As a framing contractor, I rely on nail guns more than almost any other tool. When I buy a framing gun I look for a model that is comfortable to handle, able to toenail well, and powerful enough to drive nails flush every time. Read more
With the enactment last spring of the EPA's Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule, contractors are facing a number of new requirements, one of which is to use a HEPA vacuum for cleanup whenever lead-based paint is disturbed. The rule also says that HEPA vacs need to be used with tools that sand or grind lead paint. Contractors should assume that any home built before 1978 contains lead paint unless testing shows it does not. Read more
It takes only one stray rock or a dirt-embedded log to dull a chain saw, making it both unsafe and ineffective. Now there's an alternative to the tedious process of hand sharpening: The PowerSharp Sharpening System provides an easy, on-the-fly way to freshen up the teeth of your saw. Read more
If you own a pickup, getting a sheet of MDF or veneer plywood from the lumberyard to the job site on a rainy day can be a tricky proposition. It doesn't take too many raindrops before your purchase is ready for the dumpster. The Kerry-All Pouch is designed for just such bad-weather situations. Read more
Wheelbarrows aren't exactly the steadiest vehicles on the road -- most are wobbly and awkward to navigate. Ames True Temper says its Total Control Wheelbarrow is an exception. Read more
Like other second-generation 18-volt lithium-ion tools, Makita's updated drill/driver offers more power in a smaller, lighter package. Read more
Pocket-hole jigs make it possible to quickly and easily assemble cabinets, face frames, and the like with hidden low-angle screws. The Porter-Cable Quik Jig is an advance over other pocket-hole systems because it automatically adjusts to the thickness of the stock, eliminating the need to set angles and depth stops. Read more
Even though the Kett KSV-432 Vacuum Saw has been around for 20-plus years, few tradespeople have seen one. That's bound to change as homeowners become increasingly aware of the health hazards of construction dust & and as the EPA begins to enforce the RRP lead-safe work rules enacted last year. I recently had the opportunity to use a KSV-432 on a job remodeling occupied rooms. Here's what I found out. Read more
The CR175C roofing nailer will be familiar to anyone who has ever used Paslode's other fuel-powered tools. It has the same battery and charger and takes a smaller version of the fuel cell used in the newer framing guns. Read more
The SawGear consists of an aluminum measuring bar (or fence), a flip stop, and a power head with a digital LCD screen and keypad. Unlike most length stops, which must be positioned by hand, this one moves along the measuring bar in response to dimensions entered on the keypad. Read more
In the hill country west of Belfast, Maine, lies the village of Liberty, where for the past 40 years H.G. 'Skip' Brack has been selling vintage tools. His store, Liberty Tool Co., is in a three-story building that in earlier times served as a rooming house, general store, and dance hall. Read more
If you're a longtime reader of Tools of the Trade, you have probably noticed some differences in the way we look. Like you, we had to do some belt-tightening after the economy tanked in 2008 – the magazine got thinner and went from six issues per year to four. When I became editor late last year we decided it was a good time to make some other changes as well, and we're rolling them out in this issue. 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...