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Posts by: Eric Dykstra

Here’s another reason to dive into Bosch’s line of 10.8V cordless power tools: with the purchase of a PS10-2, PS20-2, or PS40-2, you can get a free PS20 via mail-in rebate. The free driver doesn’t come with a battery, but the various kits come with two.  Shop wisely and you can turn your dream of double-fisted PS20 action into a reality.  The deal is valid from May 15 to July 15, 2008.

Rebate Form [Bosch]
Bosch 10.8V Litheon Street Pricing [Google Products]


If you’re in the market for Gerber’s Deluxe Mine Probe Kit, one of two things is probably true: A) You’re underpaid, or B) you need to move. People who remove unexploded ordnance work mostly on their bellies, inching across the battlefield, constantly in danger. For these serious people and their serious work, Gerber makes some precision mine probe tools to replace that old KA-BAR.

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XS Scuba designed the FogCutter X knife for scuba divers, but the 4-3/8″ blade with built-in shears could likely fill a lot of needs on solid ground as well. When you need more precision than the single blade, the shears provide extra control for cutting rope, fabric, monofilament, or even kelp.

XS Scuba protects the 420 stainless steel blade with a corrosion-resistant chromate treatment. The rubber-coated plastic handle provides a comfortable grip for easy handling, and a handle lock prevents accidents.  It comes with a positive-locking plastic sheath.

Street pricing is around $75 — underwater prices will vary.

FogCutter X [XS Scuba]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] (B000GGC1KA) [What’s This?]


I’m the last guy who wants to get in a fight, but I’ve had the same idea I’m sure a lot of you have while hefting a meaty Maglite: if worse comes to worse, I could give a bad guy a good thwack with this thing. Rothco has expanded on that notion with their side handle system. It turns any C or D Maglite into a police style tonfa club, for defense or just showing off your mad flashlight-twirling skills.

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Cable ties belong in the esteemed category of tools that includes gaffer’s tape, super glue, and locking pliers — they’re almost infinitely useful, and if you’ve got some, you’re halfway to fixing nearly anything. However, if you’ve ever spent time bundling up a bunch of cables just right, only to have to snip apart all your hard work when you notice what you did wrong, you owe yourself a big bag of releasable cable ties.

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On average, lightning strikes kill 62 people each year in the US. You’ll probably never be struck, but if you work on a job site that’s prone to strikes, you might want a little insurance. The pager-sized StrikeAlert warns of lightning strikes within 40 miles, giving you advanced warning and extra time to get to cover.

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Remember that time you asked your algebra teacher when you’d ever need to solve for X in real life? There’s a good chance you still haven’t found a use for your higher math skills, but Toolmongers will likely encounter plenty of practical math issues during a project. This handy book’ll show you how to calculate roof pitch, lay out stairs, make sense of a scientific calculator, and lots of other stuff.

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Drivable Grass

If you’ve got a lush green lawn, you most likely want to keep it that way — which means no parking on the lawn or driving across it.  Now Soil Retention Systems makes Drivable Grass, a flexible concrete pad that’s used in place of concrete or asphalt driving surfaces. Raised concrete tiles provide a solid surface for driving and parking, and grass grows between the tiles, with the roots protected.

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Recently in Massachusetts, a semi driver was critically burned and later died after the tanker he was driving flipped, igniting over 9,000 gallons of gasoline. Bystanders valiantly tried to rescue him, but the flames and a stuck seatbelt prevented him from being rescued in time. A half-sharpened penknife could have made it possible to release him sooner, and that might have changed the outcome of this tragic story. For whatever reason, no one at the scene carried a knife or rescue tool — and it made me wonder why.

I once received detention for accidentally (I swear) bringing my giant SwissChamp to high school. Upon learning this, my father was surprised — because in his uphill-both-ways school days he was required to bring a knife to school. Pencil sharpeners weren’t available, and everyone carried a knife.

What do you all think? If you carry a knife or pocket tool with a blade, what issues have you come across? If you don’t carry one, why not? Tell us in the comments.


If you’ve ever spent 20 minutes fiddling with a watch band, trying to seat the spring pin before throwing it against the wall, then check out this little watch-band spring tool. It belongs to that class of tool that’s pretty useless 99% of the time — and totally worth the few bucks you paid for it 1% of the time.

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