We're impressed by versatile tools and Stanley-Bostitch's N88RH-2MCN combination framing/hardware nailer is just that. Change out the nailer's nosepiece and you can go from nailing framing and sheathing to installing joist hangers and other framing hardware. The tool-less nosepiece, a probe that easily finds hanger holes, makes this transformation possible. And when the hardware nosepiece is installed, the tool only single-fires, eliminating the potential for double taps.

The N88RH-2MCN weighs 7.9 pounds and has 1,000 inch/pounds of driving force, which the company says is great for consistent nail sinks in engineered lumber. It also has a rugged, tool-less adjustable exhaust deflector and a tool-less depth-of-drive adjustment for framing nails. For connecting framing hardware, the tool dispenses metal connecting nails from 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches by .131 to .162 gauge. For framing, it dispenses fasteners from 2 to 3-1/2 inches by .113 to .162 gauge. It sells for $399.

For more information, contact Stanley-Bostitch, 800-782-6539;


Metabo's UHE 28 Multi combination hammer gives new meaning to the word "combination." Unlike other hammers, this tool drills wood, concrete, and masonry. It chips, too. The first secret is the chuck exchange: You can quickly swap out the all-metal chuck for an SDS-Plus bit holder by turning a collar. The second is a two-speed transmission, an uncommon trait in combination hammers, according to the manufacturer.

Described as "the near-perfect drilling tool" in our March/April 2003 issue, the well-balanced, comfortable UHE 28 Multi does the work of at least two tools. But the UHE 28 Multi doesn't try to do too much either. Instead, it chips, hammers, and drills well. Its maximum bit range in concrete is 1-1/2 inches and in brick it's 3-1/8 inches. In mild steel, it'll drill up to a 5/8-inch hole; in softwood, up to 1-9/16 inches. It draws 8 amps, weighs 8.1 pounds, and is 15 inches long. This great tool sells for $369.

For more information, contact Metabo Corp., 800-638-2264;


Bosch's 4412 12-inch sliding compound miter saw raises the standard for comfort and control in these big saws with features that make adjusting, using, and carrying easier than ever. It starts with smart controls for setting the bevel angle?they're located at the front of the tool. To adjust the bevel either left or right, turn a knob on the right side of the miter adjustment handle. For the miter angle, there's an easy-to-use lever on the left of the miter adjustment handle.

This change alone is worthy of an award, but Bosch didn't stop there. The soft-grip trigger handle is adjustable to four positions?both right and left. There also are carry handles on top of the saw that make it easier to move. The 4412 has a 4-1/2-inch-tall fence for cutting up to 6-inch-wide crown in profile or 10-1/4-inch-wide material on the flat. It also has a belt-driven 15-amp motor and spins a high-quality, 80-tooth carbide blade at 3,800 rpm. The saw comes with built-in stock stops and tool-free base extensions. It costs $699.

For more information, contact Bosch Power Tools, 877-267-2499;

Spec out Corded Miter Saws on ebuild, the Professional's Guide to Building Products(TM).


Festool's CDD 12 FX and TDD 12 FX 12-volt cordless drill/drivers are small, powerful, and highly adaptable. They caught our eye for installing cabinets because their unique chucks convert them from drill/drivers to eccentric drivers or right-angle drill/drivers in seconds. While they get high reviews for installing cabinets, they can work anywhere a standard drill/driver can?and lots of places they can't. And for really close-quarters drilling or driving, you can click off the chuck entirely, revealing a receiver for a 1/4-inch driver tip. Plus, with the CDD 12 FX, you get a totally different tool configuration that's comfortable and easy to use.

Each tool ships with a 15-minute quick charger and two batteries, either the eccentric or right-angle chuck, a standard chuck, and a carrying case for $395. They have two-gear transmissions with 18 torque settings and their keyless chucks have bearing collars that help protect your work from the inevitable bump.

For more information, contact Festool, 888-337-8600;

Spec out Cordless Drill/Drivers on ebuild, the Professional's Guide to Building Products(TM).