Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Hand Tool Reviews & Buying Guides

Hand tools make up a large portion of the equipment we carry every day. Pro Tool reviews pays close attention to recent innovations. Our hand tool reviews include knives & cutting tools, wrenches, chisels, fastening tools, hammers, and more. These hand tools covers the gamut from one end of the industry to another. Possibly our favorite series is our best framing hammer review. In that head-to-head review we compared nine popular models. This type of comparison isn’t always possible, but we do test out these tools on the jobsite. Hand Tool Reviews for the Pro Tradesman This is also where you’ll find popular lighting products and even folding knives from Kershaw, CRKT, and Zero Tolerance. Even Milwaukee Tool has new Fastback knives for use by contractors and tradesmen in the field. We try to review as many of these types of tools as possible. This helps us remain a leader in reporting industry trends. This is particularly important when manufacturers add new features or make tweaks to their products. Sometimes they revamp an entire line. Other times they include something that only slightly improves a hand tool over a previous model. It all adds up.

Swanson T04424 Wood Magnet Preview

Swanson Wood Magnet T04424

At this year’s 2009 International Builder’s Show (IBS) in Las Vegas we got our hands on the new “Wood Magnet” from Swanson Tool Co. It’s a unique leveling device that fits onto any 2X material and instantly gives you accurate level, whether vertical or horizontal. It also has an integrated rubber band which allows it to be strapped onto 4X4 lumber to level up posts and foundation supports. What makes it truly unique, though is its adaptability. Instead of bringing along a 5- or 6-foot level, for example, you can simply strap the Swanson Wood Magnet onto a straight piece of 2X4 (up to 8 feet long) and instantly convert it into a long level.

Cabelas Hand Forged Throwing Tomahawk Review

Cabelas Throwing Tomahawk Review

With great movies like the Patriot and the Last of the Mohicans, it is hard not to pay tribute to one of the original tools in our American History: the Tomahawk. This tool did not start out as a weapon but as a practical trade item between early settlers and the Indians. Of course beyond the obvious uses of hacking trees down and fashioning things out of wood, it also became a pretty good weapon. If you think about it, in the old days when you had to ether carry all your tools or drag them along with you on a horse or wagon, versatile and universal tools ruled.

Irwin Strait Line chalk reels

Irwin Strait Line Chalk Reels

The recently updated Irwin Strait-line series of chalk reels all feature redesigned bodies, steel handles and larger center clutches to give better performance. The Mach6″, Speed-Line Pro”, Speed-Line” and the Aluminum chalk reels were all specifically engineering to make them more innovative, faster and tougher.

Leatherman Wave Multitool 3

Leatherman Wave Multitool Review

If you haven’t heard of Leatherman you are definitely new to tools or have never aspired to be a Boy Scout. The popular multitool company has made one of the most well-recognized one-tool-does-all inventions in the industry and has only expanded upon its initial offerings. The new Wave tool from Leatherman offers an almost unbelievable assortment of goodies to the handyman – pliers, saw, screwdrivers, scissors, knife, cutters, file… You name it, the Wave has it!

Black & Decker BDSL30 Accu-Mark Level

Black & Decker BDSL30 24-Inch 3-in-1 Gecko Grip Level Preview

The Black & Decker BDSL30 24-inch level is really three tools in one. The 24-inch level is great on its own, offering large easy-view bubbles for making sure your pictures and shelves are perfectly level. Not stopping there, Black & Decker added a 9-inch torpedo level that pulls out from the right side of the BDSL30 and can be used simultaneously alongside its 24-inch host. But wait, there’s more… The 9-inch torpedo level comes complete with an integrated stud finder to sweeten the deal. A stud finder integrated into a level? That’s absolutely the most absurd…ly perfect combination we can think of. In fact, why aren’t all torpedo levels made this way?

Black & Decker Gecko Grip Level

Black & Decker Gecko Grip Level with Accu Mark BDSL10

For anyone who has ever attempted to hang a larger shelf or picture without the help of an assistant, the new 36-inch Gecko Grip Level from Black & Decker might not change your life, but it could make it easier. It combines “Gecko Grip” pads that help keep the level in place with one hand, while the innovative Accu Mark targets let you pinpoint exactly where on the wall you need to drill to mount your picture or shelf system.

Vaughan super bar

Vaughan Super Bar B215 Pry Bar

Vaughan tools are made in the USA and their XL Superbar 21″ pry bar is among the most versatile and useful tools you’ll ever come across. It’s useful for tighter applications that don’t require brute force or an inflexible pry bar. Its integrated nail puller and “shepherd’s crook” rocker make it a great tool for demo and removing and replacing trim. If you don’t have one of these, stop reading and go buy it… We’ll wait.

Vaughan Bear Claw Nail Puller

Vaughan Bear Claw Nail Puller

The Vaughan BC series of Bear Claw nail pullers are simply tools you want to have lying around for when you really need them – and believe me, we’ve encountered endless opportunities for them to shine. From nail pulling in tight quarters, to quick pry jobs that demand a lighter, gentler prybar, the Bear Claw nail pullers seem to really excel at getting the job done.