The good folks at Popular Science are currently getting things together for their annual Best of What's New issue, due out later this year. The issue features the most innovative products of the past year in a variety of categories ranging from Automotive to Home Tech to Engineering. The judging is based on,
the significance of the innovation, the quality of the design and the finished product, the originality of the product, and the ambition and scope of the project.
At the moment, they're looking at potential products and are currently accepting suggestions. So if you are an inventor or a manufacturer (and we know you're out there) interested in submitting your product for consideration, you have until August 24th. To be eligible, a product must have been officially released between 10/1/07 and 9/31/08.
Looks like our friends over at Toologics are giving away a Milwaukee M-Spector to one lucky person. Entering is a snap, just to to their contest page and give them your name, email, zip code, social security number, and mother's maiden name (we're kidding about those last two).
They're accepting entries until 10/31 and the random drawing will be sometime early November.
Irwin has just kicked off a cool contest. All you have to do to enter is send in a little story concerning some experience you had with one of their Vise-Grip tools. Since every one of you should own at least one item in this amazing line, it shouldn't be too hard.
The prizes are where this contest gets impressive. Grand prize is your choice of an Irwin custom motorcycle or $25,000 cash. The runner up gets a $1000 Cabela's gift card, and second runner up gets a $500 gift card. On top of that, all three top winners get a trip to NYC to present their stories. There are also 10 semi-finalists who each walk away with $500 worth of Vise-Grip tools.
Entries will be accepted until October 31st (so if you don't own any Vise-Grip tools there's still time to pick one up), and winners will be announced around December 19th.
At their website, Irwin has some stories up already and they range from the interesting to the...well....not so interesting ("Love my Irwin vise-grip tool - use it at least once a week for something").
A fella named Robert wrote in with our second winning entry in the Dremel contest. His story follows the old question, "what's heavier: a pound of lead or a pound of contact lenses?" It's a heartwarming tale of someone who spends time planning and executing a project, only to realize that it was all for nothing.
Congrats Robert, we'll be shipping out your Dremel Tool shortly. Here's his story:
Reader David wrote in with the following story and we'll be shipping him a new Dremel Series 300 Kit. Nice work David. We're going to announce the second winner tomorrow, so we'll still take entries all day today. Details on the contest here.
We liked David's story for two reasons; first, we did the same thing once, and second, it reminds us of that creepy guy from Raider's of the Lost Ark.
Nothing says, "Dad, you're the best," like free merchandise. And that's why we're giving away three brand new Dremel kits for Father's Day. There are two ways to enter, both of which are quick and painless. So what are you waiting for?
Wagner, makers of the PaintEater and the Paint Crew Plus are running a pretty serious contest over at their site. The grand prize is "$3000 towards home improvements," which according to the small print is simply a check made out to you, the winner. There will be five second place winners who will take home the Wagner Deluxe package, which includes:
Paint Crew Plus
10 third place winners will get the Wagner Dual Package, which includes:
And 10 fourth place winners will each get a PaintEater. The rest of you will have to buy all of your Wagner tools.
To enter, just go to the Wagner website and register. The contest will end September 30th and winners will be randomly chosen about a week later.
Here are four that we think he might like in ascending order of price.
Prazi Monster Hook - This little guy is invaluable for any ladder work involving a cordless drill. It just clicks onto the belt and the cordless drill just falls right into it. If you love your father, don't make him hold the drill between his knees anymore. Our review is here. $6 at Amazon.com.
Renovating Old Houses - We're big fans of this book. It covers a lot of territory and although it's focused on old houses, there are things in it for any homeowner. We constantly find ourselves referencing the sections on the various house systems. Our review is here. $21 at Amazon.com.
Dremel Screwdriver - Ever since we got our hands on this tool, it's become the go-to screwdriver for small around the house repairs. It's little, cool-looking, and the 7.2 volts are way more powerful than you think. It's perfect for picture hanging, hinge adjusting, electrical work, and everything else that doesn't require a ton of power. The screwdriver costs $70, but for an extra $10, you can get it with a battery-powered rotary tool (which by itself costs $55. Huh?). Our review is here. At Amazon.com.This is not to be confused with Dremel's 300 Series, which we're currently giving away. Details here.
Wagner PaintEater - If painting the house is on the list, then do pops a favor and get him a PaintEater. It will make the tedious scraping phase go a lot faster. Our review is here. $75 at Amazon.com.
For more ideas, we still have last year's guide posted up. It's divided into five parts: one ($1-$20), Two ($20-$50), Three ($50-$100), Four ($100-$150), and Five ($150 and up).
Have a good 'do-it-yourself' story that you'd like to share? If you do, you just might walk away with a brand new Dremel 300 Series Kit for Father's Day.
Dremel has supplied us with three kits to give away for Father's Day. We would describe the 300 Series as the basic Dremel tool, but the word basic just doesn't do it justice. The 1.15 amp tool has a variable speed between 5000 and 35000 rpm and like all Dremel tools, it is absurdly ergonomic and durable. The kit comes with a carrying case and 55 accessories, which is more than enough to get you started on any number of projects. The kit has a retail value of over $60.
There are two ways to win a kit.
1. Submit a funny DIY story - Have you ever been involved in a self-made home improvement catastrophe? Have you ever watched as someone else's project spiraled terribly out of control? These are the kinds of stories that we're looking for. For example, one time our friend wanted to get at his shower's malfunctioning mixing valve from the hallway side of the wall. A few bad measurements later, he ended up with nine feel of hallway demolished before he finally found the valve (and at that point he realized that the valve was working correctly). Your story doesn't even have to do specifically with you actually working on your house, anything tool or around-the-house related works too. Like the time our friend's dad decided to plow his frozen pond with his brand new John Deere tractor. You know how that one ends. We'll be posting up the winners, so photos are a plus. Send stories to
2. The second way to win is to simply subscribe to our feed. If you're already subscribed, you're already entered. When the contest is over, we'll just randomly pick a name and all of a sudden, you'll be a big winner. To subscribe to our feed, just fill out the form below.
We'll be giving away two kits for good stories and one in the random drawing. Signing up for the feed and sending in a story only increases your chances of winning. We'll be taking entries until June 13th.
If you'd rather skip the contest and just purchase a 300 Series Dremel Kit, they are available at Amazon.com.
Klein Tools, makers of some great hand tools (mostly geared towards electricians), turns 150 this year. It's quite a milestone and to mark the event, they're selling a t-shirt that reads, "My Tool is 150 years old...and still works!" You'd think that with a century and a half to think about it, they'd come up with something better, but apparently not.
It sure doesn't beat the guy we once saw on a paving crew with a shirt that read, "I'm the man from Nantucket."
Regardless of their t-shirt writing abilities, it's worth checking out their line of tools. They're on the expensive side, but they're worth it.