For the Handyman on the Go: A Sawhorse and Then Some
For the Minimalist: The Only Tool Set You Need
You probably don’t have a complete set of sockets and wrenches in your tool bag or the emergency vehicle kit under your truck seat. And you don’t have to if it contains the new Crescent Pass-Thru Adjustable Wrench Set. This compact tool kit features 10 spline-style sockets that work with hex, square and external Torx fasteners, from 10mm to 19mm and 3/8 to 23/32 in.
The pass-through sockets fit over protruding bolt threads and nuts mounted on studs, eliminating the need to carry deep sockets. For more grabbing power, simply replace the smooth jaw with the serrated side, and you’ve got yourself a pipe wrench, perfect for stripped bolt heads and pipes up to 1 in. Holiday Gift Guide Handyman
For the Tool Geek: A Wrench for Hard-to-Reach Spots
There have been several variations and improvements on the old adjustable wrench, but none of them seem to solve the two problems we encounter most: jaw capacity that’s too small and jaws that are too thick. That’s why we’re impressed with Channellock’s new Xtra Slim Jaw WideAzz adjustable wrenches.
The jaws are 40 percent thinner than on conventional adjustable wrenches. That makes them perfect for plumbing jobs where you need a thin wrench to hold the body of a compression or flare fitting while you tighten the nut with a second wrench. Also, these wrenches have an extra-large jaw capacity that works great for most household, automotive, small engine and yard equipment repairs. Holiday Gift Guide Handyman
For the Lumberjack: Light, Quiet, and Powerful
When a tree falls on your property, you don’t usually hear it, but you still have to clean up the mess. We tested Oregon’s CS250 14-in. cordless model the last time a tree fell on one of our outbuildings. Talk about ‘the right tool for the job.’ It was light, quiet and had plenty of power.
We had never used a saw with more aggressive teeth, but of course Oregon does know a thing or two about chain saw chains, since it’s been making them for more than 65 years. The battery had plenty of juice to dismember the problem tree, and the onboard sharpening ensured the saw was ready to go the next time the wind blew. Oregon also makes a string trimmer and hedge shears that run on the same battery platform. Holiday Gift Guide Handyman
For the Carpenter: Premier Pocket Hole Jig
Recently we dropped an old pocket hole jig and broke it. This turned out to be a blessing because we went out and picked up Kreg’s new K5 jig. Wow, what a difference!
Working with this new jig is like working with an altogether different tool?a much better tool. The spring clamp adjusts to any thickness of wood in seconds. The wings that support larger components also double as storage bins. The setting block makes adjusting the stop collar on the drill bit super easy.
We thought the dust collection port was a little hokey at first, but it really does save a lot of time since you don’t have to remove the bit and blow away wood shavings several times for every hole.
For the Tool Collector: A Riveting New Rivet Gun
We’ve owned rivet guns for years and use them for everything from assembling downspouts to repairing boats. The head on this rivet gun can turn in virtually any direction, enabling you to get into really tight spaces and corners?places that standard rivet guns wouldn’t dream of going.
If you get this tool, you’ll be adding tool holders to aluminum ladders or fixing items like snow shovels or lawn mower controls quickly and cheaply. As with other rivet tools, all you do is drill a pilot hole, insert the pop rivet and squeeze the trigger. One end of the rivet mushrooms, and the other has a little dish that presses firmly to the surface. If you’re new to riveting, you’ll find that rivets are a great alternative to bolts and washers. This Ace model, made by Stanley, has multiple heads sized for rivets from 1/8 in. to 3/16 in. in diameter. You may also find a yellow-handled version carrying the Stanley name.
For the Electrician: On the Firing Range
The WORX SD SemiAutomatic driver is the coolest little tool we’ve come across in years. As you pull back the slide, a cartridge loaded with driver bits rotates. Slam the slide forward, and a new bit pops out, ready for action.
This onboard bit selection is handy for odd jobs, but you’ll really fall in love with it during an electrical project. Manufacturers of electrical stuff like to annoy us with a smorgasbord of screw types: big slotted, little slotted, big Phillips, little Phillips? Normally, we keep bits buried in our tool belt and play find-the-right-bit all day. The WORX SD has eliminated that ritual. No wasted time. No lost bits. We were even able to drive 3-in. wood screws (just barely) with this mini 4-volt (lithium) driver. The WORX SD comes with two cartridges loaded with bits. Or load in your own bits.
Brought to you by Plano Texas Handyman, visit our website for more information or call us at 214-507-3415. Happy Holidays from Plano Texas Handyman, and happy tool collecting.