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As is often the case with Garrett Wade tools, the English plated brace is great, antique-looking tool pr0n that’s very expensive but not something you actually feel the need to have. The 13″ brace is carved from Beechwood and includes a 5” single square-tapered shank center bit and button-operated latch. Of course this splendid specimen of awesome will cost you $295, is only available online, and you’ll have to wait ’til mid-February for the backorder. Maybe the Garrett Wade scout-buyer who collects these from London got tied up in the pub.

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Trolling the Garrett Wade site today, I came across this “solid, dependable, Swiss-made axe,” pictured above. From the site:

“We think that because of their size, they are designed for campsite and clearance work. The Chopping Axe (that’s what we are going to call it) has a 23″ handle and weighs almost 5 lbs. The neck is so deep (2-1/2″) near the head that it seems almost ‘reinforced.’ This has to be deliverate. Its unusual weight gives it great momentum (power) when swung.”

The smaller camp axe is described as having a 15-1/2″ handle and weighing 2-1/4 lbs. It seems its only claim to fame is being “Swiss-made.” Pricing: $50 for the bigger model and $39 for the smaller one.

Maybe I’m just a little jaded, but that seems pretty damn steep for an axe. And did I miss something, or is there any reason that Switzerland is famous for axe-making? (I get the watch concept, but stores are already overrun with machine-assembled quartz-“movement” watches shipped from Switzerland. Does it really matter if the low-cost-labor-run assembly factory is located in Switzerland? Does the air there render quartz vibrations more accurate?)

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Made in the USA, the GyroJaw allows you to clamp angled pieces in straight vise jaws. Placed in the vise between the jaws and the work piece, it pivots on a rounded stud of solid steel while the 2″ by 3-1/4″ face lies flat against the angled stock.

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Palm Ratchets

Palm or thumbwheel ratchets came up in casual conversion around the Toolmonger shop recently. Some hold that they’re extremely handy and can be a serious saver when attempting to remove bolts or nuts in constricted areas. Others think they’re little more than bait for tool fanatics with a burning need to stock a toolbox. Here’s what we think: Both can be true.

I have personally reached for thumbwheel ratchets in automotive situations where a ratchet handle just gets in the way and whatever part I’m trying to remove from an engine bay can’t be simply coaxed out. However, to be fair, extensions and universals on the end of a traditional ratchet will normally get the job done as well.

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Whether you need to clean out the bar groove or or tighten the chain, carry this chain saw multitool with you or attach it to the tool and you won’t have to go and look for the right tools.

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So did we, until we noticed the feature on their front page that allows one to view all the products in the catalog which customers rated five stars. (OK, we’re assuming that if they rate the product five stars they bought one.) The items — and their prices — were, well, quite surprising.

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I’m inclined to say that this ruler knife is not going to be the most handy multi-tool you’ve ever had your hands on. Then again, I’ve been wrong many times before on the functional nature of odd-looking multis, but the ruler/knife combo is a new one for me.

It’s not really that it looks all that bad, but for the whopping $30 they want for this thing you could have a super wicked pocket tape that measures more than 6” and a decent lockback or stockman as well. Sure, the form factor is a little larger that way, but you do get better versions of both and the ability to measure something longer than your cell phone, so consolidating doesn’t really make sense here.

I’d love for someone to tell me if I’m in left field here and whether or not this is an idea that was best left on a cocktail napkin.

Combination Knife and Precision Rule [Garrett Wade]


The name of this is “Improved Video Inspection System.” Improved from what? The cordless driver they used the case to make this?

This feels overpriced to me. Like the gun-style form factor will make up for all the things that the Milwaukee already does that this can’t.

The Milwaukee has more modes and better attachments along with the bad-ass battery system. Save your cash if you need one and find one with the white lighting bolt on the side. Just say’n.

Improved Video Inspection System [Garrett Wade]


The normal order of most low- to mid-grade “multi” products is a great number of tools Frankensteined onto a familiar platform. The 13-Piece DIY Utility Knife Kit from Garrett Wade is no exception. The problem here is it looks pretty handy.

Here’s the thing — it’s a standard folding utility blade that comes with variously shaped blades that can be swapped in and out and are suitable for cutting all sorts of material you might run into like wood, leather, paper, cardboard, linoleum, or carpet.

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For those woodworkers who like the hand-shaped look, the smaller curves on trim can be a nightmarish proposition — or at the least a time-intensive one. Enter the mini-sized spokeshaves from Garrett Wade.

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