We lined up seven wet saws representing six brands and tested them mostly on tough porcelain tiles, making cuts up to 7/8 inch thick. We used identical, high-quality porcelain blades to take blade performance out of the equation and focused on cut quality and accuracy, the precision of the moving parts, and the ease of using each saw. We also considered water delivery to the cut, overspray and dripping water messes, and portability issues. Read more
Whether he's working in his woodshop, renovating his house, or riding dirt bikes in the desert, Ken Hefley brings a high-octane blend of craft, passion, and competitiveness to everything he does. His job as Makita USA's senior VP of marketing is no exception. 'I've competed in sports all my life,' he says. 'There's a fiber of that in everything I do.' Read more
Editor's note: On three separate occasions since July 2006, Tools of the Trade reported on the progress of an industry effort to create new universal power-tool measurement procedures. In January 2008, the Power Tool Institute announced the development and adoption of new voluntary procedures by member companies. Here is our report on how the individual manufacturers have responded to the voluntary procedures in the year since they were implemented. Read more
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 with great optimism that I tested Milwaukee's SwitchBlade Selfeed bits with replaceable blades. I got the plumber's kit with four commonly used bit sizes and a handy snap-in extension (which I can no longer live without). Besides spare blades, the kit has four spare feed screws and their set screws, all contained in a durable 'lunchbox' that is one of the few plastic tool cases I haven't tossed out for being oversized. Read more
Out West where I build, the Big Three of framing nailers are Hitachi, Paslode, and Senco; if you've shot a 12d nail here, chances are it's been through one of these. There is no shortage of companies making framers, as I found out in our test of 19 full round-head nailers last year, but an unexpected name just entered the field. After decades of making every other tool imaginable, Bosch has introduced its first nailers and compressors, with all-new designs from the air intake up. Read more
Tradesmen and small-business owners will have a new compact work-van option when the Transit Connect lands in Ford Motor Co. showrooms this summer. / Smith Electric Vehicles has announced plans to build all-electric, zero-emission commercial vehicles near its Kansas City, Mo., headquarters beginning later this year. Read more
Since our last new tool report in fall 2008, companies have been busier than ever cranking out the latest and greatest. Why all the focus on new products now, with the building economy at a near standstill and the pool of buyers arguably diminished? Some of the projects coming to fruition started as concepts years ago, and no one wants to stand still regardless of the market conditions. Emerging as a leader for the next boom period holds an obvious benefit for all who persevere. Read more
Minnesota custom home builder Larry Allar stepped across the racetrack at the LENOX 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, picked up the keys to the Site Commander Sweepstakes grand prize, and drove off with the most awesome work truck on the planet. Allar, a longtime Tools of the Trade reader and LENOX customer, won the tricked-out Dodge Ram 5500 Site Commander, which, loaded with LENOX tools, cutting-edge products, and technology, was worth $118,990. Read more
An innovative 12-gallon power-tool dust extractor from DeWalt (model D27904) features a 'pulse' filter-cleaning system Read more
After testing the Milwaukee Fuel Sawzall, a small crew of framers in the Pacific...
A new tower light from Milwaukee runs on battery, or AC power, and can charge a...
A few small improvements yield a lighter, better-balanced saw than its predecessor.