For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!

Tag Archives: Tools

Smart String – A Better Measuring Tape?

Smart String (Images courtesy ThinkGeek)
By Andrew Liszewski

What looks like a low-rent calculator is actually a vast improvement to the traditional tape measure. The Smart String, aptly named given the retractable metal tape has been replaced with 50 feet of 20 pound strength string, works just like a traditional model, but with some notable improvements. For one, the string can be easily wrapped around irregularly shaped objects. So determining the circumference of a beachball, a task I’m sure we all deal with on a daily basis, is made much easier.

The actual measured distance is automatically displayed on the screen as well, to 3 decimal places of accuracy. So you don’t have to count out little tick marks on the tape, not that that’s even possible with this design. Like any good multi-tasker it’s got a built-in calculator that lets you recall and crunch any 3 measurements stored in its memory. There’s even a level bubble on the bottom edge plus a flashlight, which for just $11.99 from ThinkGeek, is above and beyond the tool call of duty.

[ Smart String Tape Measure ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

I Had No Idea Victorinox Made Swiss Army Knives With Built-in Lighters

Victorinox SwissFlame and CampFlame (Images courtesy VICfan)
By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia. Did you know that from 2002 to 2005 Victorinox made a couple of Swiss Army Knives that featured built-in lighters? Something that would come in far useful while trying to survive in the wilderness than a corkscrew bottle opener. But, because the lighters only require a single action to ignite the flame, they were deemed too unsafe for sale in the United States. So if you had any interest in picking up either the SwissFlame or CampFlame models, you had to live in Europe or Australia, where apparently lighter regulations are far more lenient.

But if you’re determined, and happen to have a friend or P.O. box in Australia, you can still find them from online sellers like ‘Army Surplus Stores‘ for $129.50 AUD, which works out to about $137 US.

[ VICfan - Victorinox SwissFlame and CampFlame ] VIA [ bookofjoe ]

Titanium Exuvius Multi Tool Collar Stays

Exuvius Multi Tool Collar Stays (Image courtesy Yanko Design)
By Andrew Liszewski

Just because you’re at a wedding or other fancy shindig doesn’t mean emergencies aren’t going to pop-up. So if you find yourself at an event where a Gerber hanging off your belt isn’t considered proper attire, these Exuvius Multi Tool Collar Stays will most certainly be an acceptable alternative. First and foremost they’ll prevent your shirt collar from popping up, but since they’re made from 100% titanium they’re also strong enough to be used as a screwdriver, bottle opener, thread cutter/wire stripper and in a prison situation, an effective shiv. Titanium usually costs a pretty penny, but because they’re so thin a set of 2 collar stays will cost you just $30, and if you think you’ll need backups, a set of 4 is a better deal at $50.

[ Exuvius Multi Tool Collar Stays ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

OhGizmo! Review – Keyport Slide

Keyport Slide (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

In my 5 or 6 years of blogging about gadgets and gizmos, the Keyport Slide stands out as one product that had a bit of a rough time making its way to the marketplace. We first wrote about the Keyport back in 2007 which we thought was a great concept, with not so great pricing and execution. $300 for a fancy key holder was expensive, no doubt about that, and users were asked to physically mail in the keys they wanted converted, which a lot of people thought was a little sketchy.

In 2009 when customers who had originally ordered the Slide still hadn’t received their product, we were pretty sure the product was DOA. But it turns out that wasn’t the end of the saga. By 2010 the company behind the Keyport had not only sorted out and vastly improved the logistics of the ordering process, but the price had been slashed to $79.99. And customers (finally!) started receiving their orders, which turned out to work just as promised. So when we were offered the chance to try out the latest version of the Keyport Slide we jumped at the opportunity. Both because we still think it’s a great idea and product, and also for some much needed closure. Check out our full review after the jump.

Continue Reading

Credit Card Micrometer Caliper

Credit Card Micrometer Caliper (Image courtesy MoMA Store)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s not as slick or shiv-able as the CardSharp credit card knife we brought you last week, but if you absolutely have to be able to measure the thickness of something with a reasonable degree of accuracy no matter where you are, you’ll probably want to add this slim micrometer to your wallet toolbox. Made of stainless steel it’s available from the MoMA Store for just $15.95.

[ Credit Card Micrometer Caliper ]

CardSharp Folding Credit Card Knife

CardSharp Folding Credit Card Knife (Image courtesy Iain Sinclair)
By Andrew Liszewski

While not as robust a multitasker as even a basic Swiss Army Knife, this folding credit card blade from Iain Sinclair looks far more compact and smuggle-friendly as you can keep it stashed away in your wallet. It weighs just 13 grams, is only 2mm thick and features a stainless steel blade with a healthy 65mm cutting edge and a short serrated edge on the opposite side. When folded away a built-in sheath prevents you from accidentally touching the sharp blade, and since I’m sure you’re having as hard a time as I did envisioning how it does fold/unfold, here’s a video showing it in action:

When officially shipping in January the CardSharp will sell for ~$23 (£15) but you can pre-order one now with a deposit of ~$11.60 (£7.50).

[ CardSharp Folding Credit Card Knife ] VIA [ Mobile Magazine ]

Bosch IXO Vino Cordless Screwdriver Doubles As A Wine Opener

By Chris Scott Barr

As a guy, you can never have too many power tools. Unfortunately explaining that to your significant other isn’t always the easiest of tasks. (If it is an easy task, remember that you’re a very lucky guy.) This means that sometimes you have to get creative with your purchases. If you’re in need of a small cordless screwdriver, this might be a good way to sneak one in under the radar.

The Bosch IXO Vino is a cordless screwdriver with a very special attachment. Specifically, a corkscrew that allows you to open wine bottles. That’s right, you can pass this puppy off as a fancy wine opener. Otherwise, it’s a pretty nice little screwdriver with a lithium-ion battery for cordless operation. Unfortunately the $63 price tag seems a bit salty for what it does.

[ Amazon ] VIA [ The Awesomer ]

Sonic Screwdriver Is An Actual Screwdriver As Well

By Chris Scott Barr

With eleven different Doctors, Doctor Who fans have a lot to choose from, and a lot of different Sonic Screwdrivers as well. Most of them are simply replicas that do nothing but look fancy. Others come in the form of a pen, stylus or some other semi-useful device. My question is why not make one that’s a screwdriver?

They do indeed make one that drives screws, as they say. It has three interchangeable (and reversible) tips, for a total of six different heads. The tips store neatly away inside the screwdriver when not actually in use. It also lights up and has sound effects. Really, what more could you ask from a Sonic Screwdriver?

[ NeatoShop ] VIA [ ChipChick ]

Portable Support Tool Balancer Takes The Strain Off Your Arms And Shoulders

Portable Support Tool (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

Designed by a Canadian landscaper who suffered long-term injuries after having to heft a 22-pound trimmer for years, the Portable Support Tool Balancer might look a little unorthodox, but the harness will apparently reduce 95% of the weight of a heavy tool by transferring the load to the entire body. The swiveling spring loaded reel that hovers above the user’s head provides the lift for probably any kind of tool you can attach to it, and besides providing relief for arms and shoulders it also facilitates a bit more finesse since the operator can more easily move the tool about. Not particularly important for an activity like shoveling, but definitely appreciated when it comes to something like hedge trimming.

At the moment the Portable Support Tool Balancer is only available in a limited production run, but it recently appeared on the Canadian version of Dragon’s Den so hopefully it will soon be more readily available for purchase.

[ Portable Support Tool Balancer ] VIA [ Gizmag ]