Rolling Thunder, May 2011
Perhaps historians will look back at 2011, when, in our innocence, we believed the RapidRoller from Black & Decker represented nothing more than the smartest paint-application device the world had ever seen, a refillable roller that freed humanity from the tyranny of trays dripping with painty goo. That its three-position swivel arm merely allowed users to work difficult corners. That its kickstand was just a bonus that removed the fear of where to rest the roller during much-needed sandwich and porn breaks. We couldn’t possibly know that it was, in fact, the first salvo of the impending tool apoca-lypse. Or that the rollers had started…thinking. But screw it, robot Armageddon or not, this sucker is sweet!
Seriously Hammered, April 2011
Get more break, less shake with a jackhammer that’s as smart as it is strong. Is it possible for us to describe a hot new jackhammer without resorting to sexual innuendo? We’re giving it a shot with the Makita HM1214C Demo Hammer, which stands out from the pack for two hard-to-beat reasons. One, antivibration technology brings earthquake engineering science to the power tool world. AVT’s a groundbreaking (get it?) counterbalance system that directs the 14-amp motor’s energy at the busted porch you’re breaking, rather than at you, for three times less vibration, lower noise, and higher efficiency than other models. Two, the Makita’s 27-pound weight and user-friendly in-line design let you hammer away in both horizontal and vertical positions like…Ron Jeremy? Damn, almost made it.
Dig This! March 2011
"Ditchdigger" is widely accepted shorthand for "crappy job," but that might not be the case if more members of the profession got their mitts on the Jackson J-250 Kodiak Round Point Shovel with Titanium Xtra. A sturdy 48-inch North American ash handle leads down to a commercial-grade 14-gauge carbon-steel blade that boasts a forward-turned step for reliable foot placement. Even better, that blade is reinforced with titanium (the next best thing to adamantium, comic book nerds) for durability, toughness, and truly glorious sod busting. So, yeah, this puppy makes shoveling fun. Now if only the same could be said of, you know, your actual crappy job
Strong Finish, February 2011
Problem: During extended home improvement benders, too much hammering can drive your overworked muscles straight to sore city. Solution: the Bostitch GFN1564K 15-gauge finish nailer, a semiautomatic striker that will have you wasting wainscoting, conquering crown molding, and housing hardwood cabinets, all before lunch. This 4.2- pound magnesium masterpiece is more than just a brute beater. An adjustable depth guide can precisely control how deep you’re nailing; oil-free operation ensures you won’t leave stains behind; and a lockout function even prevents misfires. Only after you’ve nailed all the trim in the house will they be able to pull this gun from your warm, not overly fatigued hands.
Higher Ground, January 201
1It’s hard to get excited about a ladder. But, dammit, Little Giant Ladder’s Select Step just slays us. User-friendly locks make it easy to adjust the A-frame from five feet to eight or shorten one side so you can get right up next to a wall. A large platform, the Comfort Step, is reassuring, rather than terrifying, to stand on. The top-mountable AirDeck surface features slots for tools, plus a magnetic strip to hold nuts, bolts, and screws, and also functions as a safety bar. And to move it, all you do is tip and roll. Men have been known to fall for Japanese body pillows. We wouldn’t blame anyone for an obsession with hot steps
Snow Wonder, December 2010
Coming in from the cold to recline next to your lady and warm yourself by a crackling fire is a tempting thought. Unless you’re doing so because your driveway’s buried, you couldn’t escape if you tried, and your lady is Kathy Bates. Either way, life’s better with the Cub Cadet 528 SWE snow thrower. Sure, it rocks a 357 cc, four-cycle OHV engine, a 28-inch clearing width, and six forward and two reverse speeds. But its killer feature is called Posi-Steerpull a trigger to make unprecedented zero-degree turns, maneuver smoothly, and huck the fluffy stuff faster than ever before. Because as soon as the driveway’s clear, you can get back to writing those novels your lady loves so much.
Lumber Jacked, November 2010
You may not share our dream of winning the Hot Saw competition at the Lumberjack World Championships and spending the next five years fighting off jean- shorts-wearing groupies (some of them female!). But that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a top-notch chain saw like the Stihl MS 280. At less than 12 pounds, it’s light enough to tote around the yard, yet its 2.7-kilowatt engine gives the chain plenty of bite. And thanks to a handy microprocessor, it constantly adjusts the fuel-air mixture for optimum efficiency in all conditions. That means you can pull the cord and clear-cut your neighbor’s intruding branches with reckless abandon. Can’t you smell the glory now? (Hint: It smells like gasoline.)
Blown Away, October 2010
Those who think all leaf blowers are created equal clearly have not met the Craftsman C3 19.2-Volt Cordless Blower. We know what you’re thinking: Can you really meet an inanimate object? That’s deep. We can only tell you that while this black beauty weighs just 6.5 pounds—meaning no goofy Ghostbusters-style backpack—its high-velocity nozzle blows air at 140 miles per hour!That’s more than enough artificial wind to dispense with any grass, leaves, or stray cats that dare invade your property. It might even lift the skirts, à la Marilyn Monroe, of any nubile passersby. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter! But while you’re there, could you use the C3 to blast those leaves out, too?
Drill, Baby, Drill! September 2010
One of the worst things that can happen when you're engaged in heavy-duty drilling and screwing is fatigue. Thankfully, the new DeWalt DCD760KL drill/driver is specifically designed to avoid such a problem. At a compact 8.2 inches, this unit can slip into tight areas and at a feathery four pounds, it won't tire you out when you're working from below. But don't let the size fool you--a contractor-grade 18-volt motor packs the power to tackle tough jobs. An LED illuminates dark spaces, and the lithium-ion batteries charge up in just half an hour. So even when you're exhausted, your tool will be ready and rarin' to go.
Perfectly Ripped, August 2010
A true master of wood has zero tolerance for coarse, crude cuts made made by inferior instruments. Unfortunately, modern, machine-made handsaws give a man just that. And who wants to look like a hack? That's why we're enamored of the Wenzioff & Sons Disston Panel Saw, a fine, crosscutting confection crafted in true 1890s style by a five-person workshop in Forest Grove, Oregon. This badass blade is made from high tensile spring steel married to a Swiss pear wood handle and performs clean, precision cuts thanks to its taper-ground form. Use it to fell your neighbor's view-killing trees, and instead of taking offense, they may just compliment your strikingly beautiful implement.
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