Winter 2011 Table of Contents

Featured
Tool Test: Framing Nailers Tool Test: Framing Nailers

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

Buyer's Guide to HEPA Vacuums for RRP Work Buyer's Guide to HEPA Vacuums for RRP Work

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

Product Watch: PowerSharp Quick-Sharpen Chain-Saw Blade Product Watch: PowerSharp Quick-Sharpen Chain-Saw Blade

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

Product Watch: Kerry Woodworking Raincoat for Sheet Goods Product Watch: Kerry Woodworking Raincoat for Sheet Goods

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

Product Watch: Ames True Temper D-Grip Wheelbarrow

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

Product Watch: Makita Compact Cordless Drill/Driver Product Watch: Makita Compact Cordless Drill/Driver

Like other second-generation 18-volt lithium-ion tools, Makita's updated drill/driver offers more power in a smaller, lighter package. Read more

Product Watch: Porter-Cable Pocket-Hole Joinery System Product Watch: Porter-Cable Pocket-Hole Joinery System

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

Tools Up Close: Kett Dust-Collecting Saw Tools Up Close: Kett Dust-Collecting Saw

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

Tools Up Close: Paslode Fuel-Powered Roofing Nailer Tools Up Close: Paslode Fuel-Powered Roofing Nailer

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

Tools Up Close: SawGear Automatic Measuring System Tools Up Close: SawGear Automatic Measuring System

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

Hand-Tool Heaven Hand-Tool Heaven

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

Editor's Note: Our New Look Editor's Note: Our New Look

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

Tool Tests

Tested: Cordless 18-Gauge Brad Nailers

Do gas-powered cordless nailers have some serious competition from their...

Porter-Cable PCC790LA Cordless Brad Nailer

Here's a look at how the Porter-Cable battery-powered brad nailer fared when...

Hitachi NT50GSP9 Cordless Brad Nailer

Here's a look at how the Hitachi gas-powered cordless brad nailer fared when...

View All Tool Tests >
Close X