By Matt Weber
Over the past year I’ve found a few tools and devices that have made life on the jobsite a little easier or more convenient. I thought you might like to see them as well.
The AirShim is a shim that blows up like a balloon. This flat, inflatable air wedge helps to level and square windows, doors and cabinets for installation. Made of contractor-grade materials, it’s designed to have a 300-lb. load rating and can be used to replace wood shims and pry bars. It gives you infinite adjusting possibilities when squaring windows, positioning heavy doors or hanging kitchen cabinets. Simply slip the deflated AirShim into position, then pump the bladder to blow up the cushion and move the object that is pressed against it. The AirShim can fit into 3/32-in. gaps, has an internal stiffener that won’t fold under pressure, and its rounded corner won’t leave unsightly marks. Visit www.airshim.com.
American-engineered and made in the USA, the Gorilla Gripper from Landon Innovations makes it easy for a single person to carry large sheet goods such as plywood and drywall. The Gorilla Gripper clamps at the top of the panel so the user can carry it comfortably at shoulder height. Also handy for ladder work, the gripper takes the hassle out of schlepping sheet material around the work site (especially in windy conditions). It comes highly recommended for pros and DIY’ers who often work without a helper.
The version I’ve been using for years is constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum plates with special rubber gripping pads and a cushioned handle. I recently discovered that the manufacturer now offers a less expensive model, called the Gorilla Gripper Advantage, made of high-strength glass-filled nylon polymer gripper plates complete with a cushion-handle for all day comfort. Visit www.gorillagripper.com.
Skilsaw 10-1/4″ Worm-drive Saw
A bigger saw cuts bigger things. The new Skilsaw model SPT70WM-22 is the only 10-1/4-in. worm-drive saw designed to cut 4x material smoothly and cleanly in a single pass. Cross-cutting a 6x with a standard 7-1/4-in. saw usually requires five cuts–one on each side of the post, then a center cut with a reciprocating saw to finish the core. With the new 10-1/4-in. Skilsaw, two matching cuts are all that’s required for a 6×6. Plus, the new saw offers the same powerful performance and hardworking character that has made Skil worm-drives a jobsite standard. The new model is powered by a large Dual-Field motor that uses a unique copper winding pattern resulting in increased surface area that keeps the motor cooler and increases the durability of the saw. The new Skilsaw is ideal for all sorts of heavy-duty jobs from trimming fence posts to framing houses. Visit www.skilsaw.com.
Senco Hybrid Hose
There are some things you shouldn’t take for granted, such as the design of your compressor’s air hose. That’s an easy mistake to make because the hose is essentially a simple device, just a tube that conveys air from the tank to your pneumatic tool. However, its material and manufacture determine how easy it is to use and store. Rubber air hoses are most flexible but the rubber breaks down and will eventually crack and split. In contrast, the stiffer PVC air hoses are more durable, but the material is less flexible and tends to retain the coiled shape especially in cold temperatures, which makes them easy to tangle and difficult to roll up and store.
Senco now offers a hybrid polymer air hose that combines the flexibility of rubber but the long life of a PVC air hose. The new hose stays flexible even in extreme temperatures (-40 to 150 deg.), it lays flat and won’t kink when under pressure. Most important (to me): It’s easy to roll up and store. It weighs forty percent less than most rubber hoses, has reinforced bend restrictors, and offers a maximum working pressure of 300 PSI. Plus, the smooth non-marring finish makes it ideal for indoor trim work where scratching surfaces could be a problem. Available in 50- or 100-ft. lengths these 1/4-in. hoses have field-repairable ends made with aircraft-grade aluminum for easy on-site fixes without hose clamps. Visit www.senco.com.