6 tools to make Dad happy

Father's Day gift ideas for under $150

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 18, 2010

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Father's Day gift ideas for under $150

Paul Bianchina
Inman News

Father's Day is here again, and you're probably wondering what kind of a great do-it-yourself gift dear old Dad would love to get this year. Here are a few cool new tools and accessories, listed in order of price, that are worth considering.

1. Final Cut 7 1/4-inch Saw Blade ($19.95, www.finalcutblade.com): It seems like there's nothing that gives you a greater feeling of pride than having the joint between two boards fit together perfectly. One way to help get that perfect fit is with the Final Cut line of saw blades, which uses a patented design that combines a top-quality, carbide-tipped blade with a disk of sandpaper on each side. As the blade makes the cut, the sandpaper finishes off the edges to almost jointer-like smoothness.

Previously available only in 10-inch and 12-inch sizes for table saws and miter saws, the Final Cut blade is now available in a 7 1/4-inch version that will fit most popular models of circular saws, including saws with diamond knockout arbors. The pressure-sensitive sandpaper is also precut and easily replaceable.

2. Craftsman Cordless Pruner (Model 74431, $49.99, www.craftsman.com): If Dad loves to garden, or if he's facing a lot of yard cleanup work after last winter's storms, this handy 4V lithium-ion cordless pruner might be just what he needs.

It's compact and lightweight, and cuts through branches up to 1/2 inch thick with the push of a button. There are no handles to open and close, so the pruner fits easily into tight spots, and is especially good for anyone with limited hand strength. The pruner features a safety switch that prevents unintentional blade operation, and offers up to 500 cuts per charge. Charger is included.

3. Ryobi Tek4 Audio Plus Noise Suppression Headphones (Model RP4530, $69.99, www.ryobitools.com): Here's something you can do for Dad that's not only a very cool tool, it's also a serious investment in his health. Ryobi's Noise Suppression Headphones are part of their line of Tek4 4V lithium-ion battery technology.

The comfortable padded headphones can be used alone to help reduce the loud noises associated with power tools and outdoor equipment. Or you can switch on the electronic suppression circuits to reduce harmful background noise while enhancing the sound of nearby speech. There's also an auxiliary input for iPod and MP3 players.

So now you can protect your hearing while still carrying on a conversation or listening to music. And the headphones are impact-, dust- and water-resistant, so they're designed for use in shop and outdoor environments. Offers up to 24 hours of use on a charge, and includes the headphones, battery and charger.

4. Dremel 8200 Cordless Rotary Tool (Model 8200, $99, www.dremel.com): Rotary tools have always had a place in the workshop, toolbox and hobby room, but it seems like it's always had to be a choice between corded power or cordless convenience. Now Dremel has brought the two together with the cordless Model 8200, their newest and perhaps one of their best rotary tools yet. The 8200 uses a 12-Volt Max lithium-Ion battery, and a convenient "fuel gauge" lets you keep track of the remaining battery life. When it gets low, the newly designed charger will recharge the battery in just one hour. The 8200 has a variable speed range of 5,000 to 30,000 RPM, which is easily adjustable from a convenient slide switch on the top of the tool. It fits all Dremel accessories and attachments, including their new saws and planers. Includes the rotary tool, battery, charger, case and an assortment of accessories.

5. Black & Decker 24 Volt Cordless String Trimmer/Edger (Model NST1024, $139.99, www.blackanddecker.com): Black & Decker's done a very nice job with its new 24-volt string trimmer/edger. One innovation over past models is the PowerCommand, which lets you choose between Normal cutting to extend battery life, or "Boost" mode, which delivers twice the cutting power of most 18-volt string trimmers when you need to tackle tall weeds and other tough conditions. And it does it without the hassle of gas and oil, or any fumes or emissions. The trimmer now has an adjustable aluminum shaft, along with a non-slip auxiliary handle. The 9,000-RPM cutter head rotates down at the touch of a button to become an edger as well. It includes the trimmer, one 24-volt battery and a battery charger. (If you're replacing an older 18-volt model, you can use those batteries with this trimmer as well.)

6. Bosch Pocket Driver (Model PS21-2A, $149.99, www.boschtools.com): Pockets drivers are great little tools for a variety of applications. They're small, light and compact, so they can fit into lots of tight spaces for a variety of fastening applications. But for all those advantages, they often lack the necessary power to tackle the tough jobs. Bosch, a leader in the cordless pocket driver technology, has really taken care of that with its new generation PS21. This driver uses a 12-volt lithium ion battery to achieve 265 inch-pounds of torque, which is pretty substantial for one of these little guys.

In fact, it's more than double that of the PS20 pocket driver that came before it. It has a 2-speed gear train for both driving and drilling, a 21-position clutch, and a bright LED light for those dark spots. It's very comfortable in your hand, weighs just 1.8 pounds, and is only a little over 5 1/2 inches in length. Takes standard 1/4-inch hex drive bits. Includes the pocket driver, two batteries, a 30-minute charger and a carrying case.

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at paulbianchina@inman.com.

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