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This Task Force 10” miter saw helped me get into woodworking.  Simple to operate and reasonably priced at around $90, this workhorse has graced every wood project in the Toolmonger shop with accurate mitered cuts — it’s great for anyone setting up a shop.

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As battery technology advances, stores have to push the old systems off the shelves to make room for the new kings of cordless tools.  Often a vigilant hunter can find sweet deals on perfectly good batteries and even a few chargers.

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Last week’s post about my ordeal with customer service, just to order a drive belt for my sander, turned out to be a hot button — and here’s a follow-up to it. I’ve installed the new drive belt, and the sander is ready to go again.

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Modern customer-support lines are the butt of countless jokes, and rightly so. These stories, the stuff of myth and legend, are often just folks venting, saying to their friends what they couldn’t say to a live person on the other end of the phone. I recently did battle with a few of the seasoned vets at the Lowe’s help desk and came away — like many other support callers — with a few new scars and an overwhelming desire to torch the product in question.

After hundreds of hours of hard use, my Task Force belt/disc sander snapped its primary drive belt. For those of you who can’t picture it, it’s the drive belt that connects the motor to the large sanding belt on the top of the unit. Without it, only the disc spins. So when it snapped it rendered the sander largely useless, and I needed a new one.

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The Task Force jigsaw we have here in the shop died last week. We’d like to be upset about it, but we’re actually amazed it lasted this long. The Task Force cost us $19 brand new — and though it was never a looker, it did work for a little over a year.

When you break it down, our saw cost us a little over a dollar a month during its time here. We’d have liked it to hold on another year, but the non-stop action in the shop of hard knocks didn’t exactly prolong its service life.

In the end we’re left with this question: Is it better to pay up for a longer-lasting tool, or to take the disposable tool for all it’s worth and see what you get out of it? Looking back over the life of the saw this last year, we’re inclined to think we got our money’s worth out of it. What do you think? Is this a bad deal or a great way to get some work done cheap? Let us know in comments.

Task Force Orbital Action Jigsaw [Lowe's]

 
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Behold the power of flames: this plain ‘ole 7-piece set of Task Force screwdrivers isn’t remarkable in any way except that they have red and yellow rubber flames on the handle.  Yes, this is a shameless gimmick and a sorry attempt to part us with $12.  The only trouble is that it works – every time. 

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There are tons of different jigsaws lining the shelf at your local big-box, and every one of them is at least twice as expensive as the Task Force Orbital Action Jigsaw.  When we saw the Task Force at the local big box proudly wearing its “under $20” tag, we decided to find out whether or not it could get through some hardwood on a typical project, and we shelled out a few bucks to find out.

The result: surprising.  Read on past the jump for our experiences with the Task Force Orbital Action Jigsaw — and lots of pictures.

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