The Starrett 505P-7 Miter Saw Protractor is designed to take the guesswork out of cutting miters. It works like a bevel gauge, but instead of just capturing the angle, it has a dial at the hinge point that indicates the correct angle to set the saw to. The tool has two readings on it, one for miters and the other for butt joints, making it a single reference for all but the most complicated cuts. It's made of durable plastic and has laser-engraved markings. A similar model (505A-7) is available in aluminum.
¦ Price: $20. 978-249-3551. www.starrett.com.
Part of what makes utility blades so handy is their disposability: When one gets ruined, you just throw it out and put in another. But there are times it would be nice if you could get a little more life out of a blade. Irwin's 4-Point Snap Blade is a step in that direction, because when the tip gets dull you can use a pair of pliers to snap it off and expose a fresh new tip. Each end can be broken off once, which means the new design effectively doubles the life of the blade.
¦ Price: $2.25 for a pack of 10. 800-464-7946. www.irwin.com.
CH Hanson Automatic Locking Pliers
The CH Hanson Automatic Locking Pliers takes all of the adjustments and guesswork out of the locking-pliers equation. Gone is the small dial at the end of the handle and in its place is ... well, nothing. You just close the handles and let the jaw automatically size itself. A small knurled dial adjusts the amount of clamping pressure. To release the jaws, you simply pull up on the middle lever.
¦ Price: Starting at $13. 630-848-2000. www.chhanson.com.
Lenox Speed Slot Hole Saw
Ask any tradesperson to name the lamest thing about a hole saw and he'll say, "Getting the plug out." Lenox solved this problem by putting stepped slots in the sides of its new Speed Slot Hole Saw; they serve as leverage points for prying the plug out with a screwdriver, making removal much faster. Also, this hole saw is deeper than earlier models, so there's enough space to get under a 2-by plug and pry. And since the walls are thinner than is typical, they cut faster, too; it's like using a thin-kerf blade. The saw comes in sizes from 9/16 inch to 6 inches in diameter.
¦ Price: $7 to $110. 800-628-3030. www.lenoxtools.com.
Bora Multi-Angle Adjustable Square
Think of the Bora Multi-Angle Adjustable Square as a try square on steroids. It consists of a handle and a flip-out stainless-steel ruler with multiple locking positions. Models 808 and 812 adjust from 22.5 to 157.5 degrees in 22.5-degree increments, and model 408 goes from 45 to 135 degrees in 45-degree increments. According to the manufacturer, the settings are accurate to .05 degrees after 50,000 folding cycles. The tools come in 8- and 12-inch lengths with composite or aluminum bases.
¦ Price: $17 to $47. 248-588-0395. www.affinitytool.com.