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Tools: powerful design maximizes the impact of this year's tools.

Tools just keep getting better. Power tools are making the most of technology, while hand tools are employing user-friendly ergonomic designs. Here are some of the latest and best.

Irwin. Vise-Grip Groove-Lock pliers adjust 50% faster than traditional groove joint pliers, the maker says. A multi-groove ratcheting system allows for precise positioning while a press-and-slide button adjusts the jaw. The jaw grips flat, round, hex, and square work pieces. Molded handles combine with anti-pinch design for added comfort. The pliers come in several sizes and varieties. 800.866.5740. www.irwin.com. Circle 105.

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C.H. Hanson. The Stud 4 Sure stud finder uses rare earth magnets to pinpoint the exact location of screws or nails in a stud. Users place the stud finder on the wall and sweep it in an "S" pattern to locate any metal fasteners. The finder, which doesn't require batteries and never needs calibration, carries a lifetime guarantee. 800.827.3398. www.chhanson.com. Circle 106.

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Skil. The 18-V X-Drive Drill/Driver (2887-06) boasts several convenient features, such as a detachable stud finder, keyless chuck, and a Site-Lite built-in work light. The side-assist handle offers more control, while the two-finger trigger has a comfortable, ergonomic grip. The drill comes complete with two 18-volt batteries with a charge meter and one-hour charger. 877.754.5999. www.skil.com. Circle 107.

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Lenox, The patented Tanktote sleeve makes carrying and using air acetylene torches and accessories easier. The sleeve has an integrated hose wrap and pockets for tools and accessories. The carry handle assembly features a durable brass piston regulator and a 2-inch-diameter gauge shielded by Gaugeguard, a layer of high-strength composite material that extends upward to form the tote's carry handle. 800.628.8810. www.lenoxsaw.com. Circle 108.

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DeWalt. The company's first 2-inch Brad Nailer Combo Kit includes an 18-gauge heavy-duty pneumatic brad nailer, a 2.5 HP max (1.1 HP continuous) four-gallon oil lube side stack compressor, a 25-foot vinyl air hose, fittings, and pipe joint tape. The nailer holds 110 nails from 5/8-inch to 2 inches long and can be used on both hardwoods and softwoods. The compressor weighs just over 53 pounds for easy portability. 800.433.9258. www.dewalt.com. Circle 109.

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Ridgid. An 8-amp EML (extended motor life) motor revs up the Heavy Duty 1/2-inch VSR Right Angle Drill. The motor is engineered to withstand tough jobsite conditions and tight tolerances, according to the maker. The drill has three speeds and a compact head designed to drill holes between studs and joists. A limited lifetime service agreement comes with the tool. 800.474.3443. www.ridgid.com. Circle 110.

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Bosch. A "total system improvement" has given the Bulldog Xtreme rotary hammer more speed and longer life, according to the maker. Its patented rotating brush plate provides equal power in both forward and reverse. The hammer's optimal drilling range in concrete is 3/16 inch to 5/8 inch with a solid bit capacity of 1 inch and thin wall core capacity of 25/8 inches. The hammer is available in D-handle and pistol-grip designs. 877.267.2499. www.boschtools.com. Circle 111.

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Milwaukee. The Tilt-Lok circular saw lasts up to eight times longer than competitive models, the maker says. The 7 1/4-inch saw features a 15-amp, 3.25 peak horsepower motor and a 50-degree bevel capacity for cutting extreme angles. A patented, eight-position, adjustable main handle provides control and precision. The saw comes with a five-year warranty. 800.729.3878. www.milwaukeetool.com. Circle 112.

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Metabo. Variable speed makes the WE14-125 VS 5-inch angle grinder a versatile tool. Full speed is ideal for grinding and cutting stone; low speed is for stone finishing and polishing. The grinder's 12-amp motor features special winding protection that prevents damage from dust. Maximum torque is 29 inch-pounds. 800.638.2264. www.metabousa.com. Circle 113.

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Hitachi. The C12LSH 12-inch sliding dual compound miter saw boasts a new compact slide system that requires zero rear clearance. The saw's sliding arm moves along fixed rails, enabling the saw to sit nearly flush against a wall on a bench top without compromising its range of movement. The saw also boasts a top-mounted digital LCD scale that displays miter and bevel readings and the company's patented laser marker. 800.829.4752. www.hitachipowertools.com. Circle 114.

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Paslode. Several upgrades amp up the power and usability of the PowerMaster Plus pneumatic framing nailer. A redesigned tool cap and main valve improve air flow and performance, the maker says. A ruler on the magazine allows for quick measurements, while an overmold grip adds comfort. The rafter hook allows for convenient hanging. 800.222.6990. www.paslode.com. Circle 115.

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Turanair Systems. The T-Force 1000 Portable Air-Powered Kit is a lightweight, quiet alternative to compressors and generators, the maker says. The thermos-sized bottle packs 3,000 pounds per square inch of compressed dry air for 750 shots with a standard brad nailer, 1,300 with a micro-pinner, or 300 with framing nailers. It has a dual-stage regulator for psi adjustment and comes with 6 feet of hose, universal fitting, and tool hook. 954.753.9007. www.turanairsystems.com. Circle 116.

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Drill Doctor.

The DD750X model drill sharpener sharpens a wide range of bits--high-speed steel, carbide, cobalt, TiN-coated, and masonry. The longer jaws on the 3/4-inch chuck hold bits precisely while jaw guides eliminate jaw twisting on bits as small as 3/32 inch. The sharpener allows the user to set the amount of bit material taken off. 800.597.6170. www.genext.drill doctor.com. Circle 117.

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Bostitch.

Part of a line of three new F-Series framing nailers, the F21PL is a 21-degree plastic collated nailer. At 8.1 pounds, the nailer has a magazine capacity of 65 nails. An interchangeable tip for fastening metal connectors and push-button depth-of-drive add ease and convenience, as does the tool-free adjustable exhaust that directs blow-back in any direction. 800.556.6696. www.bostitch.com. Circle 118.

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Title Annotation:Products: InFocus
Author:Landry, Elizabeth
Publication:Remodeling
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Words:1024
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