For the master builder or fixer-upper on your Christmas list, a new tool may be just the right type of gift to give. But where do you start?
Home Improvement Expert Bob Vila demonstrated a few craft tools for The Early Show that may just do the trick.
One great innovation is the cordless tool. When cordless tools first came out five or 10 years ago, they didn't have that much power so they weren't that popular. You'd go to a job, and run out of power.
Now they last much longer as a result of better battery technology. You can work for a couple hours without worry. Always wear eye protection, though, because you're going to get a lot of power.
Hitachi has a 12-volt and 18-volt cordless circular saws.
Dewalt makes a 24-volt heavy-duty drill and hammer-drill kit that is also cordless. And if you run out of battery power, you can remove the battery and get direct power right off of it. The cost is in the $250 range.
Then there is a package from Ryobi, $180, that provides an 18-volt tool kit: a drill, driver, trim saw and flashlight. It's less money and less voltage but it is still a great package.
There are also smaller gadgets available:
From Stanley, there's a digital tape measure is a brand new tape measure with a digital readout so you can enter up to 99 pieces of data. The cost is $35.
The Craftsman Precision Mini-Tool (a 75-piece Pro Set) includes a mini-table saw, a little drill and a grinder that come in handy for a model builder. The whole set costs $250.
Favorite stocking stuffers are also the six-in-one screwdriver and the ergonomic Rigid Robo Hammer. The hammer has a padded handle that absorbs a lot of the energy when you're pounding a nail.
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Copyright 1999 CBS. All rights reserved.
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