June 20, 2014
On-board bit storage on a drill is like cheese on a cracker (and I'm not entirely sure what I mean when I say that). I think the point is that it's kind of essential, or at least, if it's not there then it feels like something is lacking. But the bar here is set pretty low; even the best drills only come with room for maybe one or two 1" bits. This is alright, but if you're really getting into a project, it sure would be nice to have a spot to stick a bit for pre-drilling or to have room for four or five additional bits (P1, P2, P3, R1, R2, T15, etc). So yeah, wait a minute, here comes something called the Holdsabit. It actually looks like a one of those backpacks that you put on a dog for camping, but instead of holding Alpo and whiskey, it holds bits.
Holdsabit was nice enough to send us a sample to test out and we've been playing with it for a while now and have come to our conclusions. Continue reading: "Holdsabit - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Benches, Stands, and Storage | Bits and Blades
May 14, 2014
Minuteman, makers of some nice, high-quality watches (check these out) have just released a new knife, the MM01K. Like all of their products, a portion of the purchase price goes to assist veterans and their families (25%).
According to the release...
[The MM01K is an] all titanium handle knife, with a 3.5 inch Elmax Steel blade coated in DLC and then tumbled to give it a black stone washed finish. What this creates is not only a fantastic looking knife, but also one that is very durable to scratches and scrapes. Because of the tumble finish, small marks and scratches will just blend in and add to the look.
We also like that the company branding is kept to a bare minimum with only the Minuteman logo showing up on the small pocket clip.
As an added bonus, if you pre-order now, you can get $54 off the purchase price. This still puts it at a bone-crunching $225, but then again, this does look like a very nice knife. Just don't lose it.
At The CGA Company
Read More in: Hand Tools
May 12, 2014
Well, this looks like it could be pretty cool. The Striker Capsule Task Light is a small light that can take on four different configurations; headlamp, magnetic base, spring clip, or lanyard.
We've used some Striker gear over the years and have always liked what we've seen, particularly the small magnetic LED (that happens to look like a WWII naval mine).
If this new one works, it looks like it could be a solid contender for the glove box or tool bag side pocket. It's not available until June, and it will be about $25.
Press release after the jump Continue reading: "Striker Capsule Task Light"
Read More in: Work Lights
May 8, 2014
In the last few years, there has been a lot of good stuff written and said about the value of blue collar work. The book Shop Class as Soulcraft and the seemingly tireless work of Mike Rowe are what immediately comes to mind. Personally, I've lived in both the blue and white collar worlds and greatly preferred the former over the latter.
Sears and Craftsman are playing their part in support of the trades by now offering vo-tech schools and students 50% off the first-time purchase of a tool set and tool storage unit. The program is called the Tech Schools and Tools Partners Discount Program for students and you can sign up here.
There's more information in the full press release (after the jump). Continue reading: "Sears Vocational Discount Program"
Read More in: Tool News
April 18, 2014
Without question our all time favorite ladder is the Little Giant Select Step (our review here). You can set it up on stairs, position it right up against a wall, or just utilize it as a standard 5,6, 7, or 8 foot step ladder. It's kinda heavy, but the innovation contained within is more than enough to off-set that.
And the good news is that the company has turned their attention towards the standard extension ladder. Just the other day we got word of something called the Little Giant Velocity 24' Extension Ladder. After a quick run-down of the features it's looking like Little Giant has solved many of the irritations associated with using a large extension ladder. Continue reading: "Little Giant Velocity 24' Extension Ladder"
Read More in: Lawn/Garden | Painting | Safety
March 21, 2014
This actually happened sometime last year and we keep meaning to mention it. Better late than never, I guess. But if you're a hardcore tool type and this is boring, old news to you...well, sorry 'bout that.
But yeah, Ridgid's new website is about a million times better than the old one. It's organized in a much better fashion and really puts a good presentation on the company's tools. We're fans of Ridgid and like the new look.
Check it out here: Ridgid.com
Read More in: Distractions | Tool News
March 19, 2014
Klein has just announced the release of their new All Purpose Pliers, which basically look like long nose pliers with some wire-stripping abilities. According to Klein, the tool...
can strip, cut, and loop 8-16 AWG solid and 10-18 AWG stranded wire, plus it has screw shearing holes. These pliers are built of forged steel with induction-hardened cutting knives for maximum durability and long life. The hot-riveted joint also ensures smooth action and no handle wobble. This tool is spring-loaded for self-opening action and features Klein's dual-material Journeyman™ handles that provide a firm grip and added comfort.
These have a lot of the same vibe as the Milwaukee 6-in-1 Pliers, but there are some differences. The nose of the Milwaukee has serrations on it for reaming out conduit, but it also has a angular nose that has quite a bit less taper to it than standard long nose pliers. The Klein has a more traditional look and is spring loaded, if you're partial to that style.
Either way, the fact that these two companies have invested some resources into this style of combination tool means that it's likely more will follow suit.
Oh, and the Klein comes with the Journeyman handles, which is really good. We've been using their standard Journeyman Long Nose Pliers quite a bit lately and the handles are definitely a high point. Very comfortable and durable.
We didn't get word on pricing, but Amazon has the Klein Journeyman at just over $30 and the Milwaukee's at just under $30, so our guess is that the All-Purpose will settle in somewhere around there.
Read More in: Hand Tools
March 17, 2014
"ssshhhh! I'm mowing the lawn."
Craftsman has just released two mowers with something called "Quiet Technology," which, as you would assume, makes the mowers much quieter than the norm. How quieter, you ask? According to Craftsman, it's 65% quieter than a comparable Toro, which is significant (but still, don't expect to be able to run one of these down the center aisle of the local library). The company has also redesigned the blade so that it also makes less noise. All of this quiet sauce is the result of a partnership with Briggs & Stratton, the reputable engine manufacturer.
So now, disturbing the neighbors will no longer work as an excuse not to mow the lawn. Lucky you.
There are two models available; a front wheel drive and an all wheel drive.
Here are some highlights taken from the press release:
The OHV Briggs & Stratton 725 series engine featuring Quiet Power TechnologyTM works together with the mowing blade to provide superior sound reduction and improved quality of sound.
Features the Craftsman-exclusive Smooth StartTM plus starting system and EZ push button start, making it quick and easy to start the engine.
The Briggs & Stratton 725 Series engine is backed by the Briggs & Stratton Starting PromiseTM - "starts in 2 pulls or we'll fix it for free."
Offers a 22-in. 3-in-1 deck, allowing for simple bagging, mulching and side discharging, with a four-point deck adjustment.
Includes Craftsman-exclusive EZ Bagging AccessTM for single-handed bag removal while disposing your clippings.
EZ Walk Dual Trigger Drive ControlTM and 8-in. rear wheels for added ease and smooth operation.
Craftsman-exclusive EZ Store HandleTM provides a quick and easy handle adjustment for single-handed bagger removal, multiple users and storage.
Front-Drive ($325) at Sears and All-Wheel ($475) at Sears
Read More in: Lawn/Garden
February 13, 2014
Well, this is interesting. While researching for another article, I just ran across this little fella at the Craftsman website. It's a cordless brad nailer and it looks like it carries a lot of the same mojo as the Ryobi AirStrike which was released last year (our review is here).
Both tools can handle 18-gauge brads from 5/8 to 2-inch. They both have LEDs and two firing modes. Belt hooks, you name it...they're pretty similar.
I'm a big fan of the AirStrike and think that it really opens up nail guns to the non-pro crowd. Compressors are a hassle and not everyone wants to deal with them, and the cordless nail guns that are already on the market are priced waaaay too high for the casual user. So here comes Ryobi, and now Craftsman, both well established brands with solid battery platforms offering a relatively inexpensive ($130 for the Ryobi, $140 for the Craftsman) nailing options.
So as far as which one to get, it probably comes down to a couple questions:
1. Do you already have any 18-volt Craftsman or Ryobi tools?
If none, proceed to question #2.
2. Which is closer: Home Depot or Sears?
Speedshot at Sears ($219 with Charger and one battery) and bare tool at Craftsman.com
Read More in: Air Tools | Cordless | Lithium-Ion
February 12, 2014
We split our scribing needs between a set of dividers and whatever block of wood we have on hand. Honestly, unless we need to be precise to the 1/64th, we generally opt for a block of wood. This method may not carry with it the finesse of the dividers, but it provides a stable surface to hold the pencil against and it's very easy to keep the pencil tip in line with the scribed surface. Dividers are definitely more precise but if you accidentally shift the angle of your hand, things can go awry. The needle end can also get hung up on things from time to time and there's the potential for the adjustment to slip, especially if you're keeping them set for multiple scribes. On top of all this, they're delicate, so some caution has to be taken with their storage.
Well some smart dude recently took the wooden block idea and ramped it up to Ferrari status with something called the Simple Scribe. It's a very oddly-shaped tool that completely stabilizes the pencil and lets you choose between seven different scribe distances. About a month ago, they sent us one and while it may not fulfill 100% of our scribing needs, it handles most of them with ease. To the point where it has even secured a coveted spot in the toolbelt. Continue reading: "Simple Scribe - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Hand Tools
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