Milwaukee Cordless Framing Nailer

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Over the years, nailers have come a long way.  In the past decade, we have been able to cut the air hose and lose the loud compressor.  While that is true for a lot of nailers in the finish, brad, and pin nailer range, it’s still not true for the framing nailers.  Let’s face it, if you are framing all day long, you are still tied to an air hose and compressor.  However, if you are doing smaller jobs or punch list items, cordless is the way to go, which brings me to the Milwaukee Cordless Framing Nailer.

We reviewed the Milwaukee Cordless Framing nailer a while back but if you haven’t read it, here is a quick rundown.  As of today, it’s our favorite cordless framing nailer.  While other nailers use gas cartridges, the Milwaukee doesn’t.  While other nailers have a ramp-up time before firing, the Milwaukee doesn’t.  While others still are not consistent in driving nails deep, the Milwaukee is consistent.

So when it comes to cordless framing nailers, Milwaukee has the edge on the competition in every way.  I have been using it on my house project and can not find one complaint about the nailer.  Sure it’s pricey but worth every penny for the build quality, the convenience, and the reliability.

Milwaukee Cordless Framing Nailer – Information

Milwaukee Cordless Framing Nailer – Features

There is nothing like having a powerful framing nailer that doesn’t make the user tied to an air hose or listen to a loud compressor. The Milwaukee Cordless Framing Nailer offers a ton of features in a cordless nailer.

  • Fire 3 nails per second
  • Works with dense engineered lumber
  • No gas cartridges, just the Milwaukee battery
  • Tool-Free drive depth
  • Dry fire lockout
  • No-mar tip
  • Zero ramp uptime
  • Sequential or bump mode
  • Rafter hook
  • 20-22 degree nails
  • 10 lbs
  • Nail length – 2″-3-1/2″

Milwaukee Cordless Framing Nailer – Impressions

If you read the full review of the Milwaukee Cordless Framing Nailer 30 degree nailer, you know in our opinion this is the best cordless nailer on the market.  With zero ramp-up time, a consistent fire, and sinking all most every nail with precision, it’s hard to beat.

I love the way this nailer works, everything from adjusting the depth to turning it on and off to switching between bump and sequential mode.  I also love how a user can expand the magazine capacity if they want.

Milwaukee Cordless Framing Nailer – Wrap Up

Bottom line, while this won’t replace a pneumatic nailer for those who are framing all day long and shooting nails like Yosemite Sam chasing Buggs Bunny, it’s the perfect solution for smaller jobs down to punch list items.  I put a 1500 sq ft addition on my house with two other guys and this is a nailer I would have used for a majority of the job. In my opinion, this is the best cordless framing nailer on the market.

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Keen Utility Boots – Chicago

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If you are on your feet all day, you know what it means to have a pair of work boots that not only hold up and protect your feet but provide all-day comfort.  Let’s face it, our feet take a beating throughout the day.  We are not only walking around on different terrain, but we are climbing ladders, jumping in and out of trucks, walking around in wet, dry, hot, and cold climates, and let’s not forget about all the weight we are putting on our feet.

When it comes to comfort, Keen isn’t a stranger to providing some of the best work boots on the planet.  They now recently released a new version, the Chicago.  The Chicago work boot is designed to not only protect your feet but keep them comfortable all day long.  Yes, that all sounds great but they are doing this while trying to meet a lower price point when compared to the competition. So you get a traditional-looking work boot, that protects your feet, offers a full day of comfort, and all for under $180.  Not a bad deal.

Keen Utility Boots – Information

Keen Utility Boots – Features

When it comes to comfort and protection, it’s hard to find a work boot that will provide both.  The Keen Utility work boot Chicago sets out to conquer both, comfort and protection.

  • Waterproof
  • Carbon-Fiber toe – 15% lighter than steel
  • Oil- and slip-resistant
  • Non-marking
  • EH Rated
  • Keen ReGen midsole offers compression resistance
  • Rubber Outsoles rated up to 572 degrees
  • 5/8″ heel
  • Antimicrobial lining

Keen Utility Boots – Impressions

When I first look at the boots, I like the way they look.  To me, they look like a traditional work boot.  I know job sites aren’t about fashion but it doesn’t stop us from having a good looking work boot.  When I pick them up, the weight is decent.  While I have felt lighter boots, I am so used to feeling heavy boots, which I have no idea why companies make heavy work boots when you are walking around on them all day long. The weight of these work boots is on the lighter end of the spectrum, at least for my thoughts of the boot.

Putting on the boots is also extremely easy.  The finger hole in the back to hold onto while inserting your foot is nice and big, plus easy to access.  The boot opens up wide enough where I am not fighting to try to get my foot inside.

Once my foot is inside, they are extremely comfortable, especially considering they have a protective toe.  I am so used to having a protective toe jamming my toes together and causing soreness at night.  These boots don’t jam my toes together and my toes have enough room where they are not squashed.

While I haven’t done demo work in the boots yet, I can see that they do offer plenty of protection for a wide variety of jobs.  So let’s get down to comfort.

When I push down on the sole, it’s doesn’t feel like a running shoe but for some reason, these boots are extremely comfortable.  Yes, not as comfortable as a running shoe but one of the most comfortable boots I have worn in a long time.  My feet weren’t sweating and once the boots were broken in, my feet never seemed to hurt at the end of the day.  So for comfort, yes, I am a fan.

Keen Utility Boots – Wrap Up

Overall, these are great boots.  I love the feel of the work boot and how it has that traditional look but let’s be real, comfort and protection are what really matter.  So far, I have enjoyed these work boots and if you have followed our Instagram stories, you know I am a fan of these.  Working on my addition is more than a full day’s work.  I am up and down ladders, working on my knees installing flooring, and walking up and down stairs.  The days I am working on my house, it’s not uncommon for me to put in 10-12 hours of work.  At the end of the day, these are great boots, and I love how comfortable they are.

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Bali Blinds & Shades – The Real Story Behind Blinds – Part 1

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So here we are, talking about blinds.  If you would have asked a couple of months ago what I thought about blinds, I would have given you one of two answers.  I would have either said, “I don’t think about them and I don’t care about them” or I would have said, “Who cares, a blind is a blind.”   So why am I now talking about blinds?  I guess you could say I was blind to this whole industry, okay that was a very bad play on words but it was true for me.

A while back I started remodeling my house.  I gutted everything down to the studs. I moved walls, doorways, and more.  When I was done hanging the last piece of WindsorOne trim, I thought I was done.  However, my wife corrected me and said we now have to buy blinds for the windows.  Me, being me, I really didn’t think much of it.  I wanted to sit back and enjoy what I had accomplished. I loved looking at the Greek Trim and everything else I was able to accomplish.

Long story short, my wife asked me to get blinds with her.  I wasn’t interested.  I made her a deal.  I would take all the measurements if she would go to The Home Depot and pick them up.  I told her just grab whatever is on sale and looks good as I wasn’t a sucker and didn’t want to pay a lot.  Because after all, I just thought a blind was a blind.

What amazes me the most is that I spent all this time and dedication to remodeling the house, that I really didn’t even care if we would have hung up garbage bags on the windows, which looking back is pretty amazing.  But that is where I was coming from.  I wasn’t about blinds or fashion.  Yes, why most of you think that is crazy, it just wasn’t my thing.

Well, she came back and ended up dragging me to The Home Depot for blinds.  After I was done kicking and screaming, it dawned on me, a blind is not a blind.  So I had to put everything on hold so I could do some research because I didn’t want to make the wrong choice, I wanted the best bang for the buck.  So I went back home, hung my garbage bags on the windows, listened to my wife tell me to take them down and started doing my research, which brings me to Bali.

After doing my research, my whole opinion changed on blinds/shades and the manufacturers behind the product.  It amazes me how I went from something that I had no interest, to being someone who is passionate about blinds/shades.  I guess it has to do with me being so close-minded and thinking there wasn’t much of a difference to realizing there is so much to these companies and now I want everyone to know what I know.

So I am going to break this up into a three-part series.

I am not going into why I didn’t go with some of the other manufacturers in the market place, instead, I want to talk about why I went with Bali.

To sum it up, I went with Bali because of their history, their experience, their manufacturing, their quality, and their reputation. While there is a lot to each of these categories, I am just going to focus on what stood out for me.  You can check out their website for more in-depth looks and the company behind the blinds and shades.

Bali Experience

Speaking of experience, this is another reason I went with Bali.  Bali has a long history and has been around for over 50 years.  As you would assume, 50 years is a ton of experience for a company.  This means they have the knowledge of making the best product.  Since they have been around, they also have the technology and manufacturing to keep their cost lower which means I get a better product but I am not paying an arm and a leg.

When I am buying a product that will be used every day, I know that means it has the potential to have a ton of wear and tear over the years.  So for me, I want a company that has seen various problems and found ways to solve these problems so my blinds will last for years to come.

Bali Manufacturing

This has always been an issue for me.  I love supporting this great nation and supporting our workforce.  If I have the chance to support this nation, I am all about that.  There are two parts to Bali, the timber and the manufacturing.

One huge plus of Bali is that it’s an American company located right in Middleton, Wisconsin.  Now I could stop there and I am sold because I love supporting American companies, but Bali does take it one step further.

In Grayling, Michigan there is a pretty special place.  Bali is the only plant in the United States that brings in North American lumber, does its own drying, and manufactures their products on site. Not too long ago, there were a lot more places like this but other manufacturers decided to move overseas and try to save a dollar.

Not only is Bali located in Middleton, Wi but there is also a production operation that supports even more American workers.

While there is a lot to love about Bali, I would have to say that the Wisconsin roots, Wisconsin manufacturing, and the Michigan plant are a huge plus for me and I know a lot of other people also.

Bali Quality

When a company offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty, you know they are building a quality product.  While that should be enough, let’s face it.  We work hard for our money so we all want the best bang for our buck.  We want something that will last, so quality is extremely important to me.

Here is where I am going off my own observations.  I know you can read reviews or the manufacturers fact sheets, but when I went to The Home Depot and saw first hand, well that is what sold me.

As I said before, I thought shades were just shades and they were all the same.  My first stop was going to the cheaper priced cellular shades and having them cut it down to size.  As I was looking them over while waiting for an associate, my wife started talking about how we had these cheap cellular shades before and one broke in a week and two others broke in the first few months.  So she said to me, let’s just take a look at some other brands that are displayed.

I looked around and played with some of them.  Then I went over to the Bali shades and was sold instantly.  I was looking at their Bottom Up/Top Down shades.  The first thing I noticed was how smooth the operation was.  Pulling the shades down or up, just had that feeling of quality.  They weren’t flimsy, they didn’t make a lot of noise and they were just smooth.

When I went back and compared them to the other blinds on the floor and even the cut to fit shades, there really wasn’t a comparison.  Now I can’t say for sure, but even the thickness of the shade, the material feels thicker.  Looking at the build quality, Bali was much nicer.

So this is what got me to go back home and start my research.  While I did research other companies because I now know a shade isn’t just a shade, all my research lead me back to Bali.

So when it comes to quality, Bali has it.

Bali Reputation

Reputation also says a lot about a company.  Not only looking online but I talked with other people and the sales associates at some of these big box stores.  I asked about the return rate and what others have been saying.  Again, time after time, Bali is what I heard most people talking about.  So yes, this says a lot about the reputation of a company.

Bali is sold in all the big box stores like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, Costco, and more. So right there even says a lot about companies wanting to carry their products.  If they received a ton of returns or unhappy customers, these big box stores wouldn’t want to deal with them and would just discontinue selling them at their stores.

What I learned

I never thought in a million years I would ever talk about blinds and shades.  This was a subject that didn’t interest me and just thought they were all the same, just a different marketing approach.

After researching blinds and shades, I can truly appreciate how one company can stand out above the rest in regards to history, production, quality, and reputation.

As you can see I have done a 180° turn from someone who didn’t care about blinds to someone who is a little to crazy about them now. For me, I am excited to find a company that makes a quality product, that is located and manufactured right here in the USA and understands the market.  So for me, the only choice is Bali.

If you are like me or how I used to think, trust me when I say do your research and look around.  I highly suggest starting with Bali because you will love what you see and you will save a ton of time. Great company, great story, and great products.

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Payday – Reward Yourself

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If you have been following us, you know I have been working on my house for a while.  Back in 2018, I gutted the whole house for a remodeling job.  As you would expect, things don’t always go the way you plan.  At the time, I figured I would also gut the kitchen since I would be adding on to it.  Well, here we are two years later and it’s still not done.

I had issues with the village since it’s a historical house, I had issues with the concrete company and issues with the framer.  Let’s just say it has been a nightmare.  But with that being said, I am lucky because my wife has been awesome through this whole thing.  I have heard stories from others where remodeling has killed relationships, so all in all, I am lucky.

One way we have been getting through not having a kitchen is grilling.  We are always grilling.  I have been using the Traeger smoker, Monument Grill, and Weber.  So all in all, it’s been great because we are always eating tasty food and we have been making the best of it.  Since I am grilling a lot, the one thing that has been awesome is the tools I have been using.  I invested in some good cast iron pans, grilling utensils, and best of all, my Fillet knife.  While everything has been great, the Fillet knife is top dog and has been making life so much easier since you can do anything from slicing tomatoes to deboning fish and other meats.  It’s a very versatile tool.  So it got me thinking.  How many people really have a good knife?  My guess is not a lot.  So that’s why I am here today.

Life is short and I understand times are hard but every once in awhile, we have to treat ourselves to something special.  So I figure if you are into cooking, why not treat yourself to a nice fillet knife.  You can get anything from a $10 knife up to hundreds of dollars.  But I wanted to go over the three budget-friendly knives that I think will make your cooking experience better.

 

Elk Ridge ER-028 Fillet Knife

 

The Elk Ridge retails for about $14 which is a decent price.  The knife has about 200 reviews with a 4.5 rating.  For me, I love the wood handle and the stainless steel is 3CR13 which is typical stainless steel at this price point.  3CR13 is inexpensive stainless steel that will keep a sharp blade for a while and is natural resistance of corrosion.  The only issue is this only comes in a 7″ blade with a 5-1/4″ handle.  So if you like a bigger blade, this isn’t the knife for you.

KastKing Fillet Knife

 

While the Elk Ridge uses a 3CR13 stainless steel, the Kastking uses a G4116 German Stainless steel blade.  This steel is fine-grained stainless steel and is used in medical and kitchen cutlery because it holds it’s edge well and is also has a higher degree of corrosion resistance. This knife also has high market on Amazon and is offered in a 5″ – 9″ blade size.  Since this is a little better quality, you will be paying a little more and can pick this up for about $28 depending on the size of the blade.

Paudin Fillet Knife

 

This is a knife that I just love the looks of the knife.  While it will run about $28 on Amazon depending upon the size of the blade, it’s just a classy looking knife.  This blade uses a 5Cr15MoV stainless steel which is a Chinese copy of the german X50CrMoV15, that is why the price point is low.  This stainless steel was specifically designed for the knife industry.

This type of stainless steel is great for kitchen knives because it holds an edge and is easy to sharpen.  I wouldn’t recommend it for an EDC knife.

Other Knives

If you don’t like the knives above, there are so many to pick from on Amazon, Bass Pro, or other places.  Check out the knives on Amazon.

The Fillet Knife

I know fillet knives aren’t for everyone but for me, they are my go-to knife.  I love how easy it is to put an edge on the knife, I love how I can cut delicate items or harder items, I love how long they stay sharp, I love how tough they are.  If I drop it or ruin the edge, it’s easy to get it back to the original sharpness.

Overall, A fillet knife is a great all-around knife for your kitchen or being outdoor.  They aren’t terribly expensive so if you do lose it, it’s not going to ruin your day.

Sometimes we just have to get a little happiness in this crazy world. For me, it’s having a good Fillet knife.

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Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw

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Why did Milwaukee design and manufacture an 8″ cordless Metal Saw?  Because they can and because the users demand a metal saw with power and a tool to make their job easier.  So let’s take a look at the Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw.

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw Overview

When you look around the market, you can find metal saws.  All most every power tool manufacturer has a metal saw.  However, Milwaukee is taking it one step further with a heavy-duty metal saw that will compete against a corded metal saw. In fact, this saw generates 15A of corded power and cuts faster than a 15A corded metal saw. To me, that’s a no brainer.  I get the power of a corded saw, that is faster but I can lose the cord, it’s a no brainer.

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw Features

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw

The Milwaukee metal saw, model 2982-20, generates 15 amps of corded power which means this bad boy is quick.  In fact, Milwaukee claims it cuts faster than a comparable 15 amp corded metal saw.

The saw is powered by the Milwaukee M18 battery and will deliver up to 120′ of cutting corrugated decking per charge.

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw

The saw is built around a brushless motor that sits on the left side of the saw.  The motor provides 4,000 RPM which means it’s not only designed for tough work but also for speed.

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw

On top of the saw, there is a rubber over-mold handle.

Accessing the chip collection and the blade change is extremely simple. Just release a lever and you can easily access the chip and blade.

One of the best features is being able to lift the blade guard with a lever that is conveniently placed by the top handle so you can operate it with your thumb.

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw

As you would expect, you can adjust the depth of cut.  While it’s easy to make the adjustments, it’s not always easy seeing the depth since both the background and numbers are the same silver color.

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw

On the top of the tool, you will see an overload indicator light along with a storage area for the Hex wrench for blade changes.

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw Performance

We cut through a wide variety of metal objects to test it and see if we could get it to bog down.  Time after time, the saw ran through everything we threw at it.  The saw performance like a champ without any hesitation.

As you can see from the pictures above, we cut through some different materials.  If you follow us on Instagram, then you saw a lot more and how some of the material was pretty tick.

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw Value

You can pick this saw up for about $400.  If you are in the trades where cutting decking and other metal is a daily routine, it’s hard to argue with the price, especially if you already have M18 batteries.  The saw is powerful and performance like a champ, so with that said, the price is fair.

Milwaukee M18 Metal Saw Wrap Up

Bottom line, the Milwaukee metal saw is a great addition for those who work with metal decking.  You lose the cord but not the power.  You have a reliable tool you can day after day knowing it will keep up with you.  In the end, it’s hard to knock anything about this tool since it does exactly what they advertise, cut metal.

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