Design & DIY

6 small, useful things you didn’t know you needed in your workshop

collection of workshop tools and accessories on a white background Photo by Liam Mogan

These items may not be big, but their impact around the lake is huge.

Caulking condom
Latex nozzle caps look, at first, like red Cheerios. But roll them down the tips of caulk tubes and you’ll prevent the material within from drying out and going to waste.
$7 for 20.

Baby driver
Everyone knows it’s right to tight, left to loose, and Dewalt’s 8V gyroscopic cordless screwdriver acts like it knows what you’re thinking, spinning at the correct speed and in the right direction based on a turn of your wrist. A multidriver with plenty of power and an LED light, the DCF680N1 fits in your pocket, so no need to tote a tool bag around. Just bring bits. $99.

Clear connections
The 221-series wire connectors from Wago could make twist-on varieties a thing of the past. Flip open the orange lever, insert stripped wire, close the lever, check the connection via see-through housing. Nice work, Wago. $40 for 100.

Measured approach
Cutting precise 45° mitres in lumber is tricky. Take the guesswork out of it with a carpenter square’s 45° edge (we like Empire’s True Blue). Intersect the top edge of the ruler precisely on your mark. Draw a line on the board along the square’s 45, then use this obvious line for where the saw blade should fall. $22.

Scratch the surface
Fingernails are useful other than as things to chew, but the Scrigit Scraper can do the same work—removing spots of paint, wax, dried food, sticky labels—without damaging the surface (or breaking a nail). Even removes bug splatter off the front grille of the truck. $12 for two.

Shock test
While the power should always be off before working on sockets, lights, or switches, it’s smart to check if the line is indeed dead before you start. Klein Tools’ non-contact voltage tester is ideal for this. It beeps if it detects current and flashes a red light, potentially saving your life when simply changing the faulty pump house light. $29,

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