June 19, 2008

Spot-On #1 Screwdriver with LED

spot_on_screwdriver.jpgHere's one for the "Why Didn't I Think of That" file. A simple screwdriver with a little built-in LED light. There's a button on the handle and the light is somehow built into the screwdriver tip.

We can think of plenty of situations where this could come in handy. But we don't know exactly how the light is integrated into the tip and if this somehow interferes with the screwdriver's performance. It looks like it's only available in a #1 flat tip.

The Spot-On costs $25 and can be had at Hard To Find Tools.

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

June 18, 2008

Channellock Rescue Tool

rescue_tool.jpgMost of us aren't equipped with the right amounts of bravery and selflessness to be a firefighter, But if you want that same feeling without all the smoke and flames, Channellock has released the 6 in 1 Rescue Tool. The tool is designed by a firefighter and even though it's intended for firefighters, it's a one stop emergency tool that would do well in just about any glove compartment.

The tool, which looks like a mutated set of linesman pliers, has six functions; clamping, cutting, prying, shattering, tightening, and shutting off gas valves. Now you too can be just like Denis Leary.

The Rescue Tool sells at Channellock for about $70, but it can be gotten elsewhere for under $50.

Read about the firefighter who designed the tool here.

At Channellock (with a free t-shirt) and The Beach Trading Company

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

June 11, 2008

Stand-Up-Guy

stand-guy.jpgAnyone who has ever tinkered around on a door has likely made a couple little stands to set the door in so you can work on the hinge side in a standing position. Now, there's something called the Stand Up Guy, which is simply a plastic, adjustable version of that very same plywood stand that you hacked together.

The Stand-Up-Guy is adjustable (their website doesn't say to what dimensions), and works the way the more advanced homemade versions do. The outside ends of the stand are slightly raised, so when the door/window/whatever is placed in the center, the stand lightly clamps in on it. The Stand-Up-Guy has a recommendation from the Handyman Club of America.

The Stand-Up-Guy sells for a whopping $45 apiece! Maybe we'd think about $45 for a pair, but seeing the kind of success that we have with the homemade kind (which usually take us about five minutes to make), we're not sure that this is worth the coin.

At McFeely's

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

May 22, 2008

Mirka Abranet Sheet Sanding Kit

abranet_hand_sanding.jpgSanding joint compound can get pretty messy. We recently did some work in a small bathroom and even with the Shop Vac right up next to the sandpaper, the room still ended up looking like someone had walked in and detonated a bag of flour. This experience, which we've had about 1,000 times, led us to do some research on dustless hand sanding and as a result, we discovered Mirka's Abranet Sheet Sanding System.

Essentially, it's a sanding block with a vacuum port. The abrasive sheets are made of a mesh with thousands of small holes, meaning for easier sanding and far more efficient dust collection, not to mention a longer life for the sheet.

The kit, which looks like it comes with three sizes of sanding blocks, some abrasive sheets, and a vacuum hose costs about $150. A high price, but if it actually works, it might be worth not having to deal with the mess that sanding makes.

The whole concept sounds to us like a great idea, but we really couldn't find much more information on the product. It appears that the abrasive pads are available in stores, but as far as the sanding blocks go, we couldn't find anything other than a .pdf file on their website. We even tried calling them earlier in the week, but haven't heard back.

The promotional flier is here (pdf).

Abranet abrasive sheets at Amazon.com

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

May 20, 2008

Klein Tools Turns 150!

klein_tshirt.jpgKlein Tools, makers of some great hand tools (mostly geared towards electricians), turns 150 this year. It's quite a milestone and to mark the event, they're selling a t-shirt that reads, "My Tool is 150 years old...and still works!" You'd think that with a century and a half to think about it, they'd come up with something better, but apparently not.

It sure doesn't beat the guy we once saw on a paving crew with a shirt that read, "I'm the man from Nantucket."

Regardless of their t-shirt writing abilities, it's worth checking out their line of tools. They're on the expensive side, but they're worth it.

T-Shirt at Klein Tools
Klein Tools at Klein and Amazon.com
Nantucket shirt at Amazon.com

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

May 12, 2008

Artillery Pry Bar System - Review

Artillery_case.jpgWe first met Joe Skach a couple years ago at a JLC Trade Show. Back then, he was displaying his Artillery Pry Bar System with such enthusiasm and glee that it was hard not to like the guy and be curious about the tool. At the time, the Joe was still working out the details for manufacturing and distributing the tool, so he didn't have any for sale. Now, well over a year later, he's finally gotten all the kinks worked out and the tool is available. We got the opportunity to try one out and for the past month we have abused the hell out of the thing. We have to say that not only is it by far the finest demolition tool we've ever used, it very well may be the coolest thing we have ever put our hands on.

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

May 9, 2008

Swanson Wood Magnet

swanson_wood_magnet.jpgSwanson, makers of one of the most popular SPEEDĀ® Squares, a registered trademark of Swanson Tool Co., Inc. out there, has just recently released the Wood Magnet, an interesting looking level that is capable of attaching itself to any piece of 2x stock. This eliminates the need to clamp, duct tape, or balance your level on your lumber.

The Wood Magnet can slide right on to any 2x stock, grabbing on to it with the pressure fit wings. There are also small hooks on the side of the Wood Magnet, so you can strap it around a 4x4 with the help of a rubber band or a wire. Holding up a 2x8 with one hand and trying to deal with a level in the other hand is tedious work at best and the kind of thing that can waste a lot of time.

If you're thinking about building a deck this summer and it's likely that you'll be doing most of the work by yourself, this might not be a bad purchase. It's not going to replace your 4' level, but there's no doubt that it will come in handy from time to time. Swanson also makes the good point that it can be clamped onto a 2x8 and used for screeding. Also, it only costs about $11, so even if it doesn't work out, you're not losing a lot of money in the process.

At Amazon.com

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

April 16, 2008

C.H. Hanson Chalk Hog - Review

hanson_chalk_hog.jpgHow much can you really say about a chalk line? Before today, we thought the answer was, "not much." But, after using C.H. Hanson's Chalk Hog for a while, we found that, with any finely-crafted tool, we can just keep talking and talking and talking...

The Chalk Hog is part of C.H. Hanson's ongoing Signature Series which kicked off last year with the release of the freakishly cool Pivot Square, and like that tool, the Hog is an innovative take on an old standard.

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

April 7, 2008

Artillery Pry Bar System Arrives for Review

artillery_prybar.jpgThe truth is that we've been waiting for this day for over a year. Ever since we met Artillery Joe Skach at the JLC show way back in 2007 and he expressed interest in having us review his pry bar, we've been sitting on our hands in anticipation. It sounds like he's had a hell of a time getting the multi-part system produced, but now he's got them to sell and he sent one on to us.

At each of the last two JLC shows we've gotten a good look at the Artillery System and it sure seems impressive. Their website has video that shows it absolutely demolishing everything it goes near (at the 4:00 minute mark, watch what how easily it takes up decking). It essentially looks like it takes controlled destruction to a whole new level. And starting today, we're going to start wrecking things. Stay tuned for the review.

At Artillery Tools

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

March 18, 2008

Rapid Shark Utility Knife

rapid_shark.JPGA while ago, we told you about the Rapid Edge Utility Knife, a cool little knife with an LED at the blade end. Well, it looks like Rapid Tools is still working on innovating the utility knife because they've just released the new Rapid Shark, a combination utility knife and a wire stripper. This is a good thing. Just ask anyone who has been in a rush and has decided to strip a wire with a razor knife. It's a dumb idea; we've done it and regretted it.

With the Rapid Shark, it should no longer even be a temptation. The Shark has extra blade storage, a quick change blade system, and the capability to strip any wire between 10 and 18 AWG.

We have no idea what this knife is going to cost, but we suspect it's somewhere in the $10 range.

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

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