Tiger Jaw Deck Board Tool
Tiger Jaw is a heavy duty deck board clamping tool designed for use with Tiger Claw’s drive-on pin style hidden fasteners but it’s also great for pulling boards onto grooved type hidden fasteners and straightening wild boards. Tiger Jaw is a stand-up tool. The handle rises about waist height for both leverage and convenience; there’s no bending over needed as with most other deck board tools.
The ‘jaw’ plates glide along parallel rods and tubes and apply lots of force with little effort to pull two boards together. To operate the Tiger Jaw, you stand on the already secured decking with the Tiger Jaw positioned so the jaws will clamp together when the handle is PUSHED away rather than pulled. You drop the back leg of one plate between slot of the last board and let the opposite drop leg grab around the board to be installed. With a foot on the back edge of the Tiger Jaw, you push away to draw the deck board onto the pins or grooved fasteners. The pushing action keeps a downward force on the board. You’ll know right away if you operate the Tiger Jaw incorrectly because the outside edge of the deck board will rise off the joists and may pop out of the jaws. Watch the 2-minute video on YouTube
Make sure you have the jaw plates resting flat on the deck boards before you push the handle otherwise one of the drop legs can ride up on the eased decking edge and scratch the surface. The drop legs that clamp onto the board edges are padded to reduce the chance of damage but the handle can generate so much force you can still bruise an edge so don’t overdo it.
The Tiger Jaw doesn’t have a lock position so when you let go of the handle, the jaws relax. This is an advantage and a disadvantage depending on the deck boards you’re working with. When the boards are straight you really don’t need a locking clamp so the Tiger Jaw moves quickly down the length of deck boards pulling them together. But when you have warped deck boards you will either need another worker to install a fastener while you hold the boards together with the Tiger Jaw where a board is warped or you’ll need another deck board tool that locks. I several deck board tools so I just grab the best tool for the situation.
Tiger Jaw is sized to grasp two common 5 ½ in. wide deck boards. Tiger Claw instructions show how to use a block of wood when installing narrower 1×4 deck boards common to exotic hardwoods. You insert a block of wood between the decking board being installed and the front leg of the tool. I found the block cumbersome having to move it along the joists so I modified the Tiger Jaw to simplify the process. I drilled four holes in the Tiger Jaw front plate and screwed an 8 in long hardwood spacer block on. With the block secured, you can use the Tiger Jaw on narrow boards in the same manner as with 5-½ in. decking.
The rods and tubes that guide the Tiger Jaw plates aren’t painted so I suggest a regular squirt of silicone lubricant. The lubricant not only keeps the parts gliding but also reduces rust that can gum up the works. And easy does it on lubricants, you don’t want excess dripping on unsealed deck boards.
I’ve used the Tiger Jaw to install several different styles of grooved deck board fasteners, Tiger Claw drive-on fasteners, InvisaGrip, HIDfast and Tebo, and it works well for all.
The Tiger Jaw sells for $175 – $200
Tiger Claw 800-928-4437 www.deckfastener.com