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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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Take a look at Irwin’s new Universal Handsaw. If you’re like me, the first thing you’ll wonder is, “what the heck is with that hump on the blade?” It turns out Irwin is riding the multi-tool wave. The hump provides clearance from the handle so you can use the top of the blade as a straight-edge. Also, if you butt the handle up to the edge of a board, the slot and top of the blade are perpendicular to the edge and the other side of the hump is 45° to the edge.

Irwin touts several other improvements in this saw. The triple-ground teeth supposedly eliminate binding, and they’ll cut through most materials three times faster then “traditional” hand saws while giving the finished-looking cut of a fine-cutting saw. They mold the handle from lighter-than-wood high density resin, and the 0.85mm thick blade is coated with a water-based lacquer.

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We’ve seen mods where people have modified their keys to fit into a Leatherman-like multi-tool, but yesterday Lifehacker featured the KeyTool Keyring Multi-tool from ThinkGeek, which wraps around an unaltered key.

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It’s like a sickness; I can’t resist posting multi-tools. I know none of the tools usually hold a candle to a stand-alone version, but a well designed multi-tool can save your butt in a situation where you don’t have access to your toolbox. Plus it’s always neat to see the new and unique ways companies pack so many tools into a small package.

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I imagine the meeting that birthed the SquareONE sounded something like this:

“All right everybody; let’s brainstorm ideas for our new product.”

“How about a tape measure and flashlight?”

“No, but I like the tape measure idea; everybody likes tape measures.”

“How ’bout a combination tape measure and coffee cup?”

“OK, I know you’re not supposed to criticize people while brainstorming, but that’s a stupid idea. You’d spill your coffee.”

“A tape measure and a square?”

“Hmm, I don’t think that’s been done before.”

“Let’s add a screwdriver.”

“No.”

“Let’s make it a level too.”

“Ooh, Ooh, let’s add a pencil sharpener.”

And so on….

Generation Tools SquareONE incorporates a tape measure into a speed-square-shaped triangle and endows it with the following functions:

  • Locking tape measure
  • Square
  • Level
  • Pencil with pencil holder
  • Pencil sharpening
  • Writing surface
  • Protractor

They coat the SquareONE in rubber to protect it and make it easier to hold onto, and they triple-rivet the stainless steel and tape measure end hook. Their professional model comes with a carpenter’s pencil rather than an ordinary #2, and has a hole in the end hook for marking radii.

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This month Kreg made its Multi-Mark multi-tool available for sale. It joins a long line of measuring multi-tools of dubious value like the Level Best2, the Squangle, and the Multiscribe Pro to name a few.

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A cable ripper is a simple tool with one function: removing the outer jacket on ROMEX and other electrical wires. One of Ideal’s versions, the Lil’ Ripper Stripper, incorporates some other commonly-used tools to let you rip, clip, strip, loop, and twist with one tool.

Besides ripping the outer jacket of ROMEX, the tool also clips it. It also can be used to strip insulation from wires, form loops in wires for screw terminals, and get a better grip on wire nuts with wings. The grip is injection molded elastomer and a measurement scale is molded into the side for measuring the correct amount of wire to strip.

You can pick up Ideal’s Lil Ripper Stripper for about $6.

Lil’ Ripper Stripper [Ideal]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Lil’ Ripper Stripper [Sears]

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Whether it’s labeled as Klutch (Northern Tool), Commercial Electric (Home Depot), or some other house brand, this electrician’s multi-tool has an aluminum handle with a non-slip grip and several stainless steel tools including:

  • 10-20 gauge wire strippers
  • Pliers
  • Knife
  • Wire hook
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Large slotted driver
  • Small slotted driver
  • Saw
  • Cable splicing blade
  • File

The multi-tool comes with the obvious disclaimer to not use the tool on live circuits because it’s not insulated — if you couldn’t figure that out for yourself, somebody should probably come take your tools away.

The Electrician’s Multi-Tool includes a belt pouch and runs $19 at Northern Tool. You might be able to find it for less at your local big box, though.

Electrical Multi-Tool [Northern Tool]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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When I first ran across Black & Decker’s SPT100 powered multi-tool I thought it was some sort of joke.  After Googling it I discovered multiple retailers sell it, yet Blac & Decker seems to disown it — there’s no reference to it on their website. Maybe they didn’t want Stanley to see it.

Designed as an “all-in-one” wiring tool, it strives to replace a powered screwdriver, LED flashlight, live-wire detector, needle-nose pliers, cable ripper, wire cutters, and wire stripper with one awkward tool.

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Everybody’s trying to come up with the next gotta-have-it multi-tool like the try-square. Great Neck Saw’s attempt packs 10 measuring tools in one device. The Mayes Squangle is basically a square with an extra adjustable arm that swings from 45° to 90° and locks with two thumbscrews. To increase their tool count, they threw in a bubble vial.

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