September 9, 2015

Ryobi 18-Volt Drain Auger

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The Ryobi 18 volt cordless platform is really pretty wild. Once you have a couple batteries and a charger, you can go bonkers on the bare tool purchases, like their new Drain Auger, set to be released later this month. While it may seem strange at first glance, after some further thought, this piece of gear makes a whole lot of sense. The specifics of the item are that it has a 25-foot cable, a power feed mechanism and can be effectively used on drains of up to 2-inches. It costs about $70 (bare tool).

That cost may sound steep but most plumbers I know (around the Boston area) have an hourly that is at least that and in most cases a decent amount more. If you have to deal with a drain clog, this tool will pay for itself fairly quickly.

I've got an old manual snake and it's a mess to deal with. It's the kind with the off-set Z handle, so wrapping it up and storing it is a chore. It sits in a milk crate somewhere in the back of the shop. I try not to think about it, even on the rare days that I come across it. But something like this Ryobi is a lot more user friendly. The electric ones in the style of the Ryobi (self feeding) are cheaper (which is nice), but they don't offer the quick plug and play of the cordless, like if you're trying to deal with an exterior line.

Read More in: Cordless | Inspection Tools | Plumbing

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September 4, 2015

Peavey Timberjack - Review

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If you ever have a yearning to feel like Paul Bunyon, you should invest in a Peavey. It's a tool for maneuvering massive logs and because of the old-fashioned mechanical advantage it's about the most satisfying tool to use. They're technically called timberjacks, but Peavy is the "Kleenex" version (the company that everyone knows the tool by). But the nomenclature doesn't matter. Even if you call them "wood-handled, metal hooky thingies" you should still get one. If you're unfamiliar with the tool, you won't believe what you can do with them.

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Read More in: All Reviews | Chainsaws

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August 19, 2015

McCulloch Pro Mac 10-10 Chainsaw - Review

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For this installment of Chainsaw Week (TM), we're taking a look at a little slice of history: Poppa ToolSnob's McCulloch Pro Mac 10-10 Chainsaw.

To me, this tool is what always first comes to mind when someone mentions the word "chainsaw." It's the first one I ever saw and it's imprinted on me like a momma chicken is imprinted on a baby chicken. FOTS (Father of Tool Snob) has had it as long as I can remember, which probably ages it somewhere around at least the 35 year mark.

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August 18, 2015

Kobalt 80-Volt 18-inch Cordless Chainsaw - Review

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As part of our ongoing festivities with Chainsaw Week (TM), we're now going to take a look at the new Kobalt 80-volt 18-inch Cordless Chainsaw ($300).

The first thing I noticed is that it's an 18-inch model, which is rare for a cordless chainsaw. Most of the manufacturers seem to opt for the smaller 12 or 14-inch bars. But this one is backed by a mondo 80-volt battery, so it can supposedly crank out enough power to chug the longer bar through wood.

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August 17, 2015

Chainsaw Week at Tool Snob

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We're kicking off our first (and possibly last) Chainsaw week.

Huzzah!

What's happened is that I've got a massive pile of logs that I need to turn into firewood and with the renovation over, I'm finally getting time to deal with it. This newfound freedom has also coincided with me trying to get a couple chainsaw reviews wrapped up. Add the two together and... *poof* ...Chainsaw Week.

So to get everyone in the mood, let's strap on the kevlar chaps and look back at some of our old chiansaw coverage...

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August 12, 2015

Hold a nail gun for three seconds...and win a truck?

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Pretty much.

Paslode is running what they call the Pick It Up Challenge and there is going to be someone, somewhere out there (you?) who wins a 2015 Ford F-150 for simply picking up a nail gun.

The rules are thus: The promotion runs through October 31st and in order to enter, just head your pretty little self off to a Lowes or Home Depot and find the display for the Paslode F325R Compact Framing Nailer, pick one up (I'm assuming that there is a sample available, likely chained to the display), then scan the QR code to enter. It all sounds very, very basic and easy.

And while you're at it, I would strongly recommend that you consider purchasing one of said compact framing guns. I recently reviewed it for Tools of the Trade and it's really great. The body of the gun is a little smaller than the norm, but the magazine is completely truncated. So sure, it has a smaller nail capacity (about 40 nails at a time), but it's easier to maneuver and way lighter. The whole thing isn't even six pounds. It's actually smaller than my old Senco finish gun.

Obviously if you're a framer, you're going to turn your sunburnt nose up at this thing, but a remodeler will really enjoy using it. Honestly, if you're a DIYer, this is really all you need. Why bother haul around a massive gun if you're not going to benefit from it. Is it that important to impress your neighbor? How many racks of nails are you really going through in a day?

At Home Depot

Read More in: Air Tools | Promotions

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June 22, 2015

Milwaukee Tools 2015 New Product Symposium

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Last week I was able to head off to Milwaukee Tools for their annual Product Symposium where they unleashed all of their latest and greatest tools and gear. There is a lot coming too. To get a sense of what I'm trying to get at, picture a giant red tidal wave with white lightning bolts shooting out of it (a toolnami, if you will). Hearing about each and every one of these new tools over the course of a single day was like being attacked by a grizzly bear made entirely of information. Honestly, towards the end, my mind was beaten down to the point where I felt like Brad Pitt from 12 Monkeys. Now here I am a few days later, trying to decipher my scribbled notes and jumbled memories.

Here's what I've got for you...

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Read More in: Benches, Stands, and Storage | Bits and Blades | Clothing | Cordless | Electrical | Grinders | Hand Tools | Inspection Tools | Levels | Lithium-Ion | Measuring & Marking | Plumbing | Power Tool Accessories | Power Tools | Safety | Work Lights

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June 8, 2015

Ridgid R4040S 8-inch Tile Saw - Review

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Here's a piece of advice: if you're a DIY tile guy...even if you only do a tile project once or twice every few years, you would be doing yourself a massive favor by tossing that little table top tile saw that you have in the garage and investing in a larger model with a sliding tray. The cost difference might sounds like a lot ($100 vs $500), but the ease-of-use and quality of the finished product between the two are miles apart. If you're just installing one bathroom floor and you're never tiling again, fine, get a table top. But if you're doing anything more than that, seriously, seriously consider getting a bigger saw. It makes all the difference in the world and it will save you loads of aggravation.

I'm speaking from experience here. During the full gut/remodel/addition of my house (aka: the Lost Years), I tiled three bathroom floors, two tub surrounds, a shower, and over 550 square feet of basement floor. For the first bathroom and a half, I had an old Masterforce that immediately died on me, so I ran out and replaced it with a Ryobi table top because it was the cheapest thing that looked half way decent. Around that time, Ridgid offered to send on their 8-inch Tile Saw ($500) for testing. Since I still had a boat-load of tiling left to do, I said, "Hells yeah, I'll give that thing a whirl." Turns out it was one of the best decisions I made during the entire renovation. The difference between a real tile saw and those little DIY ones is like night and day. After having used the 8-inch, I can never go back to a smaller one again. It's like learning to walk after crawling.

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June 6, 2015

Win $5000 Worth of Feeney Railings

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Fellow tool-writer and long-time pal Rob Robillard of A Concord Carpenter is running a contest that is going to have one lucky person walking away with 5K off of their Feeney Railing DesignRail tab.

To enter, you have to send in an image of the view from your deck (where the railing will be installed). The most interesting view will be picked as the winner. My own submittal is above. Good luck suckas.

The timing of the contest is pretty good too. Most of us are just now getting around to checking out the status on the exterior of the house and, well, lookee here, rotted newel posts...twisted balusters. Could be time for a replacement.

All of the information that you need is here.

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June 5, 2015

BernzOmatic Trigger Start Plumber Kit

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If you've never soldered copper pipe, you should give it a try. It's really easy and when you're done, you feel like you've accomplished something cool (at least I do). The most important part is having all the right ingredients on hand, and that's what BernzOmatic's new Trigger Start Plumbing Torch Kit does. It's a one-stop purchase that includes a torch (with a trigger-start), an acid brush, some flux, and a small roll of solder, basically everything you need to get going. BernzOmatic was nice enough to get one in my hands so I could check it out.

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Read More in: All Reviews | Plumbing

Doug Mahoney Permalink | Comments (0) social bookmarking

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