Let’s face facts. Guys love tools. They just do, and the cooler the better. So here are some brand-new offerings from some of the biggest names in tools:

Skil Cordless Drill–Car Combo (Model 2566-06; $69.99): OK, a cordless drill is not exactly new. But how about one that comes in a kit with a remote control car, so Dad can have some fun for a change? Skil’s latest offering has several handy new features, including a removable onboard bit storage and drill-size index, a bit and screw storage bin on the handle, lighted forward and reverse indicator, a battery charge indicator light, and a keyless chuck. The drill uses their standard 14.4-volt battery and charger (both included, along with a soft carrying case). Also in the kit, just for fun, is a remote-controlled battery-powered car that uses the same battery as the drill. The remote controller even comes with a 9-volt battery in it, so you can run the car right out of the box!

Skil Belt Sander (Model 7500; $49.95): Another new introduction for Skil is this lightweight belt sander that’s perfect for any number of household projects. It has a power 6-amp motor (one-third more powerful then Skil’s last sander), and a standard 3×18 belt with “Auto Track” to make alignment easy. It sands flush against vertical surfaces to eliminate the need for a finish sander in corners, and has a hard-shell dust canister with a built-in filter. There’s also an adaptor that replaces the canister so you can connect directly to the hose on your shop vacuum.

DeWalt 18-Volt Fluorescent Area Light (Model DC527; $44.95): DeWalt is known for professional-grade tools, and their new Fluorescent Area Light is no exception. It uses a 13-watt fluorescent bulb for brighter light with less shadowing then you get from other types of work lights, and the tough, durable lens cover stands up to on-the-job abuse and pops off for easy bulb changing without tools. With the battery installed, the light will stand up on its own, or you can hang it from the built-in, retractable, rotating hook. The light uses the same 18-volt battery as their other tools (battery not included), so you can swap batteries between any 18-volt tools in their line — there’s also a 14.4/12-volt model available if Dad already has tools with those batteries. Definitely a tool suited for handyman and professional contractor alike.

Black and Decker Alligator Lopper (Model LP1000; $99.99): To protect roofs and siding from damage and to clean up after winter storms, pruning trees is a necessity. Black and Decker has just introduced a truly unique tool that really gets the job done fast. Their electric Alligator Lopper utilizes scissor-action jaws like conventional loppers, combined with a chain saw bar and chain. Just clamp down on any limb up to 4 inches around, pull the trigger, and the chain makes short work of the cutting chores. It’s safer than a chainsaw and requires a lot less effort than conventional lopping shears, and at just 6.5 pounds it’s light enough to work with for an extended period.

Black and Decker Cordless Sweeper (Model NS118; $69.99): Deck refinishing, exterior painting projects, sealing patios–they all require clean surfaces. Black and Decker has made that task easier and more convenient with a cordless rechargeable blower that blows surfaces clean much faster and more effectively than you can do with a push broom. The 18-volt battery fits all tools in the Black and Decker line, and the blower with battery weighs in at just 5.5 pounds. No cord, no gas, lots of power — it’s a tool Dad’s going to reach for a lot! And for even more convenience, you might want to consider the B & D’s complete Lawn Care Center ($249.99), which includes the blower, a 12-inch cordless string trimmer, and a 22-inch cordless hedge trimmer, all with a storage/charging center. All of the tools utilize the same 18-volt batteries and charger, which are included with both the individual tools and the kit.

Dremel MiniMite (Model 750-02; $29.95): Guys love more power, but great tools can come in small packages as well. Dremel’s MiniMite cordless rotary tool has a replaceable, rechargeable 4.8-volt battery that powers the two-speed tool at up to 13,000 rpm. It features a keyless chuck and collet that fits all of the extensive line of Dremel accessories — a starter pack of five accessories is included — and also includes a battery and charger. This light, powerful and versatile tool will find hundreds of uses in Dad’s shop, toolbox, or hobby table.

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at paul2887@direcway.com.

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