Cool Tools for Handy Dudes

Birthday, anniversary, Father’s Day. What do you give the guy who has everything? More tools, of course.

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but tools reign in a handyman’s workshop. Life is short, but a cool tool is forever.

Most tools are easily recognized. A saw is a saw and a drill is a drill, but did you ever see a tool and wonder, “What on earth is that?” Well here are a few cool new tools that may qualify.

The new smack-’em, whack-’em, strike, pull, pry, chisel and chop tool is called a FUBAR (

This all-purpose demolition tool consolidates the features of many tools into one. My first impression of the FUBAR? I like the name and the tool itself looks menacing enough to be the feature prop in my next horror film.

But that was before I saw the Halligan Bar ( The perfect tool for a manly man.

Looking like it comes directly from an ancient battlefield, this is the preferred tool of firemen and rescue workers for all their prying, smashing and demolishing needs. Now I have to rethink my script.

In the sanctity of a workshop, no one should suffer from split ends and frayed nerves when building cabinetry. Pocket screws made cabinet building easier and faster, but the new Quckjig by Porter-Cables ( takes this to a whole new level.

It’s loaded with features and fully adjustable from fine cabinetry to rough framing. You simply walk up the jig, slap a piece of wood into it and the jig adjusts automatically for its thickness and clamps it solidly in place.

Perfect pilot holes every time, no split ends.

The next time your tape measure goes missing, check out the Leica Disto A6 ( It’s a laser beam that measures up to 650 feet withan accuracy to 1/16 inch.

The cool part? It calculates square footage, height and volume and beams those numbers straight to your laptop. Cool! A tape measure with a retail price of $650 might seem extravagant to some, but to me it sounds like the perfect gift.

Three-dimensional carving is genre all to itself. A few simple techniques with a router can turn a square box into a nice cabinet in short order. Ornately carved flowers, for example, or any decorative relief adds artistic expression to your work.

If the idea of doing this freehand sounds daunting, have a look at the CompuCarve from Sears (

It’s a computer-controlled router that zips out three-dimensional wood designs in a mere five minutes. There is a library of pre-programmed patterns, or you can design your own decorative reliefs.

Here are a few rare finds that inspired me:

The 100th-anniversary celebration of the original Swiss Army knife has all of the 87 different implements found on one multitool. It weighs in at a hefty two pounds, and leaves me to wonder if it’s true that you can do anything with duct tape and a Swiss Army knife.

Electric scissors. The cordless Power Cutter zips through carpeting, cardboard, sheet metal, even those stubborn plastic blister packs. The rotating 10-sided blade sharpens itself as it cuts.

Gutter robot. The battery-powered Looj creeps along your rain gutter on tiny tank treads with a spinning auger that flips out leaves and muck. You control its movements safely from the ground using the wireless remote.

Too bad it doesn’t fly.

Throwing shovel. Finally, if you’re really stuck and happen to be looking for a camp shovel, check out the Special Forces Shovel from Cold Steel.

Modeled after the Soviet Spetznaz shovel, this tool can certainly be used to dig. But it can also be used a hatchet, an axe, a cleaver, a machete, a hammer, or a paddle.

If that’s not enough, you can even throw it if you get bored. I wonder if it would qualify in the axe-tossing event at next year’s Sourdough Rendezvous.

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