When it comes to tools for do-it-yourselfers in the know, multitasking is key. Tackling a collection of jobs without stopping to hunt around the workshop not only saves time, it makes you look like a pro in the process. For over 80 years, Dremel has been putting that kind of power and panache into the palms of handymen, hobbyists and contractors alike; their Multi-Pro line of rotary tools not only invented that market, the Dremel name defines it.
The latest in multitasking mastery
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.
Now We're Cooking Without Gas
Though gas claims to be the zenith of direct-heat cooking, outdoor maestros the world over still rely on those little black briquettes. What do they know that we don’t? Well, charcoal has always been lauded for the flavor it imparts and the fact that it doesn’t require replaceable tanks — not to mention that it’s completely portable.
Since we’ve already outlined the grills you should be looking at this summer, it’s about time we throw together some grilling essentials to accompany your coal-filled, sizzle-causin’ steed. The point is to enjoy it as much as (or a little more than) the millions of men have before you.
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”.
The grass is greener on the other side
If you’re looking for stealthier way to make the neighbors a little green with envy, leave the gas can in the shed and the extension cord on its spool. The Stihl Battery KombiSystem is the newest family of cordless contenders in an ever-growing field of DC-driven landscape products. To find out just how well these wireless workhorses performed, we took a small selection to our back forty (feet, not acres) for a little blade on blade action.
Smoke some grass
Though you might dream about dropping lotto-winning cash on a pimped-out riding mower, the truth is that you don’t need to spend more than $2k for a mower that you can captain with pride. Whether you plan on doing your best Bill Murray (Caddyshack, not Lost in Translation) impression on your own personal links, or hope to trim a more modest green acres, we’ve got the riding mower for you.
The Heat is On
Grabbing the tongs, stoking the coals and biting into a lightly charred piece of meat is and always will be a shared summer pleasure. That doesn’t mean everyone knows how to do it right. To teach you how to truly master the grill — or even just to bone up the old pros — we’ve compiled a list of 10 grilling tips (along with notes from Russ Faulk of Kalamazoo Grills) to make your sizzle entirely satisfactory.
Confirm your searing desires
Summer is bearing down fast, and no man passes up the opportunity to get outside and burn some meat (ok, and perhaps a vegetable or two). It is, simply, an integral summer experience, whether enjoyed in the backyard, at a tailgate, in the campsite or on your tiny urban front step.
My dad had a saying: “When it’s burning, it’s cooking. When it’s black it’s done.” This might explain the lack of repeat visitors, but maybe it was the limited tools he had to work with that contributed to his cynical approach to backyard grilling. With any of the 10 excellent grills here, you’ll not only find the right one to suit your particular needs — everything from searing steaks, to cooking a pair of burgers, to smoking an entire pig — you’ll guarantee a line around the block for your ‘cue, and a long list of friends who won’t stop asking when you’re having them over again.
Bring the heat
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet is the Bentley of the grilling world, so when their Chief Grill master and VP of Design Russ Faulk offered to sit down with us to talk about a new Pizza Oven he’d developed, we brought a bib and hot pepper flakes. Find out what makes his latest pizza oven rig so special in our latest edition of Breakdown.
While every man hankers for a tractor to motor around the yard, not every lawn is of a size to justify a riding mower. For the middle ground between a farm and a weed-whackable urban postage stamp, the Husqvarna AWD Push Lawn Mower ($500) is a great choice. I took the bright orange cutter — just released this month — for spin and found “push” mower to be a poor descriptor.
A Plant Tracker To Root For
For obsessive but absent-minded tech geeks whose thumbs are jonesin’ to go green, the Flower Power app by Parrot is the perfect gardener on the cheap. Using a wireless bio-dongle — a kitschy divining-rod-shaped device that plugs into the soil next to your budding buddy — the app monitors plants’ stats in real time. Data…
Still safer than your turkey fryer
You worked your ass off during the spring and summer to landscape that patio into a prime entertainment spot — only to watch it all wither away over the last few months. Your bitter attitude or the bitter weather shouldn’t keep you from enjoying moments outside with friends, though. The Loll Designs Fire Ring ($590) is a three foot wide outdoor fire pit made in the USA from 1/8 thick steel that’s perfect for small gatherings.
Bocce is right up there with table shuffleboard on the underrated sports list. In truth, the game is just as enjoyable as horseshoes, but can be enjoyed without the necessity of pits, a hammer and the danger of dinging a child with a heavy metal object. The Terrain Bocce Ball Set ($298) is a beautiful…
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…
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…
Think Outside of the (Grill) Box
If you’re grilling as much as you can before the blizzard season hits, you may be growing a little tired of beer-can chicken and burgers. For a change of pace, Beefeater brings you their grilltop Pizza Oven ($250). A replacement for the conventional hood on a Beefeater 4- or 5-burner grill, this alternative top gives…
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…
Ménage à beef
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, the saying goes. The same is true for cooking a steak. Most of the time the way we cook at home is dictated by circumstance: grill when the weather permits; pan fry if it doesn’t (or if we live in an apartment); broil, uh, when the…
Bathers without borders
If you’re the type who showers until even the lukewarm water is gone, it’s time you broadened your bathing horizons. Similar to the outdoor rinse station at your beach house, the Oborain Outdoor Shower ($3,700+) gives your washing experience an interesting twist — whether it’s for rinsing off after a swim in the pool, soaking…
One Smart Cookie
Think of the best home cook you know. Now think of their kitchen. It’s probably full of pots, pans, mixers and gadgets galore. Know what it’s not full of? Cookbooks. That’s because they don’t need them. Anyone can follow directions from a recipe — well, almost anyone — but not everyone knows that a salty…
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….
Sauce like a boss
Purists, turn off your computer and go sit quietly near the grill. It’s time for us to talk sauce: often a steak requires nothing more than salt and char; a burger, cheese and bun. Other times, we want to surround ourselves in friends wearing grass skirts and eat flank steak that tastes of bygone Oahu…
(Cast) Iron Chef
As men, we naturally like to be prepared for anything. So when the backyard barbeque you’ve been planning all summer is sabotaged by Mother Nature’s sudden decision to turn on the waterworks, you wouldn’t dream of cancelling, or worse, ordering take out. The Cast-Iron Grill from Waring Pro ($150) is a twenty-one pound, 212-square inch…
Give your rake the rake
Sacrificing football time to clean up nature’s litter is an age-old tragedy. The Worx TriVac 3-in-1 Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum ($90) puts leaves in their place (like a boss) thanks to a 12amp motor with an adjustable airflow regulator that can crank out up to 210mph of airspeed in “blower” mode. Then, with a simple flick of the…
Honda makes cars. Honda makes mowers. Honda makes robots. Inevitably something like this was going to happen. Seeking to break into the home-automation-please-do-my-job-while-I-have-a-beer industry, the Honda Miimo is an autonomous mowing device which uses a new fan cutting system developed by Honda to slice up your grass only 3mm at a time. The Miimo is…
Get out of the gutter
We’re pretty particular about the ways we’d like to go out: eaten while fighting a Great White, zapped saving the President during an alien invasion, etc. The lithium ion battery-powered iRobot Looj 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot ($300) is the perfect tool to keep falling from a ladder off that list. The treaded bot trundles through…
Cut the cord... and the grass
Cutting your grass is a necessary evil of home ownership, especially when the temperature outside is like the surface of Mercury. Ugh. Well, you can rid yourself of gas fumes and pesky electric cords (yeah, run that over) with the Ryobi 40V Cordless Mower ($399). Using Ryobi’s new super-versatile 40V Li-ion battery from their Outdoor…
One look at the Inadays Ina Trap Insert killer ($85) and you may be wondering where the Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar is hiding. Bugs probably think the same thing. It’s curvy physique is merely a wooing facade, though, hiding an implement of destruction. Specifically, the Ina Trap’s LED glow couples with a photocatalyst reaction that expels warm…
More sizzle, more steak
For some, the grill isn’t as important as the food it prepares. Grand Hall, however, is more than happy to oblige outdoor kitchenistas in search of some stylish sizzle to go with their steak. Specifically, the grill maker teamed up with Porsche Design Studio and the Porsche Engineering Group GmBH, to create, well, the Porsche…
Get a harder deck
Neither the bane of a teenage boy’s frustrated existence nor Morningwood’s follow-up to their eponymous 2006 album, Perennial Wood is a bona fide building material. Technically it’s a non-toxic acetylation process called TruLast Technology proprietary to Eastman Chemical Company, but we’re not arguing semantics. Here’s what the process does: by changing wood at the molecular…