Tools

Gadgets

Key-Bit Keychain Tool

Don’t expect it to help much with larger, more daunting projects, but if you need a particular screwdriver on your keychain the Key-Bit Keychain Tool is the one with which to carry it. The pill-shaped Key-Bit is made of either knurled copper or aluminum and fits most standard 1/4-inch bits. It won’t come apart in your pocket since two neodymium magnets hold the halves together with a separation force of over 6 pounds, and the same magnetic force secures the bit. Includes one Phillips hex bit; anything else, you’ll need to pull from your toolbox.

Find it at Kickstarter – $15

GET IT: $15

Tools

Quadsaw Square Hole Cutter

Cutting square holes into drywall is a must for light switches and sockets, but there’s been no easy way to do so until the Quadsaw Square Hole Cutter. Quadsaw functions like a bit for your power drill (ideally that can spin at 1,800rpm or higher) with the difference being that you’ll need to hold its handle stable as you drill. Four blades — mounted to cut rectangularly — start moving as the drill bit is spun, cutting efficiently and just deep enough to get through plasterboard without slicing neither wires behind it nor pipes. It’s even got integrated spirit levels to ensure you’re cutting straight.

Learn more at Quadsaw – roughly $240

GET IT: ~$240

Gear

Gerber Center-Drive Multitool

The Gerber Center-Drive Multitool’s name comes from the fact that it’s long center-axis driver, when open, aligns with the center of the tool (see second image) like a real dedicated screwdriver and unlike the off-center ones on most other multitools. But usability improvements don’t end there. It’s also got a thumb-accessible 3.25-inch fine edge blade and needlenose pliers on an x-channel rail system that slide out with the press of a button and flick of the wrist, sparing you the need to twist the tool open as with so many others. Other tools include carbide wire cutters, a fine and coarse sided file, a serrated blade, an awl, a pry bar + nail puller, and a much-needed bottle opener, amongst others.

Grab one at Amazon ($91) or at Gerber ($120)

GET IT: $120

Gear

Crescent Locking Adjustable Wrench

Since the locking mechanism on vice grips is just about the best feature of any handheld tool, Crescent decided to slap it on a wrench. If you’ve ever used a wrench before, you know how annoying adjusting the wrench to the size you want can be, and that it stays tight for the first turn and a half only. The addition of the locking handle, and fourteen different locking positions, lets you efficiently clamp down on nuts and bolts of just about any size with two times the gripping power of a standard wrench. Not to mention it just looks cool. Or, for a few bucks less, there’s also this bare steel alloy Stanley model ($16).

Grab one at Home Depot – $25

GET IT: $25

Tools

Craftsman Flex Claw Hammer

Hammers are simple tools that do one or two things fairly reliably, notably bashing small metal pins into other things (and also pulling them back out). The Craftsman Flex Claw Hammer imaginatively expands on these functionalities by the inclusion of a rotating claw that can be turned and locked to one of four different positions by pressing on a release on the hammer, all in order to get the right angle for the job. It’s also got a large striking face for driving nails, a magnetic nail starter to spare your fingers, and a grippy dual-material handle that soaks up some of the impact force of repeated blows.

Grab one at Amazon – $55

GET IT: $55

Gear

Tactica Talon

Think multitool and you’ll usually imagine a hefty contraption made of stainless steel. Tactica’s Talon, like their first product, their Tactica One bottle opener, is instead crafted of a composite material of glass and polymer, as strong and hard as the former (and die cast metal, actually) without the fragility. Throw it in your pocket alongside your phone if you want — it won’t scratch it. Its seventeen tools include a box cutter, two hex sockets — one high torque — both metric and imperial rulers, a bottle opener, and eleven wrenches. It’s even got a storage compartment to fit two drivers, with a both Phillips and flat head bits included.

Find it at Kickstarter – $30

GET IT: $30

Gear

Shinola x Leatherman Multitool

The quality of Leatherman multitools is without question, and this collaboration between the American tool-maker and Shinola only further elevates the former’s already functional style while custom tailoring its uses. The multitool is based on Leatherman’s Charge AL, giving it a matte navy anodized exterior and the addition of two tools: a watch tool for swapping watch straps and a bike hex tool. It’s still equipped with the same tools as the original including needlenose pliers, wire cutters, two knives — one serrated, one straight — plus a saw, scissors, a diamond-coated file, and a bottle opener, amongst several others totalling 17. The tool also ships with a leather sheath and a bit kit to swap out the screwdriver bit in the fold-out driver.

Learn more at Shinola – $250

GET IT: $250

Bike

Swiss+Tech 20-in-1 Bicycle Multitool Kit

Throw a spare tube and a Swiss+Tech 20-in-1 Bicycle Multitool Kit into your bike’s saddle bag and you’re essentially set for anything the road could throw at you. The slim tool includes two tire levers for changing a flat, a chain tool, five spoke wrenches, a pair of screwdrivers, seven hex drivers, a T25 star driver, and two wrenches. It’s made entirely of stainless steel so it isn’t the lightest tool in the shed, but it makes up for it in durability.

Hit up Amazon for details – $14 [via]

GET IT: $14

Tech

Wazer Desktop Waterjet Cutter

At several thousand dollars, it’d be hard to convince a layman that the Wazer Desktop Waterjet Cutter is affordable — until you showed them the price of others. And it’s also the first to be small enough to fit on a desk, albeit a large one. Wazer uses waterjet technology that employs a water and sand-like mixture to cut through just about any material with high precision and without setting it aflame, also avoiding heat-induced warping and dust creation. The machine plugs into a standard outlet and a hose. Then, make your design using one of several software (including Solidworks, Adobe Illustrator, Google SketchUp, and others), load in the abrasive, put in the block of material to cut, set the cutter to the right height using an included tool, and close the lid.

Learn more at Kickstarter – $4,000

GET IT: $4,000

Tools

VSSL Mini Cache

VSSL are masters at packing lots of functionality into compact tubes, as we judge by their existing gear. The VSSL Mini Cache is no exception, though you’ll have to fill the tube yourself. The cache doubles as a three-mode portable LED lantern and boasts a compass on its carabiner-equipped end cap. Unscrew the cap and there’s room for a few VSSL modules, which for example include a wire saw, first aid supplies, fishing gear, Tinder Quik fire starts, Aquatabs for water purification, and many more — though none are included. Alternately, just fill it with whatever else fits.

Learn more at VSSL – $65

Tools

Worx Switch Drill & Driver

While they both do essentially the same thing — spin a thin, cylindrical hunk of metal — there’s been no practical way to get around owning both a standalone drill and a bit driver. The Worx Switch Drill & Driver is one tool that takes the place of both and makes switching between them quick and easy thanks to two 1/4-inch chucks, one for drilling and one for driving, that rotate 180 degrees at the push of a button (i.e. that little red trigger above the main one for drilling). The bits stay loaded all the while so switching back and forth between them is seamless, and an electronic clutch with 11 positions lets you adjust torque settings while preventing screws from being stripped on driver mode. It’s also got an integrated LED for shedding light on whatever you’re working on.

Learn more at Amazon – $95

Tools

Shaper Origin CNC Machine

A proper CNC router will set you back an absurd amount of money. Cheap it’s not, but Shaper Origin CNC Machine at least makes this technology affordable for the serious DIYer. It’s also the first hand-held CNC machine but instead of leaving precise work to your shaky, non-expert hands the Shaker Origin guides you using a 5-inch touchscreen display up top that’s programmed with a precise design and automatically corrects the tool’s bit to the desired position — as well as completely handling the z-axis depth — for a perfectly smooth cut. Thanks to its open ended handheld nature it’ll help you tackle projects of various sizes and complexities. It’s also clean thanks to a dust extraction port (bottom left) that connects to your external vacuum to quarantine the dust and features a collect that accepts standard 1/4-inch shank router bits.

Learn more at Shaper Tools – $1,500+

Tools

Walabot DIY

Ever wish your stud finder could do a little more than beep incessantly? Walabot DIY is the answer. This device magnetically connects to your Android smartphone and uses a Vayyar Imaging sensor to look through up to four inches of concrete or drywall, displaying a representation of what it sees on your device’s display by way of an app. Between various sensing modes and calibration it can be adjusted to your needs, seeing pipes and wires — and their orientation — or even movement (i.e. rodents and other unwanted critters) behind walls.

Learn more at Walabot – $200