Metabo is known for producing top-quality grinders, and its WP780 41/2-inch angle grinder is no exception. At 4.7 pounds it's lighter than competing models, and the slim motor housing and 15-degree offset side handle should make it comfortable to use. The 7.2-amp motor delivers 14 inch-pounds of torque – enough for edge-grinding, deburring, weld-grinding, and tile-cutting. A nonlocking paddle switch enhances user safety by turning the grinder off when its trigger is released or the tool is dropped. ¦ Price: about $100. www.metabo.us.
You don't see many snap-blade knives on job sites – but maybe you should, because their blades can be quickly renewed by breaking off the tip and advancing a fresh new edge. Tajima's Driver Cutter knife has a thicker-than-normal metal blade sleeve and a molded rubber grip with space for several spare blades inside. When the blade is retracted, the hardened tip of the sleeve can be used in place of a flat-head screwdriver for opening paint cans and turning the occasional screw. The knife comes in two models: Auto Lock and Dial Lock.
¦ Price: about $8. www.tajimatool.com.
The latest addition to Panasonic's Tough IP line is the EY7950LR2S 18V Cordless Hammer Drill & Drill Driver Kit. This light, compact tool – 5 pounds and 91/4 inches long – packs better-than-average lithium-ion batteries. Whereas competing 18-volt models have 3.0 Ah battery packs (at best), this one has 3.3 Ah packs. The tool delivers up to 29,700 blows per minute (for brick and block) in high speed and up to 7,740 blows per minute (for more delicate materials) in low speed. It has a multistep clutch for driving; convenience features include a belt hook and an LED work light.
¦ Price: $376 for a kit containing tool, charger, molded case, and two batteries. www.panasonic.com.
Table-saw safety isn't complicated: You just need to keep your fingers clear of the spinning blade. A push block is generally preferable to a stick for this, as it lets the user apply downward pressure on the work to keep it from being lifted by the blade. Rockler's Bench Dog Push-Bloc takes the push-block concept up a notch: A high-friction, nonmarring rubber pad keeps the workpiece from slipping during the cut and an angled handle keeps the operator's hands in a safe, leveraged position. The device can be used with a table saw, band saw, or router table.
¦ Price: $10 apiece. www.rockler.com.
SENCO 16-GAUGE ANGLED FUSION NAILER
This 16-gauge angled finish nailer is Senco's third Fusion gun – a 15-gauge model came out last year and an 18-gauge model came out in July. Unlike other hoseless guns, which burn fuel or rely on battery-powered flywheels, this one is built around a sealed cylinder that is charged with nitrogen gas. A battery-powered motor compresses the gas by lifting an internal piston. Squeezing the trigger releases the piston, which drives the nail pneumatically. Using this 6-pound tool is faster than using a flywheel gun (Senco claims it can fire three shots per second) and there's no need to buy fuel cells or clean out the residue from burnt fuel.
¦ Price: $420 for tool, 18-volt lithium-ion battery, charger, and case. www.senco.com.