August 17, 2009
Looking at things mathematically, our lawn might be one of the hardest in the world to mow. There are curved flower beds everywhere, terraced lawns, railroad tie retaining walls, granite retaining walls, and moss beds a plenty. There are also some horseshoe pits and some homemade benches that we made with a chainsaw a while back. Pretty much every possible obstacle to the easy-to-mow grid is out there somewhere. Since nothing is on a straight line and there's stuff everywhere, once we put the mower away, we're only half way done. It's now string trimmer time, or as we like to call it, "fight with the 2-stroke engine" time.
Craftsman is looking to put an end to some of this agony with their 25CC Propane Trimmer (powered by Lehr). It's exactly what it sounds like, a string trimmer that runs on propane as opposed to gas.
Continue reading: "Craftsman 25cc Propane Trimmer Powered by Lehr - Review"
August 5, 2009
While we were flipping through the latest Extreme How-To (a magazine that we love and would recommend to anyone), we noticed an ad for the Xtend & Climb Telescoping ladder. Having lived in some very cramped apartments, we're particularly sensitive to those of you with zero storage and thought that this product was worth a mention.
The Xtend & Climb is a compact ladder that is capable of extending, step by step, into a much larger ladder. Sort of like an extension ladder that starts at about 3' and can make it, depending on the model, up to 15-1/2'.
There are a number of different models that have different safety ratings and extend to varying heights. They do have job site ready models with a ANSI rating of 1A, which means that they can handle up to 300 lbs of your twinkie-eating ass.
This kind of ladder would be good for anyone from the apartment dweller to the homeowner to the traveling handy-man. With the kind of durability and storage capabilities that the Xtend & Climb has, it could be useful to actually anyone who is in the market for a ladder.
As far as price goes, it looks like a wash. The Xtend & Climb 780P, which is comparable to a standard 16' extension ladder sells at Amazon for $249.99. The Werner 16' Extension Ladder with the same safety rating goes $249.25, so unless you're really into penny pinching, it's the exact the same price.
Xtend & Climb Ladders at Amazon.com
April 21, 2009
If you've got about $14,000 sitting around, we suggest looking into getting a Toro Dingo. We recently saw one in action and have decided that from now on all of our bottle recycling money will be routed into the "Dingo Fund." The Dingo is an all in one personal hydraulic machine that, given which of the 35 attachments is on it, it can tackle a huge variety of tasks. Whether it's trenching, drilling a hole, tilling, or just moving a pile of dirt, the Dingo is going to be way better at it than you, your bad back, and your pathetic shovel.
Here's a video of the Dingo in action (skip to about 1:10)
More info at Toro
March 18, 2009
With Spring starting to show it's muddy face, you're probably beginning to dread your first encounter with your mower. Will it run alright? Will it stall out? Will it even start? We just found out about this great service offered by John Deere that might make things a little easier for you. It's a mobile maintenance service called Ready To Mow that covers not only John Deere products, but other brands as well.
From the press release:
"The Ready To Mow mobile service provides standard maintenance and diagnosis of problems in a "service center on wheels' for any type of lawn, commercial, or hand-held power equipment whether it's a John Deere brand or not. A factory-trained service technician arrives at the owner's home or business with one of the 800 Ready To Mow vehicles currently on the road to perform a 14-point maintenance and inspection service, in one hour or less."
Too bad Keith Walendowski hadn't heard of the service.
To learn more or to schedule a visit, go to www.ReadyToMow.com
December 9, 2008
Back when we used to have a truck, a constant frustration was keeping the bed liner clean. No matter what we did, the grooves would always be filled with rocks, grime, screws, and all other kinds of debris. Once or twice a year we would take the hose to it and blast the thing clean.
It appears that Load Handler has a product designed just for the kind of daily cleaning that we were looking for. The Universal Bed Liner Rake has three sides, each designed to fit within the grooves of a standard bed liner. Now you don't have to stress out when you fill the bed with a yard of crushed stone.
Our guess is that it works fine and that if you're the fastidious type, it might be a worthy way to spend the $10 that the tool costs.
At Load Handler
November 18, 2008
Over a year ago, we wrote about the iRobot Looj gutter cleaning robot. At the time, we thought it looked pretty cool, but it turns out that looks aren't even half the story. A fellow who runs a blog called der5er had some hands on experience with the tool and the results are somewhat less than spectacular.
...Add to this the fact that if a pine cone happens to be directly under a gutter support bracket, the Looj gets stuck. About halfway down the gutter I ran into this problem. I tried backing it up and ramming it forward a couple times, but I eventually had to climb up on the roof (or move my ladder) and manually remove the pine cone.
Read the entire experience here.
September 30, 2008
"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
June 20, 2008
Supreme 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.
June 12, 2008
If you find picking up leaves difficult, why not strap on some giant, yellow Muppet claws to make things easier? That seems to be the idea behind Helping Hands For Yard Clean-Up. These bright yellow hand extensions (14" wide, 12" tall) are apparently capable of picking up two to three times as many leaves as your pathetic, flesh-colored out-of-the-box hands.
We use the "one hand, one rake" method of scooping leaves and even though we have little doubt that the Big Bird claws are better, if anyone ever saw us wandering around the yard wearing those things...
May 14, 2008
We just heard about this little garden tool and thought it was worth a mention. It's called the Cultivator and it looks like a nice item for someone with a small garden and no interest in hand-tilling.
The 18-Volt tool is setup like a string trimmer, but instead of a cutter at the end, it has two oscillating tines that are capable of turning soil and rooting up weeds. The tines can be removed if you find yourself in a cramped space where only one can fit. The Cultivator can turn soil up to four inches in depth and is capable of cutting a path seven inches wide. It also has a telescoping handle.
The reviews over at Amazon are all very positive. People seem to agree that the tool is lightweight, powerful, and has a long lasting battery.
The Cultivator comes with a battery and a charger and sells for just a hair under $100.