Tool Blog Reviews
Editor's Tool Reviews
Studpop is a new stud finder design that uses a magnet to locate the studs in your walls. Using magnets to find studs is nothing new, not only have I been using this method for years, but it is also my method of choice. Typical magnetic stud finders are not perfect though, but Studpop seems to have found the solution.
I can't imagine that the average tradesman, donning a well worn pair of work pants along with a comfortable tee-shirt, thinks about fashion while putting on a pair of rugged boots. And a GQ kinda guy I am not—even off the job site—but when I tool-up with my Blaklader Bantam Kangaroo vest, invariably someone will notice and ask, "Where'd ya get that work vest?" Framers, cabinet installers, and even electricians seeing the Blaklader vest note its practical use for their trade (in addition to its fashionable appeal).
A while back Makita sent out a sample pack of their new Impact Gold Bits, Sockets, and Nut Drivers, all of which are rated to handle the high torque that today's impact drivers can deliver. They also sent out some fasteners, some fastening materials and some suggestions on how to put their new impact ready bits to the test. Of course I ignored their scenarios and put the Makita Impact Gold Bits to the test while on the job.
If you are tired of having to baby your multimeter with special padded cases, cringing with each step up on your ladder as your precious meter leaves the safety of the ground, worrying that it could slip to its certain death? Then Klein's new MM500 Auto-Ranging tough meter might be just what you need.
It might sound a bit crazy that drilling a hole into your power cord can actually make it better, but that is the idea behind the CordLatch. The CordLatch is a small accessory, that when attached to your cord, solves the problem of unwanted cord to cord unpluggings.
When you think of Milwaukee you don't really think of hand tools, but Milwaukee has been on a push over the last couple of years to change all that. This year Milwaukee has introduced a number of new hand tools, including the screwdrivers we will be reviewing today. In the review I will be going over their General Purpose Screwdriver Set as well has their 10in1 Ratcheting and 10in1 Non-ratcheting drivers.
The reason for buying a portable generator may vary from person to person—one might want to power up tools on a remote jobsite, another to use for camping and recreation, or still another for backup electricity during a power outage—but if your reason for choosing a portable generator is portability then you'll want a generator that's truly portable.
When Coast contacted me and said they were sending over their new HL27 LED Headlamp, I couldn't help but remember that I had just done a video of their HL7 LED Headlamp; what could be so different? It turns out the HL27 has a number of improvements that might make it worth an upgrade.
A couple of months ago I teamed up with Weller to give away one of their brand new soldering irons that feature built in LED lights. Not only were they kind enough to let me give one away to you fine Tool-Rank readers, but they also sent me one so I could see for myself if those new LED lights made a difference.
Back when I tested the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Brushless Hammer Drill, I found that it easily proved itself to be a powerhouse. It took on every task with speed, while also showing long battery life. Being that their M18 Fuel Impact driver is in the same M18 Fuel family, can it too prove to be a powerhouse? Let's find out.
Recently I had a chance to put Bosch's new GCL-25 laser-level to real practical use. The GCL-25 laser level features five beam points—up, down, forward, left and right; in addition, it also displays continuous cross hair lines—horizontal and plumb. The beams and lines are all self leveling and can be used independently or together. The tool's featured 5-point, cross-hair combination made it ideal for my project, which, prior to the introduction of this layout tool would have required two tools or more.
If you are using a lock to protect your tools, you might want to ditch what you are currently using and give Commando Lock's Peacemaker Safety Series lock a try. Packed with military grade features and costing only about $12, you can't go wrong.
Last year I reviewed the first and original silicone glue brush from Rockler and was impressed right away by how well it worked. And while I liked the brush and recommended it, I did have a problem with it not being able to fit inside a glue bottle. Rockler's solution? The Mini Silicone Glue Brush.
Gorilla Glue recently came out with a new single use tube packaging for their original polyurethane Gorilla Glue formula. The idea is that a person that rarely needs the glue can open up a fresh tube for each project; or stash away a tube in a tool box, glove box, tackle box, etc box when a repair calls. We already know the Gorilla Glue polyurethane formula works, but will the new tubes keep the glue fresh?
Husky has recently come out with a whole new line of pliers and wrenches that are designed to be affordable and come with a lifetime guarantee. They sent over a few of their new tools so we could take a look and let you know what we think about them. So lets jump right in.
When you are a tradesman there is balancing act that you are always faced with. There are only so many tools you can take with you, so you have to choose what stays and what goes, and this is why I like tools with more than one function. This is also why a company like Swanson makes a tool like the Savage SVK666 Folding Jab Saw/Utility knife. It takes two tools that are commonly used when working with drywall and combines them. But how well did Swanson do at pairing these two tools up? They sent us one so...
Can an 18 gauge nail gun with a name unfamiliar to most carpenters compare to the guns made by the big name tool makers?—Well, this carpenter emphatically says Yes! In fact the Uffy finish nailer I recently used surpasses my expectations in nail guns, and over the years I've used many brands.
Brushless motors are the latest innovation to hit cordless power tools. In fact it is so new that there are few cordless tools that take advantage of the technology. In this article I am going to review two brushless drills that are available now, the 2604-22 Milwaukee Brushless Hammer Drill and the LXPH05 Makita Brushless Hammer Drill. Just for a stat comparison, I also threw in last years HDH181 Bosch Hammer Drill which is not brushless.
People are always on the lookout for tools that allow themselves to work faster, heck, this is the whole reason electric drill/drivers were created. But there is such a thing as having too much power, and you end up putting precision at risk. The Swift Driver aims to provide people with a faster way to drive screws, yet still allow the user the control required for certain tasks.
All headlamps are not created equal and to get a headlamp that can handle the demands of a jobsite, and last, you need something more than your average hikers light. I have used a few headlamps in the past that cost around $20, but none of them could handle the jobsite abuse I threw at them. Today I review the Pixa 3 headlamp that Petzl sent me, a light that has been built for contractors. Will it hold up?
My wife loves her garden; so when she happened to suggest that this year she would like to try raised garden beds, and Craftsman happened to request a review of their new digging shovel, I said; "let's get started." A serious digging project requires a serious digging tool, and the Craftsman Long Handle Digging shovel is as serious as they come.
I think I have said this before, but when I saw the DeWalt ToughSystem and the features it offered, it was love at first sight. I was already in the market for a modular type storage system/tool box and had been scoping the offerings from the other brands, but the ToughSystem had a complete solution that best suited my needs.
Rockler must have a great team of product researchers in their employment because every year they come out with a few great products that either fill a void, solve a problem, or improve upon a design. This year one of their products is the silicone glue brush. Some of you guys wanted to know how well it worked, and Rockler was kind enough to send me one, so I put it to the test.
This might be hard for some of you to believe, but one of my most used tools on the jobsite is actually a pair of sawhorses. Whenever I need to cut a counter top, a wall panel or the occasional door I need a pair of sawhorses. Since I move around a lot on the jobsite, the lighter the horse the better, so plastic horses are a must. I have used a bunch of different saw horse brands over the years, but I have never been happy with any of them, that is, until I purchased a pair by...
When it comes to drills and other popular power tools, it can be hard to rank one higher than another because they are all so similar these days. The race to offer the most power has plateaued, and now manufactures have to win over our hearts with other features. Does the new Bosch HDH181 Cordless Hammer Drill have what it takes to win you over? We put it to the test.
The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and we are entering what I like to call "flashlight season". Soon you will be arriving at work, or leaving, in the dark. Because of the dangers of the jobsite, one thing you don't want to do is navigate in the dark. The reasons to keep a flashlight handy far outweigh the excuses to not have one, so it would seem to be perfect timing for a flashlight review, and I have one for you thanks Coast. What Coast sent over was their A15 Professional LED...
Bosch sent me out their Cordless PS50 Multi-X a few months back, as well as their Corded MX25E Multi-X. Since I got them both around the same time, and have used them both on the jobsite, I figured it would be best to do a single article that reviews and compares both models together. Oddly, Bosch's introduction into the oscillation tool market was done with the 10.8/12-volt cordless PS50, while other manufacturers and even their own tool subsidiary, Dremel, all introduced corded models. But even though the PS50 is a few years old, it...
I have never been a fan of folding utility knives. They always felts cheap, the mechanism that holds the blade in place seemed dangerous, and they were darn right uncomfortable to use. Their handiness was far outweighed by their design flaws. With all of the flaws in the Utility Folder class, could DeWalt's introduction of the DWHT10035 Folding Retractable Utility Knife do any better than the folders on the market today? DeWalt sent over the knife so I could find.
I was a bit skeptical when I first heard that DeWalt would be making hand tools. I figured the tools would just be re-branded Stanley tools, like the Bostitch hand tools were. How would a bunch of re-branded hand tools be interesting news for you to read? It wouldn't, but thankfully for all of us, the new DeWalt tools are not just a simple logo change. The DeWalt line of hand tools look like they were built upon Stanley models, but also improved upon. As a way to show the skeptics among us what they really...
Channellock has put together a great general purpose tool roll set, and in my opinion it is the best tool set they offer. The Tool Roll No. 3 Gift Set includes the: 430 tongue & groove plier, 420 tongue & groove plier, 337 cutting plier, 3017 long nose plier, 526 slip joint plier. These 5 tools are a great addition to a DIYer's small collection of tools, and can be used for many of the most common DIY tasks. This is not some cheap tool set either, and should last a lifetime. Channellock sent me this...