Just because a tool is meant for work doesn't mean it has to be ugly. That's the idea behind the new line of Hardcore Hatchets ($45). Each handcrafted-in-the-USA axe has an 18-inch American Hickory handle that's painted or stained, giving each a unique look, while a sturdy 19 oz. head chops through firewood, small trees, and limbs with ease.
Most modular tool systems we've seen simply let you use the same battery packs for lots of different tools, virtually ensuring that you'll have one ready to go when a chore calls. The Black & Decker Modular Matrix System ($30-$70) instead lets you choose from one of three base units that connect to a variety of attachments, including a drill, impact driver, oscillating multi-tool, jigsaw, sander, router, and trim saw. Thanks to lithium-ion batteries that hold a charge up to 18 months, you can rest assured you're powered up and ready with the right tool for the job. [via]
Summer's almost over, and the leaves will start dropping in no time. Save yourself the hassle of removing them from your gutter and let the iRobot Looj 330 ($300). The latest addition to the Looj family, it offers an automatic Clean mode that automatically senses and adapts to leaves and debris, a 7.2V lithium-ion battery, interchangeable auger flaps for better performance, a lower profile design, and a detachable handle that doubles as a remote control. All you need is a ladder.
Building things from scratch just got a whole lot easier. The PLY90 Bracket ($45 and up) is a new connector for building projects that lets you connect pieces of material together using nothing but some brackets and an Allen wrench. Desks, tables, shelves - you name it, you can build it. Just don't mind the gaps.
Whether you're clearing a path through the forest or forcing your way into an abandoned structure — for whatever reason — the SOG F01T Tactical Tomahawk ($27) can help. Based on the Tomahawk axe used in Vietnam, this updated edition features a stainless steel head with a scratch-resistant, black oxide coating, a 2.75-inch cutting blade, a checkered side hammer, a ballistic polymer handle, and an included nylon sheath so you don't end up accidentally chopping yourself.
Not every task requires oversized, industrial-strength implements. Which is why they make tools like the Rockwell VersaCut Saw ($120). This mini-circular saw is designed to handle small jobs or jobs where larger saws can't go, but still boasts a powerful, 4.0 Amp motor, an easily set depth indicator, three included blades — one for wood, one for aluminum and PVC, and one for tile and cement board — and a laser indicator to make sure your cuts are on line and smooth.
You'd think that two master knifemakers could come up with a decent multitool. And you'd be right. Designed by Ed Van Hoy and Tom Stokes, the CRKT Tool ($50) sports a utility blade, sawtooth blade, multi-fit box wrench, wire stripper, spring-opening Phillips and regular screwdrivers with additional driver bits, and, of course, a bottle opener, all packed into a compact, handsome black and silver package. [via]
When it comes to tools, you want them to stand up to anything — which is exactly what the Fiskars Unbreakable Hatchet ($22) is designed to do. Sporting a "stronger-than-steel" FiberComp handle, this thing chops up to three time deeper than a normal axe, and has a low-friction coating that lets you fly through logs. Sheath included, lumberjacking skills not.
We've said it before, and it's no less true now: the biggest problem with flashlights is finding them when you need them. With the Trioh Flashlight ($70), that's not a problem. Sporting a sculpted silver body and base with white accents, the Trioh is designed to sit in plain view, functioning as an accent light during normal evenings, an emergency light when the power goes out -- it automatically turns on when the power goes out -- and a triple-LED flashlight when you need it most, lasting up to 12 hours on a single charge.
Odds are if you're having to bust out the pliers, you're working on something in a poorly-lit area. Which is why these Craftsman Lighted Pliers ($30) are such a smart idea. Long nose and diagonal models are included in the set, and both feature a center hub that boasts a sealed LED module that provides plenty enough light to get the job done while keeping all the electronics safe from water, moisture, or stray oil sprays.
You have plenty of machines in your life that require more work from you — the coffee machine, your washer and dryer, etc. — so why not spend your money on one that works for you? The John Deere Tango E5 Autonomous Mower ($TBA) is designed to give you back your weekends by keeping your grass a reasonable length automatically, automatically returning to its charging station when it's low on juice and staying out of your koi pond thanks to some help from a preset boundary wire. So go ahead and spend your grass-mowing time perfecting your martini — your secret is safe with us.
When work commenced on the new Uncrate HQ, we took to the old, paisley wallpaper-covered walls with baseball bats. This was unwise. What we needed was a Stanley FuBar Demolition Bar ($20). Forged from high carbon alloy steel, this ingenious tool features everything you need to strike, pull, pry, chisel, and chop down old material, including a P-shaped chisel, multiple nail pullers and strike-able surfaces, and a padded handle to reduce slippage. Way more efficient than a ball bat — although possibly less fun, due to the reduced risk of serious bodily harm.
This post is sponsored by Philips Norelco. Use the right tool for the job.