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Old 05-11-2008
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Powertool Reviews:

I run the gambant on brands.

1. Ryobi Brand: I have several sets that include the flashlight, drill, recip saw, sander, and circular saw. One set I keep onboard at all times with three battery packs. They are dependable, have been submerged or left out in rain and still run, and are very economical. They might not have the bite of the more expensive tools but they have been instrumental in underway repairs, cutting out cored sections to install gear, etc. Considering the price point and the fact they have tolerated being stored in less than ideal conditions...they get my vote...

I also use a wide range of their other standard workshop tools as well, and have no complaints less the planer which no one ever seems to stock the drive belts which wear in a hurry...

2. Porter Cable - I use their portable air compressor religiously for any construction or upholstery work. Granted I have probably 6 different staple / nail guns - there is nothing more relaxing knowing that you can bang out quick work reliably. I also have a series of air powered tools such as a sprayer, hammer, etc... but for where you are stapling or needing rapid nailing ..the best core $200 bucks ever spent... because glue doesn't always cut it..

TIP: The secret to upholstery if you do not sew or pay someone to do it.

a. Use fine strips of wood that wraps up the vinyl or cloth and staple through it. The wood acts as a stress reliever and even if some of the material on the top layer (staple cuts through fabric for instance) gets strained the wood will bind to the inner material preventing rippage of the material. And always use a breather material such as cotton backing material as that will slow down the escape of air trapped in such designs. That annoying "fart balloon" effect....

3. Bosch: Back onto staple guns - what Porter doesn't cover they do.

Those are the three brands I generally use in a range of projects onboard or off....

My 2 cents
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