Christmas is Almost Here: Holiday Fix-It Gifts
The holiday season is a time for giving. And when it comes to gifts for the do-it-yourselfer, there’s no better time in home-improvement-history than the present when it comes to price, power and comfort. Advances in technology continue to deliver state-of-the-art tools and gadgets at prices more affordable than ever. Innovations range from something as simple as a “knuckle saving socket set” to a “waterproof micro inspection camera” for under $200.00! This years On The House DIY Gift Guide could easily have rivaled War & Peace. With space limitations we offer our ‘Cliff Notes’ version. Happy Christmas shopping!
- Grip-Tite Super Sockets: Who says that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? The socket wrench has been around for years. It’s a must for everything from assembling a bicycle to building a deck! It’s a wrench that uses separate, removable sockets to fit many different sizes of fittings and fasteners, most commonly nuts and bolts. It generally includes a ratcheting mechanism that allows the nut to be tightened or loosened with a continuous motion, rather than requiring that the wrench be removed and refitted after each turn. Many sockets are known as ‘knucle busters’ because they can round off the nut or bolt, which causes the wrench to slip. What’s worse, the rounded off nut or bolt is virtually impossible to remove. Thanks to Grip-Tite Super Socket sets, no more busted knuckles or rounded off nuts or bolts. Grip-Tite Sockets utilize Advanced Camming Technology (ACT), which consist of six cams that are elastically held in place. These cams expand over and onto the bolt or nut, causing the cams to gently grab the bolt or nut – enough to hold it in place but light enough to easily remove the bolt or nut by hand. They’re guaranteed never to round out a nut or bolt. Suggested retail: $24.99 for a 7 piece set (inch or metric) and $64.99 for a 17 piece set. For more information on Grip-Tite Super Sockets visit www.mygriptite.com.
- SquareOne Tape Measure & Level with Writing Surface: No respectable do-it-yourselfer would be caught dead without a retractable tape measure, a square, a level, a pencil and something to write on. Now, the investment, clutter and organization associated with these tools have been simplified thanks to the folks at Generation Tools. Their new SquareONE is an all-in-one measuring system that features a tape measure, a square, a level, a pencil (including an on-board holder and sharpener) and an erasable surface onto which one can jot down measurements. SquareONE comes in five full size models (10′, 12′, 16′, 18′, and 25′) and, though slightly larger than conventional retractable metal tape measures, appears to be lighter. In addition to the standard issue belt clip, SquareONE has a tough rubber coating for easy gripping and durability. Suggested retail: $7.99 for the 10’ model to $19.99 for the 25’ model. For more information on SquareONE visit www.generationtools.com.
- Black & Decker 3.6 Volt Cordless Power Scissors: Our mom loved to sew. Give her some fabric, thread, scissors and a sewing machine and she could create almost anything. As kids, much of our clothing was handmade by mom. We can remember how thrilled she was when we presented her with a pair of electric scissors for Christmas many years ago. Those scissors must have cut literally miles of fabric. Now, the same idea is available for the do-it-yourselfer who wants to make cutting through building materials a breeze. Black and Decker’s Cordless Power Scissors make cutting through a variety of materials fast and easy. You can use them to cut through cardboard, plastic, tarps, canvas, vinyl flooring, paper, window screening and, oh yes, fabric. The Power Scissors are light and have a soft, ergonomically designed grip. Suggested retail: Just under $20.00. For more information visit www.blackanddecker.com
- Black & Decker VPX Inflator: Black & Decker gets a second mention this year with their nifty new portable mini inflator. The VPX Inflator is slightly larger than a small portable radio and will deliver up to a whopping 75 psi. Powered by one 7V lithium-ion battery (sold separately), the VPX Inflator is perfect for pumping up wheelbarrow tires, bicycle tires, sports and exercise balls and pool toys. It includes on-board storage for a hose, gauge, needle, raft nozzle and presta valve adapter. The direct connect nozzle allows quick inflation of balls and small inflatable toys. Suggested retail: About $30.00. For more information visit www.blackanddecker.com.
- Ridgid SeaSnake Micro Inspection Camera: While this one might first appear to be a tool designed more for a pro than a DIYer, you might just be surprised how useful it can be when you discover some of its common uses. Small cameras have been used for many years by pros inspecting hard-to-access spaces. Sewer and drain contractors use waterproof cable fed cameras to inspect sewer lines as have Chimney Sweeps inspecting the condition of a fireplace flue. Ridgid Tool Company brings that same technology to mainstream use with its SeaSnake Micro Inspection Camera. The tool consists of a waterproof camera head and cable, fully adjustable LED light, flexible 3’ cable, 2.5 inch color LCD monitor and a protective storage case. The SeaSnake Micro operates on 4-AA batteries. Some of the reported uses include finding electrical wires, plumbing pipes and gas lines in closed walls and attics; checking for leaks around chimney flashing; exploring the inside of a VCR; checking heat ducts and return air ducts for debris; reading the model number off a hard to access furnace fan motor; checking for lint buildup past the primary filter in a dryer; checking sink connections in a crowded sink space, and checking the grinding lugs on a garbage disposer. No home workshop is complete without one of these babies! Suggested retail: Under $200.00 For more information visit www.ridgid.com.
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