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Festool 491594 Quick Clamp For  MFT And Guide Rail System, 6 5/8" (168mm)
Festool 491594 Quick Clamp For MFT And Guide Rail System, 6 5/8" (168mm)
Price: $38.00
7 used & new from $38.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very effective, March 20, 2014
These work out OK if you're using them upside-down with the flat end going underneath the table through a hole of some sort, but if you're using them to secure a Festool track to a workpiece--especially with the parallel guides--they vibrate loose constantly. Doesn't really matter how tight you clamp them down, by the time you're close to finishing your cut, the track starts to move because one or both of these things has fallen down completely. Now you've just screwed up your cut *and* paid too much for a mediocre clamp. There are better alternatives out there for less money.

Festool 500076 SYS-MFT Tabletop Systainer
Festool 500076 SYS-MFT Tabletop Systainer
Offered by Hartville Tool
Price: $75.00
2 used & new from $75.00

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I hate myself for owning this, but I still like it, March 13, 2014
I saw this in the brochure that came with my saw. I looked at the price and laughed. I saw them in person once they finally started shipping to dealers. I looked at the price and laughed again. It's a piece of routed MDF on top of a plastic box. Anyone who's buying Festool products could probably make something similar in an afternoon or less, myself included.

But I didn't make anything similar. Instead, I kept doing little random projects around the house where I found myself thinking "Man, I could actually use that stupid thing right now." After about the hundredth time thinking that, I ordered one, and I like it. I feel like a complete sucker every time I look at it, but I still like it. It holds a few clamps, marking rulers, pencils and pens and it stacks on top of my saw box. I drag it out for all the tiny little things I don't want to go setup a giant work surface for, and it's honestly great. I wish it were a bit deeper than it is, and I wish there were some way to make it stay stuck to the bottom of my saw's systainer while in transit (those little green latches only latch one side), but such is life.

Rockwell RK9002 JawHorse Sheetmaster hold and clamp 48-inch plywood sheets
Rockwell RK9002 JawHorse Sheetmaster hold and clamp 48-inch plywood sheets
Price: $241.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great update overall, March 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had an original Jawhorse for several years, and while it's always been great, the latches for the legs were always really difficult to release (especially on cold days) and its maximum clamping width was occasionally a hindrance. It's unlikely that you're going to be buying sheets of anything that are too wide to fit in this model's jaws, and the leg latches are much, much, much easier to deal with, gloved hands or no. The overall finish is matte rather than glossy and has enough of a texture on it to help keep the thing from slipping out of your hands when they're greasy, and the third foot is also much wider and padded--both welcome additions. The new, smaller wheels make it much easier to turn when you're pushing/pulling it around on floors, but they still will not help you out if you're traveling down a dirt road or up some stairs.

My two biggest gripes are both pretty minor:

#1 Clamping a 2 foot sheet is very difficult. Anything smaller or larger is no problem at all, but at exactly two feet, you're right at the upper limit of what the sliding jaw in its default orientation can get a grip on. Slip it off and flip it around, and you'll notice that the jaw itself is longer than 2 feet, so it'll only clamp against itself before it comes anywhere near the edge of your board. You can get it to work, you just have to be really careful sliding the jaw back far enough without taking it off completely.

#2 The pedal no longer holds the folded legs securely against the main body. There are little nubs there to keep them put, but you can wiggle past them very easily, which means carrying it by the feet of the main legs is not a practical option.

I was debating whether or not there was any point in upgrading given the fact that nobody actively stocks these where you can see them, but I have no regrets at this point. My old one's going in the storage closet.

Rockwell's quality control, unfortunately, still leaves a bit to be desired. Mine had some extremely sharp bits of welding slag on the legs that needed to be filed down and repainted, and one of the little clips on the rear foot that are meant to secure it in its folded position was bent completely out of shape at the factory before it ever went in the box. How can I tell? Because the part is severely deformed but the paint on its surface is absolutely perfect. Not worth going through the hassle of a return over by any means, but somebody should have noticed that when they were folding it up to go in the box.

Festool 488030 Clamping ElemenTS 2-Pack
Festool 488030 Clamping ElemenTS 2-Pack
Price: $110.00
8 used & new from $110.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outrageously priced, but incomparable functionality, March 10, 2014
Should these cost this much? Absolutely not. Are there any cheaper alternatives that do exactly what these do? Not right now there aren't. While they're certainly not appropriate for every clamping task, the ones they are appropriate for are normally very difficult to achieve with anything else. However ridiculous they may seem, once they save you a few hours of frustration and/or a trip to the ER, you won't miss that money.

I'll be absolutely thrilled when the aftermarket knockoffs finally start hitting the streets for 1/4th as much, but until then, this is cheaper than I could make them for.

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Model 0.5 mm Auto Lead Rotation Mechanical Pencil, Gun Metallic Body (M510171P.43)
Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Model 0.5 mm Auto Lead Rotation Mechanical Pencil, Gun Metallic Body (M510171P.43)
Price: $10.47
82 used & new from $5.90

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's for writing, March 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I didn't pay any attention to the lead rotation gimmick when I bought a bunch of these, I just grabbed them off the rack at the Japanese stationery store because they were closest to the register and went on about my business. Once I actually looked at the package, I thought I'd made a terrible mistake, but to my surprise, the "engine" actually works pretty darn well for normal writing. It does not take much pressure to actuate at all--which you can verify by watching the little white logo spin around through the circular window in the barrel--but obviously there is some amount of play in the lead as the gears do their magic. You're never going to notice this in the course of actual writing, but if you're looking for a drafting pencil that does not do this, then yeah, you'll probably be happier with something that's sold as a drafting pencil.

While it's a little bit disappointing that only the lower part of the barrel is metal, its overall lightness is honestly quite nice for many rendering techniques which heavier pencils can make difficult.

The eraser is tiny and useless, but I keep a kneaded eraser close by anyway, so I don't really care. I wish they made the 0.3mm version with the metal knurling, but the plastic ones are pretty good, too.

Megapro 211R2C36RD 13-In-1 Ratcheting Driver, Red
Megapro 211R2C36RD 13-In-1 Ratcheting Driver, Red
Price: $21.51
4 used & new from $20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly nice, March 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've used dozens upon dozens of ratcheting screwdrivers and always felt like they did exactly what I expected them to, but none of them ever really became my go-to driver, and I definitely never shed any tears when they went missing. It's really difficult to articulate what exactly is different about this one, but it works so much better than all the others I've had that it's really surprising.

It takes very, very, very little resistance to make the ratchet slip the way it's supposed to, so you almost never have to hold the shaft with your fingers to keep it from undoing your last turn. There's very little play in the bit or in the shaft when it's locked, so it's almost as solid as a regular screwdriver when you need it to be. Not solid enough to make it excel at prying open paint cans or the like, but hey, you're not supposed to use screwdrivers as pry bars, right? Nobody ever does that.

The bits are not as super-hardened as they could be, so wear is definitely going to show after a while, but I haven't seen one chip or snap so far. Fiddling with the little bits is definitely a two-handed job, though, so if you're an electrician who's up on ladders all day long and frequently only have one hand to spare, I wouldn't bother changing up your toolbelt layout to accommodate this thing.

Socket Mobile, Inc. CX2866-1338 receipt Barcode Scanner
Socket Mobile, Inc. CX2866-1338 receipt Barcode Scanner
Price: $432.99
27 used & new from $424.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Really fast, but a lot of rough edges. Literally., February 28, 2014
If you've been laboring under the notion that a 2D scanner would slow you down, this unit will definitely change your mind. It picks up even the tiniest of Data Matrix and QRCode symbols nearly as fast as you can push the button, and the Bluetooth transmission adds only a barely perceptible latency to the process. It's also really small and really light, so lugging it around your neck all day won't be all that bad of an idea. Its ability to pair with iOS devices right out of the box without masquerading as a keyboard is also leaps and bounds above most of the competition out there. If this is a feature you need, you'd be hard-pressed to do any better than this.

But while it's generally an excellent scanner, it's still not quite the big fluffy bed of roses you might hope it to be. The seams on the thing are really large and jarringly sharp. The battery cover especially just seems like it was designed by someone who never actually saw the rest of the unit it was supposed to attach to. In addition to being uncomfortable, this makes it profoundly unsanitary as it traps dirt like nobody's business. What's the point in shelling out the extra cash for the "anti-microbial" version if it's just going to be a filth magnet anyway?

The buttons are also a little too hard to press to be particularly ergonomic. Their covered bubble switch design obviously contributes to the units splash resistance, but try hitting that tiny power button with gloves on. Ain't gonna happen.

And while it does indeed pair with iOS devices beautifully, the SDK Socket Mobile provides you with for developing applications that talk to it is, sadly, not so beautiful. The code and its accompanying documentation is very clearly written by someone who is neither fluent in English nor Objective-C, and by-and-large it's built in a way that makes it seem as though they're just mashing on buttons until the Xcode project builds before they say "ship it!" If I had to guess by the way the whole thing is architected, I'd say their engineers gave up on learning new things at least 20 years ago, but it *will* work if you're willing to spend the time struggling to decipher all of their incomplete examples loaded with semi-explanatory comments that make no sense and fail to reflect what is actually supposed to be going on in the code.

All-in-all, it's a great little unit, but it could be so much better if they only took the time to sweat the details.

Festool 495207 55" Clear Replacement Splinterguard FS-SP 1400mm
Festool 495207 55" Clear Replacement Splinterguard FS-SP 1400mm
Price: $20.00
4 used & new from $20.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Same as the original, February 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are made to be replaced and replaced often. Even if yours is not damaged, as soon as you change blades, it's no longer accurate because you cut it flush the first time you used the track (if you didn't do that, then you need to read instruction manuals more often). As such, it's applied via a very non-permanent adhesive. If you leave it in a 150 degree truck all day, yes, it's probably going to fall off. The fact that it fell off doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the track or its accuracy, it just means you've failed to understand what it is you're working with. A can of WD-40 could very well explode in such an environment, does that mean it's not suitable for use by professional contractors or does it mean professional contractors should be able to figure out a better way to store it?

Application's pretty easy given the ridge that's machined into the track, but there's no need to get it perfectly straight since the first thing you do with it is cut it parallel with the blade. Also, if you happen to switch from a 2.2mm and a 2.5mm kerf blade, you can remove and re-apply it a little further out to get one more use out of it when you go back to the 2.2mm.

Field Notes Expedition 3Pk
Field Notes Expedition 3Pk
Offered by Field Notes Brand
Price: $9.95
5 used & new from $9.95

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As advertised, February 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It's a staple-bound pocket-sized notebook covered in hipster Futura that's full of plastic paper. As such, it's semi-indestructible and good for scribbling in when you might have wet and/or dirty hands. For me, that's when I'm working on cut lists for various materials in the garage rather than hiking through tundra, but it gets the job done.

The paper takes pencil surprisingly well--even light strokes from a .3mm 2B lead are strikingly dark and legible, but erasing is very, very difficult. So difficult I've given up trying. That's the main reason I'm withholding a star.

Inks are hit-or-miss since there's zero absorption. Unless you like tons of smudges, I'd avoid them altogether.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2014 6:22 PM PDT

Olight M22 Warrior 950 Lumen Cree XM-L2 LED Tactical Flashlight with Black Bezel, Black
Olight M22 Warrior 950 Lumen Cree XM-L2 LED Tactical Flashlight with Black Bezel, Black
Price: $71.93
25 used & new from $69.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CREE can do no wrong, February 22, 2014
No, you're not going to get the brightest possible output for more than 10 minutes or so on a full battery charge, but if you're going to be spelunking for hours on end, you should probably consider carrying something bigger and heavier than a pocket-sized tactical light. For its size and weight, it's an incredible little light. There's plenty of heat dissipating metal, everything is very well machined and the switch feels pretty rugged.

I got one to replace a Skilhunt that used an older CREE LED and was more difficult to use as it could only switch modes via head twisting. The Olight supports head twisting as well, but you can also double or triple tap the switch, and this is much easier to perform one-handed. You can leave it on low for the vast majority of the times when you just want to see under a cabinet or into a scratchy throat without blinding anyone and then double click it on when the power's out for the whole block. The strobe is genuinely seizure-inducing and not a slow blink as on some others I've tried.

My only complaint is that it can't stand on its tail, but that's far from a dealbreaker for me.

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