Mid-Week Tool Sneak Peek No. 1

June 22, 2011

It’s Wednesday and for me the week is half over. Typically this is the day where I know if the week is going to end good or bad. I often need a little distraction at this point to help me get ready to push my way through to the weekend and nothing does that better than checking out new tools and accessories I just might want in my own shop.

Every week something new is introduced the woodworker in the hopes it’ll be the next “can’t live without” tool. Some are just improvements on existing items, others are radical and unbelievably new and then there’s some that probably should never have seen the light of day.

I can’t speak for what you might think about all these new tools that keep popping up and tempting us, but I can at least share a few that have caught my eye while out surfing my favorite websites.

Each week I hope to bring you some of the best the retailers and manufacturers have to offer, but it’s up to you to decide if it’s right for your shop. I’m not making any promises, but I have a feeling you’ll like them.

With all that out of the way let’s get a look at our first items:

Highland Woodworking is now carrying Festool’snew ultra-compact CXS Drill Driver
Weighing less than 2 lbs., the CXS compact drill driver packs ample power for tough jobs and ease of use in tight spaces.

* Drill-only model includes keyless drill chuck and Centrotec Chuck
* Drill Set ALSO includes right angle chuck
* 3-year warranty
* Lightweight ergonomic design
* Lithium-ion battery 10.8 volts 1.3 Ah
* Charge time: 25 min to 80%, 45 min to 100%
* Integrated belt clip
* Onboard bit storage
* High-intensity LED light
* RPM: 0-400 and 0-1200
* Weight 1.98 lbs
* Keyless Chuck capacity is 5/16″ (8mm)
* Uses FastFix interchangeable chucks


Lee Valley & Veritas recently introduced their new Precision Square to the market.

* Ideal size for cabinet-making
* Accuracy of an engineer’s square (0.001″ per inch of length).
* All four edges are ground, and faces graduated on the inside and outside edges.
* Imperial square is graduated in 32nds on the 3″ leg and in 16ths on the 6″ leg.
* Metric version is graduated in half millimeters on the 8cm leg and in millimeters on the 15cm leg.

Pic copyright Veritas

Great for general layout AND machine set-up since you can measure and check for square on the same plane. The markings are etched and black-filled for ease of reading and its thin, compact size fits easily into an apron slot or pocket.


Eagle America recently introduced a nice little accessory for hand drills, the “Forstner Bit Depth Stop”. Not everyone has a drill press and even if you did, sometimes it’s easier to bring the tool to the wood rather than the wood to the tool. Working with forstner bits is easy, but being able to accurately stop at the correct depth can be a little tricky by hand.

* Designed for forstner bits up to 2-1/8″ in diameter.
* Slide the bushing in the enclosure’s integral bearing,
slide over the shank of the forstner bit to desired depth.
* Slide the second (same size) bushing over the top of the
stop and bushing and secure in place.
* The depth stop has a built in bearing, which keeps the
stop motionless while forstner bit spins to avoid
marking or burning the wood.
* Set includes bushings for forstner bits with shank diameters:
3/8″, 7/16″, 9/16″


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Comments (4)

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  1. Vic Hubbard says:

    I still haven’t quite drank the lime green Kool-Aid. Oh I WANT to, I just haven’t yet. Not sure about the thin square. I don’t wear an apron. I just have my little Starret square wherever I need it at the moment. I can see where the depth stop for a forstner bit used with a hand drill would be a big benefit, but luckily I have a DP.


    This visit has been brought to you by The People Who Don’t Abandon Podcasters During Summer Break.

    • Matt says:

      Thats a group of people that should be rewarded for their efforts CHORTLE!

      Not all new tools are winners, but a few are pretty neat…especially for the woodworker who wants all the cool new toys!!!

      Thanks Vic.

  2. Andrew says:

    I like the new sneak peek idea … keep em coming … some how I think it will end up costing me money though 🙂

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