Battery-powered string trimmers

Battery technology has changed tremendously in the last few years, and it isn’t just cordless tool companies that are taking advantage of this. True, some of the units I tested are put out by power tool giants like DeWalt and Makita, but longtime companies that have exclusively made yard care tools (traditionally called Outdoor Power Equipment) like Husqvarna and Echo are also carrying battery equipment now. I looked specifically at 36–58V units, and many of these products boasted “gas-like power”. These claims would have seemed outrageous 10 years ago, but not anymore. Keeping your property clean and beautiful has been made even easier with the selection of string trimmers available today.

cordless string trimmers

Why you need an impact driver

Today, most manufacturers produce a drill and impact driver kit that offers great value, even when compared to the single drill kit options on the market. But why do you need to own two “drills”? They all do essentially the same thing, right? What is all the fuss about? Is an impact just a drill with a handy quick-change chuck made to take screwdriver bits? The answer is no, it’s not a gimmick to get you to buy another drill with a different chuck. 

There’s no doubt that the impact driver is one of the most popular cordless tools on the market today, second only to the drill. Learn how you can benefit from having one on your shelf.

Impact driver

5 Impact Kits for Under $200

With so many impact drivers on the market, where’s a woodworker or DIYer supposed to start? We take a close look at five kits, and let you know the pros and cons of each before you buy.

These days, when it comes to selecting an impact driver there’s a long list of options to consider. Rich Keller has taken a look at five impact driver kits, comparing the similari­ties and differences of the impact driver in each kit, plus torturing them a little bit to see how well they performed on some of the toughest fastening applications he could find. 

Impact Drivers

JessEm Mite-R-Excel II Mitre Gauge

Most mitre gauges that come with a table saw suffer from three major problems. First, the support surface for the workpiece is usu­ally very limited. Second, often the bar doesn’t fit the table slot overly well. Third, the angle scale is usually not very accu­rate. Most mitre gauges can be set square with some effort and the use of a separate square, but a good mitre gauge should not take effort to make square and should not need the use of an additional tool. The overall accuracy is usually affected by all three of these problems, leaving the user with something less than usable. JessEm has addressed these three problems and more with their new mitre gauge.

JessEm Mite-R-Excel II Mitre Gauge

Shaper Origin: Shaping the future of routing technology

Shaper Origin is a hybrid CNC/hand-held router. Its size, shape and weight are similar to a hefty 3-1/4 HP plunge router, so it has a famil­iar feel in the hand.

However, it has some extras you won’t see on a regular hand-held router. For one thing, Origin has a screen mounted to the top. Origin is powered by a 1HP motor with a 1/4″ collet. The motor can be moved in a limited range of motion by the onboard computer. There is about 1″ of movement in the motor.

The on-board screen allows the user to see and control this motion. Origin is able to follow a computer drawing within this range of motion much like a large CNC would move around a 4×8 sheet of plywood to cut out a kitchen cabinet. Origin is able to read line art drawings transferred to it either by WiFi or by a USB drive. Origin also has some onboard design capabilities to create a simple design right on the router.

Shaper Origin