• Back to School Dorm Toolkit

    shutterstock_410330911 (2)

    Living in a dorm isn’t as easy as living at home. You can’t just run out to the garage and borrow one of your dad’s hammers or dig around in the kitchen junk drawer looking for a pair of scissors. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a roommate who is willing to share tools, you’re on your own. But you don’t need a big expensive tool chest. Dorm repairs are usually small things. Tightening the screw on a pair of glasses. Pounding in a nail to hang a picture. All you really need are a few basic tools to get by. Continue reading

  • How an Air Compressor Works

    So how does an air compressor work?  Sure the name suggests it makes air smaller but what the heck does that mean?

    An air compressor is a machine designed to store air under pressure and release the pressurized air in a controlled fashion.   The pressurized air is used to drive air powered tools, air-powered painting devices and/or air accessories like nozzles and inflation needles.   A properly used compressor will help you finish a task much faster and with far less labor.   Like any power tool, air compressors demand user respect and a high level of safety awareness.   In other words, read the user manual before you use a compressor!

    At a minimum, all compressors offer:

    • An air pump, to move air into an air tank for storage
    • An air tank for storing air compressed by the pump
    • A pressure gauge that shows the pressure of the air stored in the tank
    • A switch that starts and stops the air pump
    • A safety valve to prevent excessive pressure buildup of the stored air
    • A moisture drain valve on the air tank

    Many compressors offer a regulator valve, which is used to control the level of air pressure coming out of the air tank.

    When connecting an air hose to a compressor, and when connecting a fitting or accessory to an air hose, it is critical to use Teflon tape on all threaded connections.   This prevents pressure loss due to air leaks and makes connections and disconnections easier.   

    User Tip: All new air compressors have a start-up procedure that must be followed prior to first use.   This procedure helps ensure that the motor is properly lubricated and broken in before a load is placed on it.  

    Selecting the Right Compressor

    Selecting the right compressor for your needs can be downright confusing.   Do you choose on horsepower, gallons, PSI or CFM?   Oiless or oil drive?   One stage or two stage?

    One selection method you might consider is:

    1. Determine what tools you want to run
    2. Consider where you’ll be using the compressor
    3. Consider how often you’ll be using the compressor

    1. Determine what tools you want to run

    To run properly, air tools such as impact guns, ratchets and sanders require a certain amount of air pressure, measured in PSI (Pounds per Square Inch), and a certain amount of air volume (measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute).

    Most compressors supply air pressure (PSI) of at least 100 PSI, which is sufficient air pressure to operate an air tool.   Therefore, air volume (CFM) is the most important consideration for proper air tool performance.

    For compressors, air volume (CFM) ratings measure how fast the air pump pushes air into the air tank for storage.   Note that most compressors have two CFM ratings: one at around 40 PSI that will be a higher number, and another at around 100 PSI that will be a lower number.   That’s because as the air pressure increases inside the air tank, the air pump has to work harder and harder to force more air into the tank.

    The other consideration is tank volume (GAL), measured in gallons.   The air tank only stores pressurized air; so as long as the compressor is delivering the air volume required by the tool, it’s impossible to run out of air no matter what the tank size is.   A smaller tank will get up to pressure quicker and is more portable than a larger tank.

    However, for air tools that require continuous use, such as grinders or sanders, a larger air tank reduces the amount of times the pump has to start up and run to maintain a given pressure.    This results in longer pump life due to reduced component stress and operating temperatures.

    2. Consider where you’ll be using the compressor

    The two key considerations here are portability and space requirements.


    If you need to use a compressor outdoors, on a job site or at different locations, then a portable air compressor may be the right choice.   Even the most “portable” compressor can weigh upwards of fifty pounds, so strategically placed wheels, handles and tanks can help ease the burden of moving your compressor.

    A portable compressor will not offer the tank volume of a stationary unit.   That makes them a less desirable choice for running continuous tools such as air sanders and grinders.

    User Tip: When using a compressor for remote work, it’s important to use a longer air hose to connect the air tool with the compressor.  Don’t use a longer power cord to move the compressor away from the power outlet.

    Space requirements

    Both portable and stationary compressors offer space saving options when shop space is at a premium.  Vertical tank units have air pumps mounted to the top of the tank to save space.   “Pancake” style tanks take up less room than horizontal tanks.   Twin tank compressors stack tanks vertically in a space-saving design.

      3. Consider how often you’ll be using the compressor

    Compressors are available in a wide price range.  So what’s the difference between a 5-gallon compressor that produces 7 CFM at 40 PSI for $129.00, and a 5-gallon compressor that produces 7 CFM at 40 PSI for $249.00?

    High-end (and more expensive) compressors designed for continuous daily use have heavy duty, oil-lubricated pumps that can withstand high heat and constant start cycles.  The compressor units may be belt driven by the motor rather than directly connected to and driven by the motor.   This permits the compressor pump unit to run at a different speed than the motor.

    For DIY’ers and pros that don’t run their compressors all day every day, a less expensive model should get the job done.   Oil lubricated units offer better durability than oil-less units without a lot of additional maintenance.

     Regardless of the size or type of air compressor you buy, you're sure to enjoy the convenience and speed with which you'll get the job done.

    Shop our selection of air compressors.

  • Powerbuilt Fans Are Blowing Up A Storm

    Image of Powerbuilt 3 Speed BlowerWhat has your fan done for you lately? Sure, that little fan on the dresser is great for keeping your bedroom cool on a hot summer day, but what happens if you spill a pitcher of ice tea on the rug? What if you paint the bathroom and can’t handle the fumes? What if your garage is hotter than the surface of the sun? Those events demand a higher quality breeze.

    A wet rug can be more than an inconvenience. Damp fibers and floorboards can warp and mildrew, causing bad odors and serious health problems. When spills happen, you need to get things dry as quickly as possible. The Powerbuilt 3-Speed Portable Blower (642259) is up to the job. With three speeds, choose the amount of air you need to dry wet carpeting, newly painted walls, or freshly mopped floors. This portable blower sends out up to 300 CFM of air directly at the source of the problem. But wait, there’s more. This blower can also suck up dust, fumes and odors, pulling them out of your home or garage and sending them outside where they belong. Includes two built-in 120 V grounded receptacles for connecting  power tools or additional blowers.

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  • Using Your Rotary Tool Like a Pro!

    840168"I Never Saw a Tool like Thee, One so Versatile as a Rotary"

    Yes, I know - my sonnets aren't that strong, but they are rich in truth. Few power tools are as versatile as a rotary tool, and for some jobs, a rotary tool is the only practical choice. Just try and name another tool that can drill, cut, grind, sand, file, buff, debur, carve, engrave and polish. A rotary tool is pretty darn easy to use, too. There are three keys to success:

    • Select the right bit, wheel, brush or other attachment for the task
    • Set the correct tool speed
    • Apply the right amount of pressure to the workpiece

    Video How To Load Collets & Bits Rotary Tools


    Let's start with the basics. I've selected a typical Kawasaki Rotary Tool Set that includes a rotary tool and a vast selection of accessories. A kit like this will pretty much answer the needs of every hobbyist and do-it-yourselfer on the planet. Continue reading

  • Kilimanjaro Outdoor Gear Helps You Reach for the Summit

    Image of Kilimanjaro Shira Camp Axe

    Sometimes camping trips don’t end up at a numbered camp spot in an overpopulated campground; sometimes they end up at the top of mountains. If you are one of the brave few willing to challenge the highest peaks, then Kilimanjaro Outdoor Gear has the tools to help you get there. Like its namesake, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro gear is far above the competition.

    Without your trusty axe, there would be no firewood, no warmth, no cooked meals. The Kilimanjaro Shira Camp Axe (910095) features a blade made of sturdy 3Cr13MoV Stainless Steel. The 2.9 inch blade has a classic axe head shape for easy chopping. Blade and handle are one piece of metal for added strength and security. Includes a storage sheath so it can be stored safely inside your pack.

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  • Pressure Washer Safety Tips

    870785_0_b 870785 Snap-On 2000 PSI Electric Pressure Washer

    Time for summer cleaning projects, many of which involve the use of a pressure washer. Spraying off the deck or cleaning out the rain gutters can be easier with the pressure washer’s high force blast, but, as with any tool, they must be handled with care. Here are some important pressure washer safety tips to keep in mind.

    Use eye protection. Any small object that the pressure washer spray hits could rebound back into your face. Small rocks, splinters of wood, shards of glass, anything small enough to be dislodged could end up in your unprotected eye. Safety goggles are your friend. Don't use your pressure washer without them.



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  • Emergency Preparedness Is No Joke

    870828_0_b_1You’ve heard all the funny stories about emergency preparedness, jokes about people getting ready for California to fall into the ocean or how tornadoes hate trailer parks, but the reality isn’t quite as funny. Earthquakes do happen, tornadoes do strike, and there is no way to prevent them. Emergency preparedness can mean the difference between sitting in the light eating dinner or starving in the dark.

    The number one item needed in most emergencies is a good generator. Tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, lightning storms, or any other type of disaster can easily take out the electrical grid. Once the power is out, you can’t use your lights, your fan, your space heater, your microwave, or any other necessary appliance. The Snap-On 5000W/6000W 13 HP Portable Gas Power Home Emergency Generator (870828) is a powerful reliable generator that meets both CARB and EPA standards so you can use it in any state. It generates 3000 watts of energy and will run up to 11 hours on 4 gallons of gas (50% load). (Remember to always run generators outside of enclosed spaces. Never leave a generator running inside a house or garage.)


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  • Tool Bags Make Storage A Snap

    Snap-on Tool BagWhat is life like without a tool bag? It’s a jumble of things lost in the trunk, it’s too many tools and not enough pockets, it’s a messy waste of time and money. Bring order back into your world. Nothing keeps things together better than a tool bag.

    If easy access is your goal, the Snap-on 20 Inch Wide Mouth Tool Bag (870110) is the bag for you. This durable water-resistant polyester bag is perfect for transporting your tools from here to there and back again. The extra wide mouth lets you see inside easily so you can grab the right tool the first time. An internal metal frame keeps the bag open as long as you need. 20 pockets inside and out give you plenty of places to store your tools. Also includes a business card holder and a key clip. Padded shoulder strap for extra comfort.

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  • Summer Project: Building a Planter

    870569_0_b_1Looking for a little summer project to fill up those long summer days? Well, here’s something that is easy, useful and as cheap as you want it to be. Beautify your yard or start that kitchen herb garden that you’ve always wanted with a DIY planter. All you need are a few pieces of wood and the tools to put them together.

    Step 1 – Measure the Space

    First off, decide how big a planter you need. Maybe you want something to grow rosemary above your kitchen sink. Maybe you want to grow sunflowers outside your back door. Either way, the first step is to figure out the dimensions of the spot where you want the planter to go. Use a measuring tape to confirm the exact size. Plan for a planter box a few inches smaller than its intended space.

    The Snap-On 25 ft. x 1 in. Tape Measure (870569) is a great choice for the job. The case fits perfectly in your hand and the jumbo markings make it easy to read.

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  • Special Father’s Day Gifts For Special Fathers

    871360_1_Are you in the middle of a Father’s Day gift dilemma? Has your father already bought the perfect gift for himself? Well, fear not. Here are a few Father’s Day gift suggestions that may just save the day.

    For the Outdoorsy Dad, the man who likes to spend time tailgating in his truck or camping in the woods, behold the Snap-On 2000 Watt Portable Digital Inverter Parallel USB Generator (871360), a perfect way to put 2000 starting watts/1600 running watts of energy right where he needs it. Powerful enough for most power tools or small appliances, clean enough to charge your dad’s phone or tablet, this inverter generator is quieter than a regular generator and produces cleaner energy. Features one 120 Volt GFCI protected outlet and two USB outlets.

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