Cool Tools

Wagner DeckMate

I’ve used the Wagner Deck Mate for years. Its smart design really speeds up staining the planks in a deck. It has an aluminum handle, gravity-feed reservoir, control valve knob, and swiveling paint pad head. The long handle lets you stain the deck while standing up (and off your knees!) Fill the reservoir with up […]

Handy Paint Pail

I’m glad I don’t have to stain my cedar deck every summer but when I do I’m extra glad I found the Handy Paint Pail. It’s a quart-sized container that holds paint or stain while you do brush work. The wide, rubbery strap works two ways. Slip your hand through the adjustable strap. Your hand […]

Booq Boa Shift Backpack

The booq Boa Shift backpack adds a little bit of luxury to the daily task of carrying your stuff around. The cool modern exterior has a look that’s far elevated from your schoolyard backpack, but the style is equality matched in functionality. On the outside the bag features waterproof nylon (thunderstorm tested, it works remarkably […]

uFactory uArm

uFactory is a new startup in Shenzhen that makes electronic gadgets, most of which are sold through Kickstarter campaigns and then get featured in uFactory’s online store. A case in point for the success of the company’s business model is the Arduino-controlled uArm, a desktop robotic arm that can be operated via Bluetooth or a […]

Texas Fireframe Fireplace Grate

The Texas Fireframe is the best way to burn ordinary logs in your ordinary fireplace (that is, no pellets, no gas, no installation, no electric fans) and not have most of the heat go up the chimney. Going by the catchphrase/slogan, “The Physicist’s Fire,” this improvement on the fireplace grate permits an arrangement of the […]

Entrepreneur and Inventor, Dan Shapiro

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Podcast on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 |See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page Robot Turtles creator Dan Shapiro recommends inventions and innovations that offer a surprisingly valuable experience for their price. If you’re looking for high value on a shoestring budget, you won’t be disappointed by Dan’s picks. Show […]

Blue Piston Wireless Rechargeable Speaker

One of the drawbacks I have found with iDevices is the limited way they have of sharing sound with others. They work great with an ear bud. You can buy a splitter and have two people listening at the same time, but they have to be close together. Their speaker system is hardly loud enough. […]

Steripod Toothbrush Sanitizer

I travel for a living, with limited space and staying in campgrounds 6 out of 7 nights a week. Most of my toiletries find their way into a single dopp kit, haphazardly tossed in as I try to avoid setting anything down in that puddle of questionable liquid on the counter. This year I had […]

Rapid Heat Ceramic Glue Gun

Over the years I’ve owned half a dozen glue guns, ranging from $6 craft guns up to $120 semi pro guns. They dribbled glue, took forever to heat up, and couldn’t output much glue. That last issue is a big problem for big projects – you have to use the glue while it’s hot and […]

CRC Electronic Contact Cleaner 2000

I first ran into a can of this wonderful stuff when I started my first job, and have found it invaluable since, to the point where I have a can at work, home, and even leave one at my parents’ house. What this is, is a can of non-flammable, liquid, electronic cleaner that can be […]

Vix Bit

This might seem like a bit of a specialty tool, but for a homeowner or finish carpenter, it makes installing any kind of fixture a snap. “Vix” is a brand name for the S.E. Vick company, more generically it’s a “self-centering” drill bit, and they make a few different sizes, but I’ve only ever used […]

Quirky Verseur 4-in1 Wine Opener

In theory, corkscrews are great tools. In practice, however, they’re often either challenging to use, over-engineered, or prohibitively expensive. But as I opened a bottle of wine on New Year’s Eve, I realized that the Quirky Verseur is by far the easiest, fastest corkscrew I’ve ever used. Simply slide the flared plastic tube of this […]

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