Weekend Workshop | The Tools You Need This Summer

The tools of summer are more entertaining than their winter counterparts. In the realm of snow and ice, a man is left with snowblowers and power shovels. The cold drives him away from the sorts of projects that can bring his entire arsenal of power tools to bear.

Summertime tools are an absolute catch-all — an “anything goes” of powered, creative, utilitarian mayhem. The latest power tools for summer 2017 await an opportunity to serve as prime gifts for you or the DIY’er in your life. Every item listed here was tested on actual projects and passed gift-giving muster.

DeWalt FLEXVOLT Cordless Tool Platform: The concept is simple, but the achievement is wide ranging. DeWalt’s FLEXVOLT system uses the same battery technology across its entire line of power tools from hand drills to table saws. The handyman can keep all of this interchangeable FLEXVOLT batteries charged at one station and slap them in and out of the fly without worrying about fitting any of them to the right tool. These batteries work across the DeWalt board and last longer than any previous generation of the company’s power tool energy sources.

Porter Cable Cordless Impact Wrench: The best features of this sturdy and endlessly useful impact wrench is its very refined variable speed trigger. Not only will its driver disengage once the target is fastened home, but the trigger allows the user to apply various speeds with surprising dexterity. It’s a tool that works well with a human sense of touch.

Kobalt 15-Amp 10 Inch Carbide-Tipped Table Saw: Startling powerful and fully portable with its wheeled stand (assembly required), we found this table saw useful at home and stationary or out in the field. Once folded up on its stand, it’ll fit into most vehicles. And, once on the job, it’ll chew up any amount of lumber you want to throw its way.

Also: Camp City | Gear Up For The Summer Camping Season

The next entry in our list powers itself off of the Dewalt FLEXVOLT system, demonstrating the adaptability of the batteries. With the same charger, the user can juice a drill, a driver or a chainsaw.

DeWalt FLEXVOLT 60 V Max Brushless Chainsaw: Part of the FLEXVOLT family, this is an electric chainsaw with the torque of a gas model. And, as I’ve said before, there’s no such thing as a bad chainsaw — and this is a chainsaw. You’ll want to find reasons to put this chainsaw to work because it’s a chainsaw.

Did I mention it’s a chainsaw?

Black & Decker Orbit Waxer/Polisher: Simple and effective, this Black & Decker polisher comes in handy for household work or in automotive service. It’s a basic single speed device, but it’s adaptable with multiple polishing attachments and works with various versions of cleansers and waxes.

DeWalt 5 Inch Single Speed Random Orbit Sander: Though it’s a single speed sander, this DeWalt sander uses a hook and loop connector (…That’s velcro when it’s at home…) to apply multiple grades of circular sand paper attachments. Its designers were smart enough to keep the weight at a minimum, allowing the user to shape and direct his work with surprising skill.

Bosch JS365 Top Handle Jigsaw: No, Virginia, a jigsaw is not just for making toys. In fact, this Bosch JS365 provides precision cuts from a device that’ll serve the user well with even minimum practice. The 6.5 amp motor keeps the blade moving fast enough and with ample power to keep friction resistance and vibration to a minimum. By keeping its weight under 6 pounds, the JS365 allows the user to apply his own skills neatly through the saw.

Porter Cable Oscillating Multi-Tool: From drills to drivers, saws to sanders, any guy can spot a power tool when he sees one. But, it’s fair to say an oscillating tool is not a commonly recognized appliance. It’s also fair to say that once a craftsman has one, he’ll love it. This adaptable, tough Porter Cable version has multiple uses and can be fixed with different blades and appendages. The manual pry bars and scrapers will shudder when any user masters the possibilities of the oscillating multi-tool.


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