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I thought I had snagged a pretty good deal a couple of days ago at Menards when I bought two 6″ Irwin Mini Quick Grip clamps for $10 after a $5 rebate. Then I stumbled upon the above display at Home Depot — an eight-piece set of clamps including: two 6″ and two 12″ inch mini clamps, two 2″ spring clamps, and two 2″ Handi-Clamps for $25 total, no rebate required.

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Personally, I don’t use spring clamps very often, so in my opinion they don’t add much value to the set. I also wouldn’t pay more that a few bucks a piece for the Handi-Clamps since I’ve only used mine once, but I never have enough Mini Quick Grip clamps. And four for $25 isn’t such a bad deal.

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I’m not sure when the deal ends, but the display was in Home Depot’s “gifts” section, so presumably they plan on selling it either until Christmas or until they run out of stock. So if you’re looking for stuff to put on your Christmas list, this set is a pretty safe bet — I know it’s going on mine.

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Irwin Clamp Set [Home Depot]

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My old dovetail saw gave up the ghost in the middle of building a toolbox for the side of my bench. The saw was one of those reversible types with a spring-loaded pin; the pin no longer held and was releasing in the middle of cuts. So I headed to the store to try to find a replacement. Rather than buy the same type of saw, I wanted to find a saw that was made for finer work. I spotted Irwin’s dovetail pull saw and figured I could hardly go wrong for $10.

Even thought Irwin uses the word dovetail in the name, they don’t include cutting dovetails in their product description. What they do say is they designed it primarily for flush cutting dowels and “any detail cut.” Then they give examples of people who would use the saw: an interior trim contractor or a fine woodworker. While the saw works well, there are a few reasons why this probably isn’t your go-to saw for fine woodworking.

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Take a look at Irwin’s new Universal Handsaw. If you’re like me, the first thing you’ll wonder is, “what the heck is with that hump on the blade?” It turns out Irwin is riding the multi-tool wave. The hump provides clearance from the handle so you can use the top of the blade as a straight-edge. Also, if you butt the handle up to the edge of a board, the slot and top of the blade are perpendicular to the edge and the other side of the hump is 45° to the edge.

Irwin touts several other improvements in this saw. The triple-ground teeth supposedly eliminate binding, and they’ll cut through most materials three times faster then “traditional” hand saws while giving the finished-looking cut of a fine-cutting saw. They mold the handle from lighter-than-wood high density resin, and the 0.85mm thick blade is coated with a water-based lacquer.

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Utility knives are pretty much ubiquitous, but snap-off blade knives don’t require taking apart the knife to get a sharp edge. Irwin is looking to take this advantage of snap-off blades and use it in utility knives with their new 4-point carbon blades.

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Though a good bow saw comes in handy around the yard and camp, you don’t always want to carry around a full-size version. Irwin makes this little 12″ bow saw that looks like it’d be easy to pack and still useful around camp.  And it also accepts standard hacksaw blades — that’s one useful tool.

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Irwin is upgrading their XP Quick-Grip line that we first covered in 2006.  Now they describe the clamps as one-handed bar clamps.  The clamps feature the same Power Locks to hold pressure longer and an I-beam bar to resist twisting and bowing, but Irwin increased the rated clamping pressure to 600 pounds and added double-locking swivel jaws with removable face pads.

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