By Doug Mahoney
Posted 06.03.2010 at 5:19 pm 3 Comments
The Trend: Multifunction power tools that combine the mechanisms of two or more pieces of equipment into one professional-grade item
Why Now? Contractors and ambitious DIYers want to do projects more efficiently. And in many cases, toolmakers are taking advantage of the zip and design flexibility offered by compact 12-volt lithium-ion batteries. With less weight and space devoted to the power source, there’s room for what users want at the business end.
Drywall, plasterboard, wallboard—whatever you call it, the substance that covers billions of square feet of American homes hasn’t changed since its invention in 1917. Dry- wall factories still roast ground-up gypsum rock in 500°F kilns, spewing out 20 billion pounds of greenhouse gases a year. So Serious Materials created EcoRock: a drywall that congeals without heat, uses recycled materials that don’t require mining, and holds up even better.
Sink clogged again? Just turn the knob on the outside of the PermaFlow, and a flexible rubber paddle inside rotates through the trap to push the wad downstream. PermaFlow also helps keep glop from gathering in the first place, with a subtle angle in the incoming pipe that generates turbulence to carry it away.
Now bracing for category-4 mayhem means simply pulling down your shades. Storm-A-Rest manufacturer JHRG managed to turn a few pounds of .025-inch-thick fabric into stronger storm protection for windows than plywood. Faced with two-by-fours shot at 34 mph from an air cannon (one of the tests for category-4 certification in Florida), Storm-A-Rest panels survived undamaged; the boards punched right through plywood.
Grip it and rip it with these three smart-jawed tools
By Alan J. Heavens
Posted 07.06.2005 at 11:00 am 0 Comments
Hand tools for turning nuts and extracting nails can be a man’s best friend—or foe. These innovative new grippers are designed to deliver unparalleled leverage and versatility, making it easier than ever to squeeze into tight spots to dislodge a rusted nut or extract a headless nail.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.