September 23, 2010

Gear Keeper

gear_keeper.jpgHave you ever been in a mall and seen a mother who has one of those tether things for their kid? You know, where the kid is actually on a freakin' leash? He can stray around, but if he gets too far, momma gives a sturdy tug to get him back to home base. We think those things are completely insane but when you carry the same principal into the tool world, it's a bit different.

So substituting, 'kid' with 'tool' you have the Gear Keeper. It's a leash for your tools; one end clips on the belt, the other on the tool. The line is coiled like an old-school telephone cord so it doesn't hang and cause a trip hazard if you clip the tool to your belt.

Judging from their website, Gear Kepper seems intent on creating a tether for every imaginable object that man has ever carried since he days as a cave-dweller. Check out the selection here.

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

September 13, 2010

Stitches in a Leg and Other Thoughts on Tool Safety

Azek_on_saw.jpg

I just got word that a good friend of mine did a nice slice and dice on his leg with a circular saw. He's a smart guy, conscientious, very experienced with tools, and just generally has a good head on his shoulders, but he was rushing and took a few short cuts. We've all done it. He's all stitched up now and it's not looking like there's going to be any lasting damage, but it's a serious reminder that no matter who you are, how good you think you are, how experienced you are, as soon as you let your guard down you're putting yourself in a whole lot of danger. It's a very fine line between confident (which is good) and cavalier (which is potentially deadly).

I try to maintain a healthy hatred of a few tools; table saws and chainsaws mostly, and to a lesser degree circular saws. Each time I step up to bat with one of these monsters, I try to remind myself what it can do and how quickly it can do it. Thankfully, I've thus far been free of any major injuries, but I've had a few near misses over the years. Here are the details on three of them...

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

August 18, 2010

Ergo Shoulder

ergo_shoulder.jpg

In the mental tool rolodex, the Ergo Shoulder sits pretty close to the Extreme Balaclava that we talked about last week; looks silly, easy to make fun of, will probably need it some day, slightly jealous that we didn't come up with the idea first.

The Ergo Shoulder is a bullet-free bandolero-like strap with a pad on the shoulder portion. The premise is very simple: add a little comfort to your shoulder when carrying heavy items. Other benefits include not destroying your clothes and having a larger area to balance your load. We see all the good of this item and like we said, it makes sense. We just can't see someone saying, "oh wait guys, hold on a sec. Before we unload that truck lemme put my Ergo Shoulder on."

The Ergo Shoulder is just under $40 and is available at Nomic Designs

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

August 12, 2010

Ergodyne Extreme Balaclava with Hot Rox Heat Exchanger

ergodyne_hot_rox.jpgFile 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

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

June 8, 2010

Snap-On SuperGrip Gloves - Review

snap_on_gloves_hand.jpgSnap-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).

snap_on_gloves.jpg snap_on_gloves_texture.jpg

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

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

March 15, 2010

ToolRider GSR Suspension Rig - Review

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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.

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

August 5, 2009

Xtend & Climb Telescoping Ladder

xtend_climb.jpgWhile 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

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

July 23, 2009

APC Power-Saving Surge Protector with LCD Timer

apc_surge_w_lcd.JPGThis 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.

At APC

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

April 29, 2009

APC SurgeArrest Power Saving Surge Protector - Review

apc.jpgAnyone 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.

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

March 17, 2009

Safety Last: Part 2

Safety_last_2.jpgHere 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

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

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