June 16, 2010

Plans for an Adirondack Chair from Skil

double_adirondack.jpgOn their website, Skil is offering free plans for a nice looking double Adirondack chair. It might be something for dad to do with all of his new tools that you're getting him for Father's Day.

In other Skil news, they also have a 12" compound miter saw for short money at Lowes and Amazon.com. Looks like a nice saw and it's only $200.

Get the plans here.

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

June 11, 2010

Porter-Cable Heavy-Duty 15-Amp Circular Saw - Review

pc_saw_3.jpgThese are the hardest reviews to write. When we're writing about some freaky new tool that we've never seen before like the JobMax or the JawHorse, we never have any shortage of things to say (which is why some of our reviews compete with Anna Karenina on overall length). But when it comes to a direct drive circular saw, we lose our word mojo. Because we're carpenters, we do the carpenter thing; grab the saw, give it a heft and a quick look-over, make a few cuts with it, and pass judgment.

So what is there to say about the new Porter-Cable 15-Amp Circular Saw? Since Porter-Cable sent it to us over a month ago, we've brought it to work for some framing (and some additional opinions), then we brought it back to the shop and built a gate with it, and in that time, we've also used it for all those little odds and ends that you end up using a circular saw for; a cut here, a cut there, some kindling for the fire pit and some dunnage for the woodpile. And, well, honestly, it works great and was liked by everyone who looked at it. Are there any insane, dynamic features that we've never seen before that are going to revolutionize the tool industry? Nope, not really. Are the features that it has successful and well thought through? Yep.

pc_saw_2.jpgpc_saw_1.jpg

The stand outs for us are the 1-amp motor that's strong enough for everything we threw at it, the nice long cord (huge plus, in our eyes), the large, easy-to-grab bevel handles and the fact that it's 9.5 lbs (very light for a 15 amp saw, due, in part, to the cast magnesium shoe).

We tested its durability with a few drop tests and one 'hurl-it-across-the-garage' test, and other than a few little scuffs, it survived with no problems. We could see this saw taking job site abuse without any issues.

The bottom line is that it's a really nice saw and we would recommend it to any serious DIYer and any carpenter as well. It's priced at about $100, which is more than reasonable for a saw of this nature.

At Lowes

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

June 10, 2010

Multi-Function Power Tools

rigid_jobmax_popsci.jpgHere's an article we wrote a bit ago for Popular Science. I was in the June print edition and we just stumbled across it online. It's about three new multi-function power tools. If you're up on your Tool Snobbing, you'll already be familiar with them; the Ridgid JobMax, the Rockwell H3, and the new Skil Flooring Saw.

Read the article here.

Subscribe to Popular Science here or here.

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

June 7, 2010

Bosch GCM12SD 12" Axial-Glide Miter Saw

bosch_axial_glide_miter_saw.jpg

The big hoo-haa of Bosch's press party last week is, without question, their new take on the miter saw. As an answer to Festool's oddly expensive Kapex, which modified the rail system so the motor travels on a stationary rail, Bosch has altogether eliminated the rail system and replaced it with two articulating arms that look like they fell out of a Bionicle box. The result is a miter saw that you can back right up to a wall. A very nice characteristic if you're a remodeler and you're constantly struggling with open space at your job sites.

According to Bosch, the glide mechanism has 12 sealed ball-bearings making for a smooth and stable movement. Additionally, the tool has a glide damper so you can alter the resistance to suit your own psychotic personality. Also, Bosch is saying that the stability of the blade alignment is much better than in a traditional miter saw.

And as with other Bosch saws, the bevel controls are all up front. Our primary miter saw is a 10" Bosch and this feature alone puts them over the top. Now that they've got this new freaky-deaky arm, things are looking even better.

The street price on this one will be around $700 which is about the price of their current high-end 12" miter saw. It's looking like they're going to be in stores sometime around October.

At Amazon.com

The full press release with more information is after the jump...

ArrowContinue reading: "Bosch GCM12SD 12" Axial-Glide Miter Saw"

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

June 2, 2010

Big Waves Over at Bosch

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As we speak (or type and read, rather), Bosch is in the midst of their annual press event. It's when they gather all the toolish writerly types in a room and unveil all the new and innovative tools they're set to release this year. Well, thanks to Twitter (honestly never thought we'd say those words) you can follow along as well.

To get in on the action and see some photos of the new, and completely insane looking, Axial Glide Miter Saw, go follow #GLT10. It's a two day event, so there's sure to be some good stuff tomorrow as well. But man oh man, that saw is going to be tough to beat....

Axial Glide Amazon.com

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

May 27, 2010

Poulan Wild Thing 18" Chainsaw - Review

poulan_hero.jpgNo one is ever going to mistake us for lumberjacks, but we're also not going to pass for city-dwellers either. Because of the wood stove and all the trees on the property, we need a half-way decent chainsaw. We happen to have gotten this Poulan a few years back as a gift from our old boss and we've been using it ever since despite the fact that it's purple and green and has the words 'Wild Thing' printed on the bar (which, thank the heavens, has finally rubbed off).

But aesthetics aside, it starts when we want it to and it cuts when we need it to. We neglect it most of the year and don't pay too much attention to properly winterizing it. From time to time, we have to fiddle with the idle, but that's not a bother. The only thing that's functionally wrong with it is that the pull cord got all tangled up once and in the process of fixing it, we lost a few revolutions of tension, so it hangs a bit loose. No big deal. It still starts.

poulan_front.jpg poulan_front_2.jpg

We don't think a whole lot about the saw (like we said, we sort of neglect it), but what spurred this review was last weekend's project of making a patio/planting bed border out of railroad ties (have you ever tried picking up a railroad tie? Oh man, are they heavy). The front of the patio has a curve in it to follow the driveway, so we had to make a number of relatively precise cuts with the saw. Like all the other times, the saw started right up and acted just like a chainsaw should. It handled the railroad ties without a problem and other than a fine creosote dust on everything and a chain the needs sharpening, all is good in the world.

Seriously, the only problem we have with the saw is the whole "Wild Thing" thing. Had this not been a gift, we would have never purchased it ourselves based on that alone. We think it's just kinda lame. Sort of like the tool equivalent to having neon lights on the under-carriage of your car.

The Wild Thing costs about $150 and as long as you can handle the look of the thing, it's a great choice for someone looking for a reliable homeowner saw without a big price tag.

At Amazon.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

May 26, 2010

Milwaukee M12 3/8" Right Angle Drill/Driver

milwaukee_rt_drill_hand.jpgThe manic depth that Milwaukee has achieved with their 12-volt platform is pretty well documented by this point. In addition to the standard tools like drills and saws, they seem more than happy to delve deep into the trades, coming up with things like electrical metering tools and PEX expansion tools. We've gotten our hands on a fair number of their M12 line and have hardly had any complaints at all. It's all very stellar.

Now, or rather, late last year, they added a right angle drill to the mix. They sent us one for something else we were working on (which is here, by the way), and we liked the tool so much, we though we'd mention it on this site as well.

Milwaukee_rt_drill_action.jpgBecause it's only constrained by the little 12-volt battery, Milwaukee was able to make the drill very small and the 3-3/4" head is capable of getting into some very tight spots (sorry about the blurry photo). It has a nice paddle switch, so it's easy to use no matter what contorted position you find yourself in, which is good because where right angle drills are concerned, contorted seems to be the norm.

There is also an LED, a 12-position clutch, and a fuel gauge. It's got great power and, if need be, can sink a 3" drywall screw.

The drill comes with a charger and a single battery, which is fine because, face it, if you're getting this, you've either bought into the Milwaukee 12-volt system and you're lousy with batteries, or you're getting it for those times when you absolutely need a right angle drill. If you're looking for your one and only drill, there are better options out there.

milwaukee_rt_drill_head.jpg milwaukee_rt_drill_case.jpg

The kit costs about $120, which isn't much at all when you start doing the, "what's my time worth?" equation.

At Amazon.com

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

May 19, 2010

Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool

genesis_oscillating.jpgThere was a bit there when we'd hear of a new oscillating tool release and our eyes would sort of gloss over. After the first big rush of releases, we got a little sick of the tools. But we just noticed this new one and it's price alone makes it worth a mention.

The Genesis GMT15A Oscillating Tool is a paltry $35 at Amazon. It actually has a pretty sharp look about it as well. Who knows what you're going to get at the price, but it might be worth skipping a night out with the fellas in order to find out.

It looks like it comes with the standard assortment of blades and that the chuck can accept Bosch accessories.

We did a little research and can't find any other mention of Genesis tools (other than the non-related rescue tool company - which, by the way, is totally badass and worth checking out here). So who knows what the deal is? We still recommend the Fein to anyone who is looking to really get into oscillating tools, but if you just want something to play around with and the spending purse isn't as heavy as it used to be, maybe give the Genesis a shot. Who knows, there's at least one comment at Amazon that seems at least somewhat satisfied?

At Amazon.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (6) | social bookmarking

May 5, 2010

Ridgid JobMax Vs. the World

rigid_jobmax_and_others.jpg

Yesterday, we noticed that our latest Popular Mechanics article has been posted up. In this one we put the Ridgid JobMax head to head to head to head to head to head against the all of the tools that it can transform into. We were pretty surprised with the results.

Check out the article here. Also check out the Tool Snob review of the JobMax here.

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

April 15, 2010

Hammer Drill vs. Rotary Hammer: Tool Test

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Our latest Popular Mechanics article is up. This time we tested out the new 12-volt Rockwell H3 Hammer Drill (it's actually a rotary hammer), against an 18-volt Hammer Drill and a corded rotary hammer. The results of the tests are actually pretty interesting, and the performance of the H3 is not what we were expecting at all. We'll leave it at that so you click through to the article.

And if you don't care to read the article, it's worth going to Popular Mechanics just to check out the new redesign. Things are looking pretty slick and it's a big improvement over what they used to have going on.

Watch for a more in-depth review of the H3 in the coming days.

Check out the Pop Mech article here.

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

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