The Toolmonger Weekly Five: March 28, 2008

Weld like a champion and change bits like a king with this week's top tools

This week, Toolmonger presents the tools that make tough jobs a breeze. From super pro welders to bent wrenches for tackling router bits, it’s the top tools of the week. View the whole collection here.

Check out the previous roundups at popsci.com/toolmonger. And for all tools, all the time, head over to toolmonger.com.

Lincoln’s Ranger 250 GXT Welder

Lincoln Electric/$3,800
Lincoln’s new Ranger 250 GXT—a 600-pound, big-dog portable welder—also serves as a portable power supply. Its 120/240V outlets can drive a high-capacity rig like a plasma cutter or up to four 120V tools like grinders or lights without fear of running out of juice.

Bent Wrenches Make Changing Router Bits Easier

Woodpeckers/$20
Changing bits in a table-mounted router is often an exercise in futility—especially without a (pricey) flip-top table. The poor-man’s solution: a bent router wrench that easily snags the collet with your router still mounted in the table. It’ll save you tons of time and hassle.

Klein’s Conduit Fitting and Reaming Screwdriver

Klein/$25
Run Klein’s conduit fitting and reaming screwdriver over your freshly-cut conduit, and it’ll knock off the nasty sharp edges that nick and penetrate wire insulation—and cut up your hands. It’s also way easier to attach fittings to a smooth, burr-free conduit end.

It’s Just Cool: Cheeseboroughs

Rosco/$40
The uber-handy pipe coupler/scaffold clamp—often called a “cheeseborough,” though no one seems to know why—hold together those huge scaffolding systems you see on new construction sites. They’re really simple: just fit a pipe in each clamp, tighten, and forget about it.

Preview: LS17 Air-Cooled TIG Torch

Weldcraft/Not Available Yet
Want to weld like your Discovery Channel heroes? Take note: Weldcraft just added this new air-cooled TIG torch to its product line. We think its smooth styled ergonomics make it look like a toothbrush rather than a torch, but the LS17 is rated at 150 amps DC and 125 amps AC and it runs a 60% duty cycle—which means six minutes of welding for every ten minute span of time. Most of the welders wielding it have a shorter duty cycle, so that sounds pretty hot.