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When we first speculated a while back about the kind of tools we might see as a result of the Stanley/B&D merger, we focused on cross-pollination of the brands — like DeWalt manufacturing hand tools (which happened) and Stanley getting some power tools (wait for it). What we didn’t consider was how changes in the new company’s management could lead to within-brand sharing, too — like, for example, Black & Decker installing DeWalt’s 20V MAX battery tech in its tools. What you see above represents what we imagine is just the first volley in this kind of thinking.

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So let’s look past all the corporate structure stuff and look at the tools themselves. Black & Decker’s 20V MAX brands start with B&D’s stalwarts: handheld vacuum cleaners. (Really — you still call ‘em Dustbusters, don’t you? Like people from Texas call all sodas Cokes?) These include the Flex, a Dustbuster-like model, and an accessory-laden model that looks great for automotive vacuuming. All three get the 20V MAX lithium-ion batteries, but like their NiCd predecessors, they’re permanently installed.

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If you don’t have a box of these sitting around your garage, you’re missing out. They’re some of the most handy tools you can own, and they’re cheap as hell: about $5 a box, available at your local grocery stores and big box shops. Read on past the jump for five tasks where disposable gloves come in seriously handy.

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Most router tables allow you to capture dust and chips from the top of the table through a collection port on the fence, but this is only effective for some operations. Other operations require dust collection from the bottom of the table. There are a few different methods to do this with varying levels of effectiveness; usually they involve encasing the router in some sort of vacuum box.

Keen Products’ dust collection system collects dust right from the point of entry on the bottom of the table, leaving your router accessible and open so it won’t overheat. It also removes most of the dust before it has a chance to fall into the router motor, hopefully prolonging its life.

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If you own a shop-vac and don’t want to pay for a pricey two-stage dust collector, you have many options. There are plenty of DIY instructions for building your own, covers that you can add to a 5-gallon pail, or full-blown dust collection systems ready to hook up to your shop-vac. The latest addition to this last category is Rockler’s Dust Right Vortex dust separator.

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Have you ever been stuck without a pump and had to inflate a queen-sized air mattress using only your lungs? I have, and I wouldn’t recommend it; I nearly passed out several times. A pump is the obvious solution, but why buy a pump when you can use another tool you already have?

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Why is the guy in the picture fencing with his lathe? Is he some sort of modern-day Don Quixote with delusions of slaying a swarf-breathing dragon? Okay, so he’s just cleaning the chips from his machine using a chip hook. The guard on the chip hook is there to keep his unprotected hand from getting cut by the sharp shavings.

There are a number of chip hook manufacturers. The best-looking products are from NOGA; they include the NogoGrip handle, are black finished, and can be sold with a detachable “shovel” blade.

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Although dust collection in bench top and contractor saws has gotten much better as of late, it still leaves much to be desired. No matter how good the dust collection is, the open bottom still leaves an escape route for sawdust. Fortunately the Dust Cutter will catch much of this errant dust rather than let it escape into the air or drop to the floor.

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You may have used an abrasive cleaning stick to clean the gunk out of the abrasive belt on your belt sander, but what do you use to clean the abrasive drum on your drum sander? A giant sheet of abrasive cleaner, of course.

As far I as I can find, there are two options: a 15″ x 20″ sheet of 3/4″ crepe rubber backed with piece of 1/4″ plywood from Highland Woodworking, or a 13″ x 20″ x 1-1/8″ thick cleaning pad from Busy Bee Tools. Run either pad through your drum sander just like you’re sanding a piece of wood. The pad will unclog the abrasive, making it cut better, and prolong its life.

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That’s right: Everyone needs a shop vacuum. If you have one, you know what I mean. They’re perfect for collecting dust from under toolboxes, vacuuming up broken glass in the kitchen, and pretty much picking up anything you don’t want to touch. They also make a killer gift — especially when you can snag a decent one for $30.

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Since we’ve seen Bosch ramp up dust collection on their rotary hammers, you’d expect other manufacturers to be following suit. Recently, Dewalt introduced their D25301D-XJ Dust Extraction Telescope for their corded and cordless SDS rotary hammers.

Adding only 1.4 lbs. to your rotary hammer, the Dust Extractor can be used to drill dust-free holes up to 16 mm (5/8″) in diameter and 150 mm (~6″) deep. It’s easy to assemble and remove without tools and comes with with a 150 cm (5′) long, 35 mm (1-3/8″) diameter rubber hose and a side handle.

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