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Auto Know: Can’t-miss tools for gearheads

Published October 15, 2012
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Manufacturers always seem to tout their new products as “revolutionary,” whereas most consumers would likely label them as S.O.S. or “same old stuff” (to be polite).

However, a few genuinely innovative products did catch my eye at a recent tool show.

Black and Decker’s new 4-volt Gyro, just introduced this month, claims to be the world’s first motion-activated screwdriver. It actually has an internal gyroscope of sorts, and you control the variable speed and direction of the cordless screwdriver by how much you twist your wrist.

I’m not sure if it’s better than a standard cordless screwdriver, but this compact lithium rechargeable unit is definitely different. It has built-in LED lights and sells for $39.

For commercial users, DeWalt’s new “brushless” 20-volt Max impact drivers run 1½ times longer than comparable standard models. The lightweight 1.5 amp-hour unit lists for $249, and there’s also a 3.0 amp-hour version with a bulkier battery. This tool was a favourite among auto technicians who tried it.

Tired of toting around several duplicate drill bit sets to the jobsite, each for a different material? Then you might appreciate DeWalt’s new multi-material drill bits.

The straight drill bits can be used on most any material including wood, metal, PVC, ceramic, concrete and brick. The step drill bits are triangular in shape and are primarily for boring holes in metal electrical boxes etc. and can be used on iron, steel, PVC and even stainless steel.

While multi-material bits are convenient, these products aren’t entirely “revolutionary” as I’m aware that Irwin, makers of Vise-Grip products, also offers multi-material straight drill bits.

Nonetheless, these are an extremely handy item to have since you’re prepared for most any (common) material you might encounter.

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