Latest Tools Make Carpet Installation and Removal a Snap
I was given one at the CFI convention a couple of years ago. I immediately thought “Yeah I’m going to like this.” The blade has flanges or skirts that don’t allow debris to get under the locking flanges of your scraper, allowing for the blade to fall or pull out easily. How many times has that happened to me over 40+ years of installation?
A word of caution: it is extremely sharp, so be careful when using it or you may find out what the term we installers use, “Bloody Mary” really means. It comes in a locking plastic container that you may want to return it to after using it. Or turn it around and put it back in your scraper so you don’t run your hand into it in the bottom of your toolbox.
They come in three sizes: 4, 5, and 8 inches.
Upon seeing these two scrapers my first thought was how heavy duty they were. Well let me tell you, they are. The 80184 has an ergonomic handle, and the 809194 has a steel end cap. I have seen the scrapers with the steel end before but joked about them. Kind of like, what’s that for? To thump your helper with if he or she wasn’t working hard enough? I came to find out it is for hammering on if you run into a tough spot. I can’t say I’ve ever had to hammer on a scraper but I sure have seen a lot of scrapers out there with mushroomed handles on them. One thing I found out handling the tool is that it was very well balanced in the hands. I’m sure that means a whole lot less fatigue in using the tools.
I was really impressed on how heavy duty they are, especially after seeing some lightweight ones in the supply house.
KnivesBetter Tools has an assortment of knives from utility to knives that the blades break away. I used a couple of the knives that caught my eye. One of them was the Quick Change Folding Carpet Knife. Quick Change meaning you push a button to release the blade and reload the knife. No screwdriver needed. Just make sure the blade is in all the way when reloading so it doesn’t possibly pull out. The thing that surprised me is that there is no belt clip and it is a little bulky for in-the-pocket use. There is a pouch that is separate from the tool; that is kind of unique. It can be put on your belt, either in the up and down position or sideways. Sideways works good for me because of that love handle I have above the belt. The knife itself is probably something I wouldn’t use constantly, but is sure nice to have for a little repair like missing a doorjamb on the trim in, things like that.
Carpet PullerWhen I found out I got to do an article on the Jackrabbit carpet puller, I couldn’t have been happier. I have read so much about the tool on the Internet. I wanted to see it in action.
Well happiness turned into now what when I found out I only had five working days to get this done before I left for Surfaces and a function for a couple of days afterwards.
I received the tool on Monday and had found a take-up job that was supposed to have started on Tuesday. I didn’t know if the job was a tough take up or not, as Mr. Marizzaldi had told me it was meant for the toughest of take ups. Nice man to talk to on the phone, by the way. Anyway I get a call at the last minute saying the job has moved to Wednesday. We all know how that is, don’t we?
Saturday rolls around and I’m kind of vegging, and I don’t turn my cell phone on until about 10:30. I have voice mail from Tony Cheshier of Elite Floors. They have been on a 66-yard job since 8:30 and only have about half of it up with one of the electrical machine pullers. I called and said I’d be there in about 20 minutes.
When I get there they are still struggling with the last half and I hear the electrical machine being stalled.
So Tony and I hook up the jackrabbit and went to work. Oh yeah, did I tell ya the carpet was a replacement and only had been down for six months? Also, that it was on top of terrazzo? Tony installed it originally and let me tell you he is not afraid of the glue not getting out of the bucket. This carpet was stuck tighter than the bark on a tree. It was stuck to the point the face separated from the back of the carpet and you ended up with a mass of yarn and the backing still stuck to the floor. If you stepped out onto an area that had been taken up it ripped off your shoes.
The tool only takes up a 6-inch-by-48-inch area in your truck, van or whatever you use. If needed, it probably could be delivered to your jobsite on a motorcycle. It weighed in when it arrived in the box a total of 33.5 pounds. I’m told it has a lifetime warranty and there are about 1500 of them sold so far and there have been no call backs.
All I can say is, where were these tools when my back was still in good shape?