OPC’s Craftsman Experience Studio Tour

June 17, 2011 | by Ethan (email) |

Last week was a busy week. You’ve read the coverage of the Bosch media event, and immediately following, Craftsman was kind enough to invite us to visit the Craftsman Experience Studio. Imagine a wonderland of tools, televisions and all the equipment for live streaming in the same place. Hey, that kinda sounds like my dream man-cave! For even more pictures of the studio, check out our new Facebook page. Like our page to stay current on all the OPC goings-on.

About the Studio

A little over a year ago, Craftsman opened the doors to the Craftsman Experience where visitors will find hands-on activities and clinics for woodworking tools, automotive and mechanics tools, and lawn and garden products. Everything is designed for video and audio recording to be streamed over the internet, and they recorded everything we did. We’ll be sure to let you know if OPC makes a TV debut (but probably not). Scattered throughout the studio are sets for productions like “The Down and Dirty Radio with Frank Fontana”. If you live in the Chicago area, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Blogger Summit

Craftsman had a handful of bloggers out for a “blogger summit” to play with the some of latest tool offerings. The underlying goal was to put tools into the hands of people that might not otherwise tackle common do-it-yourself projects. To accomplish this, they created five stations for everyone to learn a simple project like building a small shelf or sawhorses. In my opinion, the best project was creating an ogre sword.

It was a great mix of mom bloggers like The Redheaded Mommy, dad bloggers like Backpacking Dad, author and speaker C.C. Chapman. Timothy from Charles and Hudson was there as was Mike Senese who you’ll recognize from the TV show “Pumpkin Chuckin”. It was a lot of fun seeing friends and meeting new people.

New Tools From Craftsman

All the DIY projects were a fun diversion, but I was curious about the new tool offerings from Craftsman. I wanted to know what they’ve been up to for the past year. They showcased many cordless offerings from the new generation of Nextec tool line.

  • Auto-Hammer
  • Drill / Driver
  • Right Angle Driver
  • Rotary Tool
  • Multi-Tool
  • Air-Pump
  • Rapid Charger
  • Grass Trimmer
  • 3-in-1 Garden Tool
  • Hedge Trimmer

The Standouts
All of these tools are designed for home-owners and casual do-it-yourselfers, and here’s what stood out to me.

    • Rapid Charger
      There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of charge in the middle of a project. With this rapid charger, Craftsman claims you can go from a completely dead battery to a 25% charge in 3 minutes! This is only true for dead batteries. You can’t go from 50% to 75% in the same time.

    • Air-Pump
      Craftsman created an inflator that lets you set a psi and walk away. It has on-board storage, and everything wraps up for a very compact footprint. This pump is ideal for bike tires, soccer balls and lots of other small applications.

    • Grass Trimmer
      Rather than a common line trimmer, this lawn tool utilizes high density plastic flails that last much longer. Plus, they can be conveniently stored right on the trimmer. The biggest problem with cordless trimmers is that they don’t last very long, and this one is no exception. This trimmer is best used for maintenance trimming on small lawns.

It was a lot of fun to get a behind the scenes look at the Craftsman Experience. There are even more pictures on our Facebook page if you’re interested. Thanks Craftsman for the opportunity!

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