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We’ve touted the Bosch PS31 as the perfect homeowner drill: powerful enough for everything except drilling large holes in steel or masonry, small enough to fit comfortably in the hands of inexperienced folks, and built well enough to take abuse. And its compact li-ion batteries retain a charge even after lying in a drawer for months. As you might’ve guessed, these attributes also make it the perfect gift.

Specs are what you’d expect from a third-generation compact drill/driver: 265 in-lb. of max torque, a two-speed transmission (0-350 and 0-1,300 RPM), and a keyless 3/8″ chuck. Think of it as a PS20 on steroids with a real chuck.

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We’re back to the consumer frenzy time of the year — the time when we all rush out to buy gifts for our family, close friends, not-so-close friends, acquaintances, and so on. As always, Toolmonger is here to help, taking on the mission of improving the quality of every Toolmonger’s holiday haul.

But rather than drop a PDF guide with just a few suggestions as we’ve done in years past, we’re going all-in, publishing a suggestion every day between now and the day after Christmas. (Yeah, you shop then, too. You know you do, whether it’s for a late gift or for when you head out to blow all that gift card money.) Our first suggestion drops today, and keep an eye out for new ones daily.

Oh yeah, and if you have suggestions for us, send ’em in. We’re happy to hear what YOU want.

(Thanks, alancleaver_2000, for the great CC-licensed photo.)


My friend Joe Brown tipped me to this just in time for last-minute gift-giving: These folders served as French army and Foreign Legion-issue pocket knives. And they still make great daily-carry knives now, some 70 years later. They meet all our standard requirements, too, including a standard drop-point blade and a nice thin profile, and checking in at under $25 total.

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…the cordless pet nail grooming rotary tool! Seriously, will Dremel ever fail to think of a new application for this cool little AA-powered version of the classic home-shop standby? Usually we see the orange version appear around Halloween time, packaged with some cutters as a pumpkin carving set. And you’ll certainly find other variants as well.

But does it work grooming dog nails? I can’t say. I have cats, and this wouldn’t work at all for them. Personally I’d be a little concerned that if Fido flinched he’d get nicked by the grinding wheel. And then there’s the heat. That said, however, Amazon customers seem about evenly split between five, four, and one star ratings. The most common complaints included excessive nail dust and short battery life.

Of course, your mileage may vary. Street pricing starts around $22.

Cordless Pet Nail Grooming Tool [Dremel]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


Halloween is just days from Thanksgiving, which means we’re actually starting to see some Christmas goods hitting shelves around these parts. And you know what that means: It’s time to start digging for the boxes of house lights in the storage unit — and time for us to start thinking about our holiday gift guides.

Obviously we have some favorites that we hope will end up in socks and boxes this year. It’s been a great year for tools in many ways! But before we start the list, we’d like to know what you want to find under the tree in a few months. Let us know in comments if you will, as long as you don’t mind us maybe borrowing your favorite want this year to add to our own, both personally and professionally.

(Thanks, Hendrick’s Photos, for the great CC-licensed photo. And we hope Dennis liked his toolbox and other tools.)


I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions — why wait till the new year when you can start today?  Also, making resolutions just for the sake of making resolutions usually means you’ll end up breaking them sooner than later. But if you’re looking for some last-minute resolutions to make this New Year, you could do worse than picking one from this list.

I resolve to:

  • Spend more time in the shop.
  • Involve my kids in more projects.
  • Bolster the economy by buying more tools.
  • Finish my projects in a timely manner.
  • Remember to wear my safety equipment
  • Evaluate tools based on merit not brand.
  • Buy the best tool I can afford.
  • Participate more on Toolmonger!

Have a happy New Year!

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After the massive orgy of greed that is the ending of the season, and with a belly full of way too many homemade cookies, I started picking through the collection of stuff that had accumulated in the office while we’d attended to other tasks like eating and goofing off.  Amongst the pile was this great article from Woodcarving Illustrated about the Leg Lamp.

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As you might imagine, we’re taking today off to spend some time with family and friends. We’re looking forward to unwrapping some sweet tools under the tree, and we hope you are, too.

It’s been a great year here at Toolmonger, largely because of you, our readers. We crank out content every day because we love reading your comments, listening to your calls, and learning new things about tools. Hanging out at Toolmonger is sorta like hanging out at a friend’s shop — which just happens to contain all the tools and knowledge of thousands and thousands of readers.

So thank you for taking the time to read and comment, and please accept a heartfelt Happy Holidays! from everyone who makes TM happen.


Many of the project sites we look at take a Julia Childs approach to their holiday wood projects — you know, using materials you don’t have, tools you can’t afford, and plans you couldn’t draw up even if you were a rocket scientist. So to combat this effect we put together a reindeer and accompanying sleigh that you can assemble with a few simple tools and under $15 worth of lumber — in under a day.

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It’s officially “that time.”  If you’re reading this early enough:  Go, now, before the throng of people in the above image forms at every nearby shopping location and the carnage begins.  Today, chain stores all over the place mark down the gear you want to prices you can pull the trigger on.  It’s Black Friday.

On this day and this day only, old ladies and small children alike are imbued with superhuman strength, the ability to stiff-arm their fellow man without regard for their well-being, and an all-out sixth sense for marked-down goods.  You know — the holiday spirit.

Kidding aside, if there are any cheapskates –- like me -– out there, post up a pic or two in the Flickr pool, or let us know you scored in comments.  We always love to hear the word on the street.