Summer’s winding down, the last of barbecues are almost upon us and the kids are almost back in school! (Yay!) To all of us here at HomeFixated, that sounds like the perfect time for us to get our tool belt on and gear up for some fall home improvement mayhem. It’s time to go back to “tool school” with this end of the summer edition of Tool News Nirvana. It might also be a good time to mention “Tool News Nirvana” is now officially “News Nirvana.” Fear not, we’ll continue our strong focus on tools, but we also want to tell you about great new products that aren’t necessarily tools. In this edition, we’ve got ir-rest-istible lathe tool rests from our gracious sponsor Rockler, Milwaukee is heating it up with new M12 heated gear (including a new Milwaukee hoodie), Makita will blow you away with their new dual battery leaf blower, Gladiator shelving lets you put it all away in the garage, and more!
Rockler Lathe Tool Rests
The good folks over at Rockler Woodworking and Hardware are introducing a new after-market lathe tool rest that features some serious improvements in ergonomics and performance over typical straight-from-the-factory lathe rests. By smoothing and contouring the finger rest, it provides significant control and flexibility as you guide the turning tool across the rest. This translates into less hand discomfort while using the tool for long periods. So, no matter if you’re turning a few hundred spindles for your deck, or you’re turning out a single ballpoint pen, you can rest assured (no pun intended) that the Rockler rest isn’t going to wear you out before your turning is complete.
There’s an array of sizes (4”, 6”, 10”) that feature a 5/8” diameter mounting post to fit most mini and midi lathes, and they’re all coated in a durable black epoxy finish. They retail for $19.99 (4”), $22.99 (6”) and $24.99 (10”) respectively at Rockler stores nationwide or other independent retailers. Or shop online at Rockler.com and request a free catalog while you’re at it. It makes for some good reading while you’re resting your hands from your uncomfortable lathe rest before you upgrade. If you’re into turning wood, you’ll definitely want to check these out.
Milwaukee’s M12 Heated Gear
While you still might be grilling outdoors, it won’t last forever. Soon the cold winds will be blowing and old Jack Frost will be nipping at more than just your nose. That’s why Milwaukee is gearing up with a trio of new heated gear.
M12 Hand Warmers
The new M12 heated hand warmers might look like something that Luke Skywalker wears while riding on his Tauntaun across the frozen wastelands of Hoth, but they actually are pretty dang useful. If you’ve tried to drive a nail with gloves on, you know it’s pretty much impossible. You end up taking off your gloves to drive nails, and rushing to put them back on once you’re done. That’s where the M12 heated hand warmer comes in (dare I say it?) Handy. No need for gloves!
Heated M12 Milwaukee Hoodie
Seen above, nothing beats a nice warm hoodie, especially when it’s heated with an M12 battery pack. Fully washable, this new heated Milwaukie hoodie is made from a thick cotton blend that’s designed to withstand the rough and tumble life on the jobsite.
M12 Heated Jacket – Ladies Edition
And ladies, Milwaukee didn’t leave you out. The new special edition women’s heated jacket not only helps to keep the girls toasty and warm, but they’re also made in partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Milwaukee will help fund 800 mammograms for women in need with the sales from these hot new Milwaukee M12 women’s heated jackets. So buy one today and you’ll not only stay warm, but you’ll help someone’s breasts in the process. It’s a win-win! If you’re not already familiar with the M12 line of heated gear from Milwaukee, we’re big fans. Just check out our review of their 2nd generation M12 Heated Jacket.
Makita 18V X2 LXT Cordless Blower
Cordless blowers are great because they haven’t got that cumbersome old cord dragging behind it, allowing it to get caught up under the car tires, in the bushes or around Fido’s legs. But some cordless blowers just don’t have the power, and they end up sucking more than they blow.
That’s why Makita developed their dual battery technology. The Makita dual 18V cordless blower utilizes their powerful, yet lightweight LXT lithium-ion battery line – times two. With a whopping 36V of battery power, you can bet leaves and dirt won’t stand a chance against this mighty cordless blower. It blows up to speeds of 208 MPH, with two models that retail from $219 to $429, and it scares the daylights out of most cats and dogs.
Stanley Upgrades Felt Protection with Flexi-Felt
If you have hardwood floors and have any furniture that weighs more than a feather, then you already know how easy it is to scratch and scuff your floors. Putting felt pads under chair and table legs has always been an option, but those pads often wear down, or they come off completely due to weak adhesive. Stanley has a new line of felt protection with an adhesive that they claim is super-strong.
Made with superior high-density wool felt and industrial strength adhesive, Flexi-Felt pads are softer and more compression resistant than similar products, so the felt stays on and lasts at least three times longer than standard felt pads. Products are available as felt pads, clear leg tips and institutional leg tips for multiple uses.
They even have a crazy bilingual video to show off the adhesive’s strength. Sadly, I had hoped they were actually going to drag a minivan around a hardwood floor on a giant pad of FlexiFelt, but that’s not the approach they took. Instead, they manually pulled a van with a small strip of Flexi-Felt, which is still pretty impressive:
We took a look at a couple samples they sent our way and the felt was soft and yet surprisingly difficult to fray. The samples we saw had rubber sleeves you can roll and unroll onto a chair leg or small table leg, not unlike some other “protection” of a more personal nature. We think the adhesive discs and pads without the sleeve are less obtrusive and look better aesthetically, but Flexi-Felt comes in both versions to fit everyone’s preferences. You can find a variety of Flexi-Felt Pads via our friends at Amazon.
Gladiator 77-Inch Garage Rack Shelving
Not all of us are lucky enough to have a detached workshop for all of our tools. Most of us end up having to store them in the garage with everything else, including the car. While shelving helps to alleviate the mess and clutter of tools by placing them up and out of the way, it often lacks the support that it needs, and sooner than later, they all end up falling into a broken heap on the ground.
Not if you’ve got a gladiator in your garage to help you. A Gladiator Shelf that is. These shelves are designed to hold up some heavy duty stuff. In fact, their new 77” garage rack shelf can hold up to 2,000 pounds per shelf for a total of four tons of weight per unit! That means you’ll be able to hold all of your tools (and maybe a baby elephant) without worrying about it all crashing to the ground in the middle of the night. MSRP: $199 – not bad considering they’re even food grade quality and assemble in just minutes thanks to Gladiator’s innovative new tool-free assembly design.
Stay tuned for more hot tools and products coming your way soon!