The Toolmonger Weekly Five: March 1, 2008

DIY better with stronger pipe cutters, superior wire strippers and more

Measure twice, cut once. This week’s edition of Top Tools is all about the accuracy. There’s a micro-drill set for model makers; a bevel gauge to make sure you’ve got the right angle; and dowel tips that make centering a breeze. Our friends at round up the whole collection here.

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

New Universal Insulation Strippers From Knipex

Knipex’s new wire strippers are big, bad and pricey. But they’ll strip insulation from damn near anything, and they feature a four blade cutting system that’s also replaceable. This isn’t a throwaway tool. Think of it like the new generation of razors–more blades are better.

Ultracut Cordless Pipe Cutter

Ever want a bionic hand that can sever pipe? This cordless pipe cutter does just that. And uninstalling your old hand isn’t required—a plus in our book. The cutter can chew through copper tubing from ½” to ¾” in size and stuffs easily in a tool bag.

Commando Precision Drill Set

If you’re a model maker (or other tiny-task worker), you’ll appreciate this micro-drill set that stores into a pocket-sized aluminum case. Thankfully you’ll rarely need to spin them very quickly, because they’re totally finger-powered.

Bevel Gauge Ensures You’ve Got The Right Angle

As much as it might look like one, this isn’t a spark plug gap tool. It’s actually used to check the bevel angle of knives or tools that require sharpening. Just put the edge of a blade into the gaps and you can gauge how steep or shallow the blade’s shape is versus the angle you’re shooting for.

Dowel Joinery On The Cheap With Dowel Centers

These little nickel-plated inserts fit into a pre-drilled hole, making it dirt simple to mark the center on other same-sized dowels—perfect for assembly-line lathe work, like creating forty custom-turned pieces for a baby crib. They’re cheap, too, leaving you more cash for buying fine wood.