Tim's Latest Articles

  • DeWalt DW0822 Layout Laser

    This combination tool shoots both lines and dots, and can be used in place of a plumb bob.

     
  • Stabila R Beam Level

    This high-end model has a stiff body, comfortable grip, and vials guaranteed to be accurate for life.

     
  • Wobble Light Work Lights

    There is no such thing as too much light on the jobsite.

     
  • DeWalt and Makita Jobsite Radios

    Recently, my crew and received updated versions of the DeWalt and Makita radios we tested a few years back. Here’s how they performed on the framing site.

     
  • Image

    Max X-Line Air Hose and Lifeline

    The Max X-Line eliminates a tripping hazard by functioning as both an air hose and a safety line.

     
  • Image

    Skil Mag77LT Saw

    This spring Skil released an upgraded wormdrive saw that the company says is 4 pounds lighter than the very popular SHD77.

     
  • Image

    Max RB397 Rebar Tier

    The grapple-like jaws of this cordless tool tie rebar so fast you can barely see it happen.

     
  • Keen Work Boots

    Tools of the Trade called and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing some work boots from Keen. I was sent a list of boots from their Industrial Line, and I ordered a couple of pairs each.

     
  • Milwaukee Cordless Caulk and Adhesive Gun

    My crew recently switched from a pneumatic caulking gun to an M12 battery-powered model from Milwaukee.

     
  • Image

    Lightweight Framing Nailers

    These sub 8-pound nail guns are comfortable to use and surprisingly powerful.

     
  • Skil Mag77LT

    Skil recently announced a new wormdrive saw that they say is 4 pounds lighter than their Mag77. That grabbed my attention because the Mag77 is one of the lightest inline saw around .

     
  • Framer's Everyday Carry

    It’s not easy to earn a place in my tool bags. Here are 11 tools that make the cut.

     
  • Two Fisted Fleece Jacket

    A few weeks back I wrote about Blaklader work pants, but I've also been wearing the company's Two Fisted Fleece Jacket. I prefer it to the regular fleece I used to wear because it's resistant to wind and water, and has a number of construction-specific features designed into it...

     
  • Max Rebar Tier

    My crew recently formed and poured the foundation for a 4,200 square foot custom home we would later be framing. It was larger than the homes we normally build - the perfect opportunity to try out a tool I had seen at the JLC LIVE tradeshow...

     
  • Senco Joistpro Metal Connector Nailers

    My crew and I used to hand-nail framing hardware, but as codes changed and we had to install more and more of the stuff, it became impractical to nail by hand.

     
  • Image

    Super Anchor Safety Bar

    Like other contractors who comply with OSHA fall standards, I've had to ask myself: how am I supposed to compete with crews that don't use fall protection?

     
  • Image

    V-Line Clamp

    I'm always looking for faster techniques or tools to speed things up and found the V-Line clamp by accident. It is designed to...

     
  • Oversize Saws

    Several years back I read a story about gang cutting rafters – so I started doing it on my framing jobs. Gang cutting means setting all your rafters on edge on racks and using specialized saws such as...

     
  • Image

    Tools Up Close: Big Cordless Circular Saws

    For this article we tested four higher-voltage saws – 36-volt models from Bosch, DeWalt, and Hilti, and a 28-volt model from Milwaukee. We used them while framing and siding a house and for building a deck. Later, we performed a test to see how many cuts each saw could make per charge.

     
  • Image

    Tool Test: Inline Circular Saws

    Fifteen years ago, when I started out as a framer, Skil was the only real choice for carpenters looking for an inline saw. Since then, a lot more companies have started making these tools and now there are quite a few to choose from.

     
 
 
 
Tools of the Trade Video Gallery

New Tools Video Gallery

Check out Tool Videos from our Editors and Contributors