Nothing quite says summer like a campfire in your backyard, but chopping wood, while satisfying, can be a laborious pain. The uniquely-designed Vipukirves Axes ($255) use leverage to separate sections of wood from the rest of the log, giving you perfectly-chopped pieces of firewood with less effort. The design also allows you to avoid getting the axe lodged in the log, so you can get the job done more quickly. A precision-cast blade and birch wood handle mean this tool is made to last, so you won't have to go back to a traditional axe and sledge any time soon.
We've seen a lot of open-source stuff out there — mostly software and hardware — but we've never seen an open-source eating utensil. As far as we know, the S.H.O.V.E.L. ($10) is the first of its kind. This spork is made from titanium, and includes your typical spoon and fork combo (call it a foon if you want), as well as a serrated edge for cutting and a bottle-cap opener, all wrapped in six feet of red paracord. Download the specs and CAD files from their website — hack it, change it, build your own. It's open-source, after all.
No one debates the usefulness of a great multitool, but bulk can often prohibit comfortable everyday carry. Enter ATOM: A Tool of Multipurpose ($10), the key-shaped multitool made for pocket carry. It has just about everything you look for in a small tool: hex wrenches, a pry bar, a bottle opener, screwdrivers, files, a ripping tool, rulers, and a protractor. Heat-treated stainless steel construction means it will hold up to whatever you put it through, TSA compliance allows you to bring it on a plane, and its design lets you add it to your keychain. What more could you want? (Also available in black.)
When you need to cut through some serious stuff, don't settle for anything less than the Fiskars Shop Boss Hardware Snip ($30). The ideal tool for cutting aluminum siding, roof flashing, screens, light sheet metal, and wire, it features a serrated blade edge that holds onto any material you're cutting so you don't have to worry about slipping. The titanium blade coating resists corrosion, wear from heavy use, and scratching, while the asymmetrical, contoured handles are great for working with gloves and using either hand.
Tired of opening multiple drawers just to find a certain tool because you forgot which one it's in? The Craftsman Dry Erase Tool Chest ($350-$450) can make that a thing of the past. Built with the same robust I-Frame construction as the company's other chests, it features a white dry erase finish that lets you label the contents of each drawer, making it quick and painless to find the wrench, socket, or driver you're looking for. Other features include full-extension ball-bearing drawers, a keyed internal locking system, heavy-duty casters capable of supporting up to 600 lbs., and a total of 12,993 cubic inches of storage space when the top and bottom chests are used together. It's up for pre-order now, but since this is a limited edition, you might want to get in line sooner rather than later. [Scouted by Josh]
Trying to maximize the versatility of your pocket contents while maintaining a slim profile can be challenging. Stat EDC Multitools ($70-$110) are here to help. Available in four different models, each tool offers the ability to cut, measure, and pry, while keeping a low profile and offering a hole at one end for attaching to a keychain to clip. Made from knife-grade stainless steel and finished with a military-grade anticorrosive ceramic coating, they're ready for any job you throw at them.
Most multi-tools try to provide a range of tools that are handy for all sorts of people. The Victorinox Swiss Army Bike Tool ($50) bucks this trend by providing a set of tools for a very specific group — cyclists. The compact tool offers a tire lever, an L-wrench, eight bits for the most common types of screws, an impact-proof plastic holder for the bits, and a stainless steel bit adapter. It's not everything you might need, but it covers most of what you're likely to need, and that's more enough to justify packing the 3.5 oz. package along with you. [via]
Why buy a Master Lock when you can buy the lock they use as a basis for theirs? Commando Locks ($12-$20) use the same Interlock technology as Master — Commando invented it, after all — and are available in a variety of styles and sizes that should fit your needs. They're not 100% made in the USA, but they do try to use as much domestic manufacturing as they can, which goes a long way when a vast majority of locks on the market are imported from somewhere else.
With the proliferation of hybrid cars, you can bet that pretty much any gas-powered anything will soon be available as a hybrid. Take, for instance, the Raven Hybrid Riding Lawn Mower ($3,000). This impressive lawn tractor creates over 7,000 watts of electricity, features self-charging technology so you won't be doing any battery swaps, and can run for up to 12 hours on a single tank of petrol. It still needs to cut grass, of course, and for that it has a 46" quick-release cutting deck, ATV-style shocks for cutting on rough terrain, the ability to pull loads of up to 500 lbs, and a top speed of 17 mph — perfect in case you find yourself in a life-or-death lawnmower race.
Whether you're just getting into the every day carry lifestyle or are simply tired of your current mis-matched gear, Gerber GDC Tools ($TBA) are coming to help. This lineup of keychain- and pocket-friendly tools includes a zip blade (think utility knife), a driver with Phillips and flat head drivers, a hex driver with 5 metric bits, and LED light/bottle opener, a striking black pocket knife, and a hook knife, all designed to look good together while playing nice on the same keychain.
Let's see: you need both hands to do an activity, you can't mount a light anywhere nearby, and you'd like to avoid the dorkiness of a head-mounted solution. Sounds like you need the Snow Peak Lapel Torch ($60). This compact, water-resistant LED light uses a magnetic clip to attach to pretty much anything — a shirt, a backpack strap, you name it — and is powered by a remote battery pack that connects via a 28-inch cord and can provide up to 140 hours of light.
Whether you're cutting, grinding, detailing, or polishing, the Dremel 4200 Platinum Edition Rotary Tool ($370) is the tool for the job. Their easy-change mechanism lets you quickly change out any accessory, depending on the task at hand — and with 77 pieces to choose from, there are few projects it can't handle. Variable speeds and electronic feedback let you keep the proper pace for the job, without stalling, while additional venting keeps your tool running cool. This kit also comes with a convenient storage case, with plenty of drawers and foam-lined spaces to keep your tool, and all its pieces, organized.