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If you haven’t checked out the comment thread on yesterday’s reader question post about latex gloves, you should.  There’s some great info there that’s made me re-think how I use gloves in the shop.

Specifically, while there’s been no sure-fire confirmation of the concept of petrolium causing latex allergies, it does seem obvious from comments that latex gloves are much more permeable than they might seem.  I use them to avoid grinding grit into my fingernails and skin, and they work fine for that.  But some readers have posted sources for nitrile gloves at about the same price, so I think I’ll switch.

Also, readers KMR and Stuey recommend this interesting site which sells a ton of different glove types and hosts a chart showing which type of gloves are resistant to which chemicals.  Good stuff!



Weldo commented on our “Hot or Not? Metal Chop Saws For Home Shop Use” post — where I lamented how the mess they make keeps me from having one in the shop — with a kick-ass solution:

I keep some paperboard (like what cereal boxes are made of) over a set of welding magnets behind them to catch the debris.  That way you just peel off the paperboard and let the filings fall into the trash.

Why didn’t I think of that?  Awesome, and I’m totally going to try it.

(Thanks to quinnums for this great CC-licensed photo.)



Having seen Coleman Cable’s Xtreme Box (pictured), reader Allen commented:

Johnny 5 is looking like something’s wrong with his iron liver…

I’m still laughing!



Clueless — a name we don’t self-apply down here in Texas — posted this comment on our Hands-On with Bosch’s 10.8V Litheon Impactor:

“I got to play around with the PS40 this weekend at a sidewalk sale.  The Bosch rep told me that it was $179.95.  Impressive power for its size.  I think that it would be great for removing panels.  I hope they are going to sell it in a “tool only” option because I already have the PS20.  Now if they made a Litheon 10.8V small recip saw that uses jigsaw blades like the old B4050 and 3294EVS inline jigsaw I would buy one in an instant!  I’m still looking for an inline jigsaw with no success.”

First of all, this — plus the fact that we came across a PS40 Impactor display at Lowe’s yesterday — indicates that these great tools are finally available in stores.  They’re selling for $199 most everywhere else, though, including Amazon.  Anyway, if you’ve been waiting to pick up one, now’s the time.

And we totally concur with this reader’s request to Bosch that they continue to expand the 10.8V Litheon line.  Any number of tools could benefit from this line’s high power-to-weight ratio, and we’d love to see them.  As far as an inline jigsaw goes, the only one we’ve seen is the Black & Decker Handisaw.  It’s not variable speed and the battery is permanently mounted, but then again it sells for around $40. 

PS40 Street Pricing [Google Product Search]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]


Long-time reader (and sometimes deal-submitter) Stuey totally one-upped last week’s reader-favorite $8 tool bag.  His comment:

“How about this: TWO bags, a 12-incher and a 14-incher, for a grand total of $9?”

Actually, it’s only $8.89, but who’s counting pennies?  Way to go, Stuey!

Two Bags For $9 Via Amazon [What’s this?]


MikeR commented earlier today regarding yesterday’s headline comparing the combination of a $20 Craftsman auto switch and a $50 shop vacuum to Festool’s $400 dust collection vac:

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy there…  It takes a lot more than auto-start to compare to a Festool.  For the record, it takes twin HEPA filters with cleaner flaps, variable suction, quiet operation, an anti-static hose, air tool compatibility — not to power the tools, but that you can use Festool’s air sander and connect it to the ct22/ct33 and have it collect dust — AND auto-start, and then there’s still more…”

“You could have at least compared it to a yucky Fein vac  (Anyone want to buy a Fein mini-turbo?  The older model?)”

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hump my vacuum.”



logo-best-comments.jpgIf you’re one of the many readers of Toolmonger who lurks behind an RSS reader, we wanted to clue you in to a great set of comments that you might have missed.  In our post earlier this week regarding Harbor Freight’s 4×6 bandsaw, a number of readers commented on how easy it is to modify this bandsaw to make it much better than as-shipped. 

Truthfully, it’s been my experience that any metal-cutting bandsaw will only cut right if it’s properly adjusted and fitted with a quality blade appropriate to the task at hand.

When I first got the HF band saw, I thought it was a complete piece of crap.  It cut very slowly and burned through blades like mad.  When I was over at a friend’s shop, I noticed that his bandsaw (a JET) cut like the wind, so I asked a few questions.  Probably more importantly, every time I used it, I took a moment to feel the blade tension and head loaded.  When I got home, I swapped in the same blade he had and adjusted it to match, and voila — mine cut like the wind, too.

So if you have a minute, check out the thread on the original post, and let us know in comments your secret to the perfect bandsaw setup.

Comments on Cheap-Ass Tools: HF’s Heavy-Duty 4×6 Bandsaw


logo-best-comments.jpgNormally we use this weekly post to hail a particular favorite comment, but this week we’d like to ask for your opinion.  We’ve posted a few times regarding Harbor Freight’s sales flyer, and each time it’s elicited a number of comments both good and bad regarding their tools’ quality and price.  Clearly they sell some very inexpensive tools, and clearly some of them are below standard.

Clearly some shops — like the body shop at xxx who builds the famous “Eleanor” cars of Gone In 60 Seconds fame — make good use of them, but we feel like we’ve heard as much negative as positive talk about HF.

We have our own opinions, and we’re preparing a post to express them — but we’d like to hear your thoughts first.  If you would, take a minute to drop a comment here to indicate you’re ideas about HF in the following areas:

1) Do their low prices overcome low tool quality?

2) If you use HF tools, in what areas of work do you use them (and why)?

3) If you don’t use HF tools at all, what’s your reasoning?

Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think!


logo-best-comments.jpgReader “Myself” posted this great list of links as a comment a while back, and (ironically) because of all the links it contained, our CMS immediately tagged it as spam and dumped it in the moderation queue.

Sadly, we see around 2,500 such messages daily, so it took us a while to get around to moderating it.  So, to Myself: I apologize for taking so long.

Here’s the list:

Ever wonder how those gearless ratcheting screwdrivers work? Stieber makes some mechanisms and explains them with nice pictures: http://www.stieber.net/

Trailer-lights plug wiring reference, for the 4-way flat connector, all the way up to the 7-way round found on commercial and horse trailers: http://www.etrailer.com/faq/wiring.asp

NEMA outlet and plug connector reference. The straight-blade page is good if you have to deal with 20A plugs, and the locking (circular) page will save you a headache if you ever have to make generator cordsets. http://www.stayonline.com/reference-home.aspx

Micro Tools: Itty bitty pliers, screwdrivers, and specialized tools and chemicals for camera and jewelry repair among other things: http://micro-tools.com/

Lehman’s Non-Electric Catalog has long been a favorite around our house. Everything from woodstoves and butter churns to hand-crank drills and apple peelers, this is just a fun one to browse: http://www.lehmans.com/

Kevin Kelly’s cool tools: One of the founding editors of WIRED, this guy has an interesting take on life. To him, a “tool” is anything that helps you accomplish a task, so the category includes books and stuff. It’s incredibly fascinating to browse. Heavy emphasis on bicycling and world awareness. http://www.kk.org/cooltools/index.php

Nice job, Myself.  We use a couple of these references already here, and we’ve tacked the rest on our list.  We’re pretty big Kevin Kelly fans, too.  Thanks again for commenting.


logo-best-comments.jpgWhile you’ve posted lots of useful and helpful comments this week on Toolmonger, this one in particular made our day.  In reference to our post about Bosch’s new very-accurate digital heat gun, Eli said:

So if you were to set the gun at 425 degrees and cut a hole into the side of a metal toolbox, could oyu cook a frozen pizza in the shop?  I guess we’ve got the next ‘Doh!’ of the Week: “Cooking in the shop.”  Grilled cheese on an iron doesn’t count; That’s cooking in your dorm room.

Nice, Eli.  Nice.  We totally agree, especially the part about grilled cheese on an iron.  Hey, if Paris Hilton can do it, it’s not really shop work, right?

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