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    First Test: DeWalt Right-Angle Drill

    Years ago, when I started out as a young plumbing apprentice, the venerable Milwaukee Hole Hawg was the only right-angle drill used throughout the trades. It was big, heavy, and powerful. I went for more than one ride on that drill, and the countless smashed knuckles I endured were a real lesson in...

     
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    Tool Test: Compact & Subcompact Drill/Drivers

    Cordless drill/drivers have come a long way since the first one I purchased more than 20 years ago. It's interesting, though, that some have come full circle and ended up about the same size as those small, early tools, but with much better performance.

     
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    Truck Report 2009

    The latest word from the world of pickup truck manufacturing is either very bad or very good, depending on your perspective. On the downside, both General Motors and Ford Motor Co. are teetering on the brink of insolvency. Isuzu has quit the U.S. pickup and car market entirely, and even Toyota has...

     
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    Chris Holmgren, Dickerson, Md.

    The U.S. Forest Service says 3.8 billion board feet of good timber–felled from storms, construction, disease, or every-day tree removal–is trashed each year. That really bothered Chris Holmgren. The proprietor of Seneca Creek Joinery in Dickerson, Md., about 30 miles north of Washington, D.C....

     
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    First Test: Goldblatt BladeRunner

    Goldblatt's BladeRunner drywall cutter wasn't even on the market when I first heard about it, but it sounded so cool, I knew I wanted to try it out: a tool that scores both sides of a panel at the same time, and makes drywall cuts a very quick snap. I even dreamed about it one night, and woke up...

     
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    First Test: Ridgid Quick Acting Vise

    Sometimes a tool is such an integral part of your daily routine, you don't think of it as a tool but as part of your shop or truck. A mechanic's vise is such a tool.

     
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    Torque & Horsepower

    It's been more than nine years since Tools of the Trade began pushing for industry-sponsored, standardized test procedures so tool buyers could reliably compare performance specs across brands. So nobody could be happier than we are with the Power Tool Institute's release of new torque and...

     
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    Winter 2009 Hot Finds

     
  • Truckin' Around: Sales Down, Value UP

    The economy has brought truck sales to a near standstill, but there is opportunity amid the damage. If they buy now, contractors can get great deals on pickups brimming with mechanical sophistication (see Truck Report).

     
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    Truckin' Around: Electric GEMs

    Global Electric Motorcars, or GEM vehicles (a Chrysler company), are finding buyers among builders because they offer a low-cost, low-maintenance, electric-powered alternative to conventional pickup trucks. These DC-powered vehicles plug into standard AC outlets, charge in less than eight hours...

     
  • Tool Industry Update: New Torque Standards Begin

    In September, we reported on how after years of disagreement over testing protocols, power tool manufacturers finally agreed on industrywide standards for measuring tool torque and horsepower. These standards will give tool buyers a dependable method to compare and evaluate product specifications.

     
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    Tips For Tool Buyers: When New Is Not an Option

    Times are tight–about as tight as anyone can recall–so it's smart to look for ways to keep costs in line and your business moving ahead. If you're in construction, tools are an expense you can't avoid, but one place to find big savings is to buy reconditioned tools.

     
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    Hot Finds: DeWalt Portable Circ Saws

    DeWalt introduces two portable, European-style circ saws designed with integral straight-edge bases in 59- and 102-inch lengths for cross-cutting and ripping sheet materials.

     
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    Hot Finds: Strong Hand Tools BuildPro Welding Table

    Welding equipment maker Strong Hand Tools introduces an economically priced, modular welding table under the BuildPro brand.