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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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For retail workers, Black Friday represents a dark scourge and harsh hours. It is a time of great sadness punctuated by crazy people hunting bargains much like zombies crave brains. For the rest of us, you either do Black Friday or you don’t. There are actual deals to be found but, as always, take care that what you’re feverishly spending your cash on is, in fact, a deal. Let’s take a small sampling:

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Craftsman’s Max Axess hand tools: I know they’re Gearwrench and you know they’re Gearwrench — no secret there. We all have eyes and can understand that the 51-piece toolset Sears is touting for Father’s Day is exactly that — Craftsman branded Gearwrench. It’s a smart move: take one of the best handtool systems in terms of innovation in the last ten years and put a Craftsman warranty on it. Step three, profit.

Even though GW already had a great warranty. Even though many DIY mechanics already have this same gear with a different moniker on it. When any hand tool has the word “Craftsman” bestowed upon its shiny spine, the backing of that famous warranty ensures things are going to go well. None of that matters when gleaming kits by the thousands leave the store bound for shade-tree dads everywhere this week. But we can’t really blame them for it.

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The idea of an indexing box-end — complete with GearWrench’s well-known fine-toothed ratcheting system — makes a lot of sense. Believe me, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get at a damn bolt or nut that’s just a little bit off from any angle you can possibly reach with a straight wrench. (Pick yourself up a set of deep offsets, too.) But hey, GearWrench’s double box-ends go to 11, man. Both ends index.

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We’re always writing about the latest and greatest drill/drivers here. But what about the guy who needs to get a job done around the house but only has, say, $50 to spend? Here’s an option: The Sears Outlet stocks the old-as-hell Craftsman C3 drill/driver for right around $30. Another $45 (conservatively) scores you a charger and a pair of the old DieHard 19.2V NiCd batteries.

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I keep a ton of 1″ mild-steel square tube in the shop, ’cause it’s pretty much the basic building block for most home fabrication projects. And I’ve spent waaaay too much time either cutting and notching tube to close up ends or making ugly corners. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to be able to miter the corners like you would a piece of wood? You can, it seems, with the Evolution Rage 3.

It’s built pretty much like standard wood miter saws, with two big changes: First, it spins at around 2,500 RPM instead of 3,500+ like wood saws. Second, Evolution fits it with their special Rage blade, which they claim will plow through steel, aluminum, and wood. Specifically, their website claims the saw/Rage blade combination will produce up to 750 cuts in “mild steel box section.”

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From people who brought you the Tri-Vise comes the Lumber Lok, which securely supports most conventional lumber sizes above the ground so you can cut, notch, drill, or perform other operations.

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If you own a Craftsman, Delta Shopmaster, DeVilbiss, Husky, or Porter-Cable air compressor, heads up: DeVilbiss (the actual manufacturer of these particular models) announced the recall of about 460,000 compressors due to an overheating problem that can pose a fire hazard.

The picture above (courtesy of the CPSC) shows where to check model number information, but you’ll want to visit the CPSC website (link below) to check the extensive list of affected models, which we sold at “home centers nationwide from January 2003 through December 2004.” Affected Craftsman models were sold at Sears (of course) from September 2000 through December 2005.

If you own an affected model, the CPSC says you “should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled compressors and call DeVilbiss or Sears for a free inspection and repair.”

DeVilbiss Recalls Air Compressors Due To Fire Hazard [CPSC]

 

We’ve covered products like Stanley’s Panel Carry and the Gorilla Gripper that make carrying sheet goods easier — now we can add JHandles to that list. Besides sheet goods, JHandles can also be used to carry furniture, prefabricated panels, and other hard-to-handle items.

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Where do you put your glue-ups? On the floor where you might trip over them? On your bench so you have to wait for it to dry before you can be productive again? Pony Mounted Clamp Collars let you mount glue-ups on the wall and out of the way, freeing up space to get more done.

Used for 3/4″ pipe clamps, the collars slide into a bracket that you mount on the wall. The free ends of the pipe clamps slide into the collar and are secured with thumbscrews. Since the pipe clamps are hanging from the wall, you need to be careful about how much weight you put on the clamps. They recommend no more that 200 lbs. on 3-foot long pipe clamps, though I’m not sure if that’s for a single pipe clamp or two.

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