1. Ryobi P320 Cordless Brad Nailer and P360 Narrow-Crown Stapler

The attractively priced cordless brad nailer, part of Ryobi’s One+ 18 Volt lineup, fires 18-gauge fasteners 5/8 inch to 2 inches long. Including the battery, the tool weighs just 6 pounds. Among its features are a tool-free adjustment for depth of drive, a dry-fire lockout, an LED light to illuminate the work area, and a toggle switch for shifting between single-shot and bump-fire operation. The narrow crown stapler, which fires 3/8-inch to 1 1/2-inch narrow-crown staples, has many of the same features as the brad nailer. Sold without batteries, the stapler costs $139 and the brad nailer is $129. Ryobi tools are sold only at The Home Depot. Ryobi Power Tools, 800.525.2579, ryobitools.com

2. Milwaukee Cordless Recip Saw

Five years ago, reciprocating saws powered by lithium-ion batteries were only marginally prepared for the real-world rigors of a jobsite. That’s no longer the case. Milwaukee’s 2720 18-volt Fuel cordless reciprocating saw was the overall winner of our recent test. It was able to take as much pressure as the operator could dish out without bogging down, and showed only medium vibration. Its rounded-over profile is hand-friendly and easy to grip. The Quik-Lok clamp makes blade changes a snap, and the saw is equipped with an LED lamp. The saw is guaranteed for five years; the batteries for three. The online price for the saw in a one-battery kit is about $300; purchased bare it’s about $200. Milwaukee, 800.729.3878, milwaukeetool.com

3. Handibot Portable CNC Machine

CNC machines are fixtures in many machine and mill shops but Handibot is the first one designed to be taken into the field. The 40-pound tool cuts or carves in a field 6 inches by 8 inches by 3 1/4 inches deep, but with an accessory track, the Handibot also can be used to cut stair stringers or complicated rafter tails. You’ll need your own PC or tablet running Windows, but the company promises that the software is easy to use. The tool comes with a DeWalt variable-speed router and several bits and costs $2,795. ShopBot Tools, 888.680.4466, handibot.com

4. Bosch Cordless Impact Driver/Wrench

This 18-volt cordless impact driver accepts both 1/2-inch sockets and 1/4-inch hex-drive bits so you can leave your socket adapter at home. The impact driver/wrench uses brushless motor technology and has three speed/torque settings. Bosch says that the tool delivers up to 1,650 inch-pounds of torque; when used as an impact wrench, it has enough oomph to sink a 3/8-inch-by-6-inch lag in hardwood. Three LED lights illuminate the work area. Kits come in two versions: model IDH182-01L with two 4-amp-hour batteries, a charger, and case for $330; or the IDH182-02L that comes with two 2-amp-hour batteries, charger, and case for $280. You can also buy the bare tool and case, model IDH182BL, for $200. Bosch, 877.267.2499, boschtools.com

5. DeWalt Jobsite Table Saw

DeWalt’s model DWE7491RS is the largest of three table saws introduced in 2013, and it comes with a number of improvements over earlier models. Chief among them is a wheeled stand that is hard to tip over, yet folds up easily. The saw has a 32 1/2-inch rip capacity, and its 15-amp motor handles a 10-inch blade or a stack dado up to 13/16 inch wide. An upgraded model, DWE7499GD, is nearly identical but comes with what DeWalt calls a “guard detect” system, making the saw a little harder to use without the guard in place. If you want this safety feature, expect to pay about $750; the saw without it costs $600. DeWalt, 800.433.9258, dewalt.com


6. Fein ASCM 18-Volt Drill Driver

The ASCM 18QX is part of a new series of cordless tools from Fein that also includes a hammer drill/driver, an impact driver, and an impact wrench. This drill/driver has four geared speeds and can spin at speeds up to 3,850 rpm—nearly twice as fast as most cordless drills—with a maximum torque of 796 inch-pounds. Like Metabo and Festool, the ASCM 18QX has a removable chuck and bit holder, although the company doesn’t currently offer a right-angle chuck. Torque settings are electronic, and Fein says that the motor and electronics are completely dust-proof. Lithium-ion batteries are available in 2-amp-hour and 4-amp-hour versions. A kit with two 4-amp-hour batteries, charger, side handle, and case lists for $538. Fein Power Tools, 800.441.9878, feinus.com

Richard Smaltz

7. Knaack Jobsite Chest with Junk Trunk

Chuck everything into a single-compartment job box and your small or delicate tools may be gone for good. Knaack’s answer to this all-too-common problem is a shallow drawer at the bottom of the case in its 4830-D Jobsite Chest. The drawer not only lets you keep small items out of the main storage compartment, but it also raises the floor of the main box so you don’t have to bend as low to reach to the bottom. The lid for the top of the box and the drawer can be locked (and keyed) separately, making it possible to control access to different types of tools. The box measures 48 inches high by 30 inches wide by 35 inches long and has a capacity of 17 cubic feet. The drawer is 5 inches tall. The chest lists for $798. Knaack, 800.456.7865, knaack.com

8. Makita Dual-Battery Circular Saw

The XSH01 is the first cordless tool to be designed from the start to run on a pair of 18-volt batteries, so the adapter that was required on the earlier X2 line isn’t needed. Makita says that the 36-volt saw has enough power to allow carpenters to go completely cordless. It will make 205 cuts through 2-inch by 11 3/4-inch melapi (a type of soft luan lumber) on a single charge, Makita says. It also takes a 7 1/4-inch blade, a step up from the 6 1/2-inch blades typical on cordless circular saws, and it bevels up to 50 degrees. The saw is sold bare and costs $229. Makita, 800.462.5482, makitatools.com

9. Senco 21-Gauge Pin Nailer

Carpenters are getting onboard with this intermediate-size pin: It grabs much better than 23-gauge fasteners and it leaves a smaller, less obvious entry divot than an 18-gauge brad does. Senco’s FinishPro 21LXP shoots 21-gauge headless and slight-head pins in lengths from 5/8 inch to 2 inches. The magazine automatically adjusts for fasteners of different lengths. Other features include a last-nail lockout that prevents dry-firing, a reversible belt hook, and a narrow nose for getting into tight spots. The 2.7-pound tool also has both a wrench to clear nail jams and an extra nose pad stored onboard. Introduced this spring, the Senco sells for $250. A case is included. Senco, 800.543.4596, senco.com

10. Battery-Heated Jackets

Until this winning idea was pioneered by Milwaukee, working outside in cold weather meant a choice between bundling up in thick layers that could make it difficult to move around or just being miserable. Now you plug a cordless tool battery into one of these specialized jackets and go about your business in comfort, if not in style. jackets are now offered by a number of additional major tool brands, including Bosch, DeWalt, Ridgid, and Makita. Some of them can be powered by more than one size of battery. DeWalt’s version, for example, can run on either its 12-volt or a 20-volt Max battery and is available in four styles. Makita’s jackets are matched to specific battery sizes, 12 volts or 14.4/18 volts; versions from other manufacturers may run on 12-volt batteries only. Milwaukee offers fleece-lined side pockets and also has a hoodie. Runtimes on low seem to average about 5 or 6 hours, and prices range from about $130 to $230, depending on the manufacturer.