August 12, 2010
File this one under, "strange, but yeah, I guess it kinda makes sense." Ergodyne, a company serious about their work gear has recently released an extreme balaclava (bet you never thought you'd hear those words) with a little built-in heat exchanger called the Hot Rox. The gizmo works by trapping heat and humidity from your exhale (aka your nasty coffee breath) and adding it to your inhale, thus keeping your core temp nice and toasty. in a way it's like you're constantly kissing yourself.
It's pretty easy to make fun of this thing now, especially since we've been sweltering in about three weeks of 95 degree weather, but come February, we probably won't be laughing anymore (and if you think you hear us laughing, it's probably just our teeth chattering). There's going to be a time when we'll be needing warmth so badly, we're going to want one of these things, even if it does mean looking like a robotic ninja.
The press release is after the jump.
$26 at Amazon.com
Continue reading: "Ergodyne Extreme Balaclava with Hot Rox Heat Exchanger"
June 8, 2010
Snap-On, makers of the disorganized mound of tools that you see at your mechanic's garage, has just released a new work glove. The interesting thing here is that the palm side of the glove is covered with these little silicone nubs in order to provide increased gripping power. They were nice enough to send a pair our way so we could check them out.
To evaluate the gloves, we simply tossed them in the truck and used them at work over the course of a few weeks. We even let someone borrow one (and only one), which was returned with the statement, "sorry, got a little paint on it" (see photo below for what a 'little' paint looks like).
For the most part, we use Mechanix gloves, which we like for a lightweight, light-duty glove, but we're really not a fan of the aesthetic. Unfortunately, they decided to print the word, 'Mechanix' all over the gloves, giving them a strange and way too flashy look. It's actually a little embarrassing, wearing a pair when talking to a client. Anyway, the Snap-On are the same style, but minus the obnoxious bling. They're thin enough so you can pull a single nail out of a pouch and they tighten with the Velcro wrist strap. They're nice gloves. The silicone nubs are good too. They do add extra gripping power, but thankfully, they don't interfere with any other operations, like using a pencil or tying the boots or anything like that.
We're in favor of the Snap-Ons and after using them for a while, we're going to start getting them instead of the Mechanix. It's basically the same price so the extra gripping power and the lack of flair easily tip the scales.
$25 at Auto Zone and Pep Boys
March 15, 2010
There are two main factions in the tool belt world; the leathers and the nylons. It's sort of like the carpenter version of the Sharks and the Jets. Us? We usually dodge the question by opting for the simple nail pouch with a separate hammer loop. Our quasi-supervisory role at work doesn't allow us to spend too many days fully tooled up. But on those days when we're forced to do it, we go for the old leather belt that we have. In our opinion, there's something about them that just feels more...well...authentic. But we don't have anything against the nylon belts, it's just that we've never really found one that we've been all that into. They seem a little too modern and futuristic for us.
But we're open-minded folks so we jumped at the chance to review the the nylon ToolRider GSR Suspension Rig when Rooster (also makers of McGuire-Nicholas rigs) offered to send one on.
Continue reading: "ToolRider GSR Suspension Rig - Review"
August 5, 2009
While we were flipping through the latest Extreme How-To (a magazine that we love and would recommend to anyone), we noticed an ad for the Xtend & Climb Telescoping ladder. Having lived in some very cramped apartments, we're particularly sensitive to those of you with zero storage and thought that this product was worth a mention.
The Xtend & Climb is a compact ladder that is capable of extending, step by step, into a much larger ladder. Sort of like an extension ladder that starts at about 3' and can make it, depending on the model, up to 15-1/2'.
There are a number of different models that have different safety ratings and extend to varying heights. They do have job site ready models with a ANSI rating of 1A, which means that they can handle up to 300 lbs of your twinkie-eating ass.
This kind of ladder would be good for anyone from the apartment dweller to the homeowner to the traveling handy-man. With the kind of durability and storage capabilities that the Xtend & Climb has, it could be useful to actually anyone who is in the market for a ladder.
As far as price goes, it looks like a wash. The Xtend & Climb 780P, which is comparable to a standard 16' extension ladder sells at Amazon for $249.99. The Werner 16' Extension Ladder with the same safety rating goes $249.25, so unless you're really into penny pinching, it's the exact the same price.
Xtend & Climb Ladders at Amazon.com
July 23, 2009
This isn't exactly something that you're going to bring to the job site or workshop (although you could), but we thought it was interesting enough to mention. It's a Surge Protector that has an internal timer that you can set so that it kills the outlets completely during certain hours.
In their press release, APC gives a good example of the uses this could have,
For example, users can program a charging station to power on upon arrival home from work to recharge an mp3 player and cell phone and then program to power off the next morning once the user departs for work. The LCD timer's flexibility allows multiple users to set a variety of on/off times for all of their energy needs.
We also think it could work for temp lighting and heat at a job site. Or also to keep the lights on for a few hours at night to scare away the seedier elements of society.
There are two models available; a 4-outlet (all on timers), wall-mounted unit, and a six outlet (five on timers) strip unit with a 3' cord. According to APC, the annual power savings to be $40 and $60 respectively. The protectors cost $17 and $20.
April 29, 2009
Anyone who was reading this site back in December knows that we had a little power outage and anyone who has read the site since knows that we've made a career out of bitching about it (see here and here). Well why stop now? What follows is a review of a surge protector, which, admittedly is a bit outside of our area of expertise (and by 'a bit' we mean 'a lot'), but before you click back over to your favorite celebrity gossip site, you should know that we found that the item had an intriguing feature that translated very nicely into the workshop setting.
Continue reading: "APC SurgeArrest Power Saving Surge Protector - Review"
March 17, 2009
Here is another collection of photos showing the safety practices of people with room temperature IQs. This stuff boggles the mind.
See the photos at IBEW Local 725
See our first installment of Safety Last here
December 22, 2008
As we've mentioned, we recently spent six days without power. Two of those days (the middle two) were spent elsewhere but we decided to return to the house to keep the wood stove going and to keep an eye on the pipes, hoping that we wouldn't have to go to any major preventative measures such as draining them or fussing with anti-freeze. During the course of the episode, we realized that there are a few items that came in really handy. And when we say, "really handy," what we mean is, "we couldn't have gotten by without them."
The items that achieved MVP status are as follows:
Continue reading: "Power Outage '08 MVPs"
November 23, 2008
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.
July 24, 2008
Some safety nuts in England have recommended that carpenters and woodworkers no longer use brooms to sweep up dust and wood shavings for fear of asthma attacks and increased chances of nose cancer.
Instead they are advising carpentry firms to buy state-of-the-art vacuum cleaners and air purification systems which can cost thousands of pounds.
When brooms are outlawed, only outlaws will have brooms.
Read the article here.
Fight the power and buy a few push brooms at Amazon.com.