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Tool Talk logoBy Jon Eakes

Strike It Rich

Eight great new tools and gadgets worth investing in

In answer to the frustrations of trying to get a collated screw gun into tight spots or corners, Tyrex Tools has brought out what they call the first screw gun that has a retractable nose allowing you in closer to the work. The rest of this tool is what you would expect of an auto-feed screwdriver with the added feature of an on-board storage clip for a second driver bit.
DCF5000 - www.TyrexTools.com

Bosch is also providing innovation on the front end of a tool, with their Dust Collector add-on to a hammer drill. They claim it's the lightest and most compact unit in its category. A transparent ring around the end of the drill bit draws away almost all the concrete dust while drilling and the micro filter system keeps it trapped, allowing for clean drilling where clean-up is a problem. It pops off of the drill to allow for unencumbered drilling where dust is no longer a problem.
11250VSRD Dust Collection Hammer -

While we're talking about hand tools, is a $300 Stiletto Hammer worth the money? First, it is an impressive hammer - extra long, light titanium steel and you can hammer a long time without tiring. It drives nails amazingly. It even has an impressive patented sideways nail puller that gives incredible leverage for getting those nails out. Selling at the price of a pneumatic framing nailer is a bit scary, but if I was still using a hammer as much as I did when I started in this business, I would consider it an investment in the health of my arm.

I have had several requests for information about the best blade to use on composite decking boards. The material is tough and tends to cut rough or burn. TimberTech is one company making this kind of decking material and they took the problem straight on by asking Bosch to develop a blade specifically for this task - and they are marketing it together. It is a 40-tooth, 7-1/4-inch blade with a thin kerf, Alternate Top Bevel with a 20-degree hook angle... in case you really wanted to know.
CB740AB - www.BoschTools.com

Here is a gadget that has earned its reputation on industrial sites although it is little known in residential construction: the Wobble Light. This practically indestructible buoy-like lamp can not only take a beating, but it always gets back up, wobbling back into a vertical position no matter what you hit it with. It costs about $200, depending on the size, but it will outlast any other construction site lamps.

 How many vehicle batteries do we have in our trucks and construction equipment that lose charging capacity and need to be replaced? Discharge/recharge cycles cause sulfation build-up on the lead that forces us to change out the battery before it is really dead.
PowerPulse is a little gadget that is attached permanently to a vehicle battery and works 24 hours a day to keep the lead clean by forcing the sulfates back into the acid, making batteries perform fully three to five times longer. At well under $100, it pays for itself quickly. In fact, there are a variety of very interesting charging devices worth looking at in the PulseTech line.

In the hand tool category, I was really impressed when this electrical connector crimper made by Phillips was dumped on my desk. Start with an extremely solid design (not common for crimpers), then strong comfortable handles. Add a ratchet mechanism that won't let you back off until you have finished properly crimping the connector (unless you want to push the override and get out). What I really liked was that you have to squeeze all the way to the proper pressure and then it releases the ratchet to open up - you know you did what had to be done rather than wondering whether you have squeezed enough. It is even hefty enough to include line-up jaws to keep it from sliding sidewise with all that pressure.
Ratcheting Crimper 4-230 - www.PhillipsInd.com

That shop vac can be cumbersome for small jobs so Milwaukee has come out with both 18-volt and 28-volt cordless wet/dry vacuums that work with standard Milwaukee tool batteries. With high power suction (32" water lift) and a run time of up to 16 minutes, this stackable "tool box" style vac can be reversed and used as a blower as well. It doesn't look like it in the photo, but it has a two-gallon capacity. This one's $99 without batteries.
#0880-20 18- and 28-volt - www.MilwaukeeTool.com


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