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Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

How the hell have we functioned this long without a general tool recommendation/review/bragging thread?

General Info

The first question you should ask yourself when making a tool purchase is, "Am I buying this tool to use, or am I buying this tool just because I want to own it." The various tasks and hobbies we use tools to accomplish should be completely separated from the, completely different but legitimate, hobby of tool collection. Tools are great, they separate us from animals and help us stay busy in the garage on weekends instead of accompanying love ones to boring social events.

So, if you have questions on which ratchet to buy or if you want to caution others about the ever dipping quality of Craftsman tools or even if you just want to show off your new shinny piece of metal let's do it here. Also, advice on how to convince loved ones about the necessity of owning more tools is always appreciated.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

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let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Sweet, I was thinking about posting a question about a tool purchase I am considering, but I'll start with a review first.

I recently purchased a Demel Multi Max from Home Depot, since I was building a set of builtins and wanted a way to cut the existing baseboard and crown out without wrecking the drywall or hardwood I had installed last year. I have no idea how I made do without an oscillating tool before this. It was fantastic and I wish I had gotten one before hardwooding most of my house and cutting door jambs with the standard cut off wheel plus chisel plan. It is also great for cutting electric outlet boxes out of cabinet and thin wood insets.

As far as attachments go, I have just used the flush cut blade, wood / drywall saw blade, and sanding attachments so far but will be using more as I go. I've found that the flush cut blade is just as good as, if not better than, the saw blade, at least for drywall, moldings, and thin wood panels. It cut just as fast and offered tighter control. This is going to definitely become one of my go to tools. Other brands are probably better, but this was an impulse buy that I don't regret.

On to my question. I've gotten by for a bunch of DIY tile jobs with the standard $88 dollar big box table saw style wet saw, but am seriously considering upgrading to a better wet saw. I rented a stand style one from HD for a bathroom remodel and loved it. So, I've been looking around and am seriously considering one of the following Harbor Freight models:
  • 2.5 Horsepower 10" Industrial Tile/Brick Saw: Looks like the beefiest one they have, with 18" capability (12" diagonal).

  • 1.5 Horsepower Bridge saw: Bridge style with 25" cutting length, which it appears applies to diagonal as well. I'm not sure about the pros and cons of a bridge model, though, and would appreciate any advice on that. It seems like a great option, except maybe for plunge style cuts?

  • 1.5 Horsepower 7" Industrial Tile/Brick Saw: Smaller version of the first one, but 20" long / 14" diagonal cuts - I don't get why it has a larger capacity than the one with more HP, but that's what the site specs say.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these models? Thanks!

Iskariot
May 25, 2010


Fein Multimaster is the same type tool as the Dremel Multi Max but industry quality. Fein sells an even stronger and more expensive version named the Fein SuperCut.

This is really the home improvement super tool. I bought the Top version with several sawblades, some fugue handling accessories, delta sanding plates, dust extraction device and a nice case. Expensive but superb quality.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


Anubis posted:

So, if you have questions on which ratchet to buy or if you want to caution others about the ever dipping quality of Craftsman tools

Their quality may have dipped, but their warranty hasn't! Free replacements are always nice, especially decades later when that tool now costs twice as much. It also applies to garden tools.

Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

kid sinister posted:

Their quality may have dipped, but their warranty hasn't! Free replacements are always nice, especially decades later when that tool now costs twice as much. It also applies to garden tools.

I was mostly being tongue in cheek because anytime you talk about tools and tool quality you will eventually have someone chime in about how the mighty Craftsman brand have fallen.

I actually own a ton of craftsman tools, a decent portion are older hand-me-downs though. I'd say, just stay away from their power tools, those have a crappy 1 year warranty and have turned to utter poo poo. I bought an old metal craftsman belt sander at an estate sale for ~$10 awhile back and I could have cried when I compared it to the 1990s era plastic belt sander I previously had. The motor, weight, tracking... everything was just so much better, even after being fairly heavily used and being 20-30 years older. The newer plastic one now gathers dust in a drawer somewhere, I keep meaning to try and dump it on my buddy since I know he doesn't have one.

jackyl, as far as the harbor freight stuff goes I'll say this, if you need it to get you through 3-4 decent sized projects, you know what you're doing and possibly how to fix an occasional goof up then they will be fine. Most tile projects have the luxury of "throw out the bad tile, grab a new one." If you are rip cutting marble, start reconsidering.

I've seen some pretty solid work on some lovely wet saws but I'll stop short of actually recommending any of those because I just can't bring myself to recommend Harbor Freight brand power tools. Most of my hate is due to personal and second hand experience on their longevity. No matter what you get, make sure the fence is micro-adjustable and that you have some money put aside for calibration tools to help you adjust it, if you don't already own some or can't borrow some. If you can adjust the fence and the arbor doesn't let the blade wiggle under pressure you'll have a fairly useful tool.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Thanks for the comments! I know the general HF anti-recommendation, and have had mixed luck with their stuff. I have a set of their Central Pneumatic nailers (of which the 18 and 15 gauge get the most use - the stapler comes out very randomly)and a compressor that I've had since my first house when HF was the only affordable option for me. They've worked fine with the occasional fix or maintenance and I've put them through some pretty good work for a DIYer, albeit nothing coming close to a pro's requirements or quantity.

I've also had bad luck with some HF stuff, but in my experience that seems to be the cheaper things. Bar clamps, for example, I can't tell you how many of those from HF either lost their holding power or just flat out broke extremely quickly.

That's where I'm coming from with this, even knowing that HF tends to get poo poo upon on johnbridge and pretty much everywhere. They have a decent enough return policy, so I am willing to try them out for the tile saw, assuming I don't get any massive negative feedback. Also, I'll post a review in this thread if I get one and the thread is still going strong.

As far as what I will be using it for, the most immediate need is a kitchen / breakfast area tiling job, but I'll be making a new home purchase of one kind or another in the coming year and it will definitely be one that requires some level of fixing / remodeling, so I'm planning on 2-3 bathrooms (including shower for at least one), a wet bar area, miscellaneous stuff like fireplace surrounds and backsplashes, and maybe pavers / outdoor areas. None of that is that heavy duty, but it is a high enough quantity and will probably be separated enough by time and work schedules that renting doesn't make sense.

Could I afford a Felker? Yeah, but I am not sure it is necessary since I am completely comfortable making adjustments and maintenance as necessary and just want to make sure I am getting a decent tool that will work through moderate to heavy DIY use. I will definitely make sure the fence is adjustable, but can you clarify micro adjustable? Also, I'm good with buying calibration tools since I have a few other tools that can probably use that - any recommendations? Also, any input on bridged tile saws would be awesome, since that one is still looking attractive with the possible exception of plunge cuts.

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 00:03 on Jan 25, 2011

iForge
Oct 28, 2010

Apple's new "iBlacksmith Suite: Professional Edition" features the iForge, iAnvil, and the iHammer.

Iskariot posted:

Fein Multimaster is the same type tool as the Dremel Multi Max but industry quality. Fein sells an even stronger and more expensive version named the Fein SuperCut.

This is really the home improvement super tool. I bought the Top version with several sawblades, some fugue handling accessories, delta sanding plates, dust extraction device and a nice case. Expensive but superb quality.

I have the craftsman version and I use it quite frequently. I love it and it works wonders. Probably not the best of the brands, but it does what I need it to.

In other news as far as tool recommendations go, I will list my review of several things I have owned. I am not affiliated with any tool manufacturers and this writeup is purely to share my experience with different products.

Thumbs Up:

Ryobi 4.5" Angle Grinder ($35 3 years ago)
I own one that I bought maybe 3 years ago. I have put it through hell and back using everything from grinding wheels to flap disks to wire cup brushes. I even bought a diamond blade for it and have used it quite a bit to cut plaster, tile, and concrete and it has held up well.

Harbor Freight Portable Band Saw ($75 2.5 years ago)
Does not get as much use as the Ryobi angle grinder but they seem to hold up remarkably well. About 1.5 years into its life, Dv6speed/AbsentMindedWelder took my first one to work with him for a little while and the trigger stuck on it so's you had to unplug it to shut it off. I had the 2 year warranty so I just took it in and they gave me a new one, and I bought the 2 year warranty on it again($15) so I will have free band saws for life! Beats the HELL out of hack-sawing.

Ridgid Fuego one handed reciprocating saw ($100 then, $90 now)
!!! I love this saw! It has all the power of a larger saw but in a compact size! The trigger is about halfway up the tool making it easy to use single handed and I haven't found something that it can't cut with a nice sharp blade. It came with a free LIFETIME warranty, and I sent it the paperwork 6 months ago, but I haven't heard anything back from them so I hope to not have any issues if I ever have to cash in on that warranty.

Fluke 1AC-A1-II Volt-Alert AC Non-Contact Voltage Tester($20-30)
No need to elaborate. I have used about every brand out there and this is the best. Hands down. Stay away from the Greenlee brand one.

Klein Journeyman J20008 High-Leverage Lineman's Pliers($~35)
I cannot possibly do these pliers justice in a short paragraph. They are strong and can be used for many different things. If you can fit it in between the cutting surfaces and have the hand strength to cut it, it will cut about ANYTHING except hardened steel. I have cut bolts, pallet banding, wire, nails, screws, staples, copper tubing, even steel cable with these pliers. Unstoppable. Heavy enough to use as a hammer in a pinch, too!

Klein Kurve wire strippers(~$20)
The handle shape makes it easy to get a good grip on the strippers to get the job done fast. Has threaded holes for cutting 6-32 and 8-32 screws for electrical devices and fixtures. Best wire strippers that I have ever owned.

Klein screwdrivers and nutdrivers
Honestly, it is all what you are used to using, but for me the rubberized cushion grip on the Klein screwdrivers and nutdrivers reduces hand fatigue greatly because you don't have to squeeze as hard to get a grip on the tool. Tips last forever and they have a lifetime warranty as long as you don't hammer on the end.

Ridgid See-Snake flexible head cordless inspection camera($?)
Extremely useful tool. Very handy for running wire in blind walls. Held up well while I used it, but belonged to a previous employer so I no longer have it.

Dremel 4000 Rotary tool($100)
I haven't had this long but have owned and used various other rotary tools and Dremel is top-dog. I love the variable speed wheel that is separate from the on/off switch so you can turn it off and then back on and it is right at the RPM I was previously using. A+

Thumbs Down

Harbor Freight 4.5" Angle Grinder ($20?)
Garbage with a capital G-A-R-B-A-G-E. I broke the gearbox on one when removing a wheel that wasn't even on there that tight. Junk.

Greenlee, Sperry, ect brand non-contact voltage detectors($15-20)
As I previously stated, Fluke makes the best one.

Harbor Freight pipe wrenches(Cheap)
Junk.

Ridgid 18 volt cordless power tools ($300 for a set of 3 tools, 2 batteries, and a charger?)
The batteries had a very short life. After only maybe a dozen charge cycles I noticed a significant loss in life in the batteries and now they collect dust and the set is useless. I refuse to buy replacement batteries. My DeWalt batteries have held up 100X longer. Before the batteries were completely useless, the keyless blade release on the reciprocating saw broke and I had to use a screwdriver to change blades. Not recommended.

Ridgid palm sander($60?)
Junk. I managed to destroy one before I had used up the first sheet of sandpaper on it. Evidently, I pushed too hard and locked up the internal mechanism. I have put other power sanders through 5x the abuse and they took it with no problem. I wasn't even pushing THAT HARD on it. Maybe a defective unit, but I will never buy another.

Craftsman 10 inch table saw
I would recommend it's use as a boat anchor but the plastic/thin aluminum construction isn't even heavy enough for that. Motor mounts were made from pot metal and under light strain they broke, causing the blade to drop down inside the base and tear up the innards until it stopped itself. I now own a 70's cast iron 10 inch saw with steel motor mounts and no plastic or pot metal. Works excellent!

Craftsman benchtop band saw
Again with the junk pot metal brackets. One of the roller guides on it broke as it was made from cheap cast pot metal. I fixed it with JB-Weld and it is now relegated to light duty. Not recommended.


This is all I can think of in one sitting, I will think more and update as needed. Hope this helps. Your mileage may vary.

Iskariot
May 25, 2010


This is the problem when discussing tools with Americans. Ridgid barely sells any tools in Europe. Craftsman sells none AFAIK. This also means no Delta.

Milwaukee is sold but in low quantities. There's a lot of DeWalt but far from what it used to be. From what I've gathered, the aforementioned brands really make up the American market. I hear Bosch is on the rise in the US and smaller brands like Festool and Fein have their special niche. What about brands like Panasonic (makes some of the best drills in the world), Hitachi (all around good brand) and Makita (same here)? I bought a Makita drill/hammer drill driver combo when I was in the states last. I saw some Makita but not a lot. Think I saw some Hitachi at Lowe's as well.

Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

iForge posted:

Craftsman 10 inch table saw
I would recommend it's use as a boat anchor but the plastic/thin aluminum construction isn't even heavy enough for that. Motor mounts were made from pot metal and under light strain they broke, causing the blade to drop down inside the base and tear up the innards until it stopped itself. I now own a 70's cast iron 10 inch saw with steel motor mounts and no plastic or pot metal. Works excellent!

Is that the ~$100 model they sell? If so, I nearly killed myself with that loving thing. I dismantled it and harvested the engine so that no one else could possibly hurt themselves on it. The stand was so flimsy that a 1/2" sheet of plywood made the whole thing shift unpredictably, the engine was always underpowered on anything harder than 2/4s and the safety attachments were so badly designed that IMHO they made the drat thing more dangerous.

standardtoaster
May 22, 2009




This is the absolute best "tool" I've ever owned. The motor detaches and can be used as a blower. It can inflate a queen sized air mattress in seconds.

I once dropped a full beer (glass bottle) on the kitchen floor. Did I use paper towels and a broom? No. I brought in the shop vac and sucked it all up. I clean out the fireplace with it and blow out the gutters with it. It also cleans cars and blows leaves out of the garage.

standardtoaster fucked around with this message at 18:50 on Jan 25, 2011

dyne
May 9, 2003
[blank]

iForge posted:

Ridgid 18 volt cordless power tools ($300 for a set of 3 tools, 2 batteries, and a charger?)
The batteries had a very short life. After only maybe a dozen charge cycles I noticed a significant loss in life in the batteries and now they collect dust and the set is useless. I refuse to buy replacement batteries. My DeWalt batteries have held up 100X longer. Before the batteries were completely useless, the keyless blade release on the reciprocating saw broke and I had to use a screwdriver to change blades. Not recommended.
Didn't you sign up for their lifetime service agreement? You get free replacement batteries with it.

PoconoHermit
Oct 25, 2005

Fire in the hole, Internet!


Red Wing boots are the cat's rear end.



The only footwear I've needed for over a decade. Comfortable as all hell, a pair lasts me about 1.5 years, and I think they look pretty snazzy. I got married wearing the pair in the photo.

iForge
Oct 28, 2010

Apple's new "iBlacksmith Suite: Professional Edition" features the iForge, iAnvil, and the iHammer.

dyne posted:

Didn't you sign up for their lifetime service agreement? You get free replacement batteries with it.

No. I believe that I purchased it before they offered that. This was 2005ish that I bought the set.

Slugworth
Feb 18, 2001

If two grown men can't make a pervert happy for a few minutes in order to watch a film about zombies, then maybe we should all just move to Iran!


Hilti SID-144-A Impact Driver - This is my favorite tool. Ridiculously powerful and the batteries never die. I've had a number of projects that would've been all but impossible without it.

foundtomorrow
Feb 10, 2007


There is a thread over in AI for Tools as well, if any of you are interested in checking it out. Of course there's a lot more discussion about auto-related tools, but there is also some non-automotive discussion as well. Just making it known. I look forward to the discussion in this thread.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=2788369

Slung Blade
Jul 10, 2002

IN STEEL WE TRUST



PoconoHermit posted:

Red Wing boots are the cat's rear end.



The only footwear I've needed for over a decade. Comfortable as all hell, a pair lasts me about 1.5 years, and I think they look pretty snazzy. I got married wearing the pair in the photo.



Are those worx or redwing brand? I think I have the same ones, but mine are worx (got them at a red wing store) and I loving love them too.

Best boots I've ever owned.

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

Oh god. A tools thread in DIY...

How deep will this rabbit hole go?

Also, I have these Red Wings http://www.tylerbrothers.net/safety...-steel-toe-boot

and they are the BEES loving KNEES. I actually own 2 pairs because my first pair got worn out working in a metal shop with shavings everywhere.

I'm starting to switch my brand loyalty from DeWalt to Hitachi recently. Their 18v LiIon sets are pretty nifty and I just got a cordless sawzall and its a BEAST. Don't worry; I own a 13A Milwaukee Corded Sawzall also.

One REALLY nice tool to have if you have the space is the Rockwell Jawhorse: http://www.amazon.com/Rockwell-RK90...96026031&sr=8-1

You can find them for about 159 on sale, so wait if you don't NEED one now. They are super handy. Check this Aussie out and his review of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfUb7Y2RAUc

ASSTASTIC fucked around with this message at 07:16 on Jan 26, 2011

Dielectric
May 3, 2010


ASSTASTIC posted:

I'm starting to switch my brand loyalty from DeWalt to Hitachi recently. Their 18v LiIon sets are pretty nifty and I just got a cordless sawzall and its a BEAST. Don't worry; I own a 13A Milwaukee Corded Sawzall also.


Their 18V li-ion drill rules. I use mine almost daily. The first thing I did was start punching holes in a 2x10 with a 2 1/2" hole saw, no sweat. I also used it to shred a bunch of stuff in my compost heap (picture a small lawnmower blade welded to a rod), and it scared the hell out of me. I also have the Hitachi circular saw which is quite good too. Cast base and such, not sheet metal. I use it with an AIO guide and a sliding shoe and it's really been accurate for me.

I have a DeWalt hammer drill and a jigsaw. The DeWalt stuff is just a little bigger, I get a much more comfortable grip with Hitachis.

I love garage sales! If you live anywhere near blue-collar workers or farms, you're in business. I scored a 3/4HP belt-drive 8" grinder that will loving kill you and everyone you love. It's mounted on 20 pounds of steel plate. $40. The extra-special perk that I have in my area is Snap-On. It seems like everyone has worked there at some point and has a pile of old wrenches for sale. Good quality, but if you're a civilian don't count on ever getting a replacement from a vendor, they just don't service us.

As far as my tool fetish goes, every now and then I make something for my wife to keep her happy. Every project needs a new tool, amirite? I also like to tell her how much I saved by doing some work on the cars and yes I did need two complete sets of wrenches to do it so lay off woman!

dyne
May 9, 2003
[blank]

ASSTASTIC posted:

One REALLY nice tool to have if you have the space is the Rockwell Jawhorse: http://www.amazon.com/Rockwell-RK90...96026031&sr=8-1
I got one of these for my birthday last year. It's pretty heavy duty and it's been pretty handy. My only complaint is that it weighs like 50lbs.

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

Dielectric posted:

Their 18V li-ion drill rules.

I totally have the 18v Hammer Drill from Lowes when they were clearing them out or something for about $115.00. One thing I think I did was that I hosed up the chuck alignment so it wobbles a bit. Anyone know how to fix this without me going and sending my drill out?

quote:

I got one of these for my birthday last year. It's pretty heavy duty and it's been pretty handy. My only complaint is that it weighs like 50lbs.

This is why you have the roller end! You can lock the movable "single" leg to make it a handle and move it around pretty easy. There is an attachment for this thing where you can switch out the top clamp to accommodate a 4'x8' sheet, but I've never tried it. I heard it might be unstable too

Oh well for light duty job, it beats out ANY saw horse I've ever owned. Ever.

ibpooks
Nov 4, 2005


Iskariot posted:

This is the problem when discussing tools with Americans. Ridgid barely sells any tools in Europe. Craftsman sells none AFAIK. This also means no Delta.

All of those brands are basically average quality made-in-china tools with various different color labels on them. Now that Delta (except the Unisaw) is all china made, there is little variation between those brands.

quote:

There's a lot of DeWalt but far from what it used to be. From what I've gathered, the aforementioned brands really make up the American market.

Yes that's true, but there's also Black and Decker and Skil rounding out the bottom of the quality ladder.

quote:

I hear Bosch is on the rise in the US and smaller brands like Festool and Fein have their special niche.

Bosch is decent, but I could happily spend my entire life savings at the Festool dealer. They make fantastic tools, but only a limited line is available in the US due to some type of import restrictions and UL testing problems they've had.

quote:

What about brands like Panasonic (makes some of the best drills in the world), Hitachi (all around good brand) and Makita (same here)?

I've seen all of them in the major tools stores. I own a couple Makita tools -- cordless driver, drill, corded jigsaw, maybe a few others. I think they've been making really nice products lately.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


Drill Doctor 750X ($130 if you shop around)

This is the absolute best tool I've ever had for sharpening drill bits. It can even do the back cuts for 137 degree bits. What's even better is their customer service. The first one I got was off alignment slightly and had to RMA it. They cross-shipped me a brand new replacement for free. For a $130 tool. Awesome.

My only complaint is that the manual is confusing at times. I recommend the DVD version they include over the paper version.

Ferremit
Sep 14, 2007
if I haven't posted about MY LANDCRUISER yet, check my bullbars for kangaroo prints

Definately the Drill Doctor- Cant fault the one we use at work, does everything from tiny little 1/8" bits to the socking 1/2" bits and they bite through stuff like a mofo afterwards.

Im slowly collecting Hitachi tools- good value for money in Aus. Boss recently bought a Milwaukee kit thats got the M18 Magnum drill, Tek driver, Sawzall, 5" grinder and Circular saw for about A$1200, and its great. Would never have guessed an 18v cordless grinder would work so bloody well!

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

kid sinister posted:

Drill Doctor 750X ($130 if you shop around)

This is the absolute best tool I've ever had for sharpening drill bits. It can even do the back cuts for 137 degree bits. What's even better is their customer service. The first one I got was off alignment slightly and had to RMA it. They cross-shipped me a brand new replacement for free. For a $130 tool. Awesome.

My only complaint is that the manual is confusing at times. I recommend the DVD version they include over the paper version.

I've heard this from various people as well. Where did you get yours? This might have to been on my birthday list.

dyne
May 9, 2003
[blank]

ASSTASTIC posted:

This is why you have the roller end! You can lock the movable "single" leg to make it a handle and move it around pretty easy.
I have to keep mine in the basement . To contribute:

Eurekazone EZ Smart tracksaw system seen at http://www.eurekazone.com/
This guy came up with a couple aluminum extrusions that I find extremely handy. It's well made and not that expensive (compared to other tracksaw options). Tracksaws are particularly nice for breaking down sheet goods, my cuts are way more accurate and take a tenth of the time to set up compared to using a circular saw and guide.

You stick a plastic base on the bottom of your circular saw and then it rides on the track and makes nice quick straight cuts (it even has a couple plastic bits on either side of the blade to prevent chipping). My set came with a pair of little clamps that also slide into the extrusion as well. There's some other attachments for using it with a router and to perform other tasks, but I can't comment on them.

dwoloz
Oct 20, 2004

Uh uh fool, step back

Im still tempted by the tracksaw

How do you feel it's better than setting up your own fence out of straight wood and clamping that to the workpiece?

dyne
May 9, 2003
[blank]

dwoloz posted:

Im still tempted by the tracksaw

How do you feel it's better than setting up your own fence out of straight wood and clamping that to the workpiece?
A straight piece of wood would probably work just as well, it'd just be a little less convenient

I think the tracksaw has the following advantages:
-The track easily breaks down to smaller sections for transport (I have 2 50" sections)
-Don't have to worry about running the saw into clamps
-The white anti-chip edge on the track is cut to width the first time you run the saw through it. As a result you can just line up where you want to cut to this anti-chip edge
-There's an anti-chip thingy on both sides of the blade so chipout is reduced
-I'm making a T-square attachment that'll slide into the extrusion so nice quick 90 degree cuts
-I get to carry around the setup in a gun case I bought at a garage sale

Anubis
Oct 9, 2003

It's hard to keep sand out of ears this big.

Fun Shoe

Here's something I think most home owners should own. RIDGID Power Spin Drain Gun http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...catalogId=10053

It's such a basic tool that I don't think the brand matters too much, but I really like this little drill attachment that I picked up a couple years ago. It always seems like the clog is a little past the 6' drain snakes and plunging is tiring. With this thing it's pretty straight forward, just put the drill on low and take it fairly slow or else the entire thing will tend to get tangled. Considering a visit from a plumber around here starts at $100 this guy has saved me something like $400 over 5 years between here and my wife's store.

Of course, latex or nylon gloves and safety glasses are highly recommended.

Iskariot
May 25, 2010


ibpooks posted:

All of those brands are basically average quality made-in-china tools with various different color labels on them. Now that Delta (except the Unisaw) is all china made, there is little variation between those brands.
Most tool production is done in China these days, sadly. However, when quality brands like Bosch, Hitachi and so forth set a certain standard on the finished product, even Chinese-made products are top-shelf products. "Made in ..." doesn't really say much about quality if the brand is solid.

quote:

Yes that's true, but there's also Black and Decker and Skil rounding out the bottom of the quality ladder.
In Europe, Bosch holds the DIY crown with their green line. It's usually viewed as the higher end of DIY tools. B&D are present as always but Skil (Bosch owned IIRC) is fading away. Bosch really butchered the brand. They used to make excellent circular saws.

quote:

Bosch is decent, but I could happily spend my entire life savings at the Festool dealer. They make fantastic tools, but only a limited line is available in the US due to some type of import restrictions and UL testing problems they've had.
I'm not going down that rabbit hole just yet. Prices are so steep it's not even funny. The quality is superb of course but I'm not a professional so "regular" professional tools are good enough for me.

If you want to be even more of a tool snob and haughtily look down upon the plebs that toss money at the newly discovered Festool dealer, you should check out Mafell - http://www.mafell.com/ Germany has a long tradition of carpenters and woodworkers. Mafell is a small company that make excellent woodworking products for such tradesmen. It's right up there with Festool but even more obscure. Their plunge saw is flat out better than Festools TS55, simply because it's newer with more neat functions in it. They have several track saws that cost a fortune and look cool as hell.

quote:

I've seen all of them in the major tools stores. I own a couple Makita tools -- cordless driver, drill, corded jigsaw, maybe a few others. I think they've been making really nice products lately.
Some carpenters I've talked to complain about Makita not being what it used to be but I don't know. Makita is my favored cordless brand at the moment since I own several batteries. I like that they are light and precise. The drill isn't as strong as a beefy DeWalt but it's actually doable to work with a 18V drill all day without ruining your arms and shoulder due to the drill's weight. I have an impact driver for the heavy jobs anyway.

Another German brand to check out - Metabo http://metabo.com/ - it's not Festool/Mafell quality, more Bosch/etc. But they too make some cool products. Their new drill driver has a pulse function similar to an impact driver which gives it around 100Nm of torque. It also has a quick-change chuck with a quick bit chuck and a 90 degree extension similar to Festool and Protool drills (the latter is owned by the same company that owns Festool. Protool is the construction line. Yay, more expensive tool to ogle at)

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002


ASSTASTIC posted:

I've heard this from various people as well. Where did you get yours? This might have to been on my birthday list.

I think I got mine from either Sears or Amazon. It looks like Sears has it on sale online, google shopping says they have it for $128.56 shipped.

edit: poo poo, Sears does have them for sale until tomorrow, $109.99 with in-store pickup available.

edit2: double poo poo, it's a great time to buy one! Get a free sharpening wheel!

kid sinister fucked around with this message at 16:34 on Jan 28, 2011

ibpooks
Nov 4, 2005


Iskariot posted:

"Made in ..." doesn't really say much about quality if the brand is solid.

I wish that were true, but a brand's quality goes through the floor when they ship out the manufacturing. I'm not a hardcore made in the USA guy, but there is a clear difference in quality between products made in USA, Canada, EU, Japan and those made in China, Taiwan, Mexico, etc; even when they fly under the same banner. For example Freud blades made in China are clearly inferior compared to their made in Italy blades. Same with the regular Delta line compared to the USA-built Unisaw.

quote:

I'm not going down that rabbit hole just yet. Prices are so steep it's not even funny. The quality is superb of course but I'm not a professional so "regular" professional tools are good enough for me.

I agree the price is a hurdle, and it doesn't really make sense for one or two tools. You really start to see returns when you get multiple elements of the system working together. Plus the dust collection designed in from the start is fantastic.

quote:

Makita is my favored cordless brand

Agree 100%. I think they're the leader in 18V lithium ion tools right now, the weight of their drills is incredible for the power you get out of it.

quote:

Another German brand to check out - Metabo

I do have a Metabo high speed cutoff tool. (It's actually my Dad's, but we share a lot of tools). It's a great little machine that performs well in lovely situations. We often use it for cutting off old cast iron sewer pipes where other tools just can't fit in.

HexDog
Feb 4, 2009

Did you see Regis this morning?



iForge posted:


Thumbs Down

Harbor Freight 4.5" Angle Grinder ($20?)
Garbage with a capital G-A-R-B-A-G-E. I broke the gearbox on one when removing a wheel that wasn't even on there that tight. Junk.

Greenlee, Sperry, ect brand non-contact voltage detectors($15-20)
As I previously stated, Fluke makes the best one.

Harbor Freight pipe wrenches(Cheap)
Junk.

Ridgid 18 volt cordless power tools ($300 for a set of 3 tools, 2 batteries, and a charger?)
The batteries had a very short life. After only maybe a dozen charge cycles I noticed a significant loss in life in the batteries and now they collect dust and the set is useless. I refuse to buy replacement batteries. My DeWalt batteries have held up 100X longer. Before the batteries were completely useless, the keyless blade release on the reciprocating saw broke and I had to use a screwdriver to change blades. Not recommended.

Ridgid palm sander($60?)
Junk. I managed to destroy one before I had used up the first sheet of sandpaper on it. Evidently, I pushed too hard and locked up the internal mechanism. I have put other power sanders through 5x the abuse and they took it with no problem. I wasn't even pushing THAT HARD on it. Maybe a defective unit, but I will never buy another.

Craftsman 10 inch table saw
I would recommend it's use as a boat anchor but the plastic/thin aluminum construction isn't even heavy enough for that. Motor mounts were made from pot metal and under light strain they broke, causing the blade to drop down inside the base and tear up the innards until it stopped itself. I now own a 70's cast iron 10 inch saw with steel motor mounts and no plastic or pot metal. Works excellent!

Craftsman benchtop band saw
Again with the junk pot metal brackets. One of the roller guides on it broke as it was made from cheap cast pot metal. I fixed it with JB-Weld and it is now relegated to light duty. Not recommended.


This is all I can think of in one sitting, I will think more and update as needed. Hope this helps. Your mileage may vary.

Complete opposite experience with Ridgid cordless power tools here. I can walk to the back of the shop right now and use any of the 25 drills or drivers that we have without any problems. They all experience heavy use and abuse by dipshit glaziers. Just get the service agreement with them and voila, free batteries! Are you sure that you're actually using/charging/storing the batteries correctly?

Also, giving Harbor Freight stuff bad reviews...is uh...kinda redundant. All of their stuff is cheap for a reason.

Finally, RED WINGS ARE THE loving BOMB.

artificialj
Aug 17, 2004

You're the gourmet around here, Eddie.


Roneth posted:


Also, giving Harbor Freight stuff bad reviews...is uh...kinda redundant. All of their stuff is cheap for a reason.


Bought a 3 lb. cross peen hammer there the other day. Was drawing out some steel, and on the 6th hit on the anvil the epoxy holding the head to the handle broke. I mean, I know all I need is to actually put a wedge in there, but why the hell wouldn't it already have one? Who just glues a hammer head on a handle with cheap glue?

On the up side, the hammer was only like $5...

HexDog
Feb 4, 2009

Did you see Regis this morning?



artificialj posted:

Bought a 3 lb. cross peen hammer there the other day. Was drawing out some steel, and on the 6th hit on the anvil the epoxy holding the head to the handle broke. I mean, I know all I need is to actually put a wedge in there, but why the hell wouldn't it already have one? Who just glues a hammer head on a handle with cheap glue?

On the up side, the hammer was only like $5...

Heh. We use them when we need a tool to use only once or twice, because that's how long it will last! Haha. Although I do have to say, they have a REALLY cheap security bit set that isn't that bad. And clamps, they have lots of cheap clamps.

iForge
Oct 28, 2010

Apple's new "iBlacksmith Suite: Professional Edition" features the iForge, iAnvil, and the iHammer.

Edit: censoring myself

iForge fucked around with this message at 21:44 on Jan 28, 2011

keykey
Mar 28, 2003

     


The best tool I've ever had was a mechanically auto adjusting crescent wrench. Unfortunately it got lost somewhere in the move from my old house to new house and I can't find any information about it anywhere on the internet, just the battery powered auto adjustable black and decker thing. I picked it up at some cheap store for like $3 and used it for drat near everything.

keykey fucked around with this message at 22:17 on Jan 28, 2011

Iskariot
May 25, 2010


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ASIN=B000EGM1ZM

This one?

keykey
Mar 28, 2003

     


^^^ That's the one I was saying it's not and is the only one I can find info on. That one requires batteries. The one I had was a huge hunk of metal. It would open from a 1/8" - 7/8". Also if you were using it to unscrew anything that had a tight nut on it, you could just use it like a ratcheting wrench because the action on it would allow the head to open and slip past the edge of the screw until you turned it then it would clamp down and go whichever direction you wanted. That thing was god drat awesome. I think the name of the store I got mine at was DD's Discount it was on the last chance isle and they had like 10-15 of them. I knew I should have bought a few more.

edit: on a side note, also this hammer: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...B7W7QH1TYDZMWX6

Dead On Tools antivibration hammer with magnetic nail holder for the first strike. Absolutely comfortable and really no vibration. I had a stanley antivibration hammer I was using for about 5 months then the handle came off completely so I took it back to home depot and apparently that was a common problem so they no longer carried those and the guy told me to pick anything off the hammer wall as a replacement and I went with the dead on hammer because it had some pretty nice features. Really glad I did.

keykey fucked around with this message at 22:38 on Jan 28, 2011

iForge
Oct 28, 2010

Apple's new "iBlacksmith Suite: Professional Edition" features the iForge, iAnvil, and the iHammer.

keykey posted:

The best tool I've ever had was a mechanically auto adjusting crescent wrench. Unfortunately it got lost somewhere in the move from my old house to new house and I can't find any information about it anywhere on the internet, just the battery powered auto adjustable black and decker thing. I picked it up at some cheap store for like $3 and used it for drat near everything.

Something along the lines of this? http://www.goantiques.com/detail,am...el,1334984.html

dv6speed/absentmindedwelder has a pair of these and they are amazing.

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keykey
Mar 28, 2003

     


edit: Well, I'll be drat.. I finally found it, apparently I was inputing the wrong search querie into google images. "Self Adjusting Wrench" was the way to find it a page or so in.


Click here for the full 768x576 image.


The wrench is a metal beast, it weighs a good couple pounds but it's easily worth putting up with the weight of it considering how much easier it makes the job. Apparently they have them at Amazon.com and now they have 1 less than they did.
Though the one they do have is for sizes a little larger than the one I have/had I'll just have that much more range when I find my original one.

keykey fucked around with this message at 23:30 on Jan 28, 2011

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