The Weekly Five: April 4, 2008

The bad and the buoyant reign in the week's Top Tools

Strike a Blow Against Stuck Fasteners

What do you do when you can’t break a stubborn fastener loose? You beat the tar out of the other end of your wrench, of course. Stanley Proto made these striking wrenches so you can wail on your favorite tools—without any shame.

Where No Pipe Wrench Has Gone Before

Wiha/$45–$150 for a 3 piece set
Wiha’s narrow-profile pipe wrenches fit into places a normal pipe wrench can’t, even after the latest South Beach diet. Available in three thin-waisted varieties and jaw styles, one of these nine wrenches is bound to do a number on whatever fastener has you stumped in a small space.

Catch Water Leaks Before It’s Too Late

Hint: it’s best to worry about how to detect a water heater leak before it drains onto your floor (or worse, attic) —not after. Zircon’s Leak Alert electronic water detector can save you a bunch of hassle and grief. Just place it under or near your water heater and let the Zircon sound off when there’s moisture.

Part Hatchet, Part Hammer, All Destruction

Lee Valley/$10
This Lee Valley box tool definitely exudes a Mad Max vibe complete with pits from the steel casting process. It’s a tool specifically designed to bust open objects you’re really not interested in reassembling. It’s part hatchet, part hammer, part pry bar, and part horror movie. We like it.

Preview: New Floating XTools for 2008

Shakespeare/Not available as a kit yet
No, these floating tools aren’t made by Fisher-Price, despite their bright colors. And yes, they can save your ass if you accidentally drop ’em over the side working on your boat. The floating-series XTools’ high-visibility colors allow you to find the tools in the water, and the sets ship in an equally flashy bag that’ll also float — so you’re covered, no matter how clumsy you are.