November-December 2008 Table of Contents

Featured
Truckin' Around: Truck Updates

Dodge has announced an upfit allowance program for all Sprinter chassis cab models to include 2007 through 2009 vehicles. Available through dealers nationwide, the program offers buyers a $1,000 allowance toward the purchase of upfit bodies valued at more than $1,500 and supplied by participating National Truck Equipment Association members. This program runs through the end of this year. Read more

Launch Time 2008

It's known simply as STAFDA, but the annual Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association show is the hottest ticket to a world of new tools and related product introductions for toolmakers, distributors, and in the end, tool users like you. As always, Tools of the Trade editors will be right in the middle of this must-see, pros-only exhibition, checking out the newest tools, technologies, and features as manufacturers prepare them for the market over the coming months. Read more

FirstTest: Lee Valley Plane Irons 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. Read more

FirstTest: Ridgid's One-Handed Recip Saw FirstTest: Ridgid's One-Handed Recip Saw

In my years of building and remodeling, I've seen high-quality flooring, top-dollar fixtures, even knot-free, dead straight, 2x stock fill dumpster after dumpster. But now, some cities and counties in our area require 65% or more of demolition waste to be diverted from the landfill, so we gladly practice deconstruction. Deconstructing a house requires a 'velvet hammer' approach and the need to balance speed, safety, and precision. On the short list of our must-have tools for this is the recip saw. Read more

Truckin' Around: Build-Your-Own Pickup Truckin' Around: Build-Your-Own Pickup

If you're a Jeep fan but wish Jeep would once again offer a pickup, as it did with its Scrambler model until 1986, you're in luck. Read more

November/December 2008 Hot Finds November/December 2008 Hot Finds

Drywall Cutting / Multifunction Bench Read more

Cutting Edge: Dancing With Trim Carpenters

Woodworking tradesmen are off and running in a competition announced by power-toolmaker DeWalt to find the top finish carpenters in the country. Read more

Cutting Edge: A Blade Guard Worth Using Cutting Edge: A Blade Guard Worth Using

In a rare example of unity among competitors, a group of major U.S. table saw manufacturers--including Bosch Power Tools; Black & Decker tool brands DeWalt and Delta; the parent company of Ridgid, Ryobi, and Milwaukee Electric Tool; and Makita--recently put their differences aside to develop improved industrywide safety criteria that all manufacturers can follow. Read more

Tool Test: Portable Jobsite Table Saws Tool Test: Portable Jobsite Table Saws

Jobsite table saws have changed a lot since I started working for my dad in 1972. Back then, we did almost all the millwork on-site using a huge, 12-inch contractor's saw that might have stayed set up for months. I started my own company in 1981, and as the business grew, table saws shrunk. I took on a partner, and we started building custom homes. At one point, the average house I worked on was 6,000 square feet. Today, those jobs are harder to find, and smaller remodeling projects make up most of our work. We have to take our tools with us at night or at least store them out of the way, so at the end of a hard day, portability is a big deal with these little saws. Read more

2008 Site Commander Tour: Three for the Road 2008 Site Commander Tour: Three for the Road

What do you get when you combine ingenious features, breakthrough products and technologies, amazing craftsmanship, and the best brands in the business? This year's Site Commander. We've built some pretty cool Site Commanders over the eight-year history of this program, but this year tops them all by far. That's because at every stage in the project, everything just clicked together: the ambitious mission, creative ideas, coordinated process, and seamless teamwork. And as you probably know from your own projects, when that happens, you've set yourself up for success. Read more

Optimistic Road Trip Optimistic Road Trip

No doubt, these are strange times in our industry. From manufacturers to suppliers to contractors--even magazine editors--we're all adjusting to changing conditions and the latest reports on the worsening economy. It isn't easy to find good news these days, that's for sure, and optimists are few and far between. Read more

Launch Time: Milwaukee 4-1/2-inch Angle Grinder Launch Time: Milwaukee 4-1/2-inch Angle Grinder

Metalworkers and anyone else who works with small-diameter angle grinders will welcome this family of seven new 4-1/2-inch-diameter tools from Milwaukee Electric Tool. Read more

Launch Time: Striker Carbide Utility Score Launch Time: Striker Carbide Utility Score

The Carbide Utility Score from Striker features a sharp, V-shaped carbide scoring tip designed to scribe deep-groove cuts with minimal force. Read more

Launch Time: Stanley-Bostitch 16-Gauge Finish Nailer Launch Time: Stanley-Bostitch 16-Gauge Finish Nailer

It's hard to find a feature or option not available on the new 16-Gauge Finish Nailer (model FN1664K) from Stanley-Bostitch. Read more

Launch Time: Panasonic 21.6V Drill Driver Launch Time: Panasonic 21.6V Drill Driver

The 21.6V Drill Driver from Panasonic (model EY7460LN2S) delivers 575 inch-pounds of torque at low speeds (100-400 rpm) and a high-speed range of 350-1,500 rpm. Read more

Launch Time: Maxus X-Lite UFC Compressor Launch Time: Maxus X-Lite UFC Compressor

The X-Lite UFC contractor-grade compressor from Maxus is the most powerful unit in its class, claims the manufacturer. Read more

Launch Time: Duo-Fast Round Head Paper Tape Collated Nails Launch Time: Duo-Fast Round Head Paper Tape Collated Nails

Plastic and wire collation strips for gun nailers are a problem on the job and in the environment. Read more

Launch Time: Ergodyne Foam-Lined Knee Pads Launch Time: Ergodyne Foam-Lined Knee Pads

Gel-filled, polyurethane, foam-lined knee pads from Ergodyne provide generous cushioning for all-day comfort. Read more

Launch Time: Stanley FatMax Retractable Utility Knife Launch Time: Stanley FatMax Retractable Utility Knife

The durable razor knife has gone through many changes over the years, and the latest from Stanley, the FatMax Retractable Utility Knife, builds on previous improvements. Read more

Launch Time: Makita LXT Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill Kit Launch Time: Makita LXT Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill Kit

The 18V LXT Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill Kit (model BHP454) is the latest addition to Makita's lineup of high-power, low-weight, lithium-ion battery tools. Read more

Launch Time: Freud Diablo Mixers Launch Time: Freud Diablo Mixers

Mixing materials on the job by hand or with a power drill is a time-wasting chore. Read more

Launch Time: Delta Unisaw Table Saw Launch Time: Delta Unisaw Table Saw

No table saw is better known than the Delta Unisaw. Now, this shop standard has been re-engineered and redesigned, according to the manufacturer. Read more

Launch Time: Trimble Spectra Precision Laser Launch Time: Trimble Spectra Precision Laser

The Spectra Precision Laser (model HV101) from Trimble is an all-purpose, horizontal- or vertical-mount layout tool for interior and general construction applications. Read more

Launch Time: Metabo Quick Angle Grinder Launch Time: Metabo Quick Angle Grinder

Refinement makes a good tool even better. Read more

Launch Time: General Tools Borescope System Launch Time: General Tools Borescope System

The Borescope System (model DCS1500) from General Tools Instruments is a compact, rechargeable video camera that enables real-time viewing, still photography, or recording high-resolution video inside walls and other difficult-to-reach areas. Read more

Launch Time: Lenox T2 Metal-Cutting Recip Saw Blades Launch Time: Lenox T2 Metal-Cutting Recip Saw Blades

An innovative design on Lenox T2 metal-cutting reciprocal saw blades is said to double the blade life and improve performance up to 25% over Lenox's previous generation of blades. Read more

Launch Time: Bosch Jigsaw Blades Launch Time: Bosch Jigsaw Blades

Two all-new jigsaw blades from Bosch offer improved performance and durability across a range of specialty cutting operations. Read more

Launch Time: Senco Coil Siding Nailer Launch Time: Senco Coil Siding Nailer

A new lightweight Coil Siding Nailer (model SCN49) from Senco drives smooth, ring, and screw shank nails in wire-weld or plastic sheet collation. Read more

Launch Time: Festool T12+3 and 15+3 Cordless Drills Launch Time: Festool T12+3 and 15+3 Cordless Drills

Two all-new cordless drills, the T12+3 and 15+3, are the first of a new line of lithium-ion powered tools from Festool. Read more

Launch Time: DeWalt Stud and Joist Drill Launch Time: DeWalt Stud and Joist Drill

A heavy-duty wood-boring Stud and Joist Drill (model DWD460) from DeWalt has an anti-bind, anti-stall feature that automatically adjusts motor torque when bits bog down. Read more

Launch Time: Capital Safety Delta Vest Hi-vis Harnesses Launch Time: Capital Safety Delta Vest Hi-vis Harnesses

New Delta Vest Hi-vis Harnesses from Capital Safety address two major safety concerns: fall protection and worker visibility. Read more

Launch Time: Irwin Marathon Vinyl Siding Blade Launch Time: Irwin Marathon Vinyl Siding Blade

The Irwin Marathon vinyl siding blade is the first designed for circular saws, according to the manufacturer. Read more

Product Watch: Steel City Portable Planer Product Watch: Steel City Portable Planer

Steel City's 40200H 13-inch portable planer features a patent-pending spiral insert cutterhead, a series of stacked sections that make up the longer cylindrical head.. Read more

Product Watch: Festool Trim-Router Set Product Watch: Festool Trim-Router Set

Festool's MFK 700 EQ trim-router set weighs 4.2 pounds, micro-adjusts to 1/256-inch for precise trimming. Read more

Product Watch: Rotozip DR1 Drywall Router Product Watch: Rotozip DR1 Drywall Router

Rotozip introduces its DR1 Drywall Router cutout tool, which it says is smaller, faster, and more durable than the competition. Read more

Product Watch: Hilti VC20-U Jobsite Vacuum Product Watch: Hilti VC20-U Jobsite Vacuum

Hilti's VC20-U portable jobsite vacuum is a 1,200 watt, 20 liter wet/dry vac featuring Hilti's air-boost filter technology that opens every 15 seconds and reverses the air flow to shake the filter clean. Read more

Product Watch: Trend Portable Plunge Router Product Watch: Trend Portable Plunge Router

The Trend T4EK 1/4-inch shank, portable plunge router has a 1.1 hp variable speed motor (11,500 to 32,000 rpm) and weighs 7.7 pounds. Read more

Product Watch: Ridgid 5-Inch Fiber Cement Saw Product Watch: Ridgid 5-Inch Fiber Cement Saw

Ridgid's R3400 5-inch fiber cement saw features the Airguard on-board active dust collection system, which is up to 90% efficient in collecting potentially harmful air-borne dust particles, according to the maker. Read more

Product Watch: Hitachi Compound Sliding Miter Saw Product Watch: Hitachi Compound Sliding Miter Saw

Hitachi introduces the C8FSHE 8-1/2-inch compound sliding miter saw, featuring an adjustable LED light and its exclusive Laser Marker System. Read more

Product Watch: Makita Plunge Circular Saw Product Watch: Makita Plunge Circular Saw

Makita's new SP6000K rail-guided 6-1/2-inch Plunge Circular Saw features an electronic speed control that maintains constant speed under load, Read more

Hot Finds: Vika USA Twofold Workbench & Scaffold Hot Finds: Vika USA Twofold Workbench & Scaffold

The Twofold Workbench & Scaffold from Vika USA is lightweight yet rated to support up to 500 pounds Read more

Hot Finds: Goldblatt BladeRunner Drywall Cutting Tool Hot Finds: Goldblatt BladeRunner Drywall Cutting Tool

The BladeRunner drywall cutting tool is an amazing innovation that does the seemingly impossible. Read more

Tool Tests

Metabo ASR35ACP (HEPA)

This vac from Metabo has some nice features that put it in close second with other...

Best Overall: Grex GC1850 Cordless Brad Nailer

Here's a look at how the Grex gas / battery-powered brad nailer fared when...

Three Work Gloves Reviewed

A framing carpenter takes a look at HexArmor warm and cold-weather work gloves and...

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