January 14, 2014
Klein has really been stepping up their game lately. It seems like every week we're getting a new press release announcing a new tool or accessory. Most of them are geared toward the electrician but some, like their great line of tool bags, go beyond that into general interest.
In the category of "electrician's only," they recently hit the scene with a new Compact Ratcheting Modular Crimper. They sent us one to check out.
In the past, about 8 years ago, I used a crimper, exactly once. So, I really don't have much business writing a review of one. To get a sense of the tool, I spoke to my brother-in-law who is a bit of a wiring fanatic. He's constantly rewiring his house by himself. He recently had some Verizon guys there to install some stuff and he ended up taking over and doing the work himself.
But back to the crimper. Klein describes it as:
- All inclusive tool cuts, strips and crimps data and voice cables.
- Cuts and strips CAT6, CAT5e, CAT3 and flat-satin voice cables.
- Crimps 6 and 8 position modular connectors (RJ11, RJ12, RJ45)
- Compact, ergonomic design for natural, single-hand operation.
- About 40% smaller than other crimpers for easy storage.
- Heavy-duty ratchet ensures complete termination.
- Quick reference connector wiring diagrams provided on the tool and downloadable to your mobile device.
- Direct lateral crimp action provides more even, precise contact termination across all pins.
Here's what the Bro-in-Law had to say...
"I have a separate toolbox for doing the electrical stuff around the house; rewire / replace plugs, switches etc., add new outlets, put in new / replacement lights etc. If I can find a Klein tool to do the job, I'll buy it. They tend to be expensive but worth the cost in the long run due to their durability and reliability. Making data and phone cables can be a painful process with the wrong crimper tool... I have a non-Klein crimp tool made by IDEAL that has a bit of a problem cutting the wire prior to crimping. I like the quick reference connector wiring diagrams that can be downloaded because I just don't do enough cables to remember the wiring off the top of my head (someone doing it every day would probably not need this feature). And the idea of a smaller crimp tool is great because my box is already stuffed. Cool that it does all the CAT types."
So yeah, there you go...now you know at least a little about the tool...and my brother-in-law...
It's a little over $30 at Amazon
Read More in: All Reviews | Electrical
January 7, 2014
Well, this is something worth writing about. Bosch has just announced an 8-1/2" miter saw and it looks pretty slick.
We've always been advocates of 10" miter saws over their HGH-addled 12" siblings. 12" saws are just too big to lug around and the additional size is rarely needed under normal circumstances (we just fully gutted the house and added an addition, and I don't think a 12" saw was ever used at all). Sure there are times when it's handy, but do they really off-set the added hassle of the larger tools? We tend to think not. So we're 10" guys through and through. Our current favorite is the Hitachi because the motor is so smooth and the tool is so light (the onboard laser is total junk, but we don't really care about that).
So in that context, this 8-inch tool is pretty interesting. It's only 37 pounds, which is a big plus, and it appears to have some good long rails on it because it can cross cut up to 12-1/4". So for most day-to day operations, this thing has it covered. Sure, you can't timberframe with it or do some mega crown, but if you're just framing and busting out some normal trim, this could be your guy.
If you're a full time carpenter, this looks like an ideal secondary saw. Just drop it off for the punch list and move your 10 or 12" over to the next job.
Bosch is off-loading these for about $470, which is about right, maybe a shade on the high side. But we've had a lot of experience with Bosch miter saws and overall think they're really nice tools.
Ye olde press release is after the jump: Continue reading: "Bosch CM8S 8-1/2" Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw"
Read More in: Power Tools
December 16, 2013
If you read this site with any regularity, it probably means that you're sick of listening to me complain about painting. I cry and moan about it a lot and now that I'm painting my entire house, I've ratcheted up the ire quite a bit in the last few months. Well, 3M's new Patch Plus Primer is designed to skip a step in painting. They asked if I wanted to try some out and of course I said "oh yeah!" I've been using it for a few weeks and here's what I think... Continue reading: "3M Patch Plus Primer - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Painting
December 2, 2013
Rockwell has just hit the scene with a little circular saw. 4-1/2-inch blade, to be exact. This is a good sized step down from the standard 7-1/4 or the increasingly popular 6-1/2 inch blades. These smaller trim saws aren't uncommon, but Rockwell decided to give theirs an "in-line" body style, as opposed to a traditional circular saw body. The result is that it looks like one of those "all-purpose" saws that claims to cut tile, stone, and wood. But given my experiences with those saws, I'm happy to report that this one is nothing like them and thankfully, is only geared towards wood. Rockwell sent us one to check out and here's what we thought... Continue reading: "Rockwell 4-1/2 Inch Circular Saw - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tools
November 22, 2013
Because I grew up in Vermont, those super-stiff John Deere mesh baseball hats have a special place in my heart. My childhood is filled with images of ancient farmers with those boxy green and yellow hats perched way up on the tops of their nearly bald heads. What this boils down to is that even though we're heading into winter, I'm going to make note of the new line of mowers that Deere released earlier in the year, the X700 Signature Series.
These tractors have a lot to offer, but it's the Auto-Connect that is the real stand out. It's a great solution to taking the mower on and off the tractor. Here's a video:
The tractor also got awarded a "Best of What's New" from Popular Science, which is no small bag o peas.
The tractor is about 10K, but as we all know, nothing runs like a Deere (full press release with tons more info and all the rest of the features is after the jump).
Also, pick up one of the great old boxy JD hats at Amazon. Or if that's not your style, they have other ones that have a more "this century" feel to them. Like this one. It's a cool hat, I used to have one similar to it that we wore all the time. That hat started a lot of conversations, but not any more because it got stolen by some lowlife a couple years ago. Continue reading: "John Deere X700 Signature Series"
Read More in: Lawn/Garden
November 21, 2013
Klein has a very distinctive style of screwdriver. It has a reversible shaft and at each end fits a reversible bit. Also, the hex ends (which are different sizes) can be used as nut drivers. Its a clever way to have multiple driver tips at quick disposal. We were happy to see that they've also released something called the Multi-Bit Power Driver. It's an accessory that takes that same concept and puts it on the end of your drill or impact driver. They have two sizes available; one holds five different drivers and the other six.
Klein was nice enough to send us a sample of each to check out and we pretty impressed with them. There's not a whole lot to say, really. They're easy to use, convenient, and, according to Klein, rated for impact guns. Continue reading: "Klein Multi-Bit Power Driver - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tool Accessories
November 18, 2013
A while back Festool released a little worklight, called the SysLite. They sent us one a looong time ago and we haven't gotten around to reviewing it until now. This is actually pretty strange. It's not like we've forgotten about the light. How could we? We use it for literally everything.
Most work lights don't offer much beyond, "here is the bulb and here is a swivel adjustment." Not so with the Festool. The SysLite is a whole different animal. Continue reading: "Festool SysLite High-Intensity LED Work Lamp - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Work Lights
November 8, 2013
Couple weeks ago, we mentioned the Rockler Koostik kit. It looked like a cool little diy project for just about anyone. Rocker was kind enough to send us one to check out so we took a little time from the schedule and assembled it and this is what we think. Continue reading: "Rockler Koostik Kit - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Benches, Stands, and Storage | Radios
November 5, 2013
A little while back Senco updated their line of cordless auto-feed screwdrivers. The new versions are not only powered by a li-ion battery, but they also have a space age look to them, giving it the appearance of something that Ripley from Aliens would use. Senco was nice enough to send us one of their DS212 18s to check out and here's what we thought. Continue reading: "Senco DS212 18-Volt Li-Ion Auto-Feed Screwdriver - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Cordless | Lithium-Ion
November 4, 2013
I consider my front door to be one of my prized possessions. It's original to the house, just about 100 years old, and it's made of the good old heavily shellaced, tight-grained pine that doesn't exist anymore (with a casing made of chestnut...which also doesn't exist anymore). It's got that nice red look to it and it takes a good shoulder shove to get it to close. It's a great old door.
But because the world is a creepy place, I needed to put a deadbolt in it and that meant drilling a few holes. Installing a lockset from scratch isn't really a difficult thing to do, it's just drilling holes. But the placement has to be exact. That's where door lock jigs come in. Over the years I've proved to myself that I can indeed drill out for a door lock freehand, but that doesn't mean I want to suffer through the process each time. I really don't. It's tedious and if I can avoid it, I'll do it. I knew that Milwaukee recently designed their own jig, and they nicely agreed to send me one to test out. Continue reading: "Milwaukee Door Lock Installation Kit - Review"
Read More in: All Reviews | Jigs
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