Top Tools for Holiday Wish Lists

Give the gift of jigsaw, auto-hammer this year

by Paul Bianchina

HomerepairIt’s time once again to be thinking about what to get for the avid do-it-yourselfer on your holiday shopping list.

Here’s a collection of some interesting tools worth considering this year, listed in order of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

And a big thanks to all of the manufacturers who are getting rid of those irritating and dangerous blister packs in favor of more user-friendly packaging!

Black & Decker ReadyWrench (Model MSW100, $29.99, Tired of fumbling for the right socket? The clever and versatile ReadyWrench gives you 16 sockets (eight U.S. standard and eight metric) all in one tool. This sturdy wrench has a comfortable rubber-coated handle and two rotating heads with sockets on each end, allowing you to quickly find just the right size, from 5/16 (9 mm) to 3/4 (19mm).

Craftsman Evolv 24-piece Homeowners Tool Set (Model 10202, $39.99, Here’s a great little tool set that’s ideal for around the house, apartment or dorm room. The set includes a hammer, 16-foot tape measure, utility knife, standard and needle-nose pliers, adjustable wrench, five precision screwdrivers, and a bit driver with an assortment of bits. But what sets it apart is its compact, open-mouth tool bag with lots of convenient storage compartments, including a center compartment that fits a divided, clear plastic storage tray (included) for screws, nails, picture hangers, and all those other little parts that you always need but can never seem to find.

Black & Decker Linefinder Orbital Jigsaw (Model JS680V, $59.99, The new corded Linefinder Orbital jigsaw helps you easily find the ideal setting for whatever material you’re working with. Simply set the Smart Select dial to one of seven material settings, and the saw adjusts both the orbital action and the cutting speed for you. Another unique feature is the Linefinder system. Draw your cutting line with the special marking pen (included), and the saw’s ultraviolet light illuminates the line for better cutting.

Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool Kit (Model 4000-2/31, $79, This is the latest offering from the great line of Dremel rotary tools. It’s a tough and powerful model, perfect for anyone from the professional to the serious do-it-yourselfer or hobbyist. It’s capable of speeds ranging from 5,000 to 35,000 RPM, and the speed setting dial is separate from the on/off switch, so you can maintain whatever speed you want each time you turn the tool off. The new 4000 uses all the standard Dremel attachments. This particular model comes with a cutting guide, a sanding and grinding guide, a case and 31 attachments.

Wagner Control Spray Double Duty (Model 518050, $89.99, If you like to do woodworking, this new sprayer from Wagner is a good way to finish up your projects. It uses HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) technology to spray thin materials such as stains, sealers, urethanes, varnishes and lacquers. It sprays a continuous flow of material and air, so you get a nice finish whether you’re doing indoor projects like kitchen cabinets or outdoor projects like staining a new deck. It features a three-position spray pattern (vertical fan, horizontal fan or round pattern) and includes both a 1-quart and a 1 1/2-quart cup.

Craftsman 12-Volt Hammerhead Auto-Hammer (Model 11818, $99.99, The cordless Auto-Hammer gets into those tight spots and hidden corners where you just can’t seem to get your hammer. The compact head hammers nails in with 3,600 impacts per minute, and drives the nails flush with the surface. The Auto-Hammer can handle nails from 2d to 16d size (1 inch to 3 1/2 inches in length). It has a comfortable, non-slip handle, a built-in LED work light, and a magnetic tip. Includes a 12-volt lithium-ion battery with a 30-minute recharge time, battery charger, nail-pulling pry bar, and a soft carrying case.

Bosch Airhammer 18-Gauge Narrow Crown Stapler (Model STN150-18, $119.99, Air staplers are a great time and work saver, and they’re also an awesome gift. But not all staplers are created equal, and Bosch has done an outstanding job with their new line of Full Force Technology nailers and staplers. These tools utilize some of the first real advances in air chamber design since air nailers were introduced several decades ago. The new design delivers more power with less weight, so the stapler is about 20 percent lighter but drives the fasteners with about 10 percent more power. Staples drive easier, and set flush even in the toughest hardwoods and composites. The 18-gauge Narrow Crown Stapler drives staples with an easily concealed 1/4-inch crown, in a size range of 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. It includes a nice hard-shell carrying case, plus a pair of safety glasses.

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at [email protected].

Copyright 2009 Inman News

See Paul Bianchina’s feature, Winterizing Your Chimney.
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