17 August 2018
Heavy-duty saddle stapling
My theater group always uses these long-reach staplers ($33) for stapling our programs together. It’s a serious workhorse, big and heavy, and the longer reach will allow you to make booklets out of much, much bigger material than the Mini Booklet Stapler. The stapler has a 12″ reach on it, so you can staple anything up to 24″ wide pre-fold (so architectural ‘D’-sized paper could be used, if you felt like it). And unlike the mini model, it takes standard staples. The staplers we use were old when I got involved with this theater group (about 7 or 8 years ago), and they’re still working like brand new. They are made almost entirely out of steel and are incredibly durable. We mostly use them for programs of no more than 6 sheets of standard paper and a heavy high-gloss cover sheet, but we do several hundred of these programs in a batch every couple of months. We also use them for stapling short scripts, say, 20 pages (long scripts get the three-ring binder). There’s a neat little plastic clip on the stapler (which is nicely graduated) that lets you set the width, which makes lining up the fold on your booklets very convenient; you just push your material to the clip and staple. Great for big batches.08/17/18
(I've been using this same model of stapler for 30 years. I used it to staple together the first several issues of Boing Boing when it was a print zine. -- MF — editors)
16 August 2018
By the same token as the Restickable Glue Stick, 3M’s Scotch makes a product called Removable Magic Tape which I use extensively in doing rough page layouts of books with a lot of graphics on each page. It sticks to paper or just about any dry surface. Pulls off easily, leaves no residue. Unlike the regular Magic Tape, you can easily pick it up and move things around. I’ve been using it for over 10 years and find it’s less messy and way quicker to use than the glue sticks.08/16/18
(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2008 — editors)
14 August 2018
Affordable, cut-resistant hand protection
These fiber/stainless gloves are used in the restaurant industry to defend against knife and mandolin cuts, as well as handling trash that may have protruding bits of glass and fish bones. I read about them in a cooking magazine, and bought one glove after cutting myself on a mandolin.
I find the glove allows for ample movement and dexterity. It’s definitely flexible enough to carve with and feels a lot like wearing a winter Thinsulate glove. These days, when I use the mandolin, I find I can get in closer for a few extra slices. Although the glove hits the blade, my hand’s always safe. My gloved hand has even survived an errant cleaver (Fortunately I didn’t hit myself not too hard).
I’ve used mine about five times a month for the past three years. I’ve washed it and haven’t noticed any deterioration, though it does feel a little stiffer at first. Bonus: The weave is much tighter than with a pricier chain mail glove, so it also seems better for guarding against knife pokes.08/14/18
(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2007 — editors)
13 August 2018
Stowable citrus pulverizer
We make tapenades for the local farmers’ markets and each contain the juice of half a lemon. Before getting this sturdy juicer, not only were my hands and wrists aching after a morning squeezing (literally by hand), but the lemon juice would get onto my fingers and, after a while, burn.
With this juicer, I insert half a lemon and push down using my whole arm rather than squeezing the lemon with my fingers. It works great and takes half the effort. No juice is wasted by dripping onto the hands. And the device is small enough to tote around. One caveat: Smaller seeds can sometimes pass through the juice holes, so I prefer to squeeze the juice through a sieve.
— Bruno Teersteeg
I’m sure some folks are partial to using the specific color-coated sizes, but we rely on the orange juicer for all of our citrus needs. If you’re tackling a bucket of lemons at home you’ll probably want a counter-top unit like the previously-reviewed Hamilton Beach juicer. However, if you’re juicing a few on the fly, I highly recommend these enameled aluminum juicers. There are similar stainless steel hand presses with soft grips, but they can be twice as expensive. Ours is tough enough. Besides, there’s nothing like a bright orange tool to break up the monotony of the silverware drawer.
Available from Amazon
Available from Amazon
Available from Amazon
12 August 2018
Put screws in impossible spots
This time, we’re taking a look at this right angle adapter for your drill or impact driver, made by Dewalt. I picked this on Amazon for around $18, and if you want one for yourself, using the Amazon link in the description helps support my videos and the Cool Tools blog.
Sometimes you need to put a screw in a spot where your drill just can’t fit. I recently had this happen right here in my shed where I record these. I had to repair some of the rotten framing in the corner, but the spacing between the studs was so tight I couldn’t get my impact driver in there to screw in some new wood.
This attachment from Dewalt is specially made to get into tight spots. It can be used with any driver or drill chuck, not just Dewalt. By spinning the shaft, the adapter spins the screwdriver bit at a right angle.
The bit can face left, right, up or down, and you need to stabilize it with your other hand to direct it where you want to go, but it does the job.
One thing that surprised me about this adapter, but is actually pretty smart, is that you have to use a screwdriver or extra bit to eject whatever bit is in here. This helps minimize how much space the bit takes up
It’s also because Dewalt has this magnetic lip out in front of the bit that latches right onto your screw head and holds it flat, which is a great feature when your dangling the screw into a tight spot or over your head, and you don’t want it falling down.08/12/18
(Cool Tools has a YouTube channel with many more tool reviews — editors)
12 August 2018
Recomendo: issue no. 107
Easy flight delay compensation
My International flight to Los Angeles was delayed for 10 hours. The airline didn’t tell me I was eligible for compensation, but I friend told me about an app called AirHelp. I entered my name and confirmation number. Instantly, AirHelp told me the airline was obligated to pay me about $700. AirHelp did all the work, and about a week later I got the money, minus a 25% commission for AirHelp, which was a small price to pay for not having to do anything. — MF
Learn about nature
I first heard about the iNaturalist app from a Cool Tools Podcast with David Lang. I used it for the first time last week when I was hiking and took a picture of a tree that I wanted to know the name of. I just uploaded the picture and labeled it as “I don’t know what this is.” The next morning, I was happily surprised to see an email alerting me that another user identified it for me! It’s like a collaborative classroom on your phone. — CD
My mother-in-law is 90, doesn’t speak English, and lives with us. She, and I enjoy watching the new season 3 of BattleBots on Amazon Prime. This mindless machine-on-machine violence of robots demolishing other robots is universally entertaining, and spectacular. No language needed. — KK
Instagram cliches made beautiful
Insta_Repeat is an Instagram account that beautifully highlights common cliches on Instagram. Like view through tent hole, or standing on white van. Hey, travel and outdoor Instagramers, don’t do these! Try something different. Yet I follow it because arrays of the cliches are mesmerizing in their nearly identical images. — KK
Effective no-kill rat trap
I bought this small rodent trap ($8) a couple of years ago and have caught several mice and rats with it. It doesn’t kill the animal, it just traps them in the cage when they touch the lever with the bait. (I use a bit of peanut butter for the bait, and put a little bowl of water in the cage so they don’t get thirsty before I check the trap.) With these kind of traps you have to deal with the problem of what to do with a live rodent, of course. — MF
Affordable inflatable kayak
This inflatable two-person kayak is perfect for beginner couples. It’s sturdy and easy for one person to steer, and it even survived when we took a scary turn toward some fast flowing water — although it’s better for floating down flat water. The best part is it’s really comfortable to sit in and it took less than 40 minutes to both set up and deflate. We bought this a month before summer for $80 and right now it’s $115, reviewers say the price fluctuates between seasons. — CD
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