Category Archives: Tools

Clearing Storm Debris and Confusion: Which Stihl Chainsaws are Made in the USA?

This winter, the Northeast has weathered a series of storms that left lots of downed trees and limbs. At the time, most of us were concerned with just getting the power (luckily we have a generator) but now the aftermath is going to have to be dealt with.

I am probably one of those few people that will enjoy getting out there to tackle the cleanup with one of my prized possessions: “Old Orange,” my Stihl chainsaw. Between my chainsaw, splitting maul and wood stove we were able to have lots of cozy evenings by the fire this year, all from downed trees in our own yard during previous storms.

While the Stihl company was founded and headquartered  in Waiblingen,  Germany, there’s a lot of speculating and misinformation online about whether any of its chainsaws are made here. Frankly, the company doesn’t help by having not a peep of info on its website. So, Kathy went straight to the source and got the model numbers of the 13 chainsaw lines that are assembled in the United States. They are:

MS-170, MS-171, MS-180, MS-181, MS-201, MS-211, MS-250, MS-241, MS-251, MS-261, MS-271, MS-291, and MS-311

Hope this helps in your choice of a chainsaw.

Regards,

Paul

Successful Indiegogo Campaign to bring Axe-Making Back to Maine

Back in January, we told you about Brant & Cochran, a three-man team restoring vintage axes in Portland, Maine. At the time, they were discussing the possibility of launching a funding campaign that would allow them to forge new axes as well. It seemed to be a nagging annoyance to the trio that the state of Maine had gone from having 200 companies making handcrafted axes to having none.

Well, they pulled it off, hitting their goal of $25,000 this week in an Indiegogo campaign . They’ll be purchasing items like gas forges, a tempering oven and a 70-ton hydraulic press. Their first product will be called the Allegash Cruiser, which is advertised as “Wicked sharp – Not Kdding.”

Congratulations to Mark Ferguson, Steve Ferguson and Barry Worthing. We can’t wait to see their new products! Check out their web site here.

Regards,

Kathy

 

Snow Removal with Made-in-USA Tools

Don’t know about you, but we’re really getting socked by a big winter storm today so we figured it was time for a post on Made-in-USA snow removal.BullyShovelsThe first thing you need for snow clean-up is, obviously, a shovel. Bully Tools’ Snow Shovels and Ice Choppers are available in a variety of styles and sizes. IceDozerPlusWhen it’s time to clean off your car, the Innovation Factory IceDozer Plus 2.0, Made-in-USA, has a flexible blade and removable pocket dozer multi-tool.

IceDozerMiniThe IceDozer MINI 2.0 with Brass Blade, “packs 360 degrees of ice clearing performance, including 13 flexiblade scraping fingers, and tenderizers for softening up the hardest ice that you will find on your windshield.”

The Sno-Dozer is an ergonomic design for clearing snow.

al roof rakeIt’s important not to overload your roof with too much snow weight. This aluminum roof rake is from Cozy Winters.

SnowMoverRemove deep snow on and around your car with the Innovation Factory SnowMover 2.0 Snow Plow. It functions as a plow, ice scraper and snow broom.
You won’t want to drag that snow in the house with you. Waterhog Doormats come in a variety of styles and sizes and they are said to “drink up water and snow.”

Stay warm and be careful shoveling!

 

Dango Multi-Tool and Wallet: The Best of Both Worlds

We could write countless posts about wallets and multi-tools but what makes the Dango offering so cool is how it meets both criteria in a neat and functional package.The Dango design minimizes the sharp edges of the multi-tool within the framework of the wallet so your jeans pocket is not the first victim of the tool’s functionality.The Dango features 14 different tools and has a top grain leather finish available in three colors: Black, Raw Hide or Whiskey Tan. The wallet has enough room to hold 12 credit cards and is TSA compliant. The multi-tool, though you can’t carry-on and will will need to check.
Like all good multi-tools, the all-important bottle opener is included.Are you likely to use all of the multi-tools? I guess that depends on your Macgyver quotient, but isn’t it nice to know they are there?

Regards,

Paul

Brant & Cochran Axe Restoration: Breathing New Life Into Vintage American Axes.

If you’ve been following this blog for any period of time it should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of axes, wood-splitting and the outdoors in general. I always enjoy finding a new axe artisan and Brant & Cochran is the latest one I’d like to tell you about.

Based in Portland Maine, Brant & Cochran at first specialized in restoring surplus military machinery. It was reborn, so to speak, when Steve Ferguson decided to purchase an American made axe for a godson on his way to forestry school, but couldn’t find one locally. Steve, his brother Mark and friend Barry Worthing decided to bring axe-making back to Maine, even if it was just restoration of vintage axes at first. I’ve learned that if something is well-made it’s definitely worth maintaining so you can pass it along to the next generation. I should know – I have my father’s hatchet which, after years of neglect, is going to hopefully get a second life in the hands of the Brant and Cochran team.The axe heads are carefully restored, given new edges without damaging the blade. Wherever possible, original markings are preserved to maintain the authenticity of the head. New hickory handles are added and, as you can see from the photos above, the axes look like they were just forged.

Speaking of just being forged, look for an Indiegogo program in the next few months as the guys from Brant and Cochran get ready to start their own forge in a converted naval base workshop. The plan is to launch a Maine-made, wedge-pattern boys’ axe with a locally sourced ash handle. (A word from the wife: Kathy doesn’t like the “Boys’ Axe” name and thinks it should be called a “Kids’ Axe” or “Junior Axe” or “Starter Axe,” etc. She says she would have been really mad if her brother got a boy’s axe and there wasn’t one for her – and not a pink one either.)

Whatever they decide to call it, we’re looking forward to seeing it on the market.

Meanwhile, if you are in the market for a “new” axe and want a piece of American manufacturing history, I don’t think you can’t go wrong with an axe from Brant and Cochran.

Regards,

Paul