The Toolmonger Weekly Five: February 1. 2008

An ultra-tough circular saw is just the beginning--check out the top tools of the week

In this week’s installment from our friends at, we bring you a budget-conscious bonanza. From dust bubbles that save you an afternoon of sweeping ($4 a pop) to a hand plane that won’t cost an arm and a leg, it’s the tools you need today.

Check out the previous roundups at And for all tools, all the time, head over to

Plastic Razor Blades

ScrapeRite/$9 per 25-pack Sure, plastic razor blade sounds more like the name of an underground punk band than the new rage with automotive detailers. But paint ‘n body guys use ’em to strip away paint and adhesives without damaging freshly completed body work. Of course, Toolmonger readers point out that you still wouldn’t want to take ’em through airport security.

Skil’s Base-Model Skilsaw

Skil/$45 Having cut thousands of pieces of lumber with our trusted 7-1/4″ Skilsaw (model 5400-01)–and dropped it off a roof or two as well–we selected it as one of our favorite tools of 2007. It’s proved to us time and time again that toughness doesn’t always come in expensive packages.

Drilling Dust Bubble

Dust Bubble/$4 Stick one of these plastic bubbles between your drill and drywall or masonry and and it’ll catch the mess instead of spilling it on your floor. Is it a gimmick? Perhaps, but having cleaned up our share of drywall dust, we’re gonna give ’em a try.

A Hand Plane Without Giving Up an Arm (or Leg)

Anant/$40 Newbie woodworkers often go into sticker shock when they compare the cost of a decent hand plane to modern power tools. But the hand plane solves some problems you can’t touch with a belt sander. Anant helps to ease the low-budget blues with a solid, entry-level hand plane that’ll get the job done–after a bit of adjustment.

Lift a Ton And a Half With a Bicycle Pump

Matjack/$550 Unless your name is Bruce Banner and you turn green when you get angry, there isn’t a really easy way to lift a car without a jack–unless you’re armed with one of Matjack’s low-pressure, high-lift bags. They can lift 1-1/2 tons with nothing but a bag, a bicycle pump, and about 8 PSI of air.