April 13, 2011

True Temper Hammers - Review

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Unbeknownst to us, The Lords of the Lawn Product, True Temper, are in the hammer business. Turns out, they've got all kinds of hammers. And they sent us a few to check out. We put them in the rotation and have been trying to destroy them for a couple weeks now to no avail. A more detailed review follows...

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

April 12, 2011

Jackson Pulverizer Concrete Demolition Hammer - Review

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It's hard to deny something called The Pulverizer.

We were thinking of leaving this review at a simple two word, "Hulk SMASH!" But we thought that might be a little corny. But still, if you took the Jackson Pulverizer and melted it down to its essence, that's pretty much what you'd be left with; a massive green dude in purple shorts destroying everything in his path.

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

March 29, 2011

Milwaukee 11-Piece Utility Kit

milwaukee_utility_knife_set.jpgWe were at Home Depot the other day and saw this item sitting on the shelves. It's sort of a slicing, dicing, cutting extravaganza. The system consists of a handle and a number of different blades that can click into it, like a recip saw chuck.

The blades are...

  • Quik-Lok Job Saw
  • Hunting Knife Blade
  • Linoleum Knife Blade
  • Grout Raker Blade
  • Carbide Grout Blade
  • Putty Knife
  • Utility Blade
  • Wavy Knife Blade
  • Straight Knife Blade
  • Paint Scraper Blade
  • Roofer's Blade

Useful stuff, at least the ones we understand (wavy knife blade?) and it looks like a nice way to save some space in the tool bag. The kit comes with a case to keep things nice and organized. It costs about $45 which seems a little pricey for blades that are going to wear out. It's not uncommon that we go through five or six utility blades in a day. Then again, if you bought all of these blades on separate tools, it would cost plenty more than $45, so it depends on how you look at things....

At Amazon.com

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

March 23, 2011

Channellock 8" 368 High-Leverage Linesman Pliers (and Bottle Opener) - Review

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Channellock has just released an 8" version of their High Leverage Linesman Pliers. We reviewed their 10" set back in mid-September. At the time, we spent the better part of an afternoon making asses out of ourselves trying to destroy the things (we couldn't), so this time, our reviewing process has been much simpler.

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

March 18, 2011

Veto Pro Pac LC - Review

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So you've got all the right tools, but you also need something to put them in so you can carry them around. The options are actually pretty slim. There's the hand-carved wooden tool box that some long-dead relative of yours made out of an apple tree that he cut down with his own hands, but who wants to lug that to a construction site. Then there's the duffel bag style that we've been subscribing to, which is okay, but tools get lost in the bottom of it and no matter how hard we try to use the side pockets, everything ends up in the center mess anyway like some giant metallic game of pick-up-sticks.

There is also the devil (a.k.a. The Bucket Buddy), but if you use one of these, we really can't muster up any respect for you. You're investing in nice expensive tools and carrying them around in a plastic bucket? It might be easy to move around and the pockets might work out for you, but there's no escaping the fact it's a freakin plastic bucket.

But there's actually another option...the Veto Pro Pac. This tool bag allows you to carry around all of your tools by positioning them vertically, meaning a lot of equipment in a small footprint. A bit ago, the company sent us one of their LC bags to test drive. When it arrived, we happily dumped out the duffel, threw it away and started loading up the new rig.

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

March 15, 2011

Hardcore Hammer - Review

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A while back we told you about an interesting new framing hammer going by the slightly ominous name of Hardcore Hammer. Made with a unique, dual-surfaced striking face, the tool is intended to last longer than the average hammer and, on a daily basis, operate in a superior fashion. We got to talking to the manufacturer and they were nice enough to ship us one to review. As soon as it arrived, we took it out of the box and began using it for the task that we use all of our framing hammers for: aggressive demolition...

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

January 27, 2011

Hardcore Hammers

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There's usually not a whole lot to say about a new hammer, but the Hardcore Hammer has a pretty inventive twist to it. It's a framing hammer with a slightly recessed striking surface. The waffle pattern is still there, but it's just on the recessed part, the outer rim is smooth. According to the manufacturer, this move serves a couple purposes:

1. It protects the waffle head from damage.
2. If you manage to smash your thumb, it's only going to get 70% pulverized as opposed to 95% pulverized.
3. No more waffle print on your workpiece.

A Hardcore hammer will set you back about $80, which certainly is a lot of money, but it's actually just about right for the high-end framing hammer market, and actually a whole lot cheaper than some Stiletto models.

There's more info, including some cool images and how to purchase one at HardcoreHammers.com

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

January 25, 2011

Johnson Level EcoTech Series Bamboo Bricklayer's Level

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If you've never dealt with bamboo on your own property, you probably hear the word and your mind goes to a tranquil image of a meditative panda bear quietly crunching away at the stalky plant. If, on the other hand, you've had the misfortune of actually having to contend with bamboo, the word probably causes you to see red and start to uncontrollably shake. Bamboo is a total nightmare to deal with. It makes mint look mild in its invasiveness, and it can grow up to two feet in a day.

So anyway, the folks over at Johnson Level have found a nice way to utilize this pest of a plant. They've started making levels out of it. Makes sense too, once you discover that bamboo has the tensile strength of steel. Who knew?

These new levels (there is currently a 2' and a 4') also have stainless steel edges and end caps. If you're looking for more information, the press release is after the jump.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

January 4, 2011

Black & Decker Ratcheting ReadyWrench - Review

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There's been a lot of hay made lately about these multi-headed dog bone wrenches and many die-hard tool users seem to hail them as useless with such enthusiasm as to make us think the tool was some kind of genetic abomination like one of those seven-footed toads found near Chernobyl. The deal is that it's a double headed wrench with a rotating head at each end. The heads have four sides, each of which has a different sized socket on it. We've actually never handled one of these tools before, but Black and Decker was nice enough to send us their ratcheting ReadyWrench, (which adds a ratcheting feature to the mix), and for the past month we've used it for all kinds of things.

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

December 15, 2010

Campbell Hausfeld Home Improvement Project Kit (FP260097) - Review

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Campbell Hausfeld has started bundling little 1-gallon compressors with various tool sets, specific to particular DIY audiences. They've got a Home Decor kit well-suited for the artsy craftsies, a Home Maintenance kit which seems to center around drain cleaning and putty spreading, and finally, a Home Improvement kit, which is the one that interests us the most as it's created around carpentry tasks. Campbell Hausfeld was nice enough to box one up and send it our way so that we could check it out.

ch_hik_bag.JPGIncluded with the kit is the little compressor, a pneumatic brad/stapler, a pneumatic caulking gun, a few air hose attachments, and a pouch full of hand tools.

So what are the hand tools like? Well, it's a bit of a mixed bag. The rafter square looks like it would last about 22 second on a job site, but the pry bar looks as good as any we've seen. The utility knife is really basic; the level works fine, but is plastic; and the 5-in-1 looks good.

The brad gun has a nice feel to it and it's only the non-bumpered nose that bums us out. It's the kind of nose that's going to dent the workpiece no matter what you do. But other than that, it's a fine gun. It shoots both brad nails and crown staples.

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It was actually the caulking gun that we liked the most (and trust us, we were pretty doubtful). We put in a tube of cold Liquid Nail and it didn't have any problems getting some to squeeze out as if it were 90 degrees out.

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But let's cut to the chase here. This kit isn't about the subtleties of the tools, it isn't about how ergonomic the handles are, it's about value. It's about bang for the buck. And the bottom line here is that it's a lot of bang, for a-lot-less-than-what-you'd-expect buck. The CH Home Improvement Kit costs about $140 which is pretty nice for all of this in one box.

We think that really anyone would be happy with this kit. It would be good not only for the first time DIYer, but also the carpenter looking for a quick and easy set-up for punch list tasks (after throwing out the rafter square, of course). Or better yet, for the young carpenter who is looking to get some tools, but might not have the cash just yet to get the really aggressive stuff.

At the moment, there is no online availability for the kit, but if you're interested, call 1-888-CHPower (247 6937)

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

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