With more than a few chores piling up, we powered up the cordless Bosch 18V Multi-X Oscillating Tool to see if the brand’s new high-powered portable was worth the investment.
More Horses, Same Stable
So you’ve purchased your car of choice and remained within your diminutive budget, only to hope your routes are mostly downhill. You regularly scream, “I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain!” a la Montgomery Scott as you try to merge with freeway traffic but are passed by a Biggest Loser contestant on rollerblades. You’re in luck. There are ways to bring your car’s horsepower to levels higher than Tom Cruise’s vertical leap, and they don’t have to cost you a large fraction of your annual salary. Just remember one thing, young man: with great power comes great
Elbow grease optional
Winter has the propensity to put a hurtin’ on your car, but those cold memories can easily be replaced with the right kind of DIY TLC. You don’t have to be the third member of Car Talk to find success in the confines of your own home garage — you just need the right tools and gear. (OK, and maybe a few tips from Tom and Ray won’t hurt.) The Home Depot is the place to get prepped for your home-mechanic needs.
One Stop Shop for the DIY Dad
Our top DIY dads offer project inspiration to make your dad’s day the best yet. Forget the boring striped tie this Father’s Day and give dad the gift of laying low with Lowe’s. Most dads enjoy spending their Father’s Day relaxing at home with their families, so this year, create an experience dad won’t forget for years to come.
With help from some of our favorite DIY dads from across the country, Lowe’s designed inspirational blueprints to help you make this Father’s Day memorable without breaking a sweat – or the bank!
From spending time bonding with the kids over a vegetable garden to building a DIY arbor to hosting a rustic outdoor Father’s Day party for your closest friends and family, find out what our dads have to say about their dream day. Visit our custom-made blueprints: here.
To help make your blueprint dreams a reality, be sure Dad has the following Father’s Day essentials: here.
The DIY Weekend
You shouldn’t need an excuse like Father’s Day to spend time with your dad. That’s where tackling a project together comes in. The right one can help you learn new skills and more about each other, while avoiding the awkwardness that comes after spending too much time at the table when he forgets his “sexy Betty” is still just “mom” to you. Start hatching plans at this year’s celebration using the thought starters below and remind any cynical (read: jealous) family members that it’s really just about “building, not bonding”.
Changing the landscape of home lawn care
The Kobalt 40V Max Outdoor Power Equipment ($149-$399) lineup is Lowe’s new family of cordless yard care products. With two lawnmowers, a string trimmer, hedge trimmer, leaf blower, pole saw and chainsaw available at launch at affordable price points, their comprehensive collection seems aimed at homeowners who are ready to wholeheartedly embrace the cordless revolution. With a full selection charged, ready and waiting just outside of Jacksonville, we ditched our parkas and went to work.
Portable, with Power to Spare
We tackled a variety of chores, from the simplest deck demolition to re-framing the interior of a house, to help you choose the right path for your cordless cash. Here are our picks for the cordless power tool kits — including a drill/driver of some sort, a circular saw and a reciprocating saw — that do it best, along with notes on each individual tool.
Though it was a “must-have” item when it hit the market decades ago, the cordless screwdriver’s charms wound down faster than the AA batteries stacked in its tail. To maintain shelf space on impulse item peg-boards, tool manufacturers did what they do best: they added power, shed weight and extended run times. While noble in effort, their improvements just weren’t reason enough for tradesmen to sacrifice space in their tool bags…until now. To see if the DeWalt 8V Max Gyroscopic Screwdriver ($89) delivers the right balance of intuitive tech and commonplace comfort, we took it out for an involved spin.
The right tools for any of his many jobs
Handyman, craftsman, mister-fix-it, Dad. Call him what you like, but the Do-It-Yourselfer on your list gives his all for you, no matter the task. Be honest: that beautiful new deck that causes envy in the eyes of all your friends would’ve been a creaking pile of splinters were it not for him, and you’d probably be sharing space with Fido out in the yard — in the K9 condo he designed and built no less — had he not stepped in to save your recent en suite experiment. Like most men of his ilk, your handyman rarely receives anything more than a hot coffee to start his day and a cold brew to finish it, which is fine by him. Isn’t it about time you gave him something more? Here are a few gift ideas that should ensure your calls for help continue to get answered.
More than just a hammer
You brought your ’69 Camaro back from the dead, and now you’re finally brave enough to wrangle with your wife’s very modern automobile. Of course you’ve got the basic home mechanic’s tool kit: end wrenches, assorted screwdrivers, a hammer or two, various pliers, a roll of duct tape and a beer fridge. But when it comes to getting a dirty job done, you’ll need a bit more than your resolve and the rudimentary stuff. It’s time to modernize and upgrade.
Not a buzzkill among them
One of the “luxuries” of being a home owner is having a yard — having the space to grill, garden, and maybe even build a moat (it is your castle, after all). Sadly, that yard is just waiting for you to turn your back so it can start creeping and growing past its carefully manicured boundaries. You need an arsenal to fight back; luckily, the weapons are a lot of fun, one of the many stress-relieving, get-it-done perks of being a man. Below are just the tools to help your yard from turning into a Discovery Channel episode of “Life after People”.
Time to get hammered
Of all the tools in a man’s workshop, his hammer is perhaps the most personal. Chances are you still have your first forged striker, but we’ll forgive you an upgrade; it really is time. You’d be surprised how much hammer tech has come, but in the end, it’s still all about hitting the nail on the head. Here are five of our favorites for beginners to the most hardened steel swingers out there — whether you loop it, or let it hang from a belt is entirely up to you.
Honey-hued for Honey-do's
A workbench is a simple structure. Even the best of them don’t need much to be effective: sturdy legs and a solid top are the only absolutes. It helps if it’s level too, but shims and sugar packets have long served man well in this regard. So why would any handyman worth his circular saw ever dream of buying one? Gladiator Garageworks believes they have the answer. We recently put their 48-inch bamboo-topped adjustable model ($500) together — and to the test.
The Tale of the Tape
Since 1963, we’ve enjoyed six generations of the Corvette and five versions of the Mustang. Nine different Presidents have called the White House home and we have listened to vinyl give way to tape, CDs and eventually the digital download. We’ve also had 50 years of the Stanley PowerLock tape measure, a product that has clearly stood the test of time and continues to enjoy its reign at the top.
Better, faster, stronger
You’re not the guy who has a frequent buyer card at Sears, so you can’t always find the perfect tool in your less-than-organized garage. Perhaps a versatile multi-tool would be your best ally. Multi-tools have been around for twenty years, and they’re not going away anytime soon. Today’s multi-tools are better than ever, with innovative designs that are only limited by the imagination. If you’re wondering what all-around multi-tool to purchase, we have five of the best full-sized multi-tools on the market today.
Drill baby drill
The cordless drill is the most useful tool in any man’s bag. Untethered power and portability combined with the ability to go from drill to drive in mere seconds make it the go-to grab for most projects around the house. While the 18V and 20V bit-twisters of the world have homes on the belts of contractors and semi-pro weekend warriors alike, breaking out the big guns just to hang a picture or tighten some screws is well, overkill — plus every now and then things can get a little tight. Whether you’re just beginning your collection or adding to the fleet, the torque and twist-time offered by today’s 12V versions rivals many of their corded counterparts, minus the heft; that can often be the difference between completing a job and cursing til the cows come home.
Not-so-large, but in charge
As mother nature continues to channel Tony Danza — reminding us of who’s the boss of this marble — on an increasing basis, proper emergency preparedness is more important than ever. The Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator is a breadbox-sized lifeline for powering both critical gadgets like lights and radios along with all of the touchscreen comforts of an upper middle class home.
Stop cutting corners
With over 300 patents and almost ninety years of experience under their belts, the toolmakers at Festool have a reputation for Über-engineered innovations for the discerning craftsman. The Festool CMS Router Table ($1,200+) is their latest piece of all-aluminum handiwork for cabinetmakers looking to soften some edges without cutting any corners. Seamless integration of either…
Coils to spoil
Feeling hosed by your current big box hose? Dramm ColorStorm Hoses ($53) are the Rolls Royces of the home watering world, built with professional nurseries in mind. Made in the U.S.A from molded EPDM rubber and crush-proof nickel-plated couplings, they’re designed to resist kinking and maintain flexibility even in temperatures as low as -25 degrees…
12 gifts for the handyman
You lean on him all year-round to assist, assemble and install everything from kitchen cabinetry to those amazing Patagonian rosewood floors you love so much. He tirelessly tackles the disparate demands of Honey-Do lists and familial fixes without so much as a peep. And yet, of all the men featured in our 12 Guys of…
Stay on the straight and narrow
If you’ve ever tried to free-hand paint a straight edge after a four-shot Americano, you’ve most likely failed. But even without the caffeine hit, you know it’s no easy task; painter’s tape sometimes makes things even worse. With the Black & Decker EasyEdge Powered Paint Edger ($35), your molding, windows and door edges will be…
If we hear one more story about an impending zombie apocalypse, we’re packing up our stuff and humping it to the upper reaches of Canada. Our supplies? A crapload of MREs, an accompanying supply of Pepto, several crates of whisky and The Cell Machined Survival Kit ($75+). The minds behind this baton-like kit are looking…
A sapling's worst nightmare
Standing in your front yard with a severe case of bed head while wearing stained overalls and whacking away at your rather overgrown landscaping with a machete just might scare the neighbors. Clean yourself up and then break out the rather benign-looking but highly effective Bahco Swedish Brush Axe ($54). Designed to clear both brush…
Be the fall guy
Though the thought of jumping in a pile of leaves brings back fond childhood memories, the adult reality is that raking is a royal pain. Not too many technological advancements have been bestowed upon the humble garden rake (it’s not even exciting enough for witches to ride), but the Fiskars Leaf Rake ($25) has the…
You’re a man who likes to work around the house, taking on everything from home repair and tinkering under the hood to even more personal projects like building your own furniture once in a while. Pat yourself on the back for your self-sufficient ways. Then, use the moment of reflection to understand just how much…
From time to time we like to check in on what’s going on across the pond. The Queendom, if you will, never disappoints us with its take on art and design — a skew that can seem a bit wonky to our Yankee eyes. The Fire Extinguishing Device (~$123) from Tusch und Egon (sounds German,…
Clean up like a, well, you know
Whether it’s installing brake pads or inhaling barbecue ribs, things we love involve messes. And until there’s a sink or shower in every single garage, garden or BBQ shack in the country, we’re left to our own devices to get clean. Grime Boss Hand Wipes ($20+) work hard to get you (at least somewhat) presentable….