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It’s not often a home-brew item with wacky mods turns out to be the perfect gift, but this shovel/USB drive is a complete fury of win! This Christmas I’m totally going to do this to my father… and perhaps a few others. I’m not really sure what they used to get the USB drive into the handle, but it’s worth it, whatever I have to do. Perhaps some 5-minute epoxy, so to use the drive it will actually take cutting the handle down to a stub or putting a disc sander to it.

Perhaps I should start cruising yard sales now to make sure I get a few really nasty, rusted-out shovels to put into action. Also, so it’s not just a throwaway gag gift, get a really nice drive to entice them to use or salvage it. We don’t know who did this but our hats are off and beers up whoever you are. Well done indeed!

The look on any recipient’s face of this illustrious prize is sure to validate any trouble concerned with its design and execution.

And The Point Is? [Cheezburger]


Occasionally we get pictures of tools and we just don’t know what they are. We love that — and love to check out what folks have dug out of their stash and try to ID it. In this case, reader Glen sent in a picture of this bit of steel. To us, it looks like an adjustable fence or guide. My first thought was that it was part of a shoe for a saw, but the pin and tube on one end is really throwing me.

The markings on the left side read “R2871 DET 2” if that helps at all, but it didn’t reveal anything helpful in our search. What say you Toolmongers? Can anyone help Glen out and tell him (and us) what this is? If so, let us know in comments. You can’t do any worse than we are at the moment.


Creating tools for specialty applications isn’t something tool companies started a year ago. Hell, most modern tool conglomerates started out looking to solve just one problem. Milwaukee originally founded to provide a 1/4″ power drill light enough for Ford’s assembly line, for example. That’s why I used to love rolling ’round the flea market tool tables with my Dad when I was a kid. Sometimes we’d find a usable wrench or socket to add to the collection, but the real joy came from picking up some weird-looking tool and asking “What it it?” Or, maybe even more importantly: “What is it for?

What you see above is called a “spud wrench.”

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Bird-B-Gone’s solar powered bird repeller has to be one of the strangest products I’ve seen, and I’ve seen my share. It’s reminiscent of a stereotypical nerd’s beanie. The repeller uses a continuously rotating “propeller” to sweep birds away from just about any flat or angled surface and keep them from shitting all over the place.

Two adjustable arms mounted to a rotor cone extend to cover up to a five-foot diameter area. The solar panels charge 3 AAA batteries so the brushless motor will rotate at a continuous 30 RPM during the day, night, or cloudy weather.

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I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure how these work, but they look like something from the end of Inspector Gadget’s forearm. They’re for precisely torquing large bolts in tight spaces, apparently mounting on the end of a long handle and accepting hydraulic feed and return lines. Unless I miss my guess, an internal pressure regulator determines how much torque is exerted.

If anyone’s ever used one of these, what are they like? The baddest torque tool I’ve ever used was a 3/4″-drive impact wrench, which is probably a pushover compared to these suckers.

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If you’re looking for a camp shovel, rather than buying the folding variety, check out this Special Forces Shovel from Cold Steel. Sure, you can use it to dig, but you can also use it as a hatchet, an axe, a cleaver, a machete, a hammer, a paddle, and if you get bored you can throw it!

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J.W. Done makes an interesting tool for deburring internal cross holes: the Orbitool. As you may know, when two holes are drilled into one another there’s usually a nasty burr that can be very hard to remove. The common solution is steel or abrasive brushes; however, those can negatively affect bore finish and diameter.

The tool is a half round bur with the largest diameter at the end of the tool and a polished collar around the periphery. In use it’s inserted into the hole and pressed against the wall of the hole. When it reaches the cross hole the machine revolves the tool (or the part is revolved around the tool) filing away the burr at the intersection of the holes. They show both manual and automatic usage in their YouTube videos. They also offer carbide and abrasive-headed tools that operate on the same principle. There’s a detailed test report (.pdf) that shows the results obtained in a range tests.

Has anyone out there had the opportunity to use this tool? Looks like a great way to deal with a common problem in all sorts of manufacturing and hobby metalwork.

Orbitool [J.W. Done]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


If you need to take some quick tree core samples to determine the rate of growth last year, one tool you could use is this Swedish-made increment hammer from Haglof. To take a sample, all you do is strike the tree perpendicular to the trunk and and pull the hammer out. You then eject the core with the steel plunger.

Made from high-quality hardened Swedish steel, the 11-1/2″ hammer takes a 0.157″ (4mm) diameter by 3/4″ long sample from either hard or soft wood trees. A 2″ graduated scale on the shaft of the hammer is graduated in increments in 1/20″ or in millimeters for taking a quick reading in the field.

With an investment of $80 you can start taking some core samples. The ejector and the hollowed tip are replaceable if you damage them and cost $18 and $20 respectively.

Increment Hammer [Haglof]
Increment Hammer [EJ Motiwalla]
Increment Hammer [BenMeadows.com]

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We’re hard-pressed to see why anybody would pay $75 for the Professional Bigslider Utility Mover.  It seems to be a beefed-up version of those roll-up slides that you hated when you were a kid.  In the interest of fairness we’ll give you the spiel before we ask your opinion.

You place the Bigslider underneath heavy objects up to 500lbs to slide them around on just about any surface including grass, concrete, carpet, and tile. The 2′ x 5′ x 1/16″ thick flexible plastic sheet weighs 3 pounds.  You can also roll the Bigslider into a cylinder and insert it into your trash bags to keep ’em open while filling them.

Brush off and clean the Bigslider with water and mild soap as needed.  Obviously the Bigslider is easy to store — you can hang it, put it on a shelf, or place it behind the bench like you’d store that giant piece of cardboard you put under the car when changing the oil — but just don’t store it in direct sunlight.

So would you pay $75 for this product if you needed to slide around some heavy objects, or would you pass?  Is the Bigslider Hot or Not?  Let us know in the comments.

Professional Bigslider [Official Site]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


I hate running around and trying to find tools when I’m working on a project, so whenever possible I like a tool that can combine the functionality of two tools into one — like the Sod Buster here.  It combines a small sledge and a cutting edge.  It could help out if you’re doing concrete forms around roots, for instance, where you could be pounding stakes and cutting roots all at the same time.

I’m not quite sure who makes it, but I found this one with a heavy-duty fiberglass handle online for $20.

Sod Buster Tool [Buckeye Trap]