Tool Tests and Reviews

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    First Test: Cordless Brad Nailer, New LI Battery

    If you do much work that requires nailing, you know the importance of pneumatic technology. I cannot imagine going back to the days of nailing up crown or other running trim with a hammer. Changing with the times and tools can increase your productivity and the quality of your work, so it is wise...

     
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    Cap Staplers and Nailers

    If you're still using hammer-tacker staples alone to attach housewrap and synthetic roof underlayments, you haven't read the instructions lately. Major manufacturers of these products have required capped fasteners spaced in specific patterns for the past several years. I know what you're thinking:...

     
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    Tool Test: Cordless Circ Saws

    When I began working in the building trades some thirty-plus years ago, carpentry tools fell into two categories: basic hand tools and simple electric power tools. I didn't start working with cordless tools until the mid-80s, when I bought my first 9.6-volt, 3 3/8-inch blade cordless saw–more of a...

     
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    23-Gauge Pin Nailers

    I first discovered 23-gauge pin nailers when I was looking for a way to quickly attach small moldings after I found that 18-gauge brad nails, the standard for attaching small wood trim, would consistently split the material. At the time of my first purchase–about a decade ago–pin nailers shot a...

     
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    Metal Connector Nailers

    Years ago I'd routinely build houses that didn't have any metal connectors in them at all. Everything was blocked or ledgered and a few 16d nails were considered adequate for almost any connection. Once in a while I'd use the odd joist hanger, so I kept a coffee can full of 1-1/2-inch hanger nails...

     
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    Electric Chainsaws

    When you think of chainsaws in construction work, your mind usually goes to builders of log homes, pole barns, docks, fences, and perhaps timber framers. But I dug a little deeper and found them used in demolition, vintage wood salvage and reuse, panel home building, sculptural stair and railing...

     
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    Shear Wall System

    On one recent project the architect and engineer wrangled about a suitable window-to-wall ratio. The result was a system with massive timber columns, interior and exterior plywood, full-height steel rods, and about every size hold-down in the universe. It was costly and complicated, and we were...

     
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    Hoseless Nailers

    As a builder in the Washington, D.C., area, I spend a lot of time with a nailer in my hand and, of course, a lot of time dragging an air hose around the jobsite. It was an eye-opening experience for me to try out the current generation of hoseless (a.k.a. cordless) nail guns, both framing and...

     
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    Hammer Tackers

    Lowly-but-essential tools that we count on unconsciously and curse when we can't find them buried in the toolbox, hammer tackers simplify the tedious task of driving wire staples into all sorts of building products. Whether you're tacking down carpet pad, hanging faced fiberglass batts, felting a...

     
 
 
 
 
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