Hardscaping tools product review
Helpful, efficient and effective tools
Hardscaping is an art from that accessorizes, both beautifully and functionally, structures around the world. From pavered sideways and roadways, to backyard fireplaces and patio paradises, hardscaping adds flair and value. Many masons have added this craft to their offerings in an effort to diversify during a down economy. Some just love the creativity involved with hardscaping.
To do hardscaping right, you’ll need the most helpful, efficient and effective hardscaping tools and equipment out there. In this section, Masonry takes a look at nine new products offered by industry manufacturers. We hope this overview will give you an idea of where these products are headed, and how much easier they can make life for the hardscaping mason.
Contractor Turbo Diamond BladeAffinity Tools
Affinity Tools’ Contractor Turbo diamond blade is economically priced, without sacrificing the performance of a diamond blade. This line is able to cut a variety of materials, including concrete, tile, stone and brick. The blade combines the speed of segmented blades with the smooth cutting ability of a continuous rim style. A 10-mm segment height allows for faster cutting and improved cut quality, and helps prevent heat transfer. The No. 1 enemy of a diamond blade is excessive heat. By offering a break or “relief” in the blade’s rim, the Contractor Turbo blades’ segments also help to prevent detrimental heat transfer. Five sizes are available and have been engineered to fit a wide range of angle grinders, and gas and electric-powered saws.
Brickbreaker Masonry SawHusqvarna
The BB5 Brickbreaker is an effective blade for use with Husqvarna’s full line of masonry saws. The BB5 Brickbreaker is a general-purpose blade made to cut a wide variety of materials on the first pass – perfect for hardscaping applications. The Brickbreaker will successfully cut hard concrete as well as masonry materials, such as medium bricks and blocks. An economical blade, the BB5 Brickbreaker features turbo segments that allow for fast and free cutting in hard/dense materials. It is available in 14- and 20-inch diameters, and has a total segment height of .400-inch (.300-inch diamond depth; .100-inch segment base).
BuckEye StraightEdge With Level Vial HandleKraft Tool
The BuckEye Straightedge by Kraft Tool Co. is a must have tool for any concrete, hardscape or landscape project. This sturdy straightedge’s blade is made out of lightweight, high-grade aluminum alloy. The square edges are perfect for smoothing concrete or leveling building materials. The smooth, tapered wood handle provides a comfortable grip. The handle is securely fastened to the blade, generating a steady control of the tool. The three openings on the handle adapt your grip for multiple uses. The built-in top reading vial level means only one tool is needed for both smoothing and leveling. The spring-loaded level is adjustable, and permits workers to easily make grade adjustments on site. Capped ends eliminate waste and build up on the tool. Made in the U.S.A.
Magnalight LED-Blasting LightLarson Electronics
The Magnalight BL70-LED Magnetic Mount Blasting Light from Larson Electronics uses LED technology and heavy-duty materials and design to provide operators with an LED-blasting light. This light can provide effective illumination, while resisting the damaging effects of operation in media-blasting applications. This LED-blasting light produces 6,020 lumens and comes with an inline transformer that allows operation with standard 120V-277V AC current. These units also can run on 9 to 46 volts DC without the transformer, allowing operators to connect the unit to vehicles and equipment for added versatility. A magnetic mounting base provides easy placement of the light on any metallic surface that will accept a magnet. The BL70-LED Blasting Light produces an intense light beam that provides illumination during blasting operations, involving sand, water and other media whereby the ambient atmosphere is often contaminated with dust and debris.
Men at Work Therapy Hand GelMary Ellen Products
Men at Work is a miracle hand gel from Mary Ellen Products. If you work hard for a living, your hands are probably rough, weathered, tired, callused, cracked and hurting. Men at Work’s special formula incorporates white willow bark, which contains salicin, a natural anti-inflammatory related to aspirin. Men at Work is a non-greasy, fast-drying gel that leaves no residue on hands or fabric; soothes dry, cracked skin; relieves sore, tired hands; mends minor cuts and scratches; and is all-natural and unscented. Keep it in your tool bag or glove compartment. A dime-sized amount is adequate when applied and rubbed, and you can use it as needed. Your hands will feel better after a few applications. A 4-oz. bottle retails for under $10.
Metabo's Combination HammerMetabo
West Chester, Pa.
Metabo’s KHE 76 combination hammer provides increased power and precision as well as user comfort and safety. The tool features a setting that reduces impact energy by 30 percent, when working with extremely pliable and brittle materials, yet offers the power to drill large diameter holes into the hardest masonry materials or to perform heavy chiseling. The KHE 76 also allows users to quickly and easily move between masonry drilling and demolition applications without switching tools. The KHE 76 features Metabo’s VibraTech three-position side handle, which absorbs up to 60% of vibration, and active vibration control and a vibration-absorbing rear handle, resulting in fatigue-free operation. Metabo’s S-automatic safety slip clutch protects the operator from kickback by absorbing the torque, should the tool bind or snag. The hammer has a 15 A motor and a maximum impact rate of 2,735 blows per min.
PAVER PLACER ToolPAVE MOR
PAVE MOR’s PAVER PLACER Tool saves time with less chance of injuries. Once an area is prepared for paver installation, the PAVER PLACER allows the operator to place the paver exactly, without disturbing the prepared area. When the paver installation is completed by hand, the prepared area can be disrupted many times and, in some cases, fingers could be involved with some sort of injury. Placing the pavers with the PAVER PLACER will result in a faster completion and reduced chance of injury to the operator. Three models are available: Model PM-1AIR, Model PM-2AIR accessory, and Model PM-3AIR. Visit our website to see videos of its operation. This product is made in the U.S.A.
SandScreed Pro Pave Tech ToolsPave Tech Hardscape Outfitters
Prior Lake, Minn.
New from Pave Tech is the SandScreed Pro Pave Tech Tool. In the past, rectangle-shaped boards have been used to screed bedding material for pavers, and those old boards tended to lift upward. To counter the lifting, pressing down and pulling forward at the same time was the only remedy. This caused the user to use ergonomically incorrect posture. With the SandScreed, the weight of the sand within the arc pushes the blade down, allowing the operator to only pull the blade. Side-to-side sawing is no longer necessary. Features include a new sickle shape, a blade that cuts into the bedding material, without creating an upward movement, a screed guides on both sides, a level indicator incorporated into the profile, and telescopes from 38 to 63 inches. An adjustable height goes from 0 to 5 inches, on both sides, and an optional set of two pulling handles exist for relaxed and ergonomically correct body position.
Sleeve that Doubles as Trowel CleanerTrowel Clean Sleeve
The Trowel Clean Sleeve is a mason's best friend. It is a holster made with fabricated sheet metal designed for brick, block and stone masons. When the sleeve is holstered, a blade located inside is designed to clean the trowel as it slides in. This makes for an efficient holster for the trowel. While you work, Trowel Clean Sleeve enables you to pick up the speed of your work. The sleeve attaches onto the outside of your leather belt with a clip. Or, you can have your belt go through the sleeve. Trowel Clean Sleeve also can be personalized to its owner, and the size can be customized if needed. Choose from three stamps – a flying eagle, two axes, or a large eagle head – that can be embossed on your trowel clean sleeve for an extra charge. The sleeve is made of excellent craftsmanship. It is leathered, stitched and stained, and is a must for every mason.
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
About the Author
Jennifer Morrell was the editor of Masonry magazine. She has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry as a writer and editor, covering such topics as real estate and construction, insurance, health care, relationships and sports. A graduate of The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in magazines and is an award-winning newspaper columnist.