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TM reader nrChris writes: “I bought this Harbor Freight dial indicator to check runout on my new — and in need of a rehab — table saw.  It’s amazing: flip the switch and it’s a very strong magnet. Flip it again and it’s inert. The best part is that this features a standard thread — 5/16″ I think — so you can re-purpose them nicely. I’m going back for a few more to use with tablesaw jigs and featherboards while they’re on sale.”

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TM reader Trucker Joe writes: “DeWalt’s vac runs on 18V battery packs or 110V AC.  I bought this unit because I needed a compact vacuum to clean inside of my truck cab/sleeper.  As a driver, finding time — especially time with AC power available — can be an issue.  And the 12V-plug vacuums from truckstops leave MUCH to be desired.  Cleaning the interior of the truck uses up two battery packs within about 25 minutes; the cab size is equal to interior of large SUV.  Suction is very good.  The option of 18V or 110 allows flexibility on the road or at home.  The cost of unit at Home Depot was about $100, and it comes without battery or charger.  But I have 3 batteries from other DeWalt tools so that’s no problem for me.”

Heavy-Duty 2-Gallon Cordless or Corded Wet/Dry Vac [DeWalt]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]


We receive a lot of submissions via the Submit a Tool link, many of which we’ve already written about.  But that just tells us that these are tools you really appreciate and use regularly.  We thought we’d share a list of some of the most recent ones in case you happened to miss ’em the first time ’round: 

  • Mel recommends the Sawstop, a table saw that actually stops fast enough to avoid damage when you get your finger caught in the blade.  It works by measuring capacitance and conductivity, and it actually works.  We were blown away when we originally wrote about it, and we later followed up with an interesting link to Sawstop’s alleged “battle against the industry.”  It’s all great reading, and it appears to be a truly valuable product.
  • Joe recommends Husky’s rotator ratchet, the consumer version of Stanley Proto’s pro ratchet.  The basic idea: you can turn the ratchet either by moving the handle or rotating it with your wrist — perfect for tight spaces.  You can’t really apply much torque, but it’s fine for backing off a fastener after you’ve broken it loose.  We also wrote about the old-school version we found in an old toolbox — also quite effective.
  • Mel E., in response to our recent attache tool case Hot or Not, recommends the Custom LeatherCraft 75-pocket tool backpack — an interesting alternative.  The manufacturer claims it’ll hold a pretty complete set of tools, and it’s got to be easier on your arms than a standard bag.

As always, we appreciate all submissions.  If you’ve got a minute, why not send us your latest find?


Eschoendorff writes: “These are the perfect answer for when you don’t have a line wrench or when the line is an odd size.  That, or when you really want to grip a fastener without any chance of slippage.  I just used one today, and it totally saved my ass on a fuel line I was struggling with.  I have them in all three sizes: 4″, 7″ and 10″.”

Note: If you’d like to tell us about some of your favorite tools, drop us a line via our contact form and be sure to include a link to photo(s) of your actual tool.  We’re not just looking for a recommendation — we want to see the one you’ve used and abused.

Vise-Grip Locking Wrenches [Irwin]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]