Tool Tests and Reviews

  • Cadex 23-Gauge Pinner

  • Festool Rotex RO125 FEQ Sander

    This dual-mode machine can be used for fine sanding but is best suited to heavy stock removal.

  • Makita BO5041K Random Orbital Sander

    This lightweight tool is easy to hold and produces a very good finish.

  • Porter-Cable 97455 Random Orbital Sander

    This right-angle model can finish sand but is best suited to heavy stock removal.

  • 5-inch Random-Orbital Sanders

    Spin control: five rear handle and right angle models go head to head in this tool test.

  • Irwin Tapcon Installation Drill-Drive Set

    This kit is rated for use in impact drivers but works even better in hammer drills.

  • 3 New Wormdrive Circular Saws from Skil and Bosch

    If the SHD77-02 and SHD77M-02 are brothers within the Skil family of saws, then Bosch’s CSW41 should be considered a cousin.

  • Vampire Tools VamPLIERS

    These oddly shaped pliers are just the thing for removing security fasteners and screws that are stuck or rusted in place.

  • Bosch Laser Measurer With Bluetooth

    The measurements you take with the GLM 100 C can be wirelessly transferred to your smart device.

  • Channellock E Series Pliers

    These tools are smaller, sleeker, and produce greater leverage than conventional models.

  • Milwaukee 10IN1 Hex Key Driver

    It might be time to retire your folding hex key set, or at least give it a vacation.

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    Modular Tool Organizers

    Modular organizers share the same footprint and can be stacked and latched together for storage and transport.

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    Modular Tool Organizers

    Modular organizers share the same footprint and can be stacked and latched together for storage and transport.

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    Crescent 18-Inch Indexing Flat Bar

    The curved head of this pry bar can be pivoted and locked into 16 different positions.

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    Full-Size Oscillating Multi-Tools

    Look for a powerful model that offers quick blade changes and is easy to grip in any position

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    Tools Up Close: Erecta-Rack Drying Rack

    Erecta-Rack consists of 40-inch steel cross bars that snap into plastic support blocks, which stack and snap together like Lego blocks. As the rack goes up, the individual sections begin to resemble ladders, with towers of blocks for the sides and cross bars for the rungs. It's designed to be...

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    First Test: Protective Hammer Caps

    Prefinished siding and trim – whether fiber-cement, plastic, or wood – are becoming more popular. Factory-applied finishes are hard to beat, and it's great not to have to schedule another sub or deal with weather-related painting delays. For the best look, matching color-coated nails should be used...

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    FirstTest: Two-Handed Sanding

    Just after we completed our 5-inch random-orbit-sander tool test for the Winter issue, Makita announced the release of an updated model.

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    Hands-On Hand Tools

    We've carefully selected more than 50 hand tools to share with you this issue. This diverse collection of tools represents the next generation of designs, with features that will help you carry on your own legacy of quality and provide continued enjoyment in your particular trade.

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    2010 Editor's Choice: Nail Kicker Denailer

    With more and more emphasis placed on salvaging building materials for reuse and reducing the volume of material sent to landfills, a lot of contractors are taking a new look at the value of nail-infested lumber that used to end up in a Dumpster.

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