The giant, the tiny and the tough. This week’s edition of top tools is bound to make you a better carpenter with more accurate tape measures, more versatile rasps and, well, more. Our friends at
toolmonger.com round up the week’s best tools, in any shape, here.
Check out the previous roundups at
popsci.com/toolmonger. And for all tools, all the time, head over to toolmonger.com.
Turn Over A New Leaf To Gauge Hole Size
Starrett/$90 – $110 When you need to measure the diameter of a hole, you can either start looking for objects about the same size for comparison or reach for a taper gauge. Aptly named for their tapered shape, the taper gauge measures hole and slot sizes quickly and accurately. This one from Starrett (No. 267) can measure holes and slots from 1/16″ to 1-1/16″–to the nearest 1/64″.
Cheap-Ass Tools: $15 HF Micro Die Grinder
Harbor Freight/$15 With Harbor Freight’s micro die grinder, you can grind or sand in tight areas–or go to town on a carving project. The 1/8″ collet will accept most Dremel bits, which makes it good for all sorts of jobs from sanding down the burrs on your safety glasses to polishing up your iPod.
An Ambidextrous Tape Measure
FastCap/$11 Reading a tape measure upside-down is a good way to make errors, so the FastCap ProCarpenter tape reads both left-to-right and right-to-left. Result: you don’t have to twist your neck to read the scale, and you’re less likely to misread the tape and wind up making a screwed-up cut.
Woodcraft/$10 If Marlon Brando had carried a carpenter’s rasp in The Wild One, this would have been it. Originally used by staircase makers to smooth curved handrails, this rasp can shape tightly curved or concave areas where a straight rasp won’t work—but we can’t help but point out how mean it looks. We love anything that looks like Klingon battle armor.