3 best new tools

Gift ideas for the cottage handyman

By Cottage LifeCottage Life

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Construction Master 5

Photo by Calculated Industries


If you’re building something, you have to figure out measurements, right? And paper-and-pencil calculations can be time-consuming, frustrating (if you can’t remember a formula), and prone to error. A construction calculator is a great investment for any DIYer or more advanced builder.

Recently, I bought a Construction Master 5 (available at most home reno centres for about $70). It won me over just with how simply it deals with the imperial system’s Achilles heel: the fraction. Quick, divide 37  1/16" in thirds! Not so easy, but it’s a piece of cake for the calculator.

Most of us are familiar with the old 3-4-5 rule for squaring, but this device allows you to calculate the actual diagonal for any rise and run. You can also, for example, calculate the number of cubic yards required to fill a Sonotube. Stair layouts are greatly simplified, and the roof builder can determine common rafter, valley rafter, and regular and irregular jack lengths.

All in all, a great tool. Now, if I could just keep track of it!

—Wayne Lennox


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