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.
How You'll Benefit
Multitaskers save space in your box or shed, and they cost far less than the sum of their standalone counterparts.
The H3 weighs just three pounds but pulls triple duty as a drill, a driver, and a hammer drill that punches holes in concrete. It does so with easily swappable bit holders for the different bit styles, plus two moving parts run by the 12-volt battery. A motor spins the drill as usual and, in hammer mode, a scaled-down pneumatic piston kicks in to push the tip a quarter of an inch into brick.
Snap one of five heads onto this handle to turn it into a drill, impact driver, ratchet, auto-hammer or oscillating tool that can cut and sand. The 8.5-inch handle hides a 12-volt battery and a motor. To transmit power from that motor to different tools—all with different torque and speed requirements—Ridgid equipped each attachment with its own gears.
This tool, designed to cut floorboards and narrow lumber, acts as a portable table saw and miter saw. Lock its blade in place to feed wood in for lengthwise cuts, as with a table saw; then rotate the board, hold it steady, and slide the blade along rails to make miter-style horizontal or diagonal cuts. It needs an outlet, but at 24 pounds, it’s light enough to carry between rooms.
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.