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More than just a hammer

10 Best Tools for the Home Auto Mechanic

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.

octane-promo-box-logo-gear-patrolThis article is part of a new original series, OCTANE -- a premium take on all things motoring.
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Fix-ated

USAG 3LV 3 Compartment Tool Box

Know an aesthete who dabbles in handy work? Italian company USAG has been in the tool biz since 1926, and their USAG 3LV 3 Compartment Tool Box ($127) has all the durable chops you’d expect from, well, a metal box.

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Stop cutting corners

Festool CMS Router Table

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…

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Turns in turn

Black & Decker Max Gyro

For those of you preparing to go away to college, let us give you a little heads up. When arriving on campus you will have but one goal: get your parents out as soon as possible. Unfortunately, they will have already put in place a preemptive defense. Along with the bed and bath, they’ve also…

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Fancy Fixie Fixer

E.H. Works Mopha Bike Tool Roll

The urban cyclists are always in danger of a sudden flat or magically appearing pothole. There are a lot of multifunction bicycle tools to choose from these days, but that doesn’t mean carrying them has become any easier, and when out for a leisurely weekend ride, the last thing you want is to bog yourself…

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Master your grass and skip the gas

Fiskars StaySharp Max

We’re sure that in the eyes of some extremists, mowing the lawn is like committing a double-tap to the head of the earth. Your chopping down a macrocosmic Fern Gully and doing it with some of the least fuel-efficient machines on the planet. Fiskars’ StaySharp Max lawnmower ($250) can at least help address the carbon…

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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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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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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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Third eye not so blind

Ryobi TEK4 Inspection Scope

Just like your own personal periscope, the Ryobi TEK4 Inspection Scope can go where your head and eyeballs can’t. Better than cramming your face through a wall or snaking your meaty forearms through a small space under the hood of your car, this scope has a 3 foot camera cable that’s waterproof, along with a…

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When large just isn't enough

KASTOmaxcut Bandsaw

The KASTOmaxcut Bandsaw could very well be the king of cutting. It’s got a blade as thick as a man’s arm and the wheels that make even the baddest mudders look puny. In terms of oomph, it uses a 29 horsepower motor to power one-of-two blade options that can be hydraulically positioned for vertical or…

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One Beautiful Beast

Estwing Claw Leather Handle Hammer

Estwing was founded by Swedish immigrant Ernest O. Estwing nearly a century a go. Ernest had a talent for forging hammers from one solid piece of hardened steel and the rest as they say is history. Estwing tools are still made in the USA in Rockford, Illinois and this Estwing Claw Leather Handle Hammer ($26)…

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Take A Workshop Anywhere

POWER8 Workshop

Most of us have a go to tool for every job that comes across our plate. The POWER8 Workshop ($340) is a good all-in-one starter kit though for those just beginning the grail quest that is building a tool collection.

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Measure Everything

SquareONE Professional Measuring System

Every man who has ever done handy work knows the value of a solid tape measure. In the age of integration though, Generation Tools decided to question why these useful belt companions couldn’t do more. The result is the SquareONE measuring system line ($14-7). It’s called a system because unlike dedicated tapes, this über tool…

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The Most Compact Ratchet Set You Can Carry

Duron PakRatchet

The name may be more than a little corny, but that doesn’t detract from this tool’s ingenious form factor. Made to be an all in one grab and go ratchet solution, the PakRatchet stores seven sockets along with 3′ extension inside its handle. The tool’s drive is formed from high-toque composite that won’t conduct or…

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Porter Cable 18V Lithium Drill Kit Giveaway!

We like to think of ourselves and yourselves as guys who get stuff done. Having the right tool for any given job is key to this effort. To that end, we’ve been big fans of Porter Cable’s full lineup of equipment, suitable of just about any worthwhile task you can think of. Even better, we’ve…

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Bite-Sized High Rise

Telesteps Telescoping Ladders

A good ladder is a must-have for anyone with a home to maintain. Unfortunately, unless you’re a full-time painter or contractor, the amount of time a ladder actually gets used is nothing compared to the time it spends waiting in the garage or storage shed, just taking up space. Thankfully, the Einsteins over at Telesteps…

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Don't Get Screwed by Using the Wrong Tool

Porter Cable 18V Lithium Drill Kit

There are certain tools that every man needs, regardless of his station. From the suburban DIY guru to the loft-dweller with nary a free cupboard, much less a full-out workshop, each one among us can benefit from the prowess of a solid cordless drill driver. If you can only own one tool, that’s the one…

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Essential Equipment for the Handy Homeowner

10 Best, Must-Have Power Tools

From the moment ancient man first wielded tools to aid in mastery over his environment, their use has been embedded in the DNA of humankind. Men, in particular, have an innate sense of the crucial need for having the proper tool for whatever job is at hand. Granted, we’ve come a long way from roasting…

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Man make fire. Gwaarrrg!

Tool Logic SL Pro 2

You might call us latter day Boy Scouts, but we at Gear Patrol have been riffing on a certain theme of late: Be Prepared. It’s just that you never know in what situation you might find yourself, and, when the unexpected strikes, a man wants to be able to be decisive and take charge, knowing…

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Cut the cord. Just don't cut yourself.

Black & Decker 18v Cordless Chainsaw

UPDATE: Just for shiggles, we threw together a short video of Dusty taking on a small tree at Gear Patrol reader Tim F’s home. Yes, the shrub (er, tree) is larger than Black & Decker approves or recommends with this chainsaw, but why the hell not. Watch it after the jump. Yes, we know it’s…