Michael's Latest Articles

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    Jackson Professional Tools Total Control Elite Demolition Hammer

    Jackson's Total Control Elite Demolition Hammer is a sledgehammer with a difference: One of the striking faces tapers down to about 3/8 inch thick for rough prying — or for concentrating the striking force along a line to break concrete more easily.

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    PDY Systems Lift-n-Lock Organizer

    Small items can be difficult to keep isolated in a portable parts box.

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    Stanley Hand Planes

    Stanley has redesigned some of its most popular hand planes.

  • New Tool Report - May 2009

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    First Test: Nail Kicker Pneumatic Nail Remover

    For such an ingenious tool, the Nail Kicker is based on a very simple concept. What if you could use a nail gun instead of a hammer to pound a nail back through a board? All you would need is a nailer without a magazine, right? That's the idea behind the Nail Kicker.

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    Ridgid R250AF18 Finish Nailer

    Ridgid's new R250AF18 15-gauge finish nailer runs on a compact 18-volt lithium ion battery pack and weighs 2 pounds less than the competition, says Ridgid.

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    Knaack PowerCrew Power Supply

    Now you can keep battery chargers or a heater running overnight without pinching an extension cord under the lid of your crew box.

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    Rapid Pro Mfg. Twist-n-Seal Caulk Tube Plugs

    Tired of trying — and failing — to seal the ends of your half-used caulk tubes with tape or a nail?

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    Stanley-Bostitch CPACK300 Combination Kit

    Bostitch's CPACK300 combination kit packages three finish tools with a 6-gallon oil-free pancake compressor and a hose.

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    Hitachi Nailers and Staplers

    Hitachi has entered the floor-fastening market with five new nailers and staplers.

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    Tajima Tool Chalk-Rite Jam-Free CR301JF

    Tajima's Chalk-Rite Jam-Free CR301JF holds 3 1/2 ounces of chalk — enough to snap 689 feet of lines, says the maker.

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    Landon Innovations LegUp Lifter

    Wrestling a thick sheet of MDF onto a table saw by yourself can be a real feat, but attaching a LegUp pivoting sheet-goods lifter to your saw table or fence rail can help.

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    Tiger Claw Semi-Automatic Hidden Deck Fastener Installation Gun

    Using hidden deck-fastening hardware makes for a neater-looking composite deck but takes longer than using face-installed screws.

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    First Test: NailOut Pneumatic Nail Lifter

    The NailOut is an air-powered cat's-paw designed to work just like a manual cat's-paw but without the hammer swing. Essentially, this tool is an adaptation of a pneumatic tool called a scaler that's used in the metal fabrication industry. A scaler's simple reciprocating action–or stroke–is similar...

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    First Test: Diablo Hand-Held Mixers

    Tile contractors spend a lot of time standing over a 5-gallon bucket mixing various setting materials, and most just use a 1/2-inch drill for the job. That's not an ideal approach, because the tool isn't purpose-built for the application. Always on the lookout for something better, we found the...

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    FirstTest: Lee Valley Plane Irons

    As with any edge tool, a hand plane's blade, or iron, is the key to its performance. Yet many people try to make due with their irons poorly tuned and sharpened. The irons on common planes usually need a significant amount of work before they will cut suitably, and then even more to cut really well.

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    Deconstructing Houses, Building Your Business

    This tough economic climate has builders thinking creatively and moving laterally when it comes to their businesses. They are becoming remodelers, renovators, even repairmen to keep work lined up for themselves and their crews.

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    The Crop Report: A Preview of New Tools

    Even though the building economy is in a slump, new tool launches don't seem to be slowing down a bit. Rapid in-house prototyping lets companies move designs to market quicker than ever, and fiercely competitive overseas production keeps many prices as low as they've ever been.

  • New Tools Preview

    Two weeks ago, we told you about some upcoming Fall tool releases from some of the biggest brands that will be profiled in the September/October issue of Tools of the Trade. Since then, we've found a few more launches that we can reveal.

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    First Test: Stiletto Airgrip

    Stiletto Tools has come up with an ultra-grippy rubber tool handle cover with cold-shrink technology. Unlike heat-shrink tubing that can melt or cause you to char your tool handles, the Airgrip material simply shrinks into place at room temperature.

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