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The Boxer 320 mini skid offers a number of badass features — but the most interesting is that for about $80, you can rent it for the afternoon at the local home center and fit it through the garden gate. At around 34 inches wide, the Boxer can get into the the backyard or even pack itself into the back of a pickup and arrive on scene ready to work.

Equipped with a compact 20 hp Kohler motor, the Boxer can lift up to 625 lbs. over 54″ in the air, depending on the tip weight at the moment of lift and what attachment is stuck out front. At any rate, it’ll tear up a great deal faster than any mere human could do. Plus, riding on the back and operating a few controls beats lifting or breaking dirt yourself.

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I’ve wanted an oscillating spindle sander ever since I came to understand how they make the curves in wood possible. I decided I wanted to start building my own recurve bows. You can replicate the effect with a drill press and a few attachments, but having the right tool for the job will speed things up a great deal. In this case, Central Machinery’s Model 95088 is much like that generic beer that shows up at parties. It is technically beer; it shares few properties with actual beer, but wow, was it cheap. In the world of benchtop spindle sanders, the $129 price tag this model carries would have it stacked right next to Keystone Light.

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There are a few choke points to be aware of when tackling a home painting gig. Among them are picking the right paint, doing correct prep work, and covering the walls well. Somewhere between gobbing paint on the wall and cleaning up comes the part that separates the pros from the noobs: edges. Black & Decker thinks their new EasyEdge powered paint edger will help blur the line between you and a pro, so to speak.

The EasyEdge injects paint into a tube and pushes it through the foam paint pad at the head in an evenly distributed manner. An edge on either side keeps the paint in a neat line. A knob at the bottom controls the effective flow, and the trigger lets the paint loose by pushing the plunger.

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Makita’s 18v Li-Ion Brushless 1″ Rotary Hammer is a mouthful to say and even more interesting to look at, especially the unique profile created by the vacuum slung under the bottom of the 10-lb. rotary hammer. The unit has two motors — one for the drill and the other for the vacuum — and is built to catch concrete dust on a jobsite.

What’s interesting about this setup is the vacuum is detachable so you still have a very capable rotary hammer on your hands if you should choose to do without. Plus the charge will last a little longer without spinning two motors. But for jobs where dust or particles are a concern, we can actually see this helping. The boot that shrouds the bit looks like it does a good job of catching most of the debris, and the vacuum only kicks on when the drill is in motion.

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Recently I wondered if anyone was actually still into the cheap, off-brand drills like the ones you might find at Costco and the like. The Kawasaki drill I found (above) was fully stocked and looked okay for a heavy NiCad affair. A little bit later I saw the recall for the trigger switch, which “can short and generate excessive heat, posing a burn hazard.” I wondered if this was the same drill.

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Watching shows about Alaska makes me realize how much of a wimp I am. Life looks rougher and a bunch colder there than where I live, but I’m fascinated by some of their tools. And the custom-built V8 sawmill I saw on Alaska: The Last Frontier was pretty damn sweet.

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Shopsmith is the Swiss Army Knife of woodworking. They do almost everything you might need for a woodworking project and a friend of mine has wanted one since the 80′s. Recently he got tired of waiting for the cash to get a new one and began searching for a used Mark V. Ebay wasn’t really a help for completed units, but Craigslist listed about 10 of them in the area in various conditions and states of inactivity — so we started shopping.

One that was freshly hauled out of a local garage showed up in the listings, sporting a price tag of $200. With a heavy dose of skepticism we went to check it out. It was quite obvious this machine had seen better days. There was minor rust on the legs and casing and heavy gunk on the tubes — plus the right base was cracked from someone leaving it in drill-press mode for what looks like decades. All of it needed a good going over. Those were the negatives. But the motor sounded great and there was a giant box with all the pieces, connectors, hardware, belt sander, and scroll saw in it.

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We love our random orbit sanders. Like hand-held circular saws, they’re on our essential list of basic home woodworking tools. Now Makita, in service to the never-ending quest to expand cordless lines, offers a battery-powered model. On one hand, this seems pretty impressive, considering the amp draw most sanders produce. But is it worth your cash? And will it stand up to the corded models? We haven’t tried one in person, but we take a close look at the specs and the above video to find out. Read on for our take, and don’t forget to share yours with us (and other Toolmongers) in comments.

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After six years of use and abuse, our Worx Revovler recip saw has managed to grow a rather unheathly attachment to its blade. We were cutting railroad ties in half at a friend’s place when we noticed it just wasn’t getting through them any more and it was time to change the blade. The normal process of pushing the button and releasing the blade didn’t work, either: it was stuck.

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If I say the words “rotary hammer,” what do you think? Big, right? Big and burly. Mean. Like twist-your-arm-off mean, I bet. Hell, I wrote about one for PopSci back in 2009 under the title “The Meanest Drill.” As we’ve always discovered here at Toolmonger, though, not everyone has exactly the same needs when it comes to tools. After looking into the needs of electricians and commercial remodelers (among others), Milwaukee thought, “Wow, these people have a lot of our M12 gear, and they could use something capable of dealing with masonry and drilling pretty big holes.” Hence, they’ve created what you see above, which is a hell of a lot smaller than it looks. It’s an M12 rotary hammer, and it’s just 9″ long and weighs just about 4 lbs.

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