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Posts by: Sean O'Hara

The Predator has been around for a while. It weighs over 500 lbs., has a reported 300 hp, and can cut a big-ass log like the one you see in the video in under two and a half seconds. No one needs a v8 chainsaw; it’s not cost effective, not gas efficient, and (we’re guessing) not the easiest machine on the ears — but man, is that thing cool.

It seems to be humanity’s collective nature to take things too far. Often it doesn’t work out that well, but in some cases, like monster trucks, jet powered kayaks, or v8 chainsaws, it is something to behold.

Predator 2.2 Second Run [YouTube]


Carbon fiber is a popular building material that’s found its way into many tools in the last decade. When it came to knives, carbon fiber seemed a natural fit, much like bone or horn. It’s light, tough, and looks great — and recently even the blade makers steeped in old-timey tradition like Case have given the material a shot with their CF collection.

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Shortly after Christmas there comes a point when cleaning up the decorations becomes the monkey on your back. For me it’s a time represented by some cursing and trips to the attic with various boxes and bags to await next year’s rush of holiday spirit. Somewhere between taking down the tree and the last close of the attic door, I must inevitably deal with the lights. It does not go well.

I should get reels or some system of organization, I know this; everyone seems to have a system and most of them work to some degree. I roll them like a vacuum cord around my arm and then toss them in a box until next year. It provides some frustration in the untangling department the next year, but it is a quick solution.

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For the past few years, Milwaukee has maintained extreme focus on tradesman-type applications. The end result for the consumer tends to some pretty wicked task-specific products that everyone can use, but might not have the need for. The ductwork and drywall Sawzall blades follow suit with this trend.

The ductwork Sawzall blade features a “pierce point tip” designed to plunge into sheet metal with a tapered shape, allowing the blade to make both radius and square cuts for any kind of pro- or homeowner installation. Tiny teeth are designed to cut clean without hanging on duct material or bending the metal, which also makes for a less accurate fit.

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I’m a fan of ShopSmith products. I love the machine and that you can get parts for it no matter the age. However, there are a few things working against them: the very long-lived nature of the equipment, the cost of new parts, and the most unpleasant guy on the other end of the ShopSmith help line are not helping their account balance much. I’ve personally watched the customer service gent sink over $1,000 worth of business by just being cantankerous and unhelpful not once, but twice. So with that running against them, what do you do? In this case, diversification in the form of abrasives is the answer.

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Snow is not really an issue down in the land of the Toolmonger shop. When enough snow to make a footprint hits our area, the entire city shuts down. Everyone peeks out the window to check if the snow is still there and hopes they don’t have to traverse it on the way to work. So the concept of strapping the Home Plow to the front end of our vehicle is largely foreign to us.

The idea here is that if you have a two-inch, Class 3 front receiver hitch on your truck, SUV, or utility vehicle, you can clear snow around the homestead like a badass and thus make life easier, or at least, as depicted in the ads, possible. The the 6’8″ bladed plow (and the 7’6″ version) also features a hydraulic power unit for the up position with gravity-powered slow release for the down. The wired remote lets you control both up and down as well as the side-to-side bevel from the warm interior of your vehicle. The key-fob version controls up and down, and the blade “auto-angles” according to the weight of the snow, though you can also lock it in place.

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Our friends at Duo-Fast have been doing a little research on what their cordless roofing nailer provides at the jobsite. They found that it’s not replacing corded pneumatic nailer setups, but rather hammer and nails. In the video they talk with Edgar Chavez, a roofer with Feze Roofing on how the nailer has changed what they do on repair jobs.

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I work in wood a lot. I try to combine or create objects in a smart or new way all the time, and still this idea never occurred to me. Innovative architects Suzan Wines and Azin Valy took 200 shipping pallets and built a small house out of them as the rest of us wind up collectively smacking our foreheads.

For years I always felt bad about not doing something with pallets. You often see them thrown away, broken apart, or burned. I’ll admit I’ve had my share of breaking them up and using them as firewood, scrap, props, shims, and sawhorse materials, but never could I have thought this ambitiously.

They say in the video that, over the course of a year, just the throw-aways in the U.S. could house every refuge in Haiti. That’s powerful thinking and our hat is off to this creative group and their new building material!

The Pallet House [YouTube]


After eating my share of crow over Milwaukee tools I didn’t think I’d like (see the fastback knife), I’ll try not to stick my foot in my mouth over this one. Milwaukee doesn’t spend cash and time building tools they think will fail. If they say their M4 cordless screw driver is aimed at manufacturing gigs and tradesmen, where the same small job like turning screws is a requirement, we won’t argue. I would suggest that I’ve never seen Milwaukee go to battle without a plan in the last six years, and that this tool is just the opening salvo for the M4 line.

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As with pocket knives, we at Toolmonger have never met a flashlight we didn’t like. That’s not to say they’re all created equal — but in general we dig lights. However, when Life+Gear sent us a few of their highland series lights we decided not to play nice. In fact, we were quite unfair about the whole thing: we gave them to my wife. Let me explain.

My other half has been in security and law enforcement for going on 20 years now. And while Chuck and I look upon the humble flashlight as a useful tool to illuminate the dark, the thin blue line also deploys them as door stops, pry bars, shovels, hammers, beat-down sticks, and, my personal favorite, “I don’t wanna touch it; you touch it.” It’s a much more multi-purpose tool when they get involved. So when we handed over the the pair of 400 lumen, 3 x C battery, 11.5-inch Aluminum-bodied lights, we knew they’d get a workout.

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