Tools of the Trade rounded up nine waffle-faced framing hammers from around the globe and put them out on a Colorado jobsite with 15 framers, lead by regular contributor Michael Davis, to see how they'd stack up. Here's what we learned, in order of increasing appreciation. More
Rookie framers always get stuck with the worst work, like cutting out doorplates and knocking down braces. They also get stuck doing work that's just plain miserable, like nailing off joist hangers. Anyone who's ever been sent into the dungeon to back-nail hangers knows what I'm talking about: trying to drive tiny nails in a confined space over your head. Pneumatic nailer manufacturers, however, seem to have heard our prayers (and curses), and are building tools that make the task of installing framing hardware faster and easier. More
I spent most of my career framing with solid-sawn lumber before the more stable, denser, and stronger engineered stuff started sliding off the truck. Now, my company, Framing Square in Albuquerque, N.M., works with engineered products all the time–laminated strand lumber (LSL), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), and oriented strand board (OSB) to name a few. And sometimes we run into a problem working with them: Our air tools can't sink 12d nails in the tough stuff. I didn't spend big bucks on compressors and nailers so that my guys and I would be out there swinging our hammers, too. More
Prep-to-Finish professional painter Scott Burt weighs in on the benefits of the...
Tested in the snow and rain, this IP67-rated laser unit wears the “tough” name well.