We just got back from the Craftsman Experience.  We have to say it was one of the best manufacturers tool experiences we have ever been to.  Not because it was the only one we have been to, but because, well yeah because it was the only one we have ever been to.

If you are in the Chicago area we highly recommend stopping by and checking out the Craftsman Experience.  We live in the Chicago area and never even knew it was here.  In fact they produce a radio show and Live Stream you can check out with handy tips and more.

The whole experience was very cool.  Before Dan and I went, we thought it would be a day filled showing off their tools and more of a sales pitch, but it was far from that.  While they did take a little time to show off their new Nextec line, which we saw at the Vegas Hardware Show, the day was filled with cool projects.  They did show us their new Lawn and Garden tools for the 12V line up, which you can see more pictures on our facebook page.  Some of these tools look very cool and can’t wait to get our hands on them.

One thing I noticed which I liked a lot is the tools were not new or should I say they were not out of the box.  While some of them were new models, I could tell they have been used a lot and had wear and tear on them.

We had five stations where we could get our hands on the tools and use them first hand.  At each station there was an instructor and they taught us how to do a project.  I was paired up with Louise from Momstart who impressed me with her tool skills.  Dan was paired up with RedNeck Mommy and Back Packing Dad.

We were able to build a sword with Holly Conrad and build Saw Horses with Tim from Charles Hudson.  On this station we got to use the Auto Hammer.  This was loud.  Not because the tool was loud, but the room is a studio and designed for good quality sound for their tapings.  Now it wasn’t as loud as if you leave the toilet seat up in the middle of the night and then your wife accidentally sits down and falls in the toilet, then screams at you loud, but it was loud, plus it didn’t have all the swearing.  We built a Pizza Slider with Mike Senese. At another station we built some small shelves with Stuart from Toolguyd, which I will get into later but this guy is amazing.  Lastly which Dan thought might be the coolest station was the Corn Hole project with Lisa from Condo Blues.  Sadness came to him when he learned that this meant we were going to build a game for bags, it’s just called Corn Hole in the south and bags in the north.  I think eventually he got over it.

Back to Stuart and the other bloggers.  We were lucky enough to meet some really cool people from other mommy and daddy blogs, all were very cool and down to earth.  We were also very lucky because we got to go out and have dinner with Stuart from toolguyd and Ethan from oneprojectcloser.  It was finally nice putting a face to their name.  Both these guys are very cool and you should check out their sites.  Stuart is a madman.  He knows tools inside and out.   He really looks at the tools from an engineering standpoint and pretty much can tell you anything about them.  Ethan is just as knowledgeable and his skills lie within DIY projects.  They were both a lot of fun to hang out with and looking forward to having a drink with them in the future.

All in all this was a very cool experience.  We got to meet a lot of cool people and just have a good time.  If I can get Dan away from his Mule, I would like to head down their again and just hang out.

Other bloggers that attended the event:

http://artofmanliness.com

http://www.primermagazine.com

http://the-gadgeteer.com

http://www.misslori.tv

http://www.busydadblog.com

http://www.cc-chapman.com