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Tool Talk logoBy Jon Eakes

Making Life Easier Just Got Easier

The Annual New Products Showcase provides me with an opportunity to shine the spotlight on a wider assortment of tools and accessories than we typically profile. Besides being new, each of the entries in this issue’s selection shares one thing in common: It’s designed to make the life of a builder or renovator easier. What’s not to like?

My Chiropractor Hates This Tool
I never feel so crippling weak as when I have to spray an entire can of spray paint with my finger, then my thumb, then the other hand trying to push down firmly on that tiny spray button. There are lots of gadgets available to attach to the can to push that button for you, but most of them don’t work well. The best just got better with the CanGun1. It snaps easily onto all standard spray cans (paint, lubricant, cleaners) and has a large well leveraged handle. The comfort and precise control it affords your hand actually improves your spraying skills. If you can’t find it in local stores yet you can find it at LeeValley Tools. www.safeworld.com

When On Your Hands and Knees, Why Not Stay There?
Although Skil invented the “Skil Saw” we generally don’t consider it a professional tool. Their new 7.0 Amp guided flooring saw (Model #3600) challenges that notion. Powerful enough to handle 3/4” hardwood, wide enough to handle all prefinished flooring materials, it even has the unique ability to rip the flooring board you need for that last piece — all down on the floor with the work surface exactly 1-1/2” high, allowing for simple 2x4s as outriggers to hold up the ends of the boards being cut. This and a jig saw will handle the entire flooring job. The integrated carrying handle is an appreciated added touch. www.skiltools.com

Small Just Got More Powerful
Bosch invented the Ultra Compact field of professional powered tiny tools not so long ago. It has been so popular that to stay ahead of the field they just released the next generation, starting in with their new smaller and more powerful batteries, and changing from analog to digital controls. According to Bosch, both the PS21 hex chuck pocket driver and the PS32 three-jawed chuck Drill/Driver come in as the smallest and lightest in their class while providing 20 per cent more power than the competition. Head lights, breaks, two gear ratios, and variable speed, all in tiny packages. www.Boschtools.com

A Tool That Keeps the Equipment Going
Milwaukee makes tools but has extended the use of its powerful M12 batteries to maintenance work. Construction equipment needs to be maintained and that often means grease. The M12 Cordless Grease Gun delivers more than 8,000 PSI max operating pressure for heavy duty applications, and dispenses up to seven grease cartridges per battery charge. www.MilwaukeeTool.com

Just Along for the Ride
The other area of constant competitive improvements come in drill bits. The Bosch DareDevel reinvented spade bit is one of those that you don’t push, you just hang on for the ride. A full cone threaded tip draws itself rapidly into the wood. Spurs and reamers cut cleaner holes on both sides of the board than you have ever seen with spade bits and the contoured paddle kicks out the rip to give you a clear hole. Just watch out for nails. www.Boschtools.com

A Third Hand that is Stronger than Both of Mine
The T-Jak is a well designed and sturdily built extra hand. Push the release button and you can instantly slide it close to the total height you need to hold something up. Then fine tune the support by spinning the hub on the threaded shaft — no increments but precise support for anything. It comes in sizes to fit between the counter and the cupboard, or from the floor to the ceiling for drywall. It holds up to 400 pounds and comes with various extensions and useful end grips. www.tjak.com

Laser, Laser on the Wall - Who is the Fairest of Them All
If there is one tool category that I get almost too many news releases on, it is laser tools. Someday soon I will do a special article for you, so you can get as confused as I am. But just as a teaser, take a look at the Hilti PMC 46 Combilaser: transferring reference heights; aligning pipes; levelling junction boxes, cable trays, radiators and pipe installations; levelling and aligning doors and windows; setting out drywall tracks for partitioning; and, as you see in the photo, transferring fastening points from floors to ceilings. www.hilti.com

Montreal-based TV broadcaster, author, home renovation and tool expert Jon Eakes provides a tool feature in each edition of Home BUILDER.

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