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Tools That Make Us Drool

International Builders' Show power- and hand-tool debuts that we'll be adding to our toolboxes this year

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Tiny drills, vibration-free sanders, and a spinning blade that cuts through everything from window screens to old jeans—these International Builders' Show debuts are the power and hand tools that we'll be adding to our toolboxes this year.

Bosch's JS5 Saw

According to Bosch, 90 percent of European woodworkers prefer the barrel grip jigsaw, but 90 percent of Americans prefer the overhand style. Decide for yourself with the new JS5, a saw that allows you to lock the trigger from the higher grip, yet gives plenty of room to grip the barrel below and steer the blade through the work. About $109; Bosch Tools

Craftsman Vibra-free Sander

Craftsman's new 5-inch random orbital sander uses VibraFree technology to keep it from shaking, even when it's oscillating at 12,000 OPM. The cyclonic air separator helps hold down dust, the aluminum base holds down the weight, and the two together give it the eerie appeal of a UFO in, well, orbit. About $100; Craftsman

Hitachi Micro Driver

Hitachi's latest lightweight lithium-ion drill/driver, a 10.8-volt gun with a 22-stage clutch and a nice LED tip, offers something that the competition doesn't—balance. The top-heavy, tilted drills blurred in the distance (the Bosch Pocket Driver and Milwaukee Sub-compact, for those keeping track) seem to be, in Hitachi's estimation, destined for the background. About $129; Hitachi Power Tools

Paslode Cordless Framing Nailer

Toe-nailing with a framing nailer can be tricky—the safety mechanism on the nose piece causes the gun to not fire if it's not making full contact, but if you straighten the tip out too much, you won't go through both boards. Paslode's latest has a redesigned tip that allows you to nail at any angle, as well as a new fuel cartridge that burns cleaner and lasts longer. Check with manufacturer for pricing; Paslode

Ridgid 12V

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Quick-change chucks let you quickly switch between drilling and driving, but they limit you to hex-shanked bits. These chucks were standard issue on compact drivers—until now. Ridgid's 12-volt features a single sleeve chuck, the type of 3-jawed arrangement you'd see on larger drills, that allows you to use any bits in your box. Check with manufacturer for pricing; Ridgid

Ridgid Radio

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Rock the job site with Ridgid's new iPod-ready radio, which also charges your cell phone and lets you stack tool cases atop its tough frame. The radio runs on either 12- or 24-volt batteries, or plug it into a 120-volt outlet—now, why can't you do that with cordless tools? Check with manufacturer for pricing; Ridgid

Rotozip Diamond Tile Blade

It might not be the diamond your Valentine had in mind, but the new Rotozip XBIT has 2.5 carats of tile-cutting bling. Ideal for floor tiles, the bit bores through hard tiles like porcelain and granite with holes up to 1/2-inch thick. Check with manufacturer for pricing; Rotozip

Ryobi 18V Combo Kit

Finally, a lithium-ion combo kit at a price accessible to a DIYer, yet capable of building some walls (or knocking some out). Ryobi's I8-volt kit includes a reciprocating saw, a drill/driver, a flashlight, and a 5-1/4-inch circular saw with a nicely balanced battery that loads beside (not beneath) the handle. $299; Ryobi

Skil Power Cutter

The 3.6-volt Li-Ion power cutter automatically sharpens its blade every time it passes through the tool, and because there isn't much you can't cut with this thing—that'll come in handy. Use it on carpeting, vinyl flooring, wallpaper, leather, denim, window screens, roofing paper, and basically anything else less than ¼-inch thick. About $70; Skil Tools

Skil Circular Saw

Skil's new top-of-the-line 15-amp circular saw throws all the company's features into one 2.6-hp package: a 2-beam laser guide system, soft-grip handle, an anti-snag lower guard, and—our favorite—blade depth adjustment you can view from the rear of the saw. About $80; Skil Tools

Bosch Laser Range Finder

For less than $200, the Bosch Laser Range Finder does away with all the math you learned in school. There's absolutely no programming. Just push a button, point the laser and this handheld genius computes distance to within 1/16-inch. Find perimeter, area, cubic volume, or bust out the hypotenuse with the Pythagorean theorem. About $170; Bosch Tools

Skil Custom Fit Pliers

Turn your Channellock into a basin wrench and spare your knuckles when removing a drain nut in a tight spot beneath the sink. Pressure points on either side the of plier arms allow you to unlock and fold the jaws to any angle. Inventor Glenn Robinson says, "you give up the leverage but increase your torque with a better grip in that hard-to-reach space." Coming soon from Skil

Bosch Carbide Tooth Hole Saw Set

Perforating the hardest fiber cement siding or backer board is easy with this new carbide tooth hole saw set in a quick release mandrel from Bosch. Essentially replacing a bi-metal hole saw, a sheet metal saw, and a masonry blade, the carbide tip can even cut (slowly) through hardened foundation slab concrete. Price ranges from $45 to $127 (depending on cup size); Bosch Tools

Bosch Dustless Drill

For the fastidious DIYer or specialized contractor who needs to bore near high-tech electronic equipment and hospital environments, comes Bosch's dustless rotary drill. The drill's bit spins through an outrigger that leads to a filter, which captures swarf and sawdust before it enters the atmosphere. About $259; Bosch Tools