Recently, Skil has come out with an innovative new tool they call the Octo Multi-Finishing Sander, and just by looking at it, we bet it could be pretty useful in some tight spots. The tool comes with eight attachments, allowing you to sand just about every hard to get area from shutters to inside corners. The flex attachment even contours to irregular surfaces like moldings and balusters, putting an end to a lot of tedious hand sanding.
A built-in work light, a keyless attachment system, and a small dust collection bag round out what looks to be a promising tool.
Yup, Panasonic makes power tools. A lot of people don't know that, and it's really too bad. The tools that they make, and they only make a handful, are of such high quality that they should be as well known as DeWalt, Bosch, and Makita. The 15.6-Volt NiMH Cordless Drill is no exception. In fact, it may be the best drill we've ever used.
While there is a lot of good to say about this drill, it's the look and feel of it that really impresses us. Not only is it perfectly balanced and fits the hand like a glove, but it is nice and light so you can spend days on end using it and never feel any fatigue. It is also relatively short from chuck to tail; allowing it to get in places that the bulkier 18 Volt drills can't fit.
We all know that the table saw is the widow maker of the tool world, ranking just above chainsaws and shapers. Using a table saw is like scratching a rabid Doberman behind the ears; you might be OK this time, but if you let your guard down for just an instant and become too comfortable, you're going to be missing a hand, an arm, or a face. The biggest risk is undoubtedly to the fingers, and when things go bad, they go bad fast. Human reflexes don’t even count when they go up against a table saw. But one company has created a saw that drastically reduces this risk.
The saw is called the Saw Stop, and on top of about a thousand other great features, it has a very unique safety system. The saw constantly reads a slight electrical charge that is carried in the blade, and when the charge is disrupted by, say, a thumb, the saw engages a brake and automatically lowers the blade. There is really no way to describe how fast this happens. The only thing you can do is watch.
The guys at Workbench have a longer movie that gets into greater detail if you're interested. It's really amazing.
We are big fans of Bosch tools. They're durable, they look good, and they're incredibly precise. That said, it comes as little surprise that the Bosch Colt Variable Speed Router is an outstanding tool and is now our go-to router for all small and medium sized jobs.
This little machine has some serious power behind it (one horsepower), and the ergonomic grip is far superior to anything we've ever seen on a router of this size. The adjustments, knobs, and on/off switch are all in the right place, making the operation of the Colt feel natural and easy.
The Colt's other perks include a soft start, a 1/4 inch collet, a nice carrying case, an edge guide, and a variable speed dial. Bosch does sell a version of the Colt that is single speed, but having the option to set the speed is worth the additional cost.
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