Category Archives: Hand Tools

Return of the Utility Knife… The Final Showdown


Well several months back we took a modest selection of 5 utility knives and compared a few common features in the original Utility Knife Showdown. However just after that launch Irwin launched several new knives that brought some interesting new features to the table as well as some very trade specific knives so we did the follow up Showdown 2 – Irwin Strikes Back. Not wanting to be left out of the party the Stanley Group sent over 3 additional knives from Stanley, DeWalt & Bostitch. At this point we feel it is safe to say we can do a pretty robust comparison with a good majority of the utility knives you will find in the market, in all we narrowed it down to 8 finalists with a good mix of unique features.


At 9:01 AM | Posted in Bostitch, CH Hanson, DeWalt Tools, Hand Tools, Irwin, Milwaukee, Stanley Black & Decker | 4 Comments

New Dewalt Hand Tools Part 2: Hacksaw & Hex Keys

We went over several of the new Dewalt hand tools that were first introduced a short time ago. Since them we have had the opportunity to test out several of the additional new tools which had some nice features that do make the new Dewalt tools stand out from what is currently available as well as from their sister company and the Stanley Fat Max line.

Dewalt 8 Piece MM Hex Key Set – These hex keys are in MM sizes (1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm) and a very heavy duty package. The bones of this tool are all metal but wrapped in a nice rubberized handle. The biggest innovation with this new hex key set is the locking positions in 90, 135 & 180 degrees, it seems so simple but this is a real benefit that has been overlooked in all the mainstream hex key sets. The torque pressure the keys can handle is rated to 630 in-lbs which we were told is more than the human hand can physically create.  The SAE version will be available at launch as well.


At 6:02 PM | Posted in DeWalt Tools, Hand Tools | Leave a comment

More on the New DeWalt Hand Tools – 5 Videos

A few weeks ago we did a post on the new DeWalt Hand Tools that should be hitting stores this summer. We included some photos but here are a few quick product videos for 5 of their most innovative new tools in the line.  


At 5:21 PM | Posted in DeWalt Tools, Hand Tools | Leave a comment

DeWalt Tools Launches Its First Ever Line of Hand Tools

We can honestly say when Stanley Black & Decker announced we would be seeing a DeWalt line of premium hand tools we were not in the least bit surprised, as Stanley is one of the most popular hand tool manufacturers around. When the company merged and acquired the popular brands DeWalt & Porter Cable this was really the first thought that came to mind as the Stanley hand tool line is not synonymous with a premium quality. Our biggest fear however was that we were basically going to see the Stanley tools coming in a DeWalt name with a higher price tag, it’s been done before.

At the 2010 STAFDA show (see pictures here) however we got to see many of these new DeWalt hand tools and have to say we were really impressed with several of them. Obviously when they are talking about “100 new tools” you are going to find some that just got the name, how do you really innovate the crow bar.


At 8:42 AM | Posted in DeWalt Tools, Hand Tools, STAFDA | 12 Comments

Utility Knife Showdown 2 – Irwin Strikes Back


Recently we did a comparison of 5 Utility Knives in the first Utility Knife Showdown. We had several utility knives in our possession and wanted to highlight some of the newer features that were available on a few different knives. By no means did this cover all knives on the market just a sampling to highlight a few new features. It did however get some attention from the Irwin folks, who are one of the predominant players in the utility knife world. They made a special point to invite us to their booth at STAFDA to show us a “few new things” coming very soon. These will all be available under the Utility Knives page on once released.

So what is Irwin’s answer to combat some of the newer knives on the market? How about 4+ new knives specific to individual jobs of the utility knives. Obviously these knives have been in development for some time but seem to really hit one the high points of our first Utility Knife Showdown (where Irwin did not fare so well) including: On Board Blade Storage, Ease of Blade Change, Blade Play, Comfort and Grip Saftey.


At 11:37 AM | Posted in Hand Tools, Irwin | 1 Comment

Utility Knife Showdown – Irwin, CH Hanson & Milwaukee


Recently we have seen some new features in the different Utility Knives out there so we thought we would take a look at what style of knives are available with different features. We had these 5 models on hand which we felt did a good job of representing a good number of the options out there. The several year old bulky orange box cutter will act as the base line for our tests but has already proven itself.


At 3:24 PM | Posted in CH Hanson, Hand Tools, Irwin, Milwaukee | 5 Comments

Folding Sawzall Jab Saw 48-22-0305, Every Tool Box Needs One

Milwaukee Tool has launched the first wave of their new hand tools over the past year or so and surprisingly there have been some really innovations in several common place tools. It’s a close call between a few of the new Milwaukee Hand Tools but our vote for the favorite one thus far looks to be the Folding Sawzall Jab Saw 48-22-0305 ($19, Ohio Power Tool).


At 4:11 PM | Posted in Hand Tools, Milwaukee | Leave a comment

Irwin Ultimate Tradesman Finals August 20th at Bristol Speedway

This year on August 21st Irwin Tools is sponsoring possibly the greatest event in the 2010 racing season  Ohio Tool Racing Championship … on that same day they are also sponsoring another great event in racing the Bristol Night Race. One event will probably have 160,000 people more than the other but very impressive to see Irwin Tools involved in two world class events on the same day.

As if that wasn’t enough, Irwin will be holding their annual Ultimate Tradesman Competition the day before, August 20th, at the Bristol Speedway. This year the event will be televised so if you are not going to be there you can still watch Live on Speed Channel’s NASCAR trackside starting at 7:00pm EST.

You can also vote right now for your favorite Tradesman and automatically enter to win a $250 irwin prize pack. It looks like we got 2 of the top 4 times from the Buckeye State: Jonathan Smith (Delaware, Ohio) & Mark Martin (Ostrander, Ohio) so our state is well represented. Maybe Ohio just makes a better tradesman?


At 5:00 PM | Posted in Automotive Tools, Construction Tools, Hand Tools, Irwin, Power Tool Contests | Leave a comment

DeWalt Finally Arrives at the 12V Cordless Party

Nobody is going to accuse DeWalt of jumping the gun and rushing to market with their new line for 12V Max* Tools. There are some advantages to being the last kid into the pool however in that you get to see what has worked for the competition and try to improve upon it. From what we have seem it looks like the Yellow Team has done their homework dissecting the competition and researching customers’ needs. The launch of the DeWalt 12V tools will feature 7 tools (+ 2 additional combo kits) and should hit shelves in October just before the Holiday Season.

Our initial reaction to the entire line as a whole was positive but nothing super surprising or that would inspire someone to drop their current 12V tools and say “Wow I have to have that”! Price seemed in line with comps for the most part, size was a little larger for most items but with some advantages, weight was in line and power seemed to top the first generation tools from Bosch, Milwaukee & Makita but it was unclear if they were less than, equal or better than the 2nd generation 12V tools that we have been seeing. DeWalt unfortunately does not provide power measurements in torque to compare with the other tools; instead they use UWO (Unit Watts Output) which doesn’t translate to torque directly. Head to head tests planned soon, stay tuned.

The biggest difference when looking at the whole line collectively would probably be moving the battery below the handle which allows for thinner more ergonomic handle. This seems like it would be a personal preference thing of comfort, either way seems fine if speed/power/features can back it up. This does make the tool a little larger but it also allows for a belt hook which you will not find on most other compact tools which use holsters. It also makes it more stable when standing upright. This configuration may be more familiar to some professional and may get easier adoption for those not currently using any 12V tools.


At 5:42 PM | Posted in Automotive Tools, Construction Tools, Cordless Tools, DeWalt Tools, Electrician Tools, Hand Tools, Metalworking Tools, Wood Working Tools | Leave a comment

New Milwaukee Hand Tools Coming in April

Yesterday Milwaukee Tool announced several new hand tools to be available very shortly. There are some new features that make these more than just shelf filler items. There is a new 11 in 1 screw driver with ECX bits, a new jab/rasping saw and 2 new utility knives coming next month.

Eliminating the need for users to carry multiple drivers, the 11 in 1 Screwdriver comes complete with 9 fastening functions including #1 Phillips, #2 Phillips, 1/4” slotted, 3/16” slotted, #1 ECX™,  #2 ECX™,  and 1/4”, 5/16” and 3/8” nut drivers. In addition, an integrated wire stripper and wire bending hole allow the user to strip and/or bend up to 12 gauge wire before fastening to electrical boxes.

“No other jab saw on the market integrates the cutting and rasping functions needed to expand holes,” says Tim Albrecht, Group Product Manager- Hand Tools for Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation. “We are constantly looking for ways to make applications easier and increase productivity. The less time wasted switching from tool to tool, the more productive the user will be.”

To combat the likelihood of the blade bending or breaking, the new Milwaukee® Rasping Jab Saw features the most durable 6” Plaster/Drywall blade available on the market. The saw also features rubber over mold to increase comfort and prevent hand slippage.


Designed to activate the blade 3X faster than a 2-handed opening, the Fastback™ Utility Knife features a one handed blade opening for easy activation. In addition, a tool free blade change allows for fast and efficient adjustments, while a thin body design makes it easy for a user to store the knife in their pocket. An integrated gut hook and wire stripper also increase utility by allowing the user to make cuts without exposing the blade and eliminates the need to look for another tool to accomplish the task at hand.

Activated by a side sliding mechanism rather than a cumbersome top button, the Sliding Utility Knife also features a tool free blade change and wire stripper for increased efficiency. Complete with rubber over mold to increase comfort and reduce hand slippage, the new tool also includes on board blade storage to avoid looking for blades on the job and is designed to fit in a tool pouch for added convenience.

Expect more new hand tools from Milwaukee and they all feature a Lifetime warranty. Designed specifically for the professional tradesman market these new hand tools promise innovation and best in class performance. More news to come as these products are available.


At 8:22 AM | Posted in Electrician Tools, Hand Tools, HVAC Tools, Plumbing Tools | Leave a comment