What are the latest trends for tools?New tools can make easier work of even tough remodeling and repair jobs. Here’s a checklist of tool trends to help you choose your new equipment:
- Multi-function. Downsize your toolbox with a tool that does a little of
everything. A multi-use oscillating tool lets you change the blades so a single
tool drills, sands, saws, cuts, and removes grout and caulk. It’s perfect for
big chores like remodeling bathrooms and kitchens or replacing flooring. It
does just as good a job on craft projects like building birdhouses and quick
hits like cutting a square out of the plywood backing of a TV cabinet to make
room for cords to pass through to an outlet.
- Lightweight. If you’re going to buy a cordless drill or driver, spring for one with a lithium-ion battery. This kind of battery is super-lightweight, and it holds a charge for way longer than traditional nickel-cadmium (or NiCd) batteries. Some Li-Ion batteries will keep a charge for up to 18 months if you don’t use the tool very often, so you can hang a few pictures, stuff the tool in a drawer and take it out a year later and use it without having to wait for it to recharge. One company even advertises batteries that recharge to 25 percent capacity in three minutes flat. Tools with Li-Ion batteries cost more than others, but the prices keep dropping.
- Compact. Super-compact drills, saws and automatic hammers can squeeze into tight spots and sharp angles to get the job done. Insist on models with a Li-Ion battery so it’s lightweight enough to support with one hand.
- Affordable. Buy the best you can afford. It’s worth it to invest in good-quality tools. A good tool is one that you’ll want to keep for a long, long time. Plus, tools that are made to last are the most environmentally friendly. Something that will never be discarded reduces waste and the need for resources for replacement items. Comparison shop and you’ll find good values on quality tools.
- Practical. Technology and Li-Ion batteries have made cordless screwdrivers so small and lightweight, yet powerful enough to secure hardware for hanging pictures or help with other odd jobs around the house. Hunt for one that comes with a built-in LED light, which will make it easier to see into tight spots.
- "Green.” Choose tools that use less energy, spew less pollution and create less waste. Examples: Cordless, electric yard tools like lawnmowers and trimmers are better for the environment than the ones that use gasoline. And some tool manufacturers are incorporating sophisticated dust collectors into their power tools to reduce the amount of particulate matter released into the air by drilling, chopping, sanding and grinding.