgeon and although we really like the guy who drove around for 28 years with a pair of pliers holding his truck together, we can't really dispute the winner. Saving a life is far more deserving of praise than being too cheap to repair your truck. The grand prize winner received a $25,000 custom chopper built by East Coast Custom Cycles.

From the press release:

A member of the U.S. Navy for more than 25 years, Dr. Fox found a unique use for his VISE-GRIP as a spine surgeon on the battlefield in the Middle East. In the heat of battle, Dr. Fox needed to perform emergency spinal surgery on a soldier who had a combination of screws and rods that had been implanted into his infected spine. Complicating the medical challenges at hand, Dr. Fox did not have access to the specialized tools necessary to deal with the soldier's different spine implants. Dr. Fox did, however, have access to a pair of VISE-GRIP locking pliers. He sterilized his VISE-GRIP tools and used them to remove the rods and screws from the soldier's infected spine, effectively saving his life.

Irwin tools at Amazon.com

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

March 9, 2009

Husky Tools: The Assimilation is Complete

borg.jpgWe just tried checking the Husky website (http://www.huskytools.com) to see if they had anything new to offer and it appears that the site doesn't even exist anymore. Our bookmark redirected us right to Home Depot's front page. We did a search of 'Husky" there and got 222 product results, but because of the way the Home Depot website is set up, there's no way to see if they have any new or interesting products out. There's not even a Husky sub-site or anything. They've just been completely dissolved into the larger entity.

While we're not anti-Home Depot by any stretch, we think it's too bad that a tool maker like Husky no longer has their own identity, even if it has been apparent for some time that they've become specifically a Home Depot brand.

In a way, this really isn't all that surprising. Since we started writing Tool Snob, over two years ago, the Husky website has been updated maybe once.

In related news, the other day we noticed that the Husky Stubby set is back in stores. Our review of those tools is here.

Husky Tools at Home Depot

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

March 5, 2009

Nail Extractor Extracting Pliers

nailextractor.jpg

If you're the salvaging type like we are, you've got a pile of lumber out in the workshop that most people would have tossed in the dumpster by now. They're good looking boards with a lot of character, but they're peppered with nails, staples, and brads. If only there was some quick way of getting the nails out...

The Nail Extractor looks like just the thing for removing protruding nails. They're sort of like a set of pliers but with the heel of a pair of end-cutting pliers (our standard nail removing tool). The parallel jaws and the innovative way that they hinge creates a grip that will only yield when the user releases pressure on the heel of the tool. Because the tool essentially locks itself on the nail, you're left devoting your energy to the leverage part and not the gripping part. And the long handles assist with the leverage.

It's worth nothing though that the Nail Exractor is only going to be effective on fasteners that are already protruding from the surface, so if you're taking apart some framing that you just put together, you'll still need the cat's paw to get the nails started.

The Nail Extractor sells for just under $30 which seems to us to be a good price for a tool that appears to be very well made and quite useful.

At NailExtractor.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

February 16, 2009

Expedition Tools HK1 Hydrokinetic Wrench - Review

hk1.jpg

The HK1 Hydrokinetic Wrench is one of the more innovative items we've come across in quite a while. It's one of those tools where it seems like the manufacturer rethought the whole concept from the ground up. In it's most simple terms, the HK1 is an adjustable box-end wrench. But when you think through the idea a bit deeper, this little guy is capable of replacing a good chunk of your metric wrench set (7 to 19mm) as well as your SAE set (1/4 to 3/4").

ArrowContinue reading: "Expedition Tools HK1 Hydrokinetic Wrench - Review"

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

January 12, 2009

C.H. Hanson Stud 4 Sure Magnetic Stud Finder

hanson_stud_finder.jpgUpdate: Looks like we were wrong on this being a new item. As you can read in the comments, Reader Randy has owned one for three years now. What we thought was new is actually a redesign of their original Stud Finder, with an added level.

C.H. Hanson, one of our favorite tool manufacturers has recently hit the market with an interesting new stud finder called the Stud 4 Sure. Instead of using electronic magic like all of the other stud finders, this one simply has magnets that locate the nails and screws in the studs. This way there is no battery and no need for calibration. It's also much smaller than a standard stud finder and probably a lot more tool bag friendly.

Our guess is that there will be times when this might not work such as on a wall that has metal lath or anytime stainless nails, which are non-magnetic, are used. Other than those pretty rare circumstances, we think this is probably a great and reliable way to locate studs.

The Stud 4 Sure costs about $11 which is about half the price of the basic Zircon stud finder that everyone owns.

At Amazon.com

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

December 11, 2008

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nails, But Were Afraid to Ask

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Seriously, everything.

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

December 9, 2008

Load Handler Universal Bed Liner Rake

load_handler.jpgBack when we used to have a truck, a constant frustration was keeping the bed liner clean. No matter what we did, the grooves would always be filled with rocks, grime, screws, and all other kinds of debris. Once or twice a year we would take the hose to it and blast the thing clean.

It appears that Load Handler has a product designed just for the kind of daily cleaning that we were looking for. The Universal Bed Liner Rake has three sides, each designed to fit within the grooves of a standard bed liner. Now you don't have to stress out when you fill the bed with a yard of crushed stone.

Our guess is that it works fine and that if you're the fastidious type, it might be a worthy way to spend the $10 that the tool costs.

At Load Handler

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

December 2, 2008

Black & Decker Bullseye - Review

black_decker_bullseye.jpgThe Black & Decker Bullseye Auto-Leveling Laser with Stud Sensor is a small laser level with the single purpose of hanging things on walls, or more specifically, lining up two or more items on a wall. There's really not a whole lot else you can do with it, but since it does its assigned task so well, the limits of the tool aren't really a problem.

The unit looks like a plus-sized stud sensor with switches on both sides and laser lights coming out of the sides of the rounded top. The switch on the right activates the stud sensor and the switch on the left turns on the self-leveling laser. We tested the laser against one that is about seven times more expensive and we have to say that the Black & Decker was spot on level.

The beam is nice and bright even in a well-lit room and if the unit gets tilted too far to either side, the laser gets blocked and can't be seen. After a few simple tests, we came t o the conclusion that the stud sensor works fine too.

The Bullseye comes with two attachments that allow it to be held on a wall so you can work without having to hold it, freeing up your hands for picture hanging.

The Bullseye costs about $40 which sounds like a lot, but anyone who has ever hung pictures with a loved one realizes that it's a process prone to making one generally unloving. That said, maybe $40 is a small price to pay for a tool that will make picture hanging a little less difficult.

The Bullseye comes with a nice nylon case that can hold the unit and both attachments.

At Amazon.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

November 21, 2008

Nail Jack to Purchase Vise-Grip Factory?

nailhunter.jpgThe guys over at Tool Crib have broken an interesting story about the fate of a Nebraskan tool factory. It appears that Irwin, makers of Vise-Grip tools has decided to pull up stakes and relocate their manufacturing to China, which leaves a bit of a vacuum for all of the workers at this factory. But it seems that Nail Jack, an innovative new company, has entered in negotiations to buy up the location. According to Tool Crib, many of the employees of Irwin would be able to continue working at the same factory, just with a different employer.

From what we can tell, Nail Jack makes two nail pulling devices; the Nail Jack and the Nail Hammer, both of which are sort of a pliers/pry bar hybrid. They look like smart tools and potentially very popular.

There's more to this story, including the history of the Vise-Grip factory, but there's no point in us repeating everything you can read first hand over at Tool Crib. They've done their research and it shows. There's even some impressive video of the Nail Jack in action.

Read the article at Tool Crib here.
Check out Nail Jack (the company) here and Nail Jack (the tool) here.

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

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