Father’s Day will be here before you know it, and there’s nothing that would please a do-it-yourself Dad more than some hot new tools. Here are some great suggestions, available at most home centers and hardware stores, or through online retailers. Prices shown are approximate suggested retail.
1. Ridgid 6 1/2-inch Fuego Compact Framing Saw ($139): Come on, you know nothing would please Dad more than getting a brand-new circular saw, and this one is a beauty. New from Ridgid, it is both lighter and faster than a standard 7 1/4-inch circular saw, but is still large enough to cut through a 2-by-4 at 45 degrees. It’s a very well-thought-out saw, with positive stops at common blade depths, easy-to-operate adjustment knobs, and a 50-degree bevel capacity with a positive stop at 45 degrees. It’s also tough, with magnesium upper and lower blade guards, a composite base that can handle a one-story drop but won’t mar a finished piece, and a lifetime service agreement on parts and labor. Comes complete with a carbide-tipped blade and a nice, soft-sided carrying bag.
2. Ryobi Cordless Jigsaw ($49.95): Here’s another tool in Ryobi’s lineup of One+ 18-volt cordless tools, their handy system that allows you to save some money by purchasing the tools separately from the charger and battery. The 18-volt jigsaw is light and still has a lot of power, allowing for several hours of heavy work on one battery. Another very well-thought-out tool, it features a great tool-less blade-change system, a built-in laser alignment system, four blade orbit choices to match the material you’re cutting, and even on-board blade storage. It has a variable blade speed of between zero and 2,100 strokes per minute, and the base tilts up to 45 degrees in either direction.
3. Werner Portable Scaffold ($99): Whatever project Dad may be undertaking around the house, you know he’d love his very own scaffolding, and this is an ideal work platform that is lightweight, versatile and sets up in seconds. It has a 500-pound load limit and big, locking wheels so you can use it as a cart to roll materials to the job site. Once there, adjust the two 46-inch-long, 8 1/2-inch-wide aluminum planks to any of four different working heights, separately or together, either to stand on or for use as a convenient workbench. When you’re done, you can roll the scaffold into the garage and use it as an extra set of shelves, or simply fold it up and store it.
4. Stanley FatMax 4-in-1 Utility Bar ($39.95): This tool simply screams “bad boy.” Part of Stanley’s excellent FatMax line, the 4-in-1 Utility Bar is a big, tough tool that’s made for work. Part hammer, with a tempered striking face; part splitting tool, with a broad breaker edge that rips through drywall or splits lumber; and part pry bar, with an angled end and two different nail-pulling slots. So that’s three. The fourth in the 4-in-1 is something unique and very handy: a wide steel jaw with serrated teeth that’s sized to garb onto standard dimensional lumber and give you the leverage you need to twist stubborn, warped boards back into position. The entire bar is forged from one piece of tempered steel, with a comfortable, textured grip that’s slip resistant even when it’s wet.
5. Dremel Multi-Vise ($29.99): For do-it-yourself projects, woodworking, hobbies, or a multitude of other uses, the Multi-Vise — a new addition to the legendary Dremel line — is a tool Dad will reach for again and again. The vise clamps to any workbench or table up to 2 1/2 inches thick, and the ball-and-socket design rotates and tilts the clamping faces to any angle needed. The jaws open to 7 1/2 inches, and feature wide, nonmarring pads with V-grooves to grip pipes or odd-shaped items. The jaws have a quick-release button, and the entire jaw assembly detaches for use as a self-standing portable clamp. It also includes a rotary tool holder that clamps most Dremel rotary tools into the vise for easy sanding, grinding, polishing and other operations.
6. Black & Decker 18-volt Cordless Drill with Built-In Auto-Leveling Laser ($99): Does Dad have a shelf to hang or maybe a series of pictures to put up? Now he can have one tool that will help him do both. Turn on the built-in, auto-leveling laser and project a bright red laser line on the wall, either horizontally or vertically, which is changed with the flip of a switch. After marking the lines, slip a drill bit into the cordless chuck, set the drill to the 0-1200 RPM, high-speed setting to drill the holes, and then finish up by putting in a screwdriver bit and changing the tool to the 0-400 RPM, high-torque setting to drive the screws. Price includes a fitted, soft-side case, charger and two batteries.
7. Black and Decker 18-volt Cordless Cultivator ($99.99): Done with drilling and need to get out to the garden? Using the same 18-volt battery system, the cordless Powered Cultivator uses hardened steel counter-rotating tines to tear up and turn over the soil and uproot weeds. It features a telescoping handle and soft, adjustable hand grips, and it’s capable of cultivating up to 325 square feet of planting beds on a single charge.
Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.