Craftsman tools have been an American tradition since the 1920s. Like many families, I grew up watching my father and grandfather work with Craftsman tools and my very first set of tools was from the same brand. In the midst of Sears’ colossal and current downfall, the iconic tool brand was sold to Stanley Black & Decker (SBD), who also owns DeWALT, Lenox, Porter Cable, and Stanley, among others, in early 2017. A couple months later, that sale was finalized.Read More
I’ve seen a lot of giveaway contests for tools over the past few years, including several that we’ve done one Construction Junkie, but the contest that Bosch announced this morning is one of the biggest ever. 2,000 people are going to be given the chance to win The Freak, which is Bosch’s two-in-one impactor that combines a ¼” hex impact driver and a ½” square driver impact wrench.Read More
It’s been almost a full year since OSHA’s more stringent regulations regarded respirable crystalline silica dust officially became enforceable. Even though the topic has been a staple in news outlets since before and after September 23, 2017 (the official enforcement date), there is still plenty of confusion across the industry.
To help contractors comply with the new regulations, OSHA has recently announced a few new resources to be used for training. Among them are a customizable PowerPoint Presentation (pdf download link), an FAQ page, and several short videos. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported that the FAQ page, which contains 53 frequently asked questions and their answers, was directly linked to a lawsuit filed by several construction industry groups, including ABC.
The videos are a combination of one OSHA produced overview video and several others that were produced by ERG and are specific to a task or piece of equipment. You will find each of those videos embedded below. More information can be found on OSHA’s Silica for Construction home page.
Protecting Workers from Silica Hazards in the Workplace Video
Handheld Power Saws (any blade diameter)
Masonry Table Saw
Handheld and Stand-Mounted Drills
Handheld Grinders for Mortar Removal (e.g., tuckpointing)
Handheld grinders for uses other than mortar removal
After heavily focusing on the mechanical trades for years, Milwaukee Tool has made a concerted effort to attract carpenters and remodelers to their constantly growing M18 battery platform. The tool manufacturer has introduced cordless miter saws and nail guns in recent years. They also announced several more carpentry tools are on their way at their yearly New Product Symposium event in May, including a new D-handle jig saw, a table saw, and an updated 7-¼” circular saw.Read More
One of the most highly versatile and useful pieces of equipment on any construction site is a compact loader, also known as a skid steer, or “Bobcat.” They're also the piece of equipment most often stolen from jobsites, due to their size and availability. There’s an inherent choice you have to make when choosing a compact loader, however, and it can make all the difference: tracks or wheels?Read More
OSHA's new crystalline silica dust exposure regulations officially went into effect on September 23, 2017. Over the past 10 months, there has been plenty of confusion about the lung disease causing material. In the first 6 months after the effective date, OSHA's inspectors yielded 116 violations across the country.Read More
Proper lighting is one of the most overlooked things on a construction site. Sure, most sites have some overhead lighting, but with a minimum of only 5 loot candles required by OSHA in general construction areas, there’s a lot left to be desired. Milwaukee Tool is, by far, the leader in the construction lighting category based on shear volume and quality of their lighting solutions.Read More
Father's Day 2018 is fast approaching on June 17 and, lucky for you, we've put together a list of many of our favorite construction related items to hopefully help you give dad the best father's day gifts this year, whether he's a construction tradesman, a handyman, or a DIYer.
We’ve been lucky enough to be able to use many of the tools on this list throughout the year and there are others on the list that we’d love to try because they have been highly regarded in reviews. It should be assumed that the tool manufacturers have given us these tools for free to test out, but none of them have paid to be a part of this gift guide. All tools on this list have been chosen by our staff, because we think they would be great gifts.
This post contains affiliate links, which help us earn a commission for the things that you buy. The prices are not affected by the links and we appreciate your support!
Ultimate Construction Father's Day Gift Guide 2018
Construction workers don't have the luxury of working inside in perfect conditions. Rain, snow, grease, and mud make it extremely difficult to keep notes, which are a very important task in the industry. Rite in the Rain notebooks each contain 50 sheets and won't break down in tough jobsite conditions. It will even survive an accidental ride in the washing machine.
Be sure to also pick up an all-weather pen, like the Fisher Space Pen ($17.06 on Amazon), so you'll be able to write on the notebook in wet conditions, as well.
On a construction site, communication is key. Like we mentioned in the Rite in the Rain part above, jobsites don't treat traditional paper very kindly. Post-it notes are the lifeblood for some contractors, who use them to lay out schedules or leave notes throughout the site or on drawings. Post-it's Extreme Notes can stick to any type of construction material and can handle harsh weather conditions. For under $5, they're worth a shot!
Some dads are extremely hard to buy for and you might not feel comfortable buying a tool for him. How about getting him a customized, handmade felt pennant for his work or home office? The pennants can be made in any shape or size, in many different colors, and with any words, which is great if you want a pennant for a business or just personal use.
My wife actually makes these and she's a very talented graphic designer. Check out the Uptown Heritage Company on etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/UptownHeritage
Custom Felt Pennant ($35+) | Uptown Heritage Company
After a long days work, there's nothing better than coming home and cracking open an ice cold beverage. BUT WAIT?!?! You forgot to put it in the fridge when you brought it home!
SpinChill's ChillBit attaches to your favorite power drill, hooks to either a glass bottle or a can and spins your drink in ice until it's cold enough to enjoy. Just spin it in the ice for 1 to 2 minutes and enjoy, nothing can be easier than that!
Your dad works hard, so it's important that his lunch and drinks stay cool and protected on the jobsite. The new Klein Tools Pro Tough 9-Quart Cooler can fit 11 cans inside, keeps items cool for up to 30 hours, and has a reasonable price at less than $45. There usually aren't picnic tables on the job, either, so Klein designed the box to be used as a seat and holds up to 300 pounds.
If you need a bigger capacity than 9-quarts, Kelin also offers a 17-quart cooler with the same benefits. It's priced just a little bit higher, at around $54 on Amazon.
Table saws are a must have tool for any carpenter or woodworker, but they can be pretty dangerous. The FeatherPro has hardened foam feathers, which keep your boards straight through the cut, greatly reducing the chance of kickback.
The FeatherPro can be used on the left or right side of the blade with it's reversible hardware. The feathers are non-marring and can be replaced if needed over time.
Carbide tipped blades have recently changed the game and Diablo is widely considered to be at the forefront of the revolution. Carbide blades are much more expensive than traditional bi-metal blades, but they cut through material much faster and last much longer.
One of the most handy blades they make is the new carbide tipped pruning reciprocating saw blade, which can not only assist in the demolition of structures, but are a great for knocking off pesky tree branches.
ISOtunes PRO Bluetooth Hearing Protector
Hearing protection is one of those things that construction workers ignore until years later when they realize they have lost a significant amount of their hearing. OSHA has strict hearing protection requirements to avoid hearing loss in workers, ISOtunes PRO Bluetooth Hearing Protectors offer a 27db noise reduction rating and they also limit the audio playback to 85db, keeping your dad below the actionable noise level.
The headphones have a 10-hour playback and talk time and will hold a battery charge for 240 hours on standby. It's rated IPX4 for sweat and splash proofing. Right now, ISOtunes has a special offer for a FREE pair of wired ISOtunes headphones ($39.99 value) with the purchase of ISOtune PRO ($89.99), but you can only get that deal on their website.
One of the most important things on any jobsite is having a sharp blade. Sharp blades make cleaner cuts, help your tools last longer, and are much safer to operate. The Drill Doctor 750X can take a dull carbide, cobalt, high-speed steel, black oxide, TiN-Coated, twist and Masonry bit and make it work like new again, which will help dad be more efficient and save some money by not having to constantly buy new bits.
I've been using the Milwukee String Trimmer for over a year now and it has performed very well for me. It's nicely sized, has good balance and power, and isn't a huge battery drain. New stock in 2018 also comes with an upgraded easy load head, which eliminates the hassle of manually wrapping the string.
Right now, if you grab a new Milwaukee String Trimmer kit (model 2725-21HD, $299.95), you can get a free Milwaukee blower, hedge trimmer, or 5.0XC battery from Ohio Power Tool or Tool Barn. I'd personally choose the blower, which was updated in 2018 to be lighter and more powerful.
Sometimes drilling and driving isn't all about power, it's about size and convenience. The 2nd generation of Milwaukee's M12 (12-volt) drill and driver has become an instant favorite for mechanics, HVAC techs, plumbers, and many other tradesmen for it's respectable power in relation to it's size. The 1st generation of the M12 drill and drivers were also a favorite of many, but the new tools knocked considerable size off of the body and helped ridge the gap between a 12 volt tool and an 18-volt tool. You can get both tools, 2 batteries, a charger, and contractor bag for under $230 on Ohio Power Tool.
You can also read our full review of the new kit here.
There were many battery powered wet or dry vacuums released in 2017 and Ryobi may just have the best of them all. The 6 galloon capacity is larger than any other cordless vacuum and it packs tons of power. The two large wheels on either side and the swivel casters on the front and back allow it to handle any terrain and turn 360 degrees.
Priced at $99 bare tool, it’s an inexpensive and convenient option for a home workshop or small cleanup jobs at the jobsite.
The DeWalt 20V jobsite fan is a super-efficient, powerful, and convenient option for the workshop or jobsite. Delivering up to 500 CFM of air, the fan can easily last a full day on one battery. If your battery runs out of juice, no worries, because it can also be plugged into an outlet through an extension cord. Rated IP54 for dust and water resistance, it’s ready to be put to work in tough conditions.
With the ability to be opened or closed in less than three seconds, the DeWalt Folding Portable Workbench is a versatile worktop for a variety of different tasks. It’s equipped with clamping holes throughout to allow clamping of materials from any angle. The table is able to support up to 1,000 pound load capacity, so there won’t be many jobs it can’t handle.
MILWAUKEE M18 RADIUS LED COMPACT SITE LIGHT 2200 LUMENS 2144-20 (BARE TOOL)
When it comes to jobsite lighting, nobody tops Milwaukee's. They have so many different options for different applications and I've had a great experience with all of the M18 line. One of my favorite new lights of theirs is the M18 Compact LED Radius and Flood Light because it's very small, provides a lot of light (2,200 Lumens on high), and is extremely versatile.
Not only can it switch between a 360 degree area light to a directional flood light with a click of a button, it can also hang from many different materials overhead with the use of the on-board metal hook. The light doesn't have to run on an 18-volt battery, it can also be powered by an extension cord for long term use.
You can grab the light at Ohio Power Tool for $149.99
Tight and weirdly angled jobs can be a real pain in the butt. The Bosch Flexiclick Drill/Driver aims to eliminate those situations with its one-click system of changing heads to fit your need.
The 12V tool contains 4 attachments: a 3/8” keyless chuck, a locking bit holder, a right angle drill attachment and an offset angle attachment. The tool won’t have the same power as a full sized 18V version, but you’ll be happy you’ll have it in your tool bag when the time comes.
Each year, Milwaukee Tool invites members of the media to join them at their annual New Product Symposium (NPS). At NPS, the company shows off most of the new tools they will release throughout the year and shares their most exciting news. At last year’s event, Milwaukee previewed that big things were planned for the 2018 show.
Did they deliver? We were in attendance at NPS 2018 just a couple weeks ago to find out. Below are the what we thought were the 7 biggest storylines of the even...Read More
Last week, Milwaukee Tool hosted their annual media event, the New Product Symposium (NPS), at which they offer sneak peaks of all of the new tools they’ll be releasing throughout the year. The biggest news of the show was the release of their new M18 12.0Ah battery, which uses new 21700 cells and is more powerful and efficient.Read More