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Connecting the dots

The Free Universal Construction Kit

If we’re being honest (would we lie to you?), choosing favorites as a youngster was tough. Some of life’s seemingly most important questions were which toy to play with. LEGO’s? G.I. Joe? Terrorize Whiskers with a NERF gun (still struggle with this one)? That’s why when we received word about The Free Universal Construction Kit…

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Tool House Rocks


The “ultimate workshop” is one of those rooms that frequently crop up in a man’s dream home ramblings, right between mentions of the Holodeck and a putting green. Even for those who’ve never lifted a tool in their life, the allure of escaping to an oasis of tinkering, away from the rest of the house…

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Get Plowed

Innovation Factory Snowmover 2.0

Your standard $3 snowbrush can’t seem to bear much load, making it tough to clean off your car without snapping it into plasticky bits. So when time (and avoidance of “snow elbow”) are of the essence, you just might want to give the Innovation Factory Snowmover 2.0 ($24) a go at the white stuff. Made…

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Breaking Better

Stanley FuBar Demolition Bar 55-134

The latest addition to Stanley’s FuBar line of demolition tools features an overhauled design that combines the prying power of a typical crowbar with the cutting skills of a chisel. One end of the 14-inch steel-and-carbon bar sports a prying hook and nail puller we all know and love. The bottom half, however, replaces the…

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Meet your home's path to the future

Kickstarter: Twine

Twine looks like the aftermath of a booze-fueled sleepover in Vegas between a pack of Post-its and a bar of soap. Its inanimate and rather blunt form-factor, though, hides the Twine’s ambitious purpose. The device was devised by two MIT Media Lab grads, who wanted to create an easy way to bring various household objects…

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Screw Your Best

Kobalt Double-Drive Screwdriver

Kobalt’s new Double-Drive Screwdriver ($20) features a unique all-metal gear system that channels both clockwise and counterclockwise ratcheting motions toward turning the screw. This increased motion harnessing efficiency makes the screwdriver twice as fast as the traditional ratcheting variety (or so Kobalt claims). To engage the double drive, users must grip the front blue collar…

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Wilton Bad Ass Sledge Hammer

There are sledge hammers, then there are sledge hammers backed with a guarantee to pay you a cool grand if you can muster up the muscle to break one. Yes, that’d be the Wilton Bad Ass Sledge Hammer ($38) we’re referring to. B.A.S.H. for short. Why so much confidence? Well if you’ve done a fair…

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Idiot Insurance

HeadsUp Wireless Gear Alert System

You scrimped and saved to buy that perfect kayak and the exact rack to mount it on your ride’s roof. You planned your first paddle with it for months and had the time of your life once you finally got out on the water. In fact, the trip was so epic that you couldn’t stop…

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Hammer the gods of winter

Thor Ice Scraper

The Thor ice scraper ($20) is another clever idea to emerge from the creative product think tank Qwirky. It’s purposeful double-blade design allows users to scrape both backwards and forwards. Rubber-coated front and rear grips provide plenty of points for leverage, so there’s no need for excessive force either. The handle is also extendable up…

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Hold 'em or fold 'em

Craftsman Clench Wrench

The Craftsman Clench Wrench ($30) is a hybrid tool that combines the convenient folding design of a pocket knife with the torque-applying benefits of your typical spanner. Besides putting a nail in the coffin of the “is that a wrench in your pocket…” joke, the spring-loaded adjustable jaw easily fits a wide range of fastener…

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Powder Power

Honda Hybrid Snow Blower

Does your hate for shoveling snow equal your disdain for poor fuel economy? Then Honda’s first-ever Hybrid Snow Blower ($8,000) was designed for you. It’s gas-powered four-stroke iGX390 engine provides enough spinning auger and blower power to discharge 83 tons per hour at distances of up to 62 feet (bombs away!). The fossil fuel burner…

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Cutting Crew

Fiskars ShopBoss

Find yourself habitually reaching for the kitchen shears whenever it’s time for an odd job or chore? Leave the comestible-cutter alone and grab yourself a Fiskars ShopBoss ($30). A veritable Swiss Army Snipper, the ShopBoss offers the best of heavy-duty cutting and a multi-function tool. Titanium coated heavy-duty blades with spring action, wire cutter and…

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If Apple Got Into HVAC...

Nest Learning Thermostat

If we had to guess what famed Apple hardware and software engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers would do after leading the team responsible for the first 18 generations of the iPod, and the first three generations of the iPhone — revolutionizing the thermostat wouldn’t immediately spring to mind. Now, after launching the Nest Learning…

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Fresh Cut

Steel and Walnut Hand Wood Splitter

Thanks to the physics of leverage and well-placed angles the Steel and Walnut Hand Wood Splitter ($280) not only makes for sharp striking fireside wall accoutrement, but backs it up with mighty cutting prowess. With an ability to apply 2.4 tons of splitting force using nothing but one’s bare hands (just add growl) the splitter’s…

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Smash Test Thumby

ThumbSaver Magnetized Nail Setter

The ThumbSaver Magnetic Nail Setter ($13) is an ingeniously simple solution for a fairly common problem. It’s grooved magnetized tip is strong enough to hold even the thickest of nails firmly in place while hammering — sparing your most important evolutionary digit in the event your aim is slightly off the mark. The magnet is…

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Cutting Edge

Oregon PowerNow Cordless Chainsaw

When it comes to chainsaws corded and battery-powered options have always left something to be desired — their lack of torque and power relegating them to oversized shrub duty. But come this September, there’s going to be a new player in town. The Oregon PowerNow Cordless Chainsaw ($TBA) will pack 40 volts of lithium ion…

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Keep Your Cool

Igloo Yukon Series Cold Locker Coolers

Igloo’s Yukon series “cold locker” coolers ($330+) are a new breed of portable storage capable of keeping contents cool for up to fourteen days(!) on the road. Before your brain starts wandering to week long beer-a-thons on a deserted beach, be clear that these professional grade coolers were built with lengthy hunting & fishy trips…

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Demolition, Man.

Artillery Tools Disaster Restoration Set

Artillery Tool’s various pry bar systems are designed to help professionals and do-it-yourself-ers alike tear down construction like Stephon Marbury destroyed his career. While all of their kits feature a variety of interchangeable handles and specialized pry heads, the Disaster Restoration Set ($549)is their top of the line offering. The 22 specialized wrecking components packed…

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Where hammers fear to tread

Base Camp X Hardcore Hammer

Required ingredients to forge one badass hammer: 19 oz balanced head, 18 inches of Tennessee Hickory and monumental biceps. Okay, maybe not the last, but you’ll find the former two in this collaboration between our friends at Base Camp X and Hardcore Hammers who have somehow managed to take a ubiquitous tool and turn it…

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Nails of Wrath

Hilti GX 120 Gas-Actuated Tool

It may look like a Klingon weapon, but the Hilti GX 120 ($799) is definitely of this world. With the ability to drive 750 fasteners on a single tank of gas, it makes mincemeat of normal-duty fastening jobs. The GX 120 is powerful enough to quickly drive fasteners into tough surfaces like concrete, plastered masonry,…

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Connect the....

Tool Dots

Want one of those organized tool walls you keeping spying in the fictional garages of guys in the hardware store commercials but can’t be bothered to hang pegboard? Well, Tool Dots ($12) were created for the lazy neat freak in all of us. Each dot measures 1/2 inches in diameter and can securely hold tools…

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Manly Cleaning

Tub O’Towels

Everyday household disinfectant wipes may kill 99.9% of the germs and bacteria out there, but they’re about as flimsy as a wet gauze. Not so much with Tub O’Towels ($13), though. Made for Mike Rowe sized jobs, this tub of 90 wipes withstands even the most zealous cleaning tasks. Twice as durable, twice as large,…

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Don't call it husky

CRKT Graham Stubby Folding Razel

Without skipping a cut, the Graham Stubby Folding Razel ($50) qualifies as one of the more unique pocket knives we’ve used. Based off the larger non-folding Razel, which was created as a utility knife of sorts featuring both a chisel point and a razor styled blade. This blade combination lends itself to a multitude of…

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Blitz Drill

Festool CXS Drill

Designed for performance in a compact package, it isn’t a stretch to call the Festool CSX Drill ($275) the BMW of drills — hailing from the 80 year old German power tool company. The single, 2 lb driver functions as both a drill or driver and its versatile form factor means taking on cumbersome spaces…

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Shhh, be quiet...

Husqvarna 356QT Quiet Blower

Built with noise dampening materials and a uniquely designed exhaust tube, the Husqvarna 356QT Quiet Blower ($495) emits just 64 decibels making it a veritable Lexus amongst its peers. And in case you’re not savvy with decibel ranges, 60 dB’s is the equivalent of a dishwasher on rinse cycle and 70dB’s is roughly your average…

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Rolling the pain out of paint

Black & Decker Rapid Roller

The Black & Decker Rapid Roller ($35) is designed to make your next paint job take half the time compared to using traditional roller brushes. Featuring an exclusive pivoting head, the brush can be used straight on or at 40 and 80 degree angles for easy edging and maneuvering in tight spaces. Thanks to its…

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You say you want a Swivelution

Swivel Storage Solutions

Garage storage solutions haven’t evolved much in the last 50 years, and that frustrated the Penner family, who has operated a manufacturing company since 1981. The tool boxes in their workshops just weren’t passing muster, so they decided to build their own. Instead of falling back to standard drawer design which they saw could be…

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Handle Sticky Situations

Scotch Tough Duct Tape

Just as Zeus produced Ares, Hercules, and Hermes, so hath the original Duct Tape spawned Scotch’s new Tough Duct Tape line. The new branding is about as redundant as it gets, but Scotch clearly wanted to reassure loyalists that the latest heirs in the Duct Tape family were every bit as useful as their take-on-all-projects…

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Give It Hell

Garrett Wade Box Hatchet

Some tools are made for creating, others are destined for destruction. The Garret Wade Box Hatchet ($10) has breaking written all over it. Stare at the head, and you’ll see it’s part hatchet, part hammer, part nail remover and part crowbar, making it the mother of all frankentools. Why the name Box Hatchet you ask?…

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This Saw, Sings

Irwin Universal Handsaw

Boasting saw speeds 3 times quicker than mere mortal saws, the Irwin Universal Handsaw ($22) is the Usain Bolt of cutters. Winner of a Red Dot Product Design Award, the handsaw features a unique, ergonomic placement of its comfort grip handle in relation to the triple-ground tooth blade design. The combination virtually eliminates binding and…