What can make a tough job even tougher? When you’re working in the freezing cold. But thanks to smart tech like heated jackets, outdoor tasks can now be performed in better comfort than ever before. The new Ridgid heated jackets are powered by the company’s 18V lithium-ion batteries and offer up to 18 hours of runtime (with a 4Ah Hyper Li-ion battery pack). Each jacket offers 3 core heating zones, heated pockets and 3 adjustable heat settings per zone. The multi-layered fabric itself offers great warmth, plus it’s water resistant. So work as hard as you need to – but you no longer have to be cold! $149 (black jacket, models R8702B, R8703B, R8703B); $169 (camo jacket, models R8712B, R8713B, R8714B); and $199 (black jacket kit with 18V battery and charger, models R8702K, R8703K, R8704K). www.ridgid.com
A good quality cordless drill is arguably the most essential component of a guy’s tool box. We love them because they are fantastically versatile – capable of drilling holes and driving screws – and because they offer cordless freedom and light weight. The latest lithium-ion battery technology allows them many hours of use, while offering a very quick recharge. A great cordless drill should offer the right combination of power, torque, durability, battery life, ergonomics and light weight, among other features. Cordless drills are one of the ultimate gifts for a man, making them the perfect gift idea for just about any occasion. For best power and torque delivery choose a drill that uses a brushless motor. And for the toughest jobs choose an 18 volt or better version hammer drill – each of the models below comes in a higher-power hammer drill version. This is Guydster’s list of our favorite 12 volt cordless compact drills.
The Bosch GLM 100 C is a wicked new laser measuring tool that works in tandem with the Bosch GLM Measure and Document smart phone App – modernizing the way you can plan your next project. The device instantly transfers measurements to your smart phone via Bluetooth and lets you manage projects and make calculations on your phone’s screen. The GLM 100 C also offers remote control functionality, allowing you to use your smart phone as a remote control to take measurements from the laser measure in hard to reach spots. A built-in tilt sensor displays 360° angle measurements in 2 axis allowing for accurate measures. All in all, the GLM 100 C offers ten measurement modes – length, area, volume, angle, min/max, continuous, single indirect height, single indirect length, combined indirect height, and multi-surface are measurement for maximum versatility. A backlit screen and a rechargeable battery round out the package. $299. www.boschtools.com
Every guy has no doubt suffered the pains in their back and arms from a lengthy session of shoveling snow or digging a hole to bury a body… or work. It’s because standard shovels are garbage. Most of the force comes from your back arm, straining your shoulder; and then lifting puts most of the weight on your back. It’s a great way to become a brittle old man who can’t play beach volleyball, run down the Burj Khalifa (or anything else Tom Cruise does in his movies. The guy is over fifty!) The Ergonomic Shovel is another great Kickstarter project which features a handle in the middle of the shaft that can rotate 360 degrees. This allows the user to keep their wrist straight and keeps them from bending as far down. There is also a “U” shaped foot hold giving your foot a solid grip when you really need to dig in. Bosse Tools offers three different shovel types: spade, flathead and snow shovel. Winter is coming after all. Pledge $65+ for your choice of shovel or $175+ for all three. kickstarter.com
Tired of your computer, smartphone and every other piece of electronic equipment you own breaking right after the warranty ends; forcing you to get a new one? With the iFixit Kit you’ll be able to do any and all electronic repairs with the help of the hundreds of free walkthroughs provided online. In this new age of technology it’s going to be an important skill to have. The kit comes with a 54 bit driver set, plastic opening tools, precision tweezer set, metal grabber, anti-static wrist strap, a small suction cup, plastic and metal spudgers (you know, spudgers), and a six inch steel ruler. It may take a bit of reading to figure out how to use all of these tools, but with comprehensive instructions and videos you will be making your own bat-themed gadgets in no time. $69.95. www.ifixit.com
The only thing more exciting than propane and propane accessories is the thrill of proper lawn maintenance and grooming. Doubling as a generator, with a towing capacity of 500 pounds, the Raven MPV would get the Hank Hill seal of approval. This mower is a powerful machine, made to cover two to three acres; you should be able to handle your yard with ease. The max speed is twenty-eight KPH, but if you are actually mowing; you’ll top out around eight. The Raven even has a crank charger for the super environmentalists out there (your forearms will get huge). $2,999. www.lowes.com
We aren’t all natural born outdoorsmen and if my life depends on the ability to rub two sticks together to make fire; you know we’re doomed. The Fire Star is a handheld piston that makes starting a fire much easier. The piston uses compression to ignite the tinder, similar to the cigarette lighter in cars. A couple pumps are all it takes. Weighing only a couple ounces, this tool is easily added to your utility belt and it will be more effective than matches or a lighter in heavy wind or rain. $69.95. www.wildersol.com
Changing screwdriver bits by hand is so yesterday. Not only is it a hassle, it’s time consuming – plus you’re bound to lose some of the bits. The Skil 360 cordless screwdriver (SKIL 2356-01) offers a fully integrated bit management system that will make you feel like a home renovation bandit. The illuminated window magazine stores 12 popular bits, all you have to do is rotate it to select the desired bit. Its 4-Volt Lithium-Ion 1.5Ah can hold a charge for up to 18-months and be charged via USB from a computer, cell phone and even a car charger. Topping it all off, an LED light lets you see exactly where you’re working and a battery level indicator warns you when you should recharge it. Coming May 2013. $60. www.skiltools.com
Guys that are handy are generally proud of the tools they own, and a good quality screwdriver set should be the foundation of any tool set. Whether you’re on the verge of buying your first screwdriver set or another set for your garage, we’ll tell you what to look for so that this set can last you for many years to come. What makes a good screwdriver? The most important aspects of a screwdriver are the handle design, also referred to as the grip, and the tip. Screwdriver handles come in both soft and hard versions, and all sorts of shapes and sizes. Screwdriver tips vary just as much, offering different levels of durability, strength and ability to grip screw heads. Not all screwdrivers are made equally. Read this guide and we’ll help you find the best screwdrivers for your budget. Although most of the sets below include only Slotted and Philips screwdrivers, our Canadian readers will be glad to know that we’ve also included a set with Robertson screwdrivers as well. We encourage you to add comments below!
We love listening to music at the Guydster, the tunes are always on. But when working on a reno project in our spare time, we wouldn’t dare bring our nice audio gear along – it’s too precious and totally not portable. The Bosch PB120 radio however, is designed to be the perfect companion for your next reno project. It’s lightweight and compact and can be powered by a wall outlet or a 12V Bosch battery pack (same battery that your drill uses). In addition to the AM/FM radio, it’ll also play tunes from your smartphone thanks to its aux input. And if you get a little rough with it, it should be able to handle it easily because it’s equipped with a shock-absorbing roll-cage, which doubles as a handle. $99. www.boschtools.com
Guys like things that are practical and this is about as practical as a tool can get – especially if you enjoy outdoor activities like camping. Unlike a conventional tool, this one has two business ends – the “spork” and the tool end, joined by a long handle. The “spork” end combines a spoon and a fork for chowing down on your favorite campsite meal. The other end offers a box wrench, driver/pry tool, can opener and bottle opener. The carabiner makes it easy to hook on to your pants. Now all you need to bring along to eat on your next camping trip is a 12-pack of canned soup. $15. www.crkt.com
If you enjoy playing with the snowblower (who doesn’t?) but feel bad about polluting the environment and creating unnecessary noise, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Honda HS1336iAS Hybrid Snowblower. This puppy is equipped with a 4-stroke gas engine and two electric motors. The gas engine drives the snowblower auger (clearing and throwing the snow) while at the same time charging the battery. The electric motors are responsible for driving the track and function as generators during deceleration of the snowblower, recharging the battery. Not only can you feel good about yourself clearing the snow with this machine, but thanks to its throw distance of up to 62 feet you can also have some fun with it – like firing the snow at your neighbor’s pesky dog. $7999. www.powerequipment.honda.com
The future of home remodeling has arrived! Say goodbye to guessing what’s behind the wall when working on your next renovation project. The DEWALT DCT418 is a revolutionary cordless tool capable of detecting and identifying wood, metal, live electric wires and PVC pipes behind a finished wall. Its radar sensor can penetrate drywall, plywood, concrete, marble and ceramic tile to a depth of up to 3 inches. And instead of the good ol’ ‘beep’ you get from a stud finder, the DCT418 displays a visual representation of what’s happening behind the wall on a color 3.5 inch LCD screen. It seems we’ve all run out of excuses for not starting that next project we’ve been talking about for months. $299 (or $399 for the DCT418S1 kit which includes the scanner, a battery pack, a charger and a case). www.dewalt.com
Every real guy knows how to fix stuff and should be able to tackle a small renovation. If you can’t maybe it’s time to man up! But in order to do repairs and renovations around your home, you’ll need the right equipment. Here’s a compilation of 5 power tools that every guy should have.
Milwaukee Tool has just introduced the new M4 2-Speed Screwdriver, the first tool in its brand new M4 line of compact cordless products. The M4 line of power tools is powered by the company’s 4V REDLITHIUM 2.0 battery technology which increases the tool’s power and run-time, while shrinking its size. The M4 Screwdriver is said to be able to drill more than 200 holes per charge. Featuring 44 in-lbs of peak torque and a 21-position clutch with auto shut-off, the new screwdriver offers improved torque control during repetitive applications. Two speeds, 200 and 600 RPM, offer further user control for precision work. At only 244 millimeters in length and under one pound, the M4 Screwdriver is easy to use with one hand, featuring ¼” quick-change chuck for one-handed bit changes. www.milwaukeetool.com