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. Read more
The largest, most powerful routers you can buy are in the 3- to 3-1/4-hp class. If the motors were any larger, you couldn't run them on standard residential circuits. The most versatile of these machines are plunge routers. Their ability to plunge a bit into wood while the tool's base stays safely planted makes them essential for blind dadoes or any cutouts in the middle of a workpiece. Their plunge action also makes them the right tool for milling deep grooves or large edge profiles, because you can quickly cut with a series of smaller incremental passes, plunging the router slightly further down each time without changing the final depth setting. Finally, plunge routers cut deeper than fixed-base routers, so they are ideal for use in router tables; some Read more
I remember riding some pretty wild ups and downs during my 20-plus years of building, though nothing like we're seeing now. Each time things got tight I learned more about survival, which made my business stronger when the economy turned around. Read more
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 to an air chisel's except that its square-shank bit stays in a fixed position relative to the inline handle and does not rotate in use. Since the NailOut has a scaler's body, you can buy chiseling and scraping bits other than those supplied with the tool to make it do double duty. Read more
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 right tools for the job in the new Diablo DM800E and DM1602E hand-held mixers. There's a big difference between using these machines and a standard drill, because they have features designed specifically for mixing needs. Both come with a 1/2-inch chuck for any hexagonal-shank paddles and an M14 threaded metric adapter to fit European-style paddles. Read more
If you look beyond Randall Coe's titles at Bosch, first as director of product development and now as vice president of marketing, you'll find a complex, energetic ToolHound. Coe's leadership and rebellious streak have produced paradigm-shifting tools–stuff you use every day–and a business culture that dares to be great. And for someone leading the charge, it's ironic how Coe describes himself: 'I'm a student of human behavior. That's what product development is all about.' Read more
No one in our industry has been immune to the deep economic downturn, including tool and accessory manufacturers. They're being forced to make the same tough business decisions as the rest of us. But judging from the steady stream of innovative products that continues to flow from their development teams, there has been no downturn when it comes to creativity, technology, and quality. If anything, increased competition for sales and market share has driven a fiercer search for breakthrough products, high-performance features, and new categories in every sector. As a result, we had a wide range of professional-grade job-site and shop solutions from which to select our 2009 Editors' Choice Award winners. Read more
With home building at a near standstill and the government promising financial stimulus for energy-producing and conservation initiatives, a number of industry, private, and government cooperative programs have emerged to help builders and tradespeople get back to work. Read more
Tools of the Trade magazine presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award to living legend Marshall Burns at the JLC Live Show in Providence, R.I., in March. Burns started working with his father in 1937 making saw blades, often traveling to remote sawmills in the Maine woods to set up the 5-foot-diameter circular blades used to rip huge logs into lumber. Even at 80 years of age he was still making the same trips to hammer those huge blades flat so they'd spin true, and he remains an outspoken advocate of hammer-tempered saw blades today. Read more
The Walko Workbench is a smartly engineered portable workstation invented and sold in Europe and now available here. Read more
The Spyder Scraper from Simple Man Products is about as basic as a tool gets. Read more
This is the first time we've given an Editors' Choice Award to an industry association. Read more
Subcompact cordless tools are a fast-growing trend and no brand has taken them further than Milwaukee's M12 line. Read more
For years woodworkers everywhere have looked to the Delta Unisaw as the standard-bearer for stationary table saws, with good reason. Read more
This ingenious tool may not replace your utility knife, but if you work with drywall it should become part of your arsenal, especially for radius cuts. Read more
Free-thinking Festool sets out to build new tools independent of the conventions of particular product categories, and the Kapex miter saw is no exception. Read more
This vac from Metabo has some nice features that put it in close second with other...
Here's a look at how the Grex gas / battery-powered brad nailer fared when...
A framing carpenter takes a look at HexArmor warm and cold-weather work gloves and...