October 28, 2010

Wiha Inomic Insulated Combo Pliers

wiha_ergonomic.jpgWhen we first saw these, we thought, "aww, that's cute, something for the weak-handed, light-duty DIY crowd." But it turns out that these things are like $40 and they're insulated to 1000 volts. So, yeah, maybe not the right tool for your mom.

Designed to take some of the stress off your wrist, the funky shape of these pliers definitely cause a double take. We scanned the Amazon reviews and there's a guy who says that there's too much flex in the handle (causing the pliers to be unable to cut 12/2 wire). If the handles are plastic, and it looks like they are, that seems likely.

At Amazon.com

There are some other models here.

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

October 13, 2010

Channellock Ratcheting Wrenches - Review

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Channellock recently hit the scene with these two little ratcheting wrenches. They were nice enough to drop one of each in the mail to us so we could give them a look and a test and a drop and a kick and a throw and a crush and a smash.

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

October 5, 2010

Snap-On Folding Work Knife and Carbide Sharpener Combo Pack - Review

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Monday through Friday, we don't leave the house without a utility knife in the pocket (lately, the new Milwaukee one). We opt for that style due to the easily replaceable blades. We've tried using traditional knives on job sites and they get ruined pretty quickly. Sometimes all it takes is a few pieces of Ice and Water Shield before we want to just toss the thing away.

But on the weekends, it's nice to have a regular knife on hand for opening packages, cleaning the fingernails, picking the teeth, or gutting the occasional deer. Let's face it, someone who carries around a razor blade utility knife on the weekends is just plain creepy. Snap-On recently sent us their Folding Work Knife / Sharpener combo pack and we've been toting it around for over a month now and we've come to our verdict.

And that verdict is....

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

September 17, 2010

Channellock 369 High Leverage Linesman Pliers - Review

Channellock_linesman.jpgSome tools are so complex and feature-laden that it takes an advanced degree in engineering just to wrap the head around it. Other times though, the tool is simple. Very simple. As in "cave-painting simple." Enter Channellock's 369 Linesman Pliers.

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

September 14, 2010

Recoil Saw

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One of the cool things about running this site is the opportunity we have to showcase little oddball tools built by lone-wolf inventors. This time around, it's a guy (John) who has devised a way to make hand sawing go faster.

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

September 9, 2010

Irwin GrooveLock Pliers - Review

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So as not to use the name of Irwin's competitor in the review, we'll use advanced subterfuge techniques which will ensure that you'll have no idea who we're talking about. You'll basically need a Navajo code-talker to figure it out.

Although they're technically called tongue and groove pliers or groove joint pliers, they're really only known as Channell*cks and if you consider yourself even remotely handy, you've got to have a pair. They're useful for their ability to grab, clamp, twist, pull, and grip just about anything. The unique opening and closing of the jaw lets a fairly small tool grip on to things that are up to 3 inches wide.

irwin_groovelock_jaw.jpgRecently, Irwin has made an alteration to the classic design. Their new version is called the GrooveLock and the jaw adjustment is now done, not by opening the jaws all the way and sliding the lower jaw up, but rather with a little release button at the hinge of the tool. Just press the button and slide the jaw. They sent us a few samples so that we could try them out.

To the user this new button method means a few things:

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

Campbell Hausfeld Tool Kits

ch_nailer_kit.jpgCampbell Hausfeld is releasing four new tool kits, all based around their mini-compressors and a fastener. In addition to these two items are a number of task appropriate hand tools.

The kits are (from the press release):

The Home Décor Kit (Model FP260096) is made up of a one gallon air compressor with décor kit and bonus air brush kit. This kit is designed to allow maximize production for a variety of projects that include, but are not limited to, wood crafts, fabric crafts, wall painting, ceramic painting, upholstery, wall art, crafts and window treatments. Suggested retail is $140.

This kit includes one gallon air compressor, storage bag and:

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

August 31, 2010

Porter-Cable QUIKJIG Pocket Hole Joinery System

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We've been a little surprised at Kreg's domination of the pocket hole marketplace. There are a few other models out there, but none from any of the big names and none which have gained a whole lot of traction with a wide audience (like the Kreg). We always assumed that there was some kind of patent thing going on, a la Fein. But here comes Porter-Cable with a really interesting looking system that looks like it should give the reigning champ a few good rounds in the ring.

In a nutshell (help, help, I'm in a nutshell!), pocket hole jigs create low angled, pre-drilled holes which allow for accurate and consistent 'toe-screwing.' That's really it. They're great for shelves, cabinet boxes, face-frames, etc. We've got the Kreg Master Kit and it really makes for a nice, tight (glue-free!) assembly. So on to the Porter-Cable...

One thing for certain is that, compared to the Kreg, this one looks com-pli-cated. It sort of looks like a cross between a microscope and a Pixar robot. But as it turns out, this added intensity is intended to make things easier. Unlike the Kreg, the Porter-Cable automatically sets the drilling angle based on the thickness of the wood. It's a clever idea and takes away the fussiness of having to deal with the knurled set screw of the Kreg. From the looks of it, the Porter-Cable is going to be quite a bit heavier (it's all metal...a good thing), but they were smart and made the foot plate 1-1/2" thick, so you can use a 2x4 to support your workpiece.

The QUIKJIG is going to be available later this year (September) and will have a retail of around $230. The price is definitely more than the Kreg (K3 Master Kit $140 at Amazon.com), but the 'auto-angle' aspect of the Porter-Cable might be enough to justify the added cost.

Press release after the jump...

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

August 26, 2010

Megapro 13-in-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver - Review

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A while back we got an email from a reader who was so enthusiastic (or possibly coked up) over a tool that we felt compelled to contact the manufacturer for more information. The tool is the MegaPro 13-in-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver and this is what reader David had to say:

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

August 25, 2010

Milwaukee Fastback Flip Open Utility Knife - Review

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As part of their steadily growing line of hand tools, Milwaukee recently released two new utility knives, the light and lean Fastback and a larger, submarine-style slider. Since, for years, we've been in a pathetic and forever-failing pursuit of the perfect utility knife, we were thrilled when Milwaukee sent us a Fastback to try out. Would it meet our apparently 'too-high-for-the-industry' standards and be the knife of our dreams? Or would it prove once again that the perfect knife is one made of unicorn horns and dragon scales?

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

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