Tool Tests and Reviews

  • Field Tested: A Dustless Siding Shear From Bullet Tools

    Contractor Kyle Diamond gives his take on this dustless siding cutting after months of use and abuse on a siding job this past winter.

  • Two Good Work Lights

    Durability, low heat output, and simple controls make these LED lights worth considering.

  • RoboReel Air

    The electric motor in this orb shaped device automatically reels in your air hose.

  • Nitrile Work Gloves

    These thin grippy gloves provide moderate protection from the cold without feeling bulky or inhibiting dexterity.

  • Clever Truck Cab Tool Storage

    The “backseat” area in an extended cab truck is too cramped for most people, but a reasonable space for storing tools.

  • DeWalt DCN690 Cordless Framing Nailer

    This battery-powered gun is convenient for small framing projects, pickup and punch work, and driving nails that might otherwise be driven by hand.

  • Werner Aluminum Pump- Jack System

    The aluminum jacks in this pump-jack system ride on structural aluminum poles instead of doubled 2x4s, eliminating the experience of scary rides down the poles.

  • Maxxeon WorkStar 2000 Technician’s Floodlight

    This rechargeable work light has a rotating head and can be placed upright, hung from a retractable hook, screwed to a tripod, or attached to metal with magnets.

  • Image

    Max X-Line Air Hose and Lifeline

    The Max X-Line eliminates a tripping hazard by functioning as both an air hose and a safety line.

  • Power options include a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack and an adapter pack containing four AAA batteries.

    Coast A25R Flashlight

    This flashlight is rechargeable and packs a blindingly bright 466-lumen LED.

  • Image

    Tools Up Close: Erecta-Rack Drying Rack

    Erecta-Rack consists of 40-inch steel cross bars that snap into plastic support blocks, which stack and snap together like Lego blocks. As the rack goes up, the individual sections begin to resemble ladders, with towers of blocks for the sides and cross bars for the rungs. It's designed to be...

  • Image

    Truck Report 2010

    To say 2009 was a tough year for auto-makers would be something of an understatement. But you could also say it was a very good year for truck buyers who managed to stay in the market. When the construction industry went into a skid, prices for pickups and other work vehicles plummeted, and nearly...

  • Image

    2010 Editor's Choice: Ford Transit Connect Work Van

    Ford introduced a welcome sense of practicality to the industry when it brought the Transit Connect work van to the U.S. from Europe, where it has been popular since 2002.

  • Image

    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...

  • Image

    Stretch Pickups

    Since the dawn of crew cab pickups, manufacturers have created ever larger, more luxurious passenger compartments. Now an aftermarket upfitter has topped them all with its own 6-door, 9-passenger custom stretch pickup trucks.

  • Image

    Transit Connect from Ford

    The Ford Motor Co. finally has taken the wraps off the Transit Connect, its much-anticipated import tradesman/delivery van. The carlike van, built in Turkey and sold throughout Europe as a commercial vehicle, will be marketed here as a more compact, economical alternative to the manufacturer's...

  • Image

    2009 Editors' Choice: Muck-Truck Mini Dumper

    Packing the utility of a dump truck into a compact size suitable for the jobsite, the Muck-truck is a pink slip for your wobbly wheelbarrow.

  • Image

    2009 Editors' Choice: Base Mate Ladder Stabilizer

    Say goodbye to unstable ladders teetering on uneven terrain.

  • Image

    2009 Editors' Choice: Ridge Runner Truss Platform

    Being a ridge man on a truss crew is the framer's equivalent of a spacewalk.

  • Image

    No Rust, No Worries, Mate

    In Australia, a Ute is a pickup truck, but they don't look like our pickups,' says Randy Cryer, who lived there for a time and discovered that most Australians drive trucks with shiny, all-aluminum aftermarket pickup beds instead of 'factory tubs.'