Useless tools — they’re everywhere — and I’m not (necessarily) talking about the kind I invariably get stuck behind at every checkout counter at every store I’ve ever entered. (Ooooh…and banks too…banks are full of useless tools…especially Fridays at 4 pm.) It isn’t always easy to decide on the proper tool — the coveted useful tool. Is this a worthy tool or one I just want to smash repeatedly with another, bigger tool? Am I paying too much? Does it do what it claims to? If a butter knife can land me in the ER, how will I ever manage to operate this thing? Well here are some top blogs and handy resources for tools — guides to the ones to avoid and to those that actually make your life easier.
Though most of these blogs are specifically geared toward tools in general, you’ll also find tool reviews, some great tips, how-tos, and loads of useful information for everyone from the novice to the pro. We even added a few bonus blogs at the end for the slightly less tool-obsessed.
This blog is a bit more oriented to the true pro, though certainly not meant to intimidate any ambitious “noobs.” An excellent bank of content for power tool junkies and tradespeople, it also includes some great how-to projects and tips. Plus, they’re not afraid to get out the sound level meter to give you exact stats on a tool.
These guys recently revamped their website to a snazzy concrete-grunge-industrial look, (and they’ve even been brave enough to provide a comment area for suggestions/criticisms.) The site is powered by Eric and Dan who test, research and review power tools relevant to the industry. They also get feedback and input from a handful of contractors in the Chicago area. This blog (like most of the others that made the list), also offers some nice freebie tool opportunities. They’re also not afraid to step in front of the video camera to give some great insight into tools.
Jay Amstutz runs this blog, (it’s the semi-official / unofficial blogging arm of Ohio Power Tool). Jay also provides reviews on tools from many different manufacturers — some great tips and DIY projects too. Plus HomeFixated is Jay’s wingman during various trade show party crawls.
Chris Rodenius is in charge here and one of the features I like best is an extensive “User Review” — great feedback for those of you who are looking for a real (wo)man’s experience using a given product/tool.
Stu mans this ship. If you want to find out about tools and, let’s just say, so much more, you’ve come to the right place. Tool reviews abound, but who doesn’t want to see other cool stuff like the “Transformers” movie action figure review or an up close, violent praying mantis kill?!
Doug Mahoney is the mastermind behind the content of this very thorough blog, which is a compilation of unique tools and helpful, hands-on content. If you’re looking for both informative and funny, check it out. The ongoing “Hilarious/Terrifying Things We See in Our House” article series chronicling the renovation of Doug’s early 1900s farmhouse is worth more than a chuckle. Doug is in an epic remodel currently so content flow has dropped off, but we’re hopeful the spigot will get opened up again once Doug emerges from the dust and rubble.
Editor Todd Fratzel organizes this team of contributing writers to provide a well-rounded perspective on all things tool related, helping you make the best tool choice. You’ll find reviews for over 20 different manufacturers including Black & Decker, DEWALT, Delta, Porter-Cable, Ryobi and more.
Sean and Chuck are the main contributors to “the web’s first tool blog.” Full of unique content you won’t often find anywhere else you can always count on the straight scoop at ToolMonger. Their “Awesome or Awful” series is the tool world equivalent to “Hot or Not”, but with the addition of useful commentary, expertise and insight.
Senior Fine HomeBuilding editor Justin Fink keeps you up to speed on all the latest and greatest tools in this blogging arm of the Taunton Press empire. You will find some amazingly in-depth content about tools. As an example, check Justin’s ultra-detailed video on Circular Saw selection.
Brad and Beth are the dynamic duo behind this blog, where you’ll find tool reviews, helpful tips, gift guides and more. Both are seasoned media pros, so you won’t find any skanky quality video like you might on HomeFixated.
Bonus Tool-Filled Blogs without “Tool” in their name:
Cop and carpenter Rob Robillard takes no prisoners in his hands-on tool reviews. Since Rob is also a famous reality TV star, you’ll often find him in front of the camera giving you detailed run-downs on everything from ice dams to nail guns to corded sanders.
A consortium of home improvement, tool and even craft enthusiasts power this site. Sure, they don’t have “tool” in their name, but they do have a whole category devoted to the worship of tools. Their new “stalk a contractor” series (they don’t actually call it that), gives you a great view of projects in process while looking over the shoulder of experienced contractors.
Tim Carter, known in tool blog circles as one of the founders of the internet, has been running Ask the Builder for longer than some bloggers have been alive. Filled with info on tools and tons of useful DIY, it’s like an archive of all things tool and home.
Mark and Theresa are two of the least camera-shy people you’ll ever find in the tool and home improvement world. When they’re not interviewing tool/home celebrities on their show, they’re writing about tools, projects, and giving away tons of free loot.
There’s a great landscape of tool and home blogs out there and this is just a starter list. We hope you’ll go out there and enjoy them all!