Hammerhead 4V Screwdriver is Handsome and Handy

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Several nicely-lit tools have come across my work bench lately. This one, courtesy of Hammerhead Tools, is their new 4V Lithium rechargeable screwdriver. It’s a new take on an old standard which features a surprisingly bright LED work light right in the palm of your hand. [Read more…]

The Milwaukee Staple and Nail Gun – Go Ahead, It Will Make Your Day

milwaukee staple and nail gun

Of all the tools ever made, a staple gun is one of my favorites. I use staple guns with abandon. I imagine I’m Dirty Harry facing off some bad guys, and use my gun to better the universe. I’ve had enormous fun with the Milwaukee Staple and Nail Gun that shoots staples from 9/16″ down to 1/4″ and 18 gauge brads in 5/8″ or 1/2″ sizes. I stapled some upholstery that was hanging down from under my sofa. I replaced a small piece of baseboard, and I was delighted to not have to pull out a compressor for the task. I used it to repair and prepare my garden for the upcoming season. I was impressed with the result of every job – inside and out – that I threw this gun’s way. [Read more…]

How To Move Plants – Packing Up a Plant Addict

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When one lives in apartment, one can easily fall victim to a landlord’s random decisions to send them packing. College students often have to go home with all their belongings in tow when the dorms close for the summer. Even happy homeowners may choose to move for whatever reason. In any of these scenarios, both plants and people have to be moved to a new and hopefully not as humble abode. If there is a way to keep from going bananas in the process, I haven’t discovered it – but I did figure out how to move a large plant collection with no losses. [Read more…]

Festool CT Wings – Because It’s Hard To Get Help That Doesn’t Suck!

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For one reason or another, I frequently end up working alone. Sometimes it’s by choice, when I give in to my antisocial tendencies. Sometimes I’m just too stubborn to ask for help, and sometimes, despite my sparkling personality, no one wants to work with me. There are definite upsides to working alone; it’s never happened, of course, but if I were to ever screw something up, I could fix it before anyone notices and tortures me about it forever after. I always get to pick the music, and I decide when it’s beer o’clock. There are times, though, when I grudgingly admit I could use a helping hand. But how can I get help, while maintaining my antisocial standing? A clever, somewhat recently released product, Festool CT Wings, might be just the ticket. [Read more…]

Pacific Coast Builder’s Conference – PCBC 2015

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If you’ve read HomeFixated for any length of time, then you know we’re not afraid to travel and traverse millions of trade-show floor square feet in search of the latest and greatest tools, products and services for the home. We covered the PCBC for the first time in 2013 and were happy to find some unique home products that aren’t always visible at bigger trade shows like IBS/KBIS. Today, we’ll be doing what we love. . . hunting high and low for cool home stuff, and sharing it with you live on Twitter. [Read more…]

The Bison Airlighter – Come On Baby, Light My Fire RIGHT NOW!

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Now that the outdoor temperature is finally above freezing on a regular basis, neighbors we haven’t seen since October are emerging to rejoin the world. Evenings can still be a tad brisk, which is fine – we have a fire pit and a huge honkin’ woodpile. We love to hang out by the fire with family and friends, solving the world’s problems over an adult beverage or two. We love to slap some meat on the grill, too, and tend to do that a lot more when it isn’t 4° out. Our post-hibernation quest to Flame On just received a little turbo boost, in the form of a hot product (sorry) that recently arrived at HomeFixated World Headquarters – the Bison Airlighter. [Read more…]

Wood Chip Mulch – Free Friend or Fungusy Foe?

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Wood chip mulch. Some people love it, others fear it! Wood chip mulch can be purchased for less than two bucks a bag at many home centers. Fancier, colored chips can be had for a little extra moolah. In many towns, wood chips from tree trimming and brush clearing are free for the taking at the local landfill or compost facility. Wood chips are really effective as mulch for suppressing weeds and retaining moisture, as well as adding carbon to compost piles… so what’s not to like about wood chip mulch? I mean, we are talking FREE here!! [Read more…]

2015 Milwaukee Tool New Product Symposium

Milwaukee 2015 New Product Symposium

Attending Milwaukee Tool’s annual New Product Symposium is always an adventure. From carousing with fellow media and certain unnamed Milwaukee exec’s / product managers, to taking in all that is new, shiny, and powerful in the tool world, Milwaukee’s events are a blast. In recent years, Milwaukee’s new product innovation has been more fast and furious than a lowered, turbo-charged Japanese import with flashy race graphics. While some tool companies are perfectly content to roll out a few new products at a typical media event, Milwaukee goes BIG. What’s even more remarkable is not only the sheer quantity of new product coming from them, but also the amount of innovation packed into each and every product line. What I’m trying to say here, is you’re about to see a glimpse into the future of tools and tool technology, and that future is very red. Tool junkies. . . prepare to get your fix! [Read more…]

King Cordless – Kobalt Throws Lightning At Your Lawn

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80 Volt Cordless. Let that sink on for just a minute. Not EIGHT… EIGHTY.. I know what you are thinking. “HOLY Schnikes! That’s a BIG battery!!” Yes, the folks at Kobalt did not mess around when they came out with a follow up to their popular line of 40 Volt lawn tools. The new 80 volt Max lineup includes a 21” mower, a straight shaft string trimmer, leaf blower and 18” chainsaw. Yes, an 80 volt CHAINSAW! In case you can’t already tell, I’m excited to roll these babies out and give them a whirl! I’ll cover the mower and string trimmer in this column, and the chainsaw and leaf blower in upcoming installments. [Read more…]

Shady Plants – A Tale from the Dark Side

Mint: Shade Tolerant

Most garden specimens prefer to bask in luminous sunlight but there are a few questionable characters that willingly lurk in the shadows: the shady plants. Not that the guardians of the garden should mind these individuals. After all, a well-balanced garden is like a well-balanced story in the fact that it needs a few players with a preference for the dark side. I agree: as long as Jar-Jar Binks stays in a galaxy far, far away. There’s no need to sacrifice Han and Leia but you could always whack that annoying critter over the head. No one would miss him. Anyhow, moving on… [Read more…]