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Posts by: Leslie Vincent
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You probably already know about the benefits of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GFCI) plugs, and you likely have them installed in most of the locations where you use your powertools – your workshop, garage, and outdoor receptacles.  But what if you’re stuck with a non-GFCI on the jobsite? That’s when you need a portable GFCI cable, like this one from Coleman Cable.

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This great “Miter Saw Stand Madness” video demonstrates a slew of miter saw stands and discusses the features and potential benefits of each.  In the video, Fine Homebuilding contributing editor Mike Guertin reviews four classes of stands: rail/sawhorse, tabletop, extending, and some unique products that are either hybrids of the other types or that stand in a class of their own.

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Hitachi Power Tools recently released their first reciprocating saw to employ User Vibration Protection (UVP) technology — a counterweight mechanism engineered to reduce motor vibration and significantly decrease user fatigue.  Hitachi claims UVP will reduce vibration by over 65%.

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Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation recently announced a safety recall of all 14.4V 2.4 Ah and 18V 2.4 Ah NiCd Battery Packs manufactured between 1999 and February 2004.  These batteries were originally sold under the Milwaukee Power Plus, Chicago Pneumatic, and Extractor brand names.  According to the recall document, the battery packs could explode if an over-pressure vent inside the battery pack becomes damaged during use.

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The manufacturer of these clean-up towels claims they have the “power to absorb up to 27 times greater than paper towels or any cotton cloth.”  Combine that with the ability to rinse and reuse them – or toss them in the wash once they’re too dirty, and you’ve got a formidable shop rag…  If it’s true.

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The Duluth Trading Company offers a beautifully crafted wood toolbox for those of us who weren’t fortunate enough to inherit one from our grandfathers.  While the weight of a wood toolbox can make it impractical to lug around, this could be the perfect solution for those of us who out of habit, convenience or necessity keep a stash of tools in an accessible and very visible spot in our homes.

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We’re not advocating that you practice home dentistry — though we recommend good dental hygiene, of course —  but you’ll easily find uses for dental tools around the shop.  As a lifelong home renovator, I’ve used my old flea-market-find dental tools for scraping the last bit of paint from the details in stripped woodwork, removing a century of crud from various corners and crevices, cleaning out clogged gas burners, and picking out little stuck things from places I can’t reach with any other tool. 

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Beer preference is a highly personal thing.  Some enjoy mass-produced cheap stuff while others desire complex, rich microbrews and homebrews. But what if you’ve found a brew you like — if only it had more of the bitter bite of a strongly-hopped beer?  Randall the Enamel Animal — no, we’re not kidding — solves the problem by adding hops flavor right at the tap.

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Most modern electronics draw power even when in “standby” mode — turned off but still plugged in.  The Smart Strip helps you reclaim those expensive wasted watts by automatically killing power to accessories when you turn off the ”main” device.  For example, when you turn off your computer, it powers down your speakers, printer, etc.

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My first thought when I saw this magnetic wrist band was to question its usefulness.  Then followed by a burst of giggles as it brought forth images of former Teen Titan Magenta’s magnetic evil superpowers.  After a moment, though, I could think of times when the Magnogrip could have come in handy.  It makes more sense than chipping a tooth holding screws in the only other available place.

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