September 20, 2007

PlugGrip and SwitchGrip

Here's an interesting idea for anyone who has ever had trouble installing an outlet or a light switch. The PlugGrip is a little all-in-one electrical helper for just that task. Not only does it grab and hold the outlet, making it much easier to deal with the wiring, but it also has a current indicator light (with buzzer), built-in wire strippers (12g-14g) and an on board wire bender. The SwitchGrip has all the same features, but fits over a switch as opposed to an outlet.

The PlugGrip and SwitchGrip have been approved by the Handman Club of America as well as the Do-It-Yourself Retailing Magazine.

This looks like it could be a nice little item to have in the tool bag. Recently, we wired an outlet with 12g wire and having the extra handhold would have been useful, particularly when we had to straighten the outlet in a box jammed with stiff wires.

The items retail for about $10 each. There is more information and plenty of videos over at the PlugGrip website.

The PlugGrip and SwitchGrip are available at Lowes as well as a special order at Ace. Also at the PlugGrip website.

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

September 5, 2007

C.H. Hanson SuperPencil - Review

C.H. Hanson continues their Signature Series with the new Superpencil, a pencil so blatantly powerful that other pencils warp when it comes near. What it is is a regular looking carpenter's pencil that is made entirely of a graphite composite. The result is a pencil that has a ridiculously long life and always has a variety of edges to choose from.

C.H. Hanson says that the SuperPencil lasts seven times as long as a normal pencil. From our experience with it, this might be a low number. As they advertise, you really don't have to sharpen it because, somewhere, there is always an edge. Sure, we had to get a bit creative from time to time and hold the pencil at an odd angle, but still, it's impressive. With rough framing, we opted to just use one of the thick edges, but as things got to finish work, we went ahead and sharpened it to a point and used that.

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

August 31, 2007

Stiletto Mini-14 TiBone

stiletto_hammer.jpgIf you've been yearning for the opportunity to spend over $250 on a hammer, your day is finally here. Stiletto Tools sells just the thing and it's called the Mini-15 TiBone and it retails for $262.50 ($274.50 once shipping is tacked on). Why so damn expensive? We suppose it's got something to do with the fact that it's entirely made of titanium, which, according to Stiletto, has 10 times less shock than steel. But in addition to that, there are also a number of other cool features.

While the Mini-15 comes equipped with the traditional nail pullers, there is an additional one located on the side of the head, specially designed for 16d nails. A quick jerk to the side and the nail is up. There is also a magnetic nail starter and an ergonomic rubber grip.

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

August 29, 2007

Rapid Edge and Rapid Level


We just got the heads up about this innovative little tool company that has put a distinctive stamp on a couple commonly used tools. The company is called Rapid Tools and the tools are their Rapid Level and Rapid Edge.

The Rapid Edge is a utility knife. It's got a nice looking ergonomic handle, blade storage, and generally acts like a normal utility knife except that it has a little LED light at the blade end. The light is automatic and serves as a way to brighten your cut line as well as to act as a safety indicator if even the slightest part of the blade is extended. The Rapid Edge can use any standard blade, but it comes with serrated blades (exclusive to Rapid Tools). Because there are five different faces that cut, as opposed to two, the blade lasts much longer and can take more punishment.

The knife sells for about $9, which is pretty much what you'd pay for any high quality knife. The blades are sold separately as well and fit into any standard utility knife.

Keep reading to learn about the Rapid Level.

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

August 7, 2007

Husky 5-in-1 Drywall Tool - Review

Putting up drywall is a pain in the ass for a number of reasons. You have to deal with awkward 4x8 sheets of material, the work gets dusty and messy, and even though you barely even have to be accurate to a quarter inch, if you cut a piece a hair too long, it's nearly impossible to shave off that extra bit with any grace whatsoever. In addition to all of this, there are a number of tools you need in order to be efficient. Sometimes you don't have all the tools with you, and sometimes they just aren't in arm's reach when you've got a sheet of blueboard propped up on your knee and you need to cut out for a light fixture. With this last issue, Husky may have something that can help out quite a bit.

They have recently released a new 5 in 1 drywall tool to be your one stop, Swiss Army Knife of the sheetrock set. The five tools contained are, a keyhole saw, a utility knife, a sanding rasp, a screw pull, and a tube punch. The tools are all set-up in traditional multi-tool style, pivoting out of the handle, except for the rasp, which is set in to the back of the tool. The entire tool is about the size of a double wide utility knife.

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

August 6, 2007

Stubby II: Electric Bugaloo

stubby_set.jpgA while back we reviewed Husky's Stubby Set, a cool little collection of mini-ratchets. Then, after a while, we started getting word that some of our readers could no longer find it in stores. Well, we contacted Husky and they let us know that the Stubby Set was indeed a limited-time only item but that if you have the patience to wait until fall, they will be re-releasing it, making it available through the holidays. Once again, the Stubby Set will be sold exclusively at Home Depot. Be sure to keep an eye out for it, it's a great set to either have yourself or give as a gift.

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

July 24, 2007

New Tools in C.H. Hanson's Signature Series

Last month, C.H. Hanson kicked off their new signature series with the amazing Pivot Square and they've just now rolled out two new tools in the series. Their Signature Series emphasizes innovative tools that approach old tasks in a new light. There's no doubt that the Pivot Square fits the criteria, we found it to be a challenging, inventive, and when all is said and done, absolutely amazing tool. As a related aside, one of the reasons why we like C.H. Hanson so much is that right on the front page of their website, they have a giant tab marked, "Inventor Inquiries." These guys are really actually looking for new ideas. It's not just lip service. They want to hear about all your freaky jigs that you make in your workshop in order to make your work go faster.

So the new tools are....

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

July 5, 2007

Apollo Precision Tools 135-Piece Household Pink Tool Kit

apolo_pink.jpgIf you have a thing for pink tools (and who doesn’t really), then you should rush out and get the Apollo Precision Tools 135-Piece Household Pink Tool Kit. The kit has got most tools needed for light-duty around the house tasks; cordless screwdriver, hammer, pliers, measuring tape, wrench, etc and it all comes in a fitted plastic case.

The Pink Kit retails for under $35 and looks like it would make a great gift for someone heading off to college. A portion of the proceeds goes to fund breast cancer awareness.

If you’re really into it, there’s also a pink tool beltavailable.


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

June 27, 2007

C.H. Hanson Pivot Square - Review

closed.jpgC.H. Hanson, a company known for their high-quality layout and marking tools, has begun rolling out a new line of innovative tools they call the Signature Series. Kicking off this collection is their new Pivot Square, an all-in-one roof and stair layout tool.

At first glance, the Pivot Square looks like a traditional measuring square with a few level vials built-in. But upon closer inspection there are plenty of differences. First, it's larger, with the sides measuring 8" as opposed to 7". Secondly, and more significantly, there is a portion of the square that pivots out and can be locked in position, much like a bevel gauge. But, unlike a $4.99 bevel gauge, the pivot square tells you the degree as well as the roof pitch of the captured angle. Also, the hypotenuse has a ruler on it, as opposed to a degree finder.

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

June 11, 2007

C.H. Hanson Pivot Square Arrives for Review

Pivot_Square.jpgOur friends at C.H. Hanson, makers of fine marking and layout tools, have been nice enough to send us one of their new Pivot Squares for a test run. The Pivot Square is the first tool in their Signature Series, a new line of innovative and high-quality tools. Well, at first glance, we can say that the Pivot Square meets these criteria. It resembles a standard measuring square, but it has three leveling vials and it the ability to open up and capture angles like a bevel gauge. It looks like an all-in-one framing tool, particularly useful for rafter layout.

The Pivot Square comes with a nice carrying case, a carpenter's pencil, and The Expert Guide to Roof Construction and Framing, a little book that fits nicely into the case. The Pivot Square retails for $83.92 and is available at Hanson Direct.

We'll be testing it out this week and we'll have a review up soon.

The review is here.

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

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