Tool School: Meet the Rigid MEGAMax Interchangeable Tool System

Tool School: Rigid MEGAMax
This post is sponsored by the Home Depot

The  Rigid MEGAMax is a hulking monster-tool. It's the Optimus Prime of home improvement. If they ever make a movie about power tools coming to life and taking over the world, forcing us DIYers to labor at the thankless tasks they've plied for so long, well, then this tool will be their leader. 

The MEGAMax is a really powerful interchangeable tool system just introduced by RIGID. The Powerbase includes an 18V brushless motor and can automatically identify which tool head you've attached (and adjust battery/motor output accordingly). Continue Reading

Power Tools 101: How to Use a Circular Saw, and Why You Definitely Need One in Your Tool Kit

Power Tools 101: How to Use a Circular Saw
In partnership with The Home Depot


A healthy fear of power tools isn't a bad thing. They're powerful tools, after all – capable making big holes in solid objects and ripping whole boards in half with one swift motion. That being said, power tools are also extremely useful, and once you've learned how to safely and effectively operate them, they open up a world of DIY possibilities. The best way to combat any reservations you have about operating power tools is to do your research. Continue Reading

First Impressions: Milwaukee 12amp Sawzall Reciprocating Saw

created at: 11/17/2011Ok, so I know I’m late to the game getting a reciprocating saw, and if you already own one or know everything about them, mosey along. But Alicia’s been getting after me to get rid of these ugly metal pipe laundry line posts in our back yard, and today I finally decided to do it. 

Now, for any job there are lots of tools that will work, and usually one or two that are perfect for the task. Continue Reading

Curbly Giveaway: Craftsman 10″ Laser Trac Table Saw ($349 value)


created at: 07/11/2011

If you’re like me, always trundling over to the neighbor’s garage to borrow time on his table saw, then this is the giveaway you’ve been waiting for. This week, we’ve teamed up with the folks at Craftsman to give you guys a really solid, 10″ Table Saw with Laser Trac (model 21807). This thing retails for almost 350 bucks, and the reviews on it are overwhelmingly good (seriously, look for yourself, it’s one of Consumer Research’s best buys) 

Craftsman 10

And, over at ManMadeDIY, we’re also giving away a really nice Craftsman Miter Saw, so you can double your chances to win (well, I’m not a statistician, not maybe not really, but come on).  Continue Reading

Curbly Gift Guide: DIY and Home Improvement Tools

created at: 12/15/2010

Making your home a better place doesn’t take a lot of money, and you should never let a lack of supplies or tools intimidate you from trying a home improvement project. Remember, you can always rent or borrow any special tools you might need (a drywall jack, for example, is one of those things you probably don’t need to own, but comes in really, really handy when the time is right).

That said, having the right tool for the job can be the difference between a professional-looking result and something that just looks shabby. Continue Reading

Curbly Video Quick Tip: Create a Crosscut Sled on the Cheap.

created at: 2009-07-06

The table saw is the most versatile option for the DIYster, equally successful at making rip cuts (with the grain) and crosscuts (across the grain). When making crosscuts, it’s much better to rely on support which holds the workpiece at a 90-degree angle to the blade, rather than the rip fence, which is parrallel to the blade.

Enter the crosscut sled, an extremely easy homemade option for safe and accurate crosscuts on any table saw. This option uses materials that you probably have on hand, but can easily be purchased for under $5.00. Continue Reading

How To: Make a Zero Clearance Table Saw Insert

created on: 01/10/09

A custom, zero clearance insert plate for your table or band saw minimizes tearout and prevents those tiny bits from dropping into the blade throat. From, “A zero clearance insert is a substitute for the throat plate that came with your table saw. The opening in the insert is cut on the table saw to the exact width of the saw blade’s kerf, thereby preventing thin slices of wood from jamming in between the blade and the throat plate during a cut, and reducing the amount of tear-out that can happen with a standard insert.”

And you can get blanks for to make your own from such places as Rockler. Continue Reading

How to Avoid Splintering and Tearing when Cutting Plywood

The thin layers of plywood can often splinter and chip when cut with a power saw, resulting in an ugly edge that looks like this:

To prevent your cut line from tearing:
1. Always use an appropriate blade for plywood, and be sure that it’s sharp. The blade that came with your saw – whether you bought or rented it – is likely inadequate.
2. Be sure the good face of your plywood is closer to the outside of the blade. Continue Reading

Power Tools 101: Circular Saws.

The circular saw is perfect when portability is crucial. At home, provided it you use it safely, it makes an ideal first power saw, as it can do both rip cuts and cross cuts, and will continue to find uses in woodworking and DIY applications.



Size and Blades.
The standard blade size for a corded circular saw is 7 1/4”, though there’s at least one 9 5/8” model. Cordless saws are generally smaller, and come in 5 3/8” and 6 1/2”. Continue Reading