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Posts by: Brad Justinen


In the Tool Talk Podcast #38, a caller asked about replacing the chuck on his Skil hammer drill. Though Chuck and Sean weren’t able to answer his questions on the spot, I found some answers at eReplacementParts.com, which boasts the Internet’s largest selection of power tool diagrams and replacement parts . By looking at a diagram on their site, I found that the chuck in question is standard-thread and removable. Also, before you can remove the chuck, you have to remove a securing screw that goes down the middle of the barrel.

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In a recent Dealmonger, we let you know that the big boxes were clearing out their Circuit Alert wire strippers, but it turns out it wasn’t because of slow sales. In fact, the Circuit Alert tools have sold so well, they decided to completely overhaul the product line.  Now all Circuit Alert tools come with the same tiny, interchangeable voltage sensor.

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Here’s a familiar scenario: you want to install a shelf, or a flat-screen TV mount, or something else with those little slots or hooks for wall mounting. You measure the distance between the slots and put some screws in the wall with that same distance between them. But when you go to mount it on the wall, the two screws don’t line up, and even if they do they aren’t level. Black & Decker’s 3′ Accu Mark Gecko Grip level ends this common frustration — and keeps you from scarring up your walls with unneeded holes.

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If you’re planning to graze the tool isles at True Value, print out this coupon before you go. Save $5 off your $25 purchase at any of the 6,100 True Values stores nationwide. The offer’s good through July 4, 2008.

$5 Off Coupon [True Value]
True Value [Corporate Site]

irwin tape measure

Irwin’s 25′ Strait-Line tape measure features a pencil-less, quick-marking tip. Simply measure out your distance, press the bottom of the tape against your material, and mark your line. I wouldn’t recommend using this for precision work, but for rough marks I’d use it all day long.

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Protect your ears, the ozone, and your wallet, all at the same time. Amazon is selling bulk boxes of 50 corded, reusable earplugs via Mytoolplace.com for $30, with free shipping. The earplugs feature a noise reduction rating (NNR) of 27dB.

Bulk Milwaukee Earplugs [dealnews.com]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]


File this one under Reckless. This guy was just asking for it, and — guess what? — he got it. I still don’t understand why he had to stand on the top step; ladder manufacturers print “DO NOT STAND” up there for this exact reason. Even so, I’ve committed that sin a few times myself, but I did so with extreme caution. Fortunately the guy wasn’t hurt — or was he?


With Harbor Freight’s micro die grinder, you can grind or sand in hard to reach places, carve something intricate, or just polish the scratches out of your iPod.  The 1/8″ collet will accept most Dremel bits for all sorts of jobs. It’s definitely worth grabbing one, even if you only use it a couple times a year to sand down the burs on your safety glasses.

The variable-speed micro grinder can spin up to 56,000 RPM, which is 20,000 RPM higher than your average Dremel. Rear exhaust keeps the air out of your work. The grinder set includes a 47″ air hose, inline oiler, brass coupler, and two collet wrenches. It all comes in a crappy nice plastic case, too.

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: keep your cheap-ass HF pneumatic tools oiled, and they’ll last you a long time.  Pick one up at Harbor Freight for $15.

Micro Die Grinder [Harbor Freight]


Watch what happens when non-Toolmongers audition for a home shopping network by trying to sell a camouflaged drill set. I laughed so hard when I saw this — what a great item to weed out the bad salesmen. Not only do they concentrate on the least important feature, the camouflage, but they have no idea what they’re talking about. My favorite quote: “Maybe you wanna lay in the grass and drill.”


With the Rotate-A-Blade utility knife you can rotate a standard notched blade to different angles, so it can function as a knife, scraper, or ripper — no need to buy multiple knives with different blades. The knife also features blade storage and a nifty hex bit driver. It looks like they might need to work out a few kinks, but let’s hope we see this bad-boy on store shelves soon. I’ll buy one.