The Ryobi HPL51K electric hand planer is a budget tool that includes some very nice features such as a left/right dust ejection dial, adjustable depth knob and blade-protecting kick stand. This tool really enables easy planning of uneven surfaces – up to 3/32″ in a single cut – and even performs edge and rabbet cuts with the included edge guide.
Bosch really put everything into their 1590EVSK orbital jigsaw. Now, depending on what you do for a living (or in your do-it-yourself project world), a jigsaw may not be your standard go-to tool. However, with 4-stage orbital control, tool-less blade changes & bevel adjustment, and variable speed control with trigger lock, this is a one-stop jigsaw shop. We’ve used lots of jigsaws before, but Bosch’s take on this staple seems to put it on higher ground and leave nearly nothing out of the mix.
The Black & Decker JS515 4.5 amp Jigsaw can be found for a reasonable “street” price and offers reliable, if simplistic performance. The saw is your basic model and certainly doesn’t feature many frills besides tool-less changing of both universal and t-shank blades and a handy magnetic storage area for up to 3 blades. If you can find it on sale you may have a deal, but paying retail isn’t something we’d recommend for this model.
Dremel is well-known for their rotary tools, but the new Multi-Max oscillating tool may put a fresh smile on the face of those who ever wanted to plunge cut into a door jamb or easily remove nasty old caulk from around a sink or tub enclosure. The Multi-Max features multiple attachments that allow it to be used for cutting, grinding, sanding scraping and even grout removal. It’s the kind of tool that actually does something no other tool does, making difficult and otherwise messy jobs rather simple.
We reviewed the Milwaukee 1107-6 7 amp D-handle drill with the optional right angle drive attachment and were blown away by its powerful torque and drilling capability, especially in tight corners. This is a tool that, bar none, any serious contractor should have in their arsenal. This tool is not for bargain hunters, however as it will set you back quite a bit to benefit from its stellar performance.
The Hitachi C7SB2 7-1/4 inch 15 amp circular saw is a workhorse product which can be found for a very reasonable price if you look hard enough. Its clean lines, comfortable feel, and powerful motor make it a decent saw for cutting, but clumsy depth and bevel adjustments give it at least some areas of improvement. This tool will do well in any handyman’s kit and some professionals may even find its lightweight styling is worth a second look.
We found the Hitachi G12SR3 4-1/2 inch 6 amp angle grinder to be an easy to use tool that should be at the top of any handyman’s short list. Price, performance and ease of use make this an easy pick for someone looking to grab a flexible tool that can be used in tile, metalwork or concrete applications.