Tool Tests and Reviews

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    Greenlee Nut-Holding Nut Driver and Screw-Holding Screwdrivers

    Greenlee has some interesting fastener-holding drivers.

     
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    Bessey TSC4.516 Staircase Clamp

    Bessey is known for its strong industrial and shop clamps.

     
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    Nail Jack Pro Model, Nail Hunter and Staple Jack Pliers

    Nail Jack extraction pliers have an 'anvil' behind the head that you pound on to drive the tips into the wood surrounding a nail.

     
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    Irwin Vise-Grip 10CR Fast Release Pliers

    Irwin's newest Vise-Grip pliers have a 'self-energizing' jaw design that shifts under load and self-tightens, similar to the action of a pipe wrench.

     
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    SOG Knives PowerLock Pliers

    Like many multi-tools on the market, SOG's PowerLock pliers ($110) have a knife blade, screwdrivers, and a 1/4-inch hex-bit driver adapter.

     
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    Green Grass Group DoubleVsquare

    Green Grass Group's DoubleVsquare ($25) — which consists of two triangular-type aluminum squares hinged down the center — makes it easier to transfer marks around corners

     
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    Craftsman Universal Design Ratcheting Wrench Set

    Craftsman wrenches are synonymous with lifetime-warranty quality.

     
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    Rockler Pock-It Hole Clamp

    Rockler's Pock-It Hole Clamp ($20) is a novel device for aligning and clamping pocket screw joints in 3/4-inch stock up to 3 inches wide.

     
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    Jevon's Tools 3D Squares Joinery Clamps

    Jevon's Tools 3D Squares ($60) are sold in sets of four to help with clamping casework corners and making joinery square, but they also have other uses.

     
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    Megapro 15-in-1 Hex Bit Driver

    Megapro won an Editor's Choice award a few years back for its handy 15-in-1 screwdriver.

     
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    First Test: Mitertite Assembly System

    Stretch clamps are provided to help pull the miter together and keep the two members making the joint from rotating around the single pocket screw. The stretch clamps are a great product all by themselves and will find other uses apart from the Mitertite application.

     
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    First Test: Milwaukee SwitchBlade Bits

    As the owner of a plumbing and heating business, I am also the fixer of tools and the sharpener of blades, and it's up to me to make my equipment investments last. One of my most onerous duties is sharpening the Selfeed bits we use. I've gotten good at it, but it's a time-consuming chore. So it was...

     
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    2009 Editors' Choice: Goldblatt Bladerunner

    This ingenious tool may not replace your utility knife, but if you work with drywall it should become part of your arsenal, especially for radius cuts.

     
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    First Test: Ridgid Quick Acting Vise

    Sometimes a tool is such an integral part of your daily routine, you don't think of it as a tool but as part of your shop or truck. A mechanic's vise is such a tool.

     
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    FirstTest: Lee Valley Plane Irons

    As with any edge tool, a hand plane's blade, or iron, is the key to its performance. Yet many people try to make due with their irons poorly tuned and sharpened. The irons on common planes usually need a significant amount of work before they will cut suitably, and then even more to cut really well.

     
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    First Test: Next Generation MultiMaster

    Many multifunction tools don't live up to all they're supposed to do, but the Fein MultiMaster is a rare exception. I've used one for about eight years; I don't use it on every job, but when I need it, I'm glad I have one. I originally purchased it for the exclusive purpose of making accurate...

     
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    First Test: Stiletto Airgrip

    Stiletto Tools has come up with an ultra-grippy rubber tool handle cover with cold-shrink technology. Unlike heat-shrink tubing that can melt or cause you to char your tool handles, the Airgrip material simply shrinks into place at room temperature.

     
  • First Test: The New Nail Bangers

    Tools of the Trade rounded up nine waffle-faced framing hammers from around the globe and put them out on a Colorado jobsite with 15 framers, lead by regular contributor Michael Davis, to see how they'd stack up. Here's what we learned, in order of increasing appreciation.

     
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    First Test: Big Foot Tools Headcutter

    Big Foot Tools' Headcutter is a one-of-a-kind saw base that turns any chain saw into a precision cutting tool.

     
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    2009 Editors' Choice: 10C Technologies Universal Battery Charger

    We're thrilled to award 10C Technologies' Crew Charge universal battery charger system, which can recharge different brands, voltages, and types of batteries simultaneously, including NiMH, nicad, and lithium-ion.

     
 
 
 
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