October 3, 2008

Husky Tough Tape - Review

Husky_tape.jpgImpressing us with a tape measure is a tall order. We're all but legally married to the Stanley Fat Max 25 footer. To us, it's the pinnacle of tape measures. All other tapes bow before it like serfs before King Conan. But every once in a while one of those serfs gets uppity and decides to challenge the king in hand to hand combat, and that's just what Husky has done with their new Tough Tape. So we grudgingly set down the Fax Max and picked up the Tough Tape for a few weeks and here's what we found.

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

September 30, 2008

CreteSheet

cretesheet.jpg"It's such a fine line between stupid and clever."

Although these words weren't spoken about the CreteSheet, they might as well have been. The CreteSheet is a new instrument for mixing concrete on the go. It requires no tools and is advertised as being able to mix an 80 lb bag of concrete in about 90 seconds, much faster than the traditional mixing bucket and a shovel method.

The CreteSheet is nothing more than a single sheet of durable plastic with four handles (seriously). To use it, just pour the dry mix in the center, add the appropriate amount of water, grab the handles and alternately lift them up and down, mixing the concrete. Then, when it's to the consistency, simply pour it where you want to. This process can be done with one or two people.

In theory this is great, and, according to the testimonials on the website, it works in practice too. It actually reminds us of GE's new Caulk Singles in that it's a quick, tool-free way to complete an oftentimes tedious process. But this still doesn't stop us from thinking that the whole thing is incredibly silly. It's likely that it works, but we're not sure we want to be seen doing some sort of jiggle dance out in the yard or on the job site.

The CreteSheet costs about $20.

At Amazon.com and CreteSheet.com


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

September 8, 2008

ThumbSaver Magnetic Nail Setter

thumbsaver.jpgThis is sort of silly, but probably useful from time to time. It's a handle with a little magnetic shaft on it, meant for assisting with the first stage of hammering, also known as the stage where you're most likely to obliterate your thumb.

We see this tool being useful in cramped spaces, where you can't get your hand to hold the nail. We've all got some trick for this situation, ours is our needle nosed pliers. We've managed to get along fine without the ThumbSaver for this long, so we're not sure there's any justification for cluttering up the tool bag with yet another little hand tool. But you can make your own choice. Also keep in mind that it's magnetic, so stainless steel won't hold.

Bonus pack, including standard and mini sized ($12.99) At Amazon.com

Standard Size ($7.99) at Amazon.com

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

August 26, 2008

Cepco BoWrench

cepco_bowrench.jpgAs the summer comes to an end, and your deck project drags on and on, you should possibly think about picking up a BoWrench. It's a decking tool that helps create a consistent layout, particularly being useful with warped boards (specifically yours which have been getting rained on for the past month). The idea behind it is simple; the wrench binds up on a joist and the handle allows you to press the deck board into place.

Although we've never used a BoWrench, we've used plenty of other methods for getting deck boards straight; from beater blocks to ground down, sharpened screwdrivers driven into the joist and levered back. Pretty much at some point during every deck project we do, we think, "we should get one of those BoWrench thingys."

Here's a 40 second video of the BoWrench with some killer salsa music accompanying.

At Amazon.com (around $35)

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

August 6, 2008

LockJaw Self-Adjusting Locking Pliers

lockjaw.jpgThe LockJaw has taken the traditional Vise-Grip design and made it better (on paper at least, we haven't tried them yet). What LockJaw has done is made pliers that self-adjust to the thickness of the material that you're grabbing and in doing this, they've removed the dial a the end of the handle. As if this isn't cool enough, they've added a dial between the handles that controls the grabbing pressure.

We love our Vise-Grips, but the thought of not having to fuss with that dial every time we grab something different is a good one. We see this tool as a serious time saver in the right hands.

There are a number of different sized pliers available. The pricing is about the same as a standard pair of Vise-Grips.

10" at Amazon.com ($14)
6" at Amazon.com ($14)
Needle Nose at Amazon.com ($15)
Set with 6", 10" and 9" Needle Nose at Amazon.com ($39)

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

July 24, 2008

The Push Broom: Public Enemy #1

push_broom.jpgSome safety nuts in England have recommended that carpenters and woodworkers no longer use brooms to sweep up dust and wood shavings for fear of asthma attacks and increased chances of nose cancer.

Instead they are advising carpentry firms to buy state-of-the-art vacuum cleaners and air purification systems which can cost thousands of pounds.

When brooms are outlawed, only outlaws will have brooms.

Read the article here.

Fight the power and buy a few push brooms at Amazon.com.

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

July 23, 2008

Zip Sander - Review

zip_sander.jpgZip Sander, you're the one.
You make sanding lots of fun.
Zip Sander, we're awfully fond of you....

Tools that look like bath toys aren't usually up our alley, but the Zip Sander seemed pretty interesting, so we thought we'd take a closer inspection and try one out. And to be honest, we're glad we did. The Zip Sander proved to be a versatile addition to our sanding repertoire for a number of reasons.

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

July 15, 2008

C.H. Hanson Flip Knife - Review

flip_knife_in_hand.jpgIn our work day, probably the most important tool to us is the utility knife. Throughout each day, the knife serves as pencil sharpener, rope cutter, box opener, wood shaver, and everything else you can imagine. No joke the tool is in our hands about 20 to 50 times each day. This is why we were so interested when we heard that C.H. Hanson has just released something called the Flip Knife. The concept here is simple; a utility knife with a blade at each end.

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

July 2, 2008

Festool Tape Measure

festool_tape.jpgIt looks like Festool has a new tape measure that they're offering only while supplies last. And since it's a Festool, it has to be all reinvented and fancypants. But of course (because it's Festool), all of the innovations are smartly done. First, the tape is in both metric and imperial (which to us American users, gives us a nice reference point for our other Festool tools, which are all in metric). Second, the tape has a viewing window on the top of the body, which reads inside distances, so you can just back the tape up to an inside corner and look in the window to get your distance. No more adding some odd dimension like 3-3/16" to get the measurement. Third, the tape has a flip down tap that can be used to mark a radius.

Of course Festool had to show everyone up and reinvent the tape measure. The innovation in that company is seemingly without bounds. We hope they take on the hammer next.

The tape has a maximum distance of ten feet and costs $25. Like we said, it's a "while supplies last" deal, so if you want one, act fast.

At Jamestown Distributors

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

June 20, 2008

Pocket Chainsaw

pocket_chainsaw.jpgSupreme Products is selling something called the Pocket Chainsaw and it looks like the perfect item for some around the yard pruning, camping trips, and any other time when a full-sized chainsaw isn't practical.

The Pocket Chainsaw is light, weighing only 5 oz. It comes with a little storage can that can fit in your pocket. The can is circular, so if you carry the tool around a lot you might be able to get one of those cool Skoal circles in your jeans.

The website shows a movie of the Pocket Chainsaw cutting through a 4" limb in under 10 seconds.

At Amazon.com

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

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