Spring 2012 Table of Contents

Featured
Tools Up Close: Makita LXSL01 Cordless Miter Saw Tools Up Close: Makita LXSL01 Cordless Miter Saw

Over the past decade or so, a revolution of sorts has been occurring within the cordless tool industry. Thanks to improved motor and battery technology, power-hungry tools that were once available only as 110-volt corded models are being offered without cords. The list is long and includes rotary hammers, impact wrenches, angle grinders, and more. Read more

Tools Up Close: 16-Gauge Fusion Nailer Tools Up Close: 16-Gauge Fusion Nailer

In my work as a finish carpenter, I use a variety of nails: 18-gauge brads for molding and trim, 15-gauge nails for door jambs, and 16-gauge nails for everything else. I prefer to work without hoses, and for the last 10 years have been using 16- and 18-gauge fuel-powered nailers from Paslode. They work very well, but I dislike having to buy gas cylinders, breathe exhaust fumes, and oil and clean the guns. Read more

Tools Up Close: Benchmark Worktable Tools Up Close: Benchmark Worktable

The Benchmark differs from the tables I've used before (usually a door blank on sawhorses) in a couple of important ways: It folds, so it's easier to transport; and it has an open top consisting of a series of cross bars covered with stepped plastic caps. Since the top isn't solid, you can cut on it with a circular saw without damaging the work surface — you just position the piece so that the blade passes between the cross bars or through the channels where the caps step down. If you misjudge and hit a cap, you'll only be hitting plastic. Read more

2012 Editors' Choice Awards 2012 Editors' Choice Awards

Innovation, invention, and refinements that improve the way we work Read more

Tool Test: 18-Volt Drill/Drivers Tool Test: 18-Volt Drill/Drivers

Today's cordless drills are significantly better than the ones I used four or five years ago — they have more power and greater runtime, and take less time to charge. Many of them are lighter, too. The most obvious change has been the move from nicad to lithium-ion batteries, with lithium-ion becoming the de facto standard for pro-grade tools. But it's not just the batteries that have gotten better; now motors are smaller and more efficient, and chargers charge more effectively, because they communicate with the batteries. Read more

DeWalt DWE357 corded reciprocating saw Product Watch DeWalt DWE357 corded reciprocating saw

DeWalt has given the corded reciprocating saw a makeover with the release of the DWE357. Read more

Gerber Groundbreaker Multi-Tool Product Watch Gerber Groundbreaker Multi-Tool

Built specifically for electricians, the Gerber Groundbreaker Multi-Tool combines six common tools into a compact 9-inch unit. Read more

Bosch ROS65VC random-orbit sander Product Watch Bosch ROS65VC random-orbit sander

Bosch's ROS65VC random-orbit sander is designed for rough or finish sanding of wood, paint, and just about anything else that can be sanded with hook-and-loop paper. Read more

GoSaw vertical panel saws Product Watch GoSaw vertical panel saws

Though they're great for cutting sheet goods, vertical panel saws are not known for their portability. Read more

Swanson Savage Jab Saw (SVK666) two-position jab-saw blade Product Watch Swanson Savage Jab Saw (SVK666) two-position jab-saw blade

The Swanson Savage Jab Saw (SVK666) is the Swiss army knife of the drywall trade. Read more

Metabo Wet/Dry Vac (ASR 35) vacuum Product Watch Metabo Wet/Dry Vac (ASR 35) vacuum

The Metabo Wet/Dry Vac (ASR 35) is designed for both the shop and the job site: You can set it to manual and use it as a shop vac, or set it to auto so that it's activated by a tool plugged into its onboard electrical outlet. Read more

Porter-Cable Clamp Saw Product Watch Porter-Cable Clamp Saw

A number of companies have released small 12-volt reciprocating saws, but the Porter-Cable Clamp Saw is the first one that actually holds onto the material for you. Read more

Johnson Stud Squared Framer's Tape Product Watch Johnson Stud Squared Framer's Tape

In addition to functioning like a standard 25-foot tape measure, the Johnson Stud Squared can assist with framing layout. Read more

Irwin 2500 Box Beam Level Product Watch Irwin 2500 Box Beam Level

The Irwin 2500 Box Beam Level has an unusual feature that makes it easier to use: a mirror that allows you to read the plumb vial from the edge of the tool (for those times when it's hard to look from the side). Read more

Oregon PowerNow 40V MAX Chain Saw Product Watch Oregon PowerNow 40V MAX Chain Saw

It's not always easy to get a chain saw started, and all that tugging on a pull cord can get pretty frustrating. Read more

Channellock 13-in-1 multi-tip screwdriver Product Watch Channellock 13-in-1 multi-tip screwdriver

Channellock's 13-in-1 multi-tip screwdriver packs a lot of function into one small tool. Read more

Hart steel-handled framing hammer Product Watch Hart steel-handled framing hammer

Hart's new steel-handled framing hammer has features that could be useful to any carpenter: a magnetized nail slot at the top of the striking face, a hole through the head that can be used as a rebar bender, and a nail puller at the side of the head for pulling stubborn nails. Read more

Milwaukee 18-volt Fuel drill/driver Product Watch Milwaukee 18-volt Fuel drill/driver

Brushless motors have been around for years, but they're still not that common in cordless tools. Earlier this year Milwaukee introduced its first brushless tool, the 18-volt Fuel drill/driver. Read more

Iron Dog Tools modular toolbelt Product Watch Iron Dog Tools modular toolbelt

Iron Dog Tools has taken a completely modular approach to the toolbelt by offering each piece separately so you can tailor a belt to your needs. Read more

Xena Bulletlock Padlock Product Watch Xena Bulletlock Padlock

Whether you're securing a building or a gangbox full of tools, a tough lock is essential. Read more

Sola KB 24 wet-dry pencil Product Watch Sola KB 24 wet-dry pencil

Sola, a company best known for its levels, also makes a line of specialty pencils. Read more

Bosch Bulldog rotary hammer Product Watch Bosch Bulldog rotary hammer

Bosch recently introduced an upgraded version of its Bulldog rotary hammer, the Bulldog Xtreme Max (RH228VC). Read more

Ansell ActivArmr series gloves Product Watch Ansell ActivArmr series gloves

Ansell's ActivArmr series gloves are designed with specific trades in mind. Read more

Tool Tests

Tested: Cordless 18-Gauge Brad Nailers

Do gas-powered cordless nailers have some serious competition from their...

Porter-Cable PCC790LA Cordless Brad Nailer

Here's a look at how the Porter-Cable battery-powered brad nailer fared when...

Hitachi NT50GSP9 Cordless Brad Nailer

Here's a look at how the Hitachi gas-powered cordless brad nailer fared when...

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