Holiday Gift Guide: 7 New, Must-Have Tools

Every year, around holiday time, This Old House magazine editors handpick the TOH Top 100: Best New Home Products. Here are a few cool tools that would make any DIYer happy this holiday season. SEE ALL: TOH Top 100> Best New Home Products of 2013

1. Sidewinder Pliers, by Lee Valley

An exact replica of a tool from the 1870s, these cast-carbon-steel pliers have a serpentine handle that works as a fulcrum, making them perfect for pulling tacks or brads. And if you snap one off, the teeth are sharp enough to snip it flush with the floor. About $15; leevalley.com

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2. DWARA100 Right-Angle Attachment, by DeWALT

Meet the first right-angle drive attachment designed to stand up to the force of an impact driver, thanks to sturdy steel gears. About $20; dewalt.com

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3. 18V LXDT06Z Quick-Shift Mode 3-Speed Impact Driver, by Makita

Impact drivers pack a powerful punch but often leave behind a trail of stripped screws and split boards. This one automatically reduces impact force and rotation speed in the final seconds of driving for a level of control you’d otherwise look for in a less powerful drill/driver. About $180 (tool only); makitausa.com

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4. Carvex 420 series Jigsaw, by Festool

Handling curves doesn’t get any easier: The motor adapts its speed to the material; a blower clears dust from your cutline; and LEDs synchronize with the blade, creating the illusion that it’s stationary and making it easier to guide. About $350; festooljigsaws.com

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5. 23-Gauge Pin Nailer, by Bosch

Anyone who has ever installed a stretch of molding only to discover that the gun has been firing nothing but compressed air for, oh, the past 5 minutes will cherish a nailer that stops when the magazine is empty. Not that we’ve ever made that mistake. About $160; boschtools.com

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6. Wobble Ratchet, by Craftsman

Nothing is so aggravating as trying to turn a bolt in confined quarters—unless the head of your ratchet swivels on its axis, like this one does; it’s a long-overdue design fix. The telescoping handle lets the tool slip into tight spots. About $40 for a 30-piece set; craftsman.com

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7. ProSensor 710, by Franklin Sensors Inc.

No more sweeping back and forth to find both sides of a stud: 13 sensors work simultaneously, illuminating every LED over a stud and taking the guesswork out of finding its center. Works nearly as well on lath-and-plaster as drywall. Best of all? It actually works. About $60; franklinsensors.com

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