Have you heard of the Scribe Master Pro? No? Well, it's a crazy router jig that apparently makes perfect scribes of complex moldings and other shapes (router not included). Check out the overview video here (be prepared to kill the sound...it gets tough to take after the first few seconds).
It sounds like it has been overseas for a while and now they're bringin their party over here to the states. I could see this thing being pretty valuable on a jobsite. Like on those days where you have to run what feels like miles of baseboard. Just set it up and machine out all the scribes that you need. Coping with a jigsaw isn't too hard to do, but this just looks real easy and consistent.
At $400, it's by no means a casual purchase, but it looks like it could certainly be a useful one.
Last week I was able to head off to Milwaukee Tools for their annual Product Symposium where they unleashed all of their latest and greatest tools and gear. There is a lot coming too. To get a sense of what I'm trying to get at, picture a giant red tidal wave with white lightning bolts shooting out of it (a toolnami, if you will). Hearing about each and every one of these new tools over the course of a single day was like being attacked by a grizzly bear made entirely of information. Honestly, towards the end, my mind was beaten down to the point where I felt like Brad Pitt from 12 Monkeys. Now here I am a few days later, trying to decipher my scribbled notes and jumbled memories.
Klein has a very distinctive style of screwdriver. It has a reversible shaft and at each end fits a reversible bit. Also, the hex ends (which are different sizes) can be used as nut drivers. Its a clever way to have multiple driver tips at quick disposal. We were happy to see that they've also released something called the Multi-Bit Power Driver. It's an accessory that takes that same concept and puts it on the end of your drill or impact driver. They have two sizes available; one holds five different drivers and the other six.
Klein was nice enough to send us a sample of each to check out and we pretty impressed with them. There's not a whole lot to say, really. They're easy to use, convenient, and, according to Klein, rated for impact guns.
We've been fans of Arbortech for a long time. First we heard about their insane AS170 Brick and Mortar Saw (here are our thoughts on an earlier version of the tool) and then we discovered that they also carry a line of interesting woodworking/carving tools, most notably, the Power Chisel and the Mini-Grinder. Not too long ago, they released a very intense grinder attachment called the TURBOPlane. It took the concept of a power planer and stuck it on the end of a whirling grinder chuck. It's pretty badass and the rate at which it removes wood is really impressive (our review is here).
So now, we got word that they're on the verge of releasing a smaller version of the tool called the Mini-TURBO. They were nice enough to get one into our hands. We gave it a good test run and here's what we think.
This isn't a review as much as it's a high-five, fist-pound, belly-bump to Paslode for their Fuel + Nail packs. Since we got the li-ion version of the Paslode finish gun, we've hardly even picked up a pneumatic nailer. Why bother? The Paslode has all of the power with none of the compressor hassle. Gone are hoses, finding an outlet for the compressor, obnoxious filling noise, and just lugging the thing around. Goodbye.
So Paslode offers, these Fuel + Nail packs where you get 1000 galvy finish nails and a fuel pack. By a total coincidence, a fuel pack is good for approximately 1000 nails. They sent us one to check out and it all works like you'd expect it would. One really nice touch is that each pack includes an adapter nozzle so the gas canister can be used with the NiCd version of the tool. The connection in the Li-Ion gun is much better and not as fragile, but if you already own the older gun, these will work for you too.
Overall, they're really convenient and they eliminate that constant feeling we used to have where we were always worried about running out of fuel half way through a job.
The packs are around $20 and are available at Home Depot or online (or your local tool store).
Construction happens fast these days. Communications between client, contractor, designer, subs, and architect go back and forth like a bouncy ball in a shoebox. Part of this is due to the 'cover your ass' mentality that relies on email for the digital paper trail. Another part is that people no longer seem interested in the more efficient method of, well, just picking up a phone. I used to work with a project manager who would literally send hundreds of emails each day. Most of them just asking a single follow-up question to a previous email. Fella, just pick up the phone and it will be all over in about 3 minutes. But anyway, my point is that even crusty construction workers need constant access to a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, and for them, there's the Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter.
So Prolong has a product called SPL100 which is made with something they call AMFT (Anti-Friction Metal Treatment). At first glance, it seems like a WD40 type lube, something you could spray on just about anything to make it better. The Prolong website says that it can...
lubricate, penetrate, and prevent corrosion, free sticky mechanisms, displace moisture, stop squeaks, and reduce friction and wear on all metal surfaces. It cleans and protects metal surfaces, tools or any metal equipment exposed to water or weather.
Prolong sent us a few cans and spray bottles of the stuff to try out. We've used it in a number of applications, one in particular had an interesting result.
Skil has recently hit the scene with a drinking tool. The Skil power corkscrew has been available in Europe for a couple years now (see our original coverage here) and it's now available in the states. Bosch owns Skil and in Europe, green Bosch is their DIY brand (read: Skil), so in all likelihood, the two items are exactly the same. Skil sent us one to check out and we were pretty interested in it. If it has to do with wine drinking and it flew in Europe, it has to be good, right?
This is one of those odd little tools that has been floating around the shop for some time now. Prazi sent us one a looong time ago (probably close to a year, yikes), and we've used it off and on since then. We've always liked it, but it wasn't until our recent tile-a-palooza that we really got into the StirWhip way of life. Over the course of about two weeks, we tiled two bathroom floors and a tub surround. That was a month ago and now we're starting another bathroom and we realized it's well past time we spread the word on this valuable little item.
So while we were floating around the web researching an upcoming post, we stumbled across this interesting little item. It's a joining system by Lamello called the Invis. Lamello is known for two things; 1) inventing the biscuit joining system and 2) manufacturing the most badass biscuit joiners on the planet. It's a Sweedish company and they have their niche (high end joining) and they're sticking to it.
We felt we had to emerge from our renovation coma to spread the word on this one. Festool's new (new to the US, at least) drywall sander. Even though it kinda looks like it was designed by H.R. Giger, we have the feeling that it might be pound for pound the most time/agony saving tool ever invented. We've never even touched the thing, but we've sanded enough joint compound in our time to know what a tedious, dusty, pain in the arse it is. Combine that horror-show with Festool's core belief in the eradication of jobsite dust and their freakishly high quality standards and you're talking Planex.
There's a lot to say about this tool. But first off, one of the accessories is a body harness. How wild is that?
We were at Home Depot the other day and got a glimpse of where Ridgid is heading with their new JobMax system (our review here). If you're unfamiliar with it, it's a powered handle with a PTO at the end of it, and a series of interchangeable heads. Thus far, the heads have stuck with the standard fare, mostly fastening tools like impact drivers and right angle drills, but now they've branched off into cutting tools with a cool looking jigsaw head.
We checked out the tool a little (but not too much, due to the annoying lasso that Home Depot uses to ensure no one steals their display tools) and it seems like a neat item. The fact that there is now a corded JobMax makes us more comfortable with this kind of thing. It's our experience that cutting tools and 12-volt cordless systems don't pair up too well.
In the late summer we met with one of our pals from Ridgid and they let us know that we should expect a lot out of the JobMax system in the coming year and beyond. Sounds like there is an over abundance of accessories heading down the pike.
It's a cool tool (we closely examined it's capabilities at Popular Mechanics) and it's looking like Ridgid wants to go to the "only tool you'll ever need" realm.
Should be available at Home Depot online, but we can't find it. HD's website ain't the greatest.
It's really not our intent to be so heavy on promoting all of the various tool contests on the internet, but they do make for some quick and easy posts and they also mean that you guys can possibly get some swag. So here's yet another one. This time from Bosch. To enter this contest it looks like you have to upload an image of yourself being a 'daredevil' (which is usually a loose translation of, 'doing something stupid'). Info on how to enter here.
All the contest stuff aside, the point is the promotion of their Daredevil line of accessories, which is a good thing. We've checked out a bunch of them and it's an impressive lineup. The Daredevil spade bits in particular are absolutely savage when it comes to drilling holes in wood. It's sorta like shooting Styrofoam with a shotgun. Check out all of the products here.
Last week we had the honor of attending this year's Milwaukee Product Symposium. It's their big annual to-do where they announce all of their new tools for the coming year. There were big tools, little tools, new tools, classic tools, and most of all embargoed tools. It's this last category that is driving us a little batty at the moment. These are the tools that Milwaukee is on the verge of releasing, but they're not 100 percent ready to make the public announcement yet, so all of us press types got to look at them, play with them, hear about them, but we can't talk about them. It's killing us too, because some of these tools are great. As in really great. One in particular (to us the highlight of the show) is so bizarre and off the beaten path that it makes their 12-volt Pex Expander look like a common everyday item. But enough about the things we can't talk about and on to the things that we can...
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