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From the (virtual) mail bin: “Have you seen or used the one-handed reciprocating saw? Home Depot and Lowe’s both have one, and I was wondering how well they work.” Indeed we have. Read on for details.

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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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Let me be clear: we’re not necessarily recommending you buy this. In fact, we wonder whether it’s worth the cash or not. That said, however, we’re always interested in cheap-ass tool alternatives, and there’s something intriguing about the idea of a sub-$100 portable band saw. (Compare that, for example, with about $230 for Mikwaukee’s model.)

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Though we haven’t tested one of these in person, we’ve been quite impressed with the bang-for-the-buck value of Ryobi’s updated One+ line, identifiable by their video-game-green color. And we’re glad to see the cordless recip get the updated treatment as well. Besides the obvious new look, some other pretty upscale features lurk under the hood, including a cushioned anti-vibe handle and an adjustable, pivoting shoe.

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Milwaukee has indeed made good on their promise to join DeWalt in entering the hand tool market under their power-tool-famous brand, and one of their new products even made it into our Favorites of 2011 list. This drywall saw caught my attention as well as a potential replacement for my Husky 5-in-1 drywall tool. Honestly, I hate the Husky, except for one thing: it works. It’s ugly, it’s awkward, and it looks like a Swiss Army knife designed for a two-year-old. But it does a great job of making accurate holes in drywall, so it gets a good bit of use around my house.

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I have a lot of books. No, really. A lot of books. And up until recently they’ve been piled around my house in all sorts of places. Sean and I started building bookcases back closer to when I first moved in, but we ended up getting involved in other things (like starting TM, for example). Between lack of time and lack of funding, I never really got enough built to hold even half of my book stash. So a few weeks back, I decided to go for broke and just slap whatever I had to on the walls to hold up shelves (and books). To that end, I posted here asking TM readers .

Of course, TM readers are way smarter than that.

TM reader David chimed in instead with a suggestion that I build what he called “Hungarian shelves,” complete with a link to an Instructable on the process. Others chimed in on the Hungarian recommendation, so I gave it a look — and I was shocked. What a great idea! Basically, these Hungarian shelves consist of vertical pieces notched to hold notched shelves. The verticals screw to the wall through the notches, then the shelves fit in place with a little help from shims as needed. Result: extremely strong and stable shelves with no visible fasteners. As a bonus, you can easily build them with cheap dimensional lumber and almost no tools. Above you see a pictured of my project, adapted from the Instructable concept.

Yep, that’s a 10′ x 10′ set of 10 shelves that cost me a grand total of just under $200 and was damn easy to build.

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Remember how we pointed out some of the benefits of Bosch entering the micro-recip market? Here’s another benefit: more blade selection. Not surprisingly, Bosch recently announced a line of blades to go along with their new saw. Bosch calls ‘em “pocket blades,” by the way, which seems like a cool idea to us. Since they share the same mounting system as standard recip blades, we’re totally guilty of slapping Milwaukee’s Hackzall blades in our standard recip for cutting jobs that don’t require the standard 6″ to 12″ reach. (And once or twice we’ve mounted full-sized blades on a micro-recip when it happened to be close at hand.) Of course, Bosch’s new blades will work with any standard recip mount, including full-size saws and both their (and Milwaukee’s) micro-recips.

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What’s bigger than the Skil Multi-Cutter but smaller than a trim circular saw? If you answered the Craftsman Mini Circular Saw, well, you’re right. But Dremel now offers their own take on the tool, which looks like the 9-months-later result of a steamy night between the Craftsman and Skil. Lacking the Craftsman’s huge fence and chunky guard, the Dremel still looks a lot more versatile than the Skil.

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One of the benefits of operating Toolmonger is that I get to hear what a whole lot of people think about tools — especially the tools that people want as opposed to simply need. And one of the most drool-worthy tools for years was — if my email box was to be believed — Festool’s Kapex KS 120 sliding compound mitre saw. (No, I didn’t misspell that. They’re a European company, so they like to spell miter a little differently than we do in the States.) Recently, however, it seems to me that Bosch has stolen a lot of Festool’s thunder.

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I know I’m going to catch some hell from the nice folks at Bosch, but hey — I call it like I see it: the PS60 looks to me like their response to Milwaukee’s Hackzall. That said, I’m glad to see Bosch offering it. Some folks bought into Bosch’s sub-compact line and some bought into Milwaukee’s — probably through something like a drill/driver — so I’m glad to see that each group has access to this incredibly cool little tool type, regardless of their initial brand investment.

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