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Hand Tools are Making Leaps and Bounds


Our most ancient ancestors used rudimentary hand tools fashioned from rock, wood, or flint to make their lives easier, and that tradition has carried over the millennia to today, where tools play just as important a role in modern society.

There have been some great advances in recent years, making jobs safer and easier on the body. Cordless power tools are finally catching up in strength and usability to their wired counterparts, and battery-powered tools are nipping at the heels of gas powered ones. Lighter weight materials have enabled one-handed use of tools that previously required both hands and were brutal on the body, and can fit into smaller spaces previously not possible.

The following are just some of the newest tools to hit the market, and feature the latest and greatest in functionality and power. Any of these tools could find a place on your holiday wish list.

DeWALT FLEXVOLT Track Saw, $379

For making precision cuts, a track saw or table saw is just the ticket. The new cordless FLEXVOLT track saw features a variable speed motor and a top of the line 42-tooth blade. Its adjustable rail allows for precision fine-tuning and its anti-kickback function keeps your hands safe. Its battery packs a lot of juice, which means you’ll spend less time recharging and more time cutting.

Diablo Demo Demon, $14.97

Demolition jobs need a blade that will cut through anything you can throw at it. The 7-1/4”, 24-tooth Demo Demon blades from Diablo promise to do just that, easily slicing through nail-laden wood and even bolts. Clad with a Perma-Shield non-stick coating to prevent corrosion or overheating, Diablo claims the Demo Demon will last 10 times longer than a regular blade. They are even versatile enough to run on cordless saws.

DeWALT Compact Cordless Chainsaw, $149 ($229 with battery)

DeWALT’s latest addition to its 20-volt line of cordless tools is its brand new 20v Compact Cordless Chainsaw, which can be used from everything to house demolition to chopping down trees. In testing, DeWALT cut through 4x4 blocks of pressure-treated pine, finding it could get through 90 cuts on a single charge of its 5.0 Ah Lithium-Ion battery. This is a battery-powered chainsaw that comes surprisingly close in power to a gas-powered one.

Bosch SDS Plus Cordless Rotary Hammer, Coming Soon

Hefting a rotary hammer for hours at a time is exhausting to even the strongest and most seasoned construction professional. But weighing in at less than six pounds, the SDS Plus Cordless Rotary Hammer delivers big power in a size and weight that won’t strain your arms. It puts out a whopping 5,850 BPM, and comes packed with all of the features as other in-class rotary hammers.

Milwaukee Hackzall One-Handed Reciprocating Saw, $149

Milwaukee is a company known for its power tool innovation, and its Hackzall One-Handed Reciprocating Saw continues that tradition. The heavy-duty cordless reciprocating saw runs the M18 cordless system, which offers professional grade power with a compact size and light weight. Milwaukee claims the Hackzall offers up to 3 times faster cutting and four times lower vibration compared to other one-handed reciprocating saws.

Estwing AL-Pro hammer, $130

Even the humble hammer is seeing innovations, and the brand new AL-Pro from Estwing is a prime example. Made from forged aircraft aluminum alloy, even lighter than titanium, it delivers max striking power in a lightweight package. Weighing just 14 ounces, it doesn’t sacrifice on power or comfort. The hollow head contains shot for maximum vibration dampening, and it’s got a nylon-rubber grip to reduce shock.


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