May 11, 2010

DeWalt Magnetic ToughCase - Review

dewalt_toughcase_1.jpgWhen DeWalt sent us a sample of their new ToughCase, we thought, "oh yeah Toughguy, we'll show you how tough you are." We started thinking of ways to condense a year's worth of abuse in about 45 minutes.

But first, about the item. The little case is well built and has the nice clasp that DeWalt uses on their tool boxes. The main features of the box are the magnets on the lid that allow you to open the box and stick it to something metal (a metal stud, a piece of duct work, etc.) and work out of it like a feeding trough (in fact, the ToughCase would make an excellent birdfeeder - if you had a metal tree to hang it off of). In a smart move, DeWalt added little o-rings around the magnets so the case won't slide once it's stuck to something, but also to prevent any magnet to metal marring if you need to shift the case around. It's a clever little idea and one that certainly comes in handy from time to time. There are also little hooks on the back of the case so if there's no metal around, you can hang it off something.

dewalt_toughcase_2.jpgWe tested the ToughCase's durability a number of ways. First, we just sort of threw it around the driveway, then we kicked it a few times, then finally during lunchbreak the other day, we challenged the painters to a game of ToughCase soccer. Although we lost 2-1 (the painters are Brazilian, soccer's in their blood), the case showed its resilience. It got some corner dings and scrapes, but the functionality was perfectly intact.

So it's a tough little case, but there's one little glitch in it. It's sort of unavoidable, but the magnets that work so well on the outside of the case also work on the inside of the case. This means that the case is opened up, there are always a few drill bits or driver bits stuck on the inside of the lid. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but knocking them off each time we accessed the case was a bit annoying. But following the 'make lemonade' theory of life, we utilized these magnets a few times in situations when we were constantly switching between two bits. Instead of dropping it back in the box to get lost among its friends, we just stuck it against the lid for the next time we needed it. It's a nice little unintended feature of the box and one that offsets having to constantly knock bits off the inside of the lid.

dewalt_toughcase_3.jpg dewalt_toughcase_4.jpg

It looks like you'll be able to get the ToughCase in three versions; just the case, with a set of driver bits, or with a set of impact-ready accessories. Just the case will be about $12, the driver bits $20, and the impact gear $35.

ToughCase with driver set at Lowes

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

May 6, 2010

Bosch Power Box 360

bosch_stereo.jpgWith their 3rd upgrade of the Power Box, it's very possible that Bosch has arrived the world's most complete job site radio (even if it does look like an 8-bit space monster from an Atari 2600 game).

Other than swapping out a CD player for an MP3 port, the major difference between this version and the fantastic 2nd version is that it has 360 degrees worth of speakers. Now there is absolutely no escaping the guy who insists on listening to sports radio all day long.

There are going to be two versions available, the PB360S and the PB360D. It sounds from the press release like the D is the souped up model with a back lit display, more power output and a connection for satellite radio. Both versions come with the cool ability to play songs directly off of a thumb drive, so you don't need to worry about bringing your iPod to work and having it stolen by the sketchy painter who refuses to make eye contact.

PB360S at Amazon.com. It looks like the PB360D isn't available yet.

Read the full press release for more details and functionality after the jump.

ArrowContinue reading: "Bosch Power Box 360"

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

April 28, 2010

Ridgid 12-Volt Lithium-Ion JobMax Combo Kits - Review

ridgid_jobmax_1.jpg

By far the most interesting tool we've seen this year is the Ridgid JobMax. The principle here is pretty simple: create a universal power handle, stoked by a 12-volt drill, and then create any number of interchangeable heads that can click on to it. The end result is an entire JoBox worth of tools that's capable of fitting into a ShuBox. Ridgid has released two different JobMax kits, each with a different selections of heads and they were nice enough to send some samples our way so that we could check them out. We've had them for over a month now and we've used them at work and in the shop. We've used them for big things and little things, complicated things and easy things. And we've finally come to our verdict...

ArrowContinue reading: "Ridgid 12-Volt Lithium-Ion JobMax Combo Kits - Review"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (7) | social bookmarking

April 8, 2010

Liquid Wrench Lubes - Review

liquid_wrench.jpg

A while back, we reviewed the new Blue Works lubricating products from the guys who brought us WD-40. We casually used them around the shop and thought they were great. As it turns out Liquid Wrench has also just released a new set of lubes and they shipped a six-pack our way so that we could get a look. We treated them the same as the Blue Works...plopped them on a shelf and used them as needed.

The new products are; lubricating oil, penetrating oil, silicone spray. dry lubricant, chain lube, and white lithium grease. Pretty much anything that a guy could ask for.

Like we said in our review of the Blue Works products, we're not Tools of the Trade, so we don't have the time or resources to set up some elaborate test where we identically rust two sets of nuts and bolts and then saturate them in two different penetrants, and then have some way of measuring the torque needed to loosen each one. No, we try to base our reviews on what 'the guy in his garage' is looking for. And in this case, the question he wants answered is, 'do they work?" We found that after cleaning up the gears of our table saw, fixing a squeaky shed door hinge, and unsticking a bad drawer slide, the answer is yes. "Did we like them?" Yes. "If we saw them in a store, would we buy them?" Yes. And honestly, the same could be said for the Blue Works products. We have no idea what the chemical difference between these two brands is, and we really don't care. And we don't think that you really do either. If you're like us, you're going to be in a store looking for a few things and you're going to think to yourself, "oh yeah, I need some spray silicone for that window that keeps sticking." You just want something that works. And the Liquid Wrench products work.

Actually, one interesting thing about the Liquid Wrench products is the marketing. Where Blue Works takes a technical attitude and have loaded their website with stats and numbers, Liquid Wrench approaches things in a more user friendly way and concentrates on educating you about the practical uses of each lube. Their website is great and after a few minutes on it, we wanted to lube up everything we own. There's a nice page that lists about 100 around the house tasks and the lube that's best suited. There are also some seasonal uses here. This doesn't reflect on the actual performance of the lubes, but it's a smart approach for the company to take.

These lubes will be about $5 a can and should be at your local Ace and Lowes, but for a full retailer list, check out the Liquid Wrench website.

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

March 22, 2010

Grizzly 4-1/2" Angle Grinder Stand

angle_grinder_stand.jpgWe've always said that Angle Grinders are not only one of our favorite tools, but that they're vastly under used and under appreciated.

So it's nice to see this contraption in this year's Grizzly catalog. While it looks somewhat unstable and potentially dangerous, it does utilize the angle grinder so it's fine in our book. It seems that all you have to make a mini metal chop saw is attach your angle grinder (using the threaded hole for the side handle) to this base and away you go. We checked out the reviews over at Amazon and they both said that the tool is pretty good but the clamp to hold the workpiece is completely useless.

It's a cool idea though.

The stand costs $25 and is available at Grizzly and Amazon.com.

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

February 5, 2010

WD-40 Blue Works - Review

blue_works.JPGFor most of us, a can of WD-40 is all we need. It acts as a lubricant, a penetrant, a cleaner, and, for some, a deodorant. It's sort of a 'one can fits all' product. But for those who are really into their lubes, sprays, and foams, or for those rare occasions when the WD just won't cut it, WD-40 (the company, not the product) has just released a line of eight specialized items geared toward the heavy-duty and the hardcore, and, thankfully for us, they sent us a few cans to check out.

The new products are:


  • Industrial Grade Silicone

  • Industrial Grade High-Performance PTFE Lubricant

  • Industrial Grade Dry Lube PTFE Formula

  • Industrial Grade Multi-Purpose Lubricant

  • Industrial Grade White Lithium Grease

  • Industrial Grade Contact Cleaner

  • Industrial Grade Penetrant

  • Industrial Grade Degreaser

Reviewing things like this isn't easy. It takes too long and is too tedious to rust a couple bolt/nut combos together just to test out the Blue Works Penetrant against the leading brand. So we just put the cans on the shelf and used them as needed. Of the products, we tested out the Penetrant, the De-Greaser, the White Lithium Grease, and the Silicone.

The one we ended up using the most was the silicone, which had no issues assisting us with a gummed up slider and a couple sticky windows, as well as a few stuck wrenches. The White Lithium Grease, we put right in the truck (our old boss once said, "every old truck needs a can of white lithium grease under the driver's seat), and the penetrant did actually help loosen a rusty nut.

We liked the products and the cans have a cool look about them. The Blue Works website has a boatload of information on each one, including the MSDS sheets and scientific-sounding test results that firmly establish their dominance against other brands. We take a lot of those types of manufacturer's tests with a grain of salt, but WD-40 has a great reputation, so even if their products aren't 50 times better than the competition, they're at least 5 times better.

So now when WD-40 isn't doing the job or you're looking for something a little more specialized, you now have a place to go.

There's a boatload more information (including the MSDS sheets) over at blueworksbrand.com

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

December 9, 2009

Granberg Mini Mill G555B

granberg_mini_mill.pngIf you get all starry-eyed over those guys who head off to the woods of Alaska to build a house in the middle of nowhere all by themselves, the Granberg Mini Mill should, at least temporarily, puff your chest up and make you feel just as rugged. While the Grizzly men aren't using chainsaws to mill up their floor boards and sheathing, they are fully engaged in the entire process of tree to finished product, and it's this vibe that the Granberg Mini Mill will help you attain.

The Granberg Mini Mill is a jig set up for a chainsaw that allows you to make straight cuts, and thus gives you the ability to mill up your own stock. There's a carriage that the saw sits in with the appropriate dust deflectors and handles, as well as a rail that attaches to a 'you-supplied' 2x6. Screw the 2x to the log, lock the carriage in the rail and off you go.

The Mini Mill costs $84, which, to us, doesn't seem that bad. If you're the type who has always wanted to chop down a tree and make a table out of it, the cost of the tools are pretty insignificant when compared to the satisfaction of the completed project.

The Mini Mill looks like a nice set-up; small enough, and inexpensive enough for the ambitious diyer or woodworker.

At Amazon.com

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

November 20, 2009

Ridgid MagSwitch Switchable On/Off Magnetic Square

ridgid_magswitch.jpg
Ridgid is now selling a magnetic square, good for metal working, welding, things like that. It looks like you can switch it on and off and that three sides are magnetic with a breakaway force of 155 lbs. If we had one, we'd probably fall on it pretending we were Alec Guinness from Bridge on River Kwai.

"What have I done?"

Possibly at At Home Depot but we're not 100% sure.

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

November 4, 2009

Craftsman Blower Attachment for the String Trimmer - Review

craftsman_blower.jpgWe've got this great Toro electric leaf blower and before we bought it we did all the right research and truly agonized over the purchase. We finally decided on the make and model we wanted and went to the local HD to pick it up. At our last house, it was a charm. With the yard hugging the house so closely we could get most everything with a 50' extension cord and when necessary, break out the dreaded 100' (*shudder*). Now, at the new place, everything is different. Our front yard is practically an orchard and threading between the trees with the cord (attached to the lone exterior outlet on the wrong side of the house), while do-able, is impractical and tedious. Thankfully, the folks at Craftsman were nice enough to let us test out their blower attachments for the string trimmer. Could this little guy deliver adequate power to get the job done?

craftsman_blower_4.jpgSo how is it? Honestly, it's pretty nice. It blows at a peak speed of about 150 mph so it's not the full-throated blowing madness of our electric blower which operates at around 230 mph, but it does work and it's certainly better than raking (which occurs at about 2 mph). The length of the attachment places the blower unit at just the right height, making it easy to get the air under the leaves and the convenience of not having an entirely separate tool for the task is a real space saver in the garage. We should also note that there are gas and electric blowers that operate in the 150-200mph range, so don't think that the Craftsman is a step down from the other methods.

Removing the trimmer head and attaching the blower is a really easy process, just turn the tightening knob and press a little button and the trimmer is off. Installing the blower is as easy as sliding it on the shaft and clicking the button into place.

For speed's sake, the leaves we can reach with the electric, we'll probably still do that way, but the ones way out at the horizon line can be easily done with the trimmer attachment. So all said and done, we see this little guy benefiting both our situation as well as someone who has a pretty small yard with maybe only a couple trees and limited storage space. It's likely that you already have a string trimmer, but do you also have the space for a full-sized leaf blower?

The attachment fits any high quality trimmer. If you've never noticed before, string trimmers are essentially a hand-held PTO with the trimmer being just one of the attachments. In fact, Craftsman also has an Edger that we're reviewing as well. The blower attachment costs about $70 so it's definitely less than a regular blower, it also takes up a fraction of the space.

At Sears

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

August 20, 2009

DeWalt Impact Ready Accessories

dewalt_impact_ready.jpg

We knew that Milwaukee recently released a set of bits specifically designed for impact drivers, but we had no idea that DeWalt already had their own version in stores. DeWalt's new line of accessories is called Impact Ready and, like Milwaukee's Shockwave, they're built to withstand the relentless beating that impact drivers administer.

The breakdown on the accessories is here (as well as a full list of what's available) and the press release is after the jump.

A selection of the accessories is at Amazon.com and likely at your local Home Depot.

ArrowContinue reading: "DeWalt Impact Ready Accessories"

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

Join the Mailing List Newsletter
Enter your Email


Powered by FeedBlitz
Subscribe - RSS

facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg

Recent Reviews
Recent Comments
Dar Gray: I live in MN 55435 - where do I find read more
Kevin: very cool makes me want to get into lath turning read more
Radeleon: I can use this in my hobby stuff. Ive been read more
chris: What saw are you trying to hook it up to? read more
cdldsl: Bought the BASIC Chippewa boots brand new a year ago. read more
Site Navigation

Visit our other properties at Blogpire.com!

HomePire

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
All items Copyright © 1999-2014 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy