A Few Of This Year’s Neatest Tool Innovations – On the House

A Few Of This Year’s Neatest Tool Innovations

By on March 10, 2016

When we were kids the first stop we made when we got home from school was – naturally – the kitchen. Mom always kept a basket on the counter heaped full of thin-sliced dark, Russian Rye bread dried as hard as a rock. Talk about crunch – whoa! Next, a quick search through the bottom drawer of the refrigerator always rendered some kind of cheese find. Usually a large package of freshly sliced yellow American. A slice of super-crunchy toast and a slice of cheese made up our favorite afternoon tidbit. About 3 helpings usually did the trick. Once our growing teenage bodies had been appropriately refueled we anxiously headed for our second destination – dad’s workshop. Dad has always remained in our hearts as our fix-it guru, the epitome if you will, ofdo-it-yourselfers. He wasn’t as vocal as Tim The Tool Man but he was every bit as enthusiastic. He had at least one of every tool ever made – and every one of his tools had its very own special spot in his workshop. You have no idea how much trouble we got into (over the years) for losing, dulling or otherwise damaging one tool or another. Boy, what a learning process that was. Sorry Dad we didn’t mean to destroy so many of your tools. Now that we’re older and have come to understand his fascination it is easy to see why he could get so frustrated with our antics. We can’t imagine anyone who loves working on their home not having the same intense interest. That’s why we have so much fun when we get to attend trade shows like the National Association of Home Builders Show and the International Hardware Show. Tools, tools everywhere! And this year was no exception when it came to new and interesting innovations.

One cool tool that we found at this year’s hardware show was a battery-operated device that the manufacturer refers to as their “multi-tool”. Essentially, this puppy does it all, and it’s cordless. What you get is an ergonomically designed handle that is incredibly easy to hold and remarkably well balanced for one that is so inexpensive. The grip reminds us of a suitcase handle. Not so much as a carrying device, but from the standpoint that it wraps around the user’s hand protecting fingers and knuckles from little smashes and big crashes. As usual the handle is what houses the battery. But that’s not all. At the front of the handle is a push-latch system that allows three different tools to be attached. The choices include a drill, a reciprocating saw (jig saw) and a detail sander. For the average d-i-y’er you couldn’t ask for more versatility in a more compact design. With one contraption you can cut it, sand it, drill it, grind it, shape it, buff it and screw it. The possibilities literally are endless.

If you regularly use your bench-vise as an anvil then you may not find our next offering as interesting as we do. Like the song says, “simply unbelievable” – or was that “simply irresistible”? It doesn’t make any difference. In this case both descriptions apply. You can now purchase your very own portable, plastic bench vise that can actually clamp down on an item in less than 2 seconds and with over 1/4 ton of force. That’s right in just seconds. The manufacturer calls this one the “quick vise”. No, it can’t be used as an anvil, but with the quick vise handle spinning is a thing of the past. Simply slide the jaw closed, turn the clamping dial a half turn or so and you have achieved instant grip. Better yet the quick vise weighs less than 3 pounds and is completely portable. The flip of a latch on its base completely releases the vise from its mount allowing you to move it to another location in your workshop, to your truck or wherever you like. We truly feel that this is one new innovation that will completely change how people perceive the term “vise”.

For gardeners, a new a tool is now available that is used with a cordless electric drill to help plant flowers and bulbs in half the time– and almost effortlessly! Hate digging but love planting? Then this is the tool for you. It’s a six-inch round metal auger whose sole purpose is to drill holes in the ground. The twisted shape makes it self-driving and that makes the digging much easier. If you like planting you’ll want to add this one to your tool chest – dad would have. For more home improvement tips and information visit our web site at www.onthehouse.com. And, good luck!

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