Following are some tools you might want to keep handy in your tool box.
Keep your drill bits cutting like new with the Drill Doctor ($129, Model 250), the first affordable drill-bit sharpener that gives professional results. The electric sharpener uses a diamond-abrasive grinding wheel to sharpen dull and broken bits.
Use it on high-speed-steel twist bits, cobalt bits, even expensive carbide-tipped masonry bits. And best of all, it's nearly as easy to use as a pencil sharpener: Tighten the bit into the chuck, set the correct bit depth and then insert the bit into the sharpening tube. A couple of quick twists and the bit is sharp.
MORE INFO: Professional Tool Manufacturing, www.drilldr.com; (888) 693-7455.
There are dozens of multipurpose tools on the market, but Crescent's ToolZall Maintenance Pro ($75) is unique. When unfolded, the pocket-sized tool reveals a pair of cutting shears, not pliers like most multipurpose tools.
The supersharp shears can slice through a variety of thin, tough materials, including fibrous tapes, nylon cord, housewrap, felt underlayment and even metal flashing. Tucked inside the folding handles are six other useful tools: knife blade, slotted screwdriver, wood saw, single-cut metal file, double-cut wood file and 9-inch ruler. The tool is made entirely of stainless steel and comes with a woven-nylon sheath.
MORE INFO: Cooper Tools, www.coopertools.com; (919) 781-7200.
Fred Flintstone, eat your heart out. Vermont American's new Diamond Abrasive Masonry Blade can quickly slice through stone, brick, granite, ceramic tile, concrete block, fiber-cement board, stucco and virtually any other masonry material. It comes in three sizes (4, 4-and-1-half and 7 inches) and is engineered to last 30 to 120 times longer than traditional silicone-carbide abrasive blades. Three models are offered: 30X, 60X and 120X ($16 to $75). The 7-inch 60X blade shown costs $40. The 30X blade of the same size runs $25; the 120X is $70.
MORE INFO: Vermont American, www.vermontamerican.com; (800) 742-3869.
Think that all air compressors are alike? Think again. The revolutionary new Craftsman Two-Stage 20-Gallon Compressor ($429, Model 16777) is a compact, portable unit that delivers the same air power as a 60-gallon, 240-volt stationary compressor -- but it runs on standard 120-volt house current and is 50 percent quieter. The 4-horsepower, oil-free motor compresses air in two stages: First, a large cylinder compresses the air to 40 psi, then the air is discharged into a smaller cylinder, which raises the pressure to 175 psi. That's more than enough air power to run virtually any pneumatic tool, including an impact wrench, nail gun, cutoff saw, orbital sander, grinder, drill, paint sprayer, grease gun or sandblaster.
MORE INFO: Sears, www.sears.com/craftsman; (800) 377-7414.
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