Other stories by John%20Myrtle

  • First Test: Milwaukee Compact Band Saws

    Finding a new tool that fits the work is a real pleasure for the pro. A full-size portable band saw used to be the tool of choice for cutting angle iron, Unistrut, and threaded rod on the job – even though its nearly 5-inch capacity is overkill for most chores – but now our plumber's crew grabs one...

  • First Test: Milwaukee SwitchBlade Bits

    As the owner of a plumbing and heating business, I am also the fixer of tools and the sharpener of blades, and it's up to me to make my equipment investments last. One of my most onerous duties is sharpening the Selfeed bits we use. I've gotten good at it, but it's a time-consuming chore. So it was...

  • First Test: DeWalt Right-Angle Drill

    Years ago, when I started out as a young plumbing apprentice, the venerable Milwaukee Hole Hawg was the only right-angle drill used throughout the trades. It was big, heavy, and powerful. I went for more than one ride on that drill, and the countless smashed knuckles I endured were a real lesson in...

  • First Test: Ridgid Quick Acting Vise

    Sometimes a tool is such an integral part of your daily routine, you don't think of it as a tool but as part of your shop or truck. A mechanic's vise is such a tool.

  • First Test: Ridgid Faucet and Sink Installation Tool

    Making plumbing connections underneath today's kitchen sinks can be a real challenge. With multiple basins, monstrous disposers, pullout sprayers and their dangling hoses, soap dispensers, instant hot-water heaters, water filters, dishwasher and ice maker connections, pullout trash-can slides, and...

  • Right-Angle Drills

    A big part of a plumber's or electrician's job is making holes. Through studs, plates, floors, joists, and even roofs, before you can start to run any pipe or pull any wire, you need countless large holes, and you want them fast and with as little effort as possible. So when you're looking to pick...

  • Cut Out Saws

    One of the biggest challenges of my plumbing and heating practice has nothing to do with pipe, water, or fittings. Instead, one of the most problematic–and recurring–issues is making the cuts required to install those things in all the materials we encounter in both new construction and service...

  • Portable Band Saws

    I remember the first time I used a portable band saw as a young plumber's apprentice. We were working on a large commercial project and needed to hang our piping mains above a drop ceiling. When my boss told me to make 50 hangers out of steel stock and threaded rod, I thought I'd be stuck there...