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You knew it was coming. With all the digital readouts being sold on the market, it was only a matter of time before somebody slapped one an a router. Now Craftsman’s digital plunge router comes with an on-board digital display for setting cut depth.

The display reads in increments of 1/64″ and you control it via three buttons: the on/off/zero button, the in/mm button, and the light button. You use the display to zero the bit and dial in the cut depth anywhere between 0 and 2″ with the depth stop knob. After locking in the depth knob, the tool works just like any other plunge router.

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Spline wrenches are cool because you can turn a variety of different fastener heads such as hex, partially rounded hex, 12pt, square, external Torx, and yes, even spline heads, with one wrench.  If you’re willing to give up the ratcheting feature in the Stanley Proto and SK spline wrenches, you can get a set of seven Craftsman combo open end/box spline wrenches from Sears for under $20.

Craftsman angles the wrench heads by 15° to save your knuckles and they reinforce the open end so the wrench doesn’t deform under high torque, rounding the head. The set normally includes 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, and 11/16″ wrenches, but to be nice Sears is throwing in a 5/8″ wrench and a storage tray.

Universal Wrench Set [Sears]

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Cavemen still living without the magic of air power (and I’m one of them) will find a neat workaround in the form of hammer-actuated impact drivers. They’re old-school, clever little devices which turn the force of a hammer blow into torque, and plenty of it. Hit the casing with a metal-faced hammer, and a cam inside gives you a strong twist, exactly like a pneumatic impact wrench.

Though not quite as user-friendly or useful as an impact gun, they can still get stubborn bolts in or out. $25 is pretty cheap considering that it’s a Craftsman set. Even if you can find a pneumatic impact gun at that price, no one in their right mind would trust it, and these let you skip the compressor, too.

Impact Driver Set [Craftsman]

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Christmas is coming early and often for me this this year — trying to get families together at the same time has resulted in at least four different Christmas gatherings.  At the first of these many gatherings I scored a Craftsman folding utility knife with rosewood handle.

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We’ve seen many kids toys modeled after real tools, but a toy welding set has to be the most obscure yet.  Whether you’re a full-time welder or just a hobbyist, if you want to get your kids interested in a skill that’ll serve them well for a lifetime, maybe put this under the tree.

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