Tools: Father’s Day Gifts
Father’s Day is just around the corner, and for us, it’s a bit like Christmas. We look for any excuse to get a new tool or a gadget. In fact, I got my father his first metal detector for beginners, and he’s been combing the beach and telling me how much he loves the tool ever since. So what could be a more fitting occasion than Father’s Day? Fortunately, we are both fathers and are the recipients of lots of love and an occasional tool or two.
Albeit that we each have more tools and gadgets than one could possibly use in a lifetime, we still want more. We think that tools are in some way tied to our maleness. Therefore, our philosophy is the more tools the better. Having said that, tools, especially power tools, are changing virtually daily. They are becoming safer, lighter, easier to use and, best of all, more affordable.
And speaking of affordable, a quality power tool couldn’t be touched for less than one hundred dollars in the not-too- distant-past. That’s not true today. You still get what you pay for, but you don’t have to pay quite as much these days. Here’s an example. One of our favorites this year is the Multi-tool. This type of tool has been around for years, but has never been as versatile. The Multi-tool is great for both small and large projects. It sands, buffs, cuts, grinds, polishes and carves. All of this for under fifty dollars. And don’t be surprised if mom borrows it now and then to do her nails.
One feature that is common to most new tools is ergonomic design. They are made for a safer, more stable and comfortable grip which will accommodate hands of all sizes. One such tool is the Detail Sander. We think that the name “sander” is a bit misleading. That’s only because this little puppy does a whole lot more than sand. It scrapes, polishes, buffs, cleans and will even remove rust.
The Detail Sander has a unique triangular head design which allows access into nooks, corners and tight spots that traditional larger sanders simply can’t get into. The principle is simple. A powerful oscillating action produces extra fine finishes, virtually elimingating finger sanding. This is especially useful when working on furniture, shutters stair railings, picture frames, moldings and the list goes on and on.
One of our absolute favorites is a cordless drill. How did man (or woman) exist before the cordless drill. Cordless drills are not new, they simply continue to get better and better. We would say that one of the best features of the cordless drill of today is power. Power choices range from seven to twelve volts with twelve volts being the most powerful, and is it powerful.
A source of contention that we had with this type of tool in the past was that it took so darn long for the battery to be fully charged. Not so today. The better models come with an extra battery and charger which will recharge the batteries in an hour. So when the first battery is ready to give up the ghost you exchange it for the other and slip the drained battery into the charger.
A couple of other features to look for when shopping for the “perfect” cordless drill are weight, balance and accessories. A model which weighs less than four pounds and is balances will be a lot easier on the old body when it comes to repetitive use. We especially like the models which have a keyless chuck. The keyless chuck is extremely convenient and, for heaven’s sake, we’re always losing those chuck keys!
Don’t even consider buying a cordless drill that doesn’t have a variable clutch adjustment, forward and reverse switch, and variable speed control. A good quality cordless drill can be found for less than one hundred dollars.
From cordless drills to grass trimmers. Like cordless drills, string trimmers have been around quite a while. However, string trimmers are nothing like what they used to be. Besides cutting weeds and grass, optional equipment can turn your trimmer into a brush cutter, cultivator, vacuum, leaf blower, edger, snow thrower and even a pruner. We’ve never seen anything quite like this before.
And as if that isn’t enough, grass and weed trimmers come in gas, electric and battery-powered models, all for under one hundred dollars. Add-on equipment will add to the price, but is well worth the investment.
Happy Father’s Day!