April 11, 2012

Makita 15 Amp Reciprocating Saw - Review

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We've been meaning to write about this tool for a long time now, a few years actually. Back in 2009, we had two of them on a site and they were worked so hard and treated so abusively that everyone was stunned they somehow survived. Pictured is one of those two tools as it looks today; a little ragged and worn, but still a complete warhorse.

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

February 9, 2012

Festool Planex LHS 225 Long Reach Drywall Sander

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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?

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

September 21, 2011

Bosch PS11 12V Max Angle Drill/Driver

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Judging by how much we use our Milwaukee 12 volt right angle drill, we'd assume that if we had one one of these new Bosch tools, we'd give it a pretty good workout on a weekly basis. We're not plumbers or electricians, so we don't need a high-powered tight angle drill for chewing 2" holes through 2x4s. We're carpenters, so we need them for hinge tightening, small awkward duct adjustments, and working up on top of door casings and other strange places.

The Bosch takes the right angle concept but, like one of their older 12V tools, adds an articulating head to the mix. The head has five locking positions, which should be enough for whatever it is you want to do. We're down with the whole articulating head idea seeing as there have been a few times when the straight-up right angle drill has been a tad limiting in a constrained space.

This fella is sold with two batteries and is going to set you back about $150-$160.

At Amazon

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

July 18, 2011

Dremel Saw-Max

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Dremel has just announced a cool little tool called the Saw-Max. But after seeing a picture of the tool, we think that "Saw-Min" might be a better name. We're not trying to disparage the tool, just point out that it's really, really tiny.

The Saw-Max is a little circ saw, perfect (According to Dremel) for making cuts in laminate flooring and materials of that nature. It has a cut depth of 3/4" and a flush cut ability, both of which should make it pretty handy around the jobsite too.

It does bear a resemblance to the RotoZip saw that hit the scene last year, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that the two companies are owned by Bosch.

It will be available in October and will set you back about $130.

The press release for this little Bad Larry is after the jump (look for the bonus press release that comes with it!)....

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

July 11, 2011

Torchmate 2x2 CNC Prototyping Machine - Review

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CNC Machines live in that mysterious world of the professional metal shop. You've got to be a pretty intense dude to have one of these things in your garage. What they are is automatic cutting systems that work through a computer program. Draw something in a CAD program, load it over to the CNC machine and it carves or cuts out the shape. These things are usually massive and some of them are even encased in a large chamber with a constant oil spray to lube up the cut.

So anyway, Torchmate, a well-respected name in the CNC world has recently released a smaller version of their popular machine. This new one, the 2x2 has a much smaller bed and is intended to be a user-friendly version of their larger machines, one that will hopefully appeal to the average Joe hobbyist. They were nice enough to send us one to play around with for a while and we happily agreed.

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

June 17, 2011

DeWalt DWS520K 6-1/2-Inch TrackSaw Kit - Review

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Our recent shelving project turned out to be a lot more involved than we originally anticipated. To do the work, we ended up setting up an entire shop in the room we were doing the work in. We moved in the miter saw (getting extra room because the saw was the Bosch Axial Glide!), set up a work table, built temp shelves for our tools and made hooks for extension cords. Pretty much everything we needed was in the room. Except for the table saw. It's a good sized room, but table saws are like pool tables...they may look like they're a manageable size, but in order to actually use one, you need an area that is about five times its size.

So the table saw was out in the driveway, rain or shine, and we would have to go through a door, down a hallway, through another door onto the porch, and then yet another door to the outside, walk down the path and then to the saw every time we wanted to make a cut. There has to be an easier way, we thought.

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

June 16, 2011

Bosch 10" GTS1031 Compact Table Saw - Review

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Of all the bulky and awkward jobsite table saws, none is more bulky or more awkward than the full-sized Bosch model that comes attached to one of the most infuriating saw stands known to man. It's a fine item if you're just wheeling the saw around a driveway, but any relocation beyond that is pure agony due to the fact that the saw can't be detached from the large, wheeled stand. But since we feel a rant coming on (that saw is one of our true bete noires of the tool world), we'll divert to the matter at hand, which is Bosch's new compact table saw, a tool that is the apparent opposite of the sprawling, gargantuan full-sized model. A while ago, Bosch sent us one to check out and here's what we thought...

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

June 8, 2011

Porter-Cable Compact Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit 450PK - Review

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The release of the Bosch Colt a few years back seemed to be the official kick-off of the 1+ horsepower laminate trimmer/router. We don't know if it was the first or not, but it was certainly the first that made a real beachhead on the construction site. We got one right when it came out and since then, we've hardly used our full-sized router at all. Now, most brands have these little workhorses and last year, DeWalt upped the game with their own version complete with a plunge base. Porter-Cable has followed suit (not surprisingly, now that they have the same parent company as DeWalt) and released their fixed/plunge base model (that looks eerily similar to the DeWalt, minus the variable speed). They sent us one to check out and we found some good and some, well, not so good...

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

May 26, 2011

The Ancient and the Badass: Old Milwaukee Drill

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A guy we're working with right now busted this tool out the other day. The thing is solid metal and works like a mule. He said that he's never had to get it repaired (but there were a few years where the trigger acted a little funny) and he's consistently used it for as long as he's had it. This is the best part: he bought it new.....in the late 60s. So this thing is over 40 years old and it still churns on. Badass.

Check out Milwaukee's newer tools here or just check out what Amazon has here.

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

May 25, 2011

Tools of the Trade - Product Watch

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The latest issue of Tools of the Trade is out and with it, my latest Product Watch column. It's a roundup of a about 20 new items of interest to the tradesman. It's not all hand and power tools either (although there is a lot of that), so there's plenty that you'll see that isn't covered on Tool Snob. It's got everything from a freaky mixing paddle to a bizarre and very unsettling jobsite security system to a extraordinarily useful ladder.

Have at it here.

And do yourself a favor and subscribe here.

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

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