December 29, 2008

Craftsman Mini Circular Saw

Craftsman_mini_circular_saw.jpgWe stumbled across this while we were Christmas shopping at Sears. It looks like a better version of the disappointing Croc Saw minus all of the multi-material functionality that wasn't all that functional anyway. This one is essentially a three inch circular saw with an emphasis on the plunge cutting ability. The display model in the store that we played with seemed like it was easy to use and didn't have all of the blade guard issues that plagued the Croc Saw.

The customer reviews over at Sears are mostly all positive although one guy (Yakov) only gives it one star saying that the switch and the guard are difficult.

This little guy costs about $100 (the same price as the Croc Saw) and if it works it's definitely a fair price for this tool.

At Sears

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

December 10, 2008

Dremel Videos

dremel_in_action.jpgA little bit back, in our Oscillating Tool Roundup, we mentioned that Dremel had posted up some videos of their Multi-Max in action. As it turns out, they've got all sort of videos up at their site, not only of the Multi-Max, but of their other tools as well. It's a good selection of projects and if you're looking for some inspiration or you're curious about what a Dremel tool is capable of, they're worth checking out.

We're big fans of Dremel here and have reviewed a number of their tools:
Dremel 75th Anniversary Rotary Tool review is here.
Dremel Duo review is here.
Dremel Multi-Max review is here.

Check out the videos here.

Dremel tools at

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

December 8, 2008

Skil Benchtop Tools Website is Live

skil_benchtop2.jpgSkil has just launched a micro-site for their new line of benchtop tools. We went down to N.C. earlier in the year for a sneak peek at the tools and can say that they're a solid selection set at a very attractive price point. We also liked that there was an added emphasis on safety, due to the fact that, because of the price, it's likely they would appeal to first-time users.

The website has tons of information on the tools (including videos) as well as a quick history of Skil, which is worth checking out.

Our thoughts on the benchtop tools in general are here, and we took a closer look at the belt sander here. This all reminds us that we haven't yet written anything about the other tools in the series (like we said we would).

Check out the website here.

The benchtop tools are available exclusively at Lowes

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

December 3, 2008

Arbortech Power Chisel and Mini-Grinder


We've always thought that grinders don't get the respect they deserve. We see them as sort of an all-purpose material remover, and it doesn't matter if that material is metal, stone, or wood. For as useful as they are, it's a shame that they've stayed mostly in the hands of contractors. Maybe we're wrong, but as far as what we've witnessed with our own eyes, there aren't that many DIYers with grinders.

Along these lines, we just heard that The Australian company Arbortech, known for their fantastic AS160 brick and mortar saw has released two attachments for a the grinder which will hopefully make more people look twice at this great tool.

The first attachment is a Power Chisel and it's exactly what it sounds like. The following video shows it in action and its wood removing power is impressive.

The second attachment is a Mini-Grinder and this little guy looks like it can really do some damage. The video for this one shows it in very delicate and precise situations, but we'd wager that it could come in handy in all sorts of building situations.

According to Arbortech, the attachments fit on most 4" and 4-1/2" grinders and can be installed within minutes. The attachments can be purchased as stand-alones or with a grinder. Not surprisingly, there is about a $100 price difference.

We checked out the Amazon reviews and we ran across one guy who had some problems getting the mini grinder to fit on his DeWalt. We then checked the Arbortech site for details on this and found that this can be a bit tricky. If you're interested in these tools and want to buy them as attachments for an existing grinder, you should go here and see if you'll need any adapters and what kind.

Power Chisel (without tool) at
Power Chisel (with tool) at
Mini-Grinder (without tool) at
Mini-Grinder (with tool) at

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

November 26, 2008

Paslode CF-325 Cordless Framing Gun - Review

paslode_cordless.jpgA while back, we reviewed Duo-Fast's new cordless framer. It's a great tool and since it was our first experience with a cordless framer in many, many moons, it greatly revitalized our opinion of the tools. Instead of us thinking of them as malfunction-prone stinky guns, we now think of them as very handy, stinky guns (that gas reek from a cordless nailer can be brutal first thing on a Saturday morning). So, with our new outlook on the tool, we were interested in testing out Paslode's latest entry into the cordless framer arena, the CF-325 Framing Gun.

ArrowContinue reading: "Paslode CF-325 Cordless Framing Gun - Review"

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

November 23, 2008

New SawStop Video - Real Finger Used.

On Friday, we told you about Tool Crib's scoop on the possible Nail Jack takeover of a Nebraskan Vise-Grip factory. Today, we're lifting another one of their posts, this one containing a new video of the famed SawStop.

We've all seen the SawStop vs. Hot Dog video and have been impressed, but there was always a part of us that thought that using a hot dog to demonstrate the finger-saving blade brake was a little lame. If this tool really works, why doesn't someone from the company step up and jam their finger in the thing? Well now, the inventor of the tool Steve Gass has done just that.

The clip looks like it's a segment from some Discovery Network show. It's got a lot of great video of the saw brake in action and at the very end, you get to watch a guy stick his finger in a whirling table saw blade. The whole thing is amazing.

Check out Tool Crib's post here.

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

November 20, 2008

Ridgid One-Handed Fuego Reciprocating Saw


Ridgid has recently released a corded one-handed reciprocating saw that appears as if it could be handy in any number of situations. Looking like it lands somewhere between Milwaukee's new Hackzall and a full-sized recip saw, the Fuego would be good in a joist bay or a crawl space and for you light DIYers out there, it might be powerful enough to be the only recip saw that you'll ever need.

The new tool is 4 amps, which isn't much when compared to the 15 amp monsters that Makita, Bosch, and Milwaukee have out, but it should be enough to take care of most small to mid-sized tasks. The tool also has an LED, a variable speed trigger, and what looks like a nice ergonomic handle (UPDATE: We just saw this at the local Home Depot and played around with it for a bit and the handle is pretty small. We've got good-sized hands and our pinky couldn't even fit on the grip area, with gloves on this is only going to get worse). It comes with a duffel-style carrying case and Ridgid's lifetime warranty.

We're not sure why the Fuego name is on the tool, other than the fact that, like the Fuego saw, it's compact. Regardless of the name, it looks like a cool item.

The Ridgid costs about $100, which for all its usefulness, strikes us as a more than fair price.

More info at Ridgid
At Home Depot

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

November 19, 2008

Craftsman Nextec 12-Volt Lithium-Ion Hammerhead Auto Hammer

craftsman_autoHammer.jpgThis looks like an interesting item. It's a small 12-volt impact hammer, perfect for times when swinging the 16" Estwing isn't practical. According to Sears, the Auto-Hammer can drive up to a 16 d nail (3-1/2").

The technology appears to be similar to that of a pneumatic palm nailer. Craftsman explains that their tool nails at 2000 impacts per minute. The tool also has a magnetic tip and a built in LED to light up the workpiece. Both of these are great additions, seeing as this tool is going to be particularly useful where it's cramped and dark.

At first we thought that battery longevity might be a problem with the tool, but then we started thinking about any 12-volt impact driver and how long those batteries can last, so hopefully that won't be an issue.

This tool costs about $100 and comes with a case, a little pry bar, a charger, and one battery. It will be available in December.

At Sears

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

November 13, 2008

Chicago Electric 120-Volt Multi-Function Power Tool (Oscillating Tool)

chicago_oscillating.gifReader Kent B. emailed to tell us he saw that Harbor Freight is now selling Chicago Electric's "120 Volt Multi-Function Power Tool," which is their way of saying "oscillating tool." The price on this is an extremely inexpensive $50, and it will be available on Black Friday for an even lower $40.

We've never touched this tool so we can't really comment on the quality, but with the freakishly low price, we feel confident drawing the conclusion that it's probably not the most durable tool in the world and that it'll likely have some kind of smoke pouring out of it before too long. We've had enough experiences with $20 angle grinders and $15 rotary tools to know what this kind of pricing indicates. You never know though, we could be wrong...

The kit comes with a scraper, sander, plunge cut blade, and circular blade.

At Harbor Freight

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (58) | social bookmarking

November 12, 2008

DeWalt TrackSaw

dewalt_tracksaw.gifSometime this month, DeWalt is releasing their new TrackSaw. If you've never seen one before, it's a circular saw hybrid that runs on a track, making it perfect for long straight cuts and ripping down sheet goods, like plywood. Festool has had one out for a while and even though we've never used it, we've got friends who swear by it.

DeWalt's system looks pretty identical to the Festool; there's the track and the plunge cutting saw. The saw has a 13 amp motor and an anti-kickback mechanism and the track will be available in two sizes, one for 4' cuts and one for 8' cuts. DeWalt is also going to be releasing a number of accessories, such as an adapter so a router can be used on the track. There will also be a 28-volt cordless version available.

The TrackSaw will be available in three different kits; one with a 59" track, one with a 102" track, and one with both tracks. It's looking like the prices will be $500, $550, and $600 respectively for the corded and $900, $950, and $1000 for the cordless.

There's more information on the saw here and we also found a video of someone from Fine Woodworking taking a look at the saw.

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

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