165-Foot Laser Measure
If you do much estimating or working alone, a laser measure can be a real time-saver. It's easy to operate: Hold the laser to one surface, turn it on and measure to a distance of up to 165 ft. You can also use it to calculate area, volume and angles, and record all your results wirelessly on your phone. There's also a handy digital level.
For many contractors and real estate agents, a laser measure is an essential tool. But DIYers may also find one handy: It's like a super-long, one-handed tape measure that you can slip into your pocket. You can buy the Bosch 165-ft. Laser Measure at The Home Depot and other retailers.
A Welder with a Brain
I own a MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welder, but I don't use it often enough to remember all the settings, so I end up ruining a lot of material getting reacquainted with the welder. A steep relearning curve is not a problem with Lincoln Electric's new POWER MIG 210 MP. All you need to do is enter the type and size of the stick or wire electrode and dial in the steel thickness (up to 3/8 in.), and it automatically sets the right power for the job—you can hit the ground running every time.
The kit comes with just about everything you need to do stick, MIG and flux-core welding—including sample wire spools. The welder is super portable (40 lbs.) and works with both 120- and 230-volt power, so you can use it anywhere. The POWER MIG 210 MP welding kit is available for about $1,200 at local and online welding supply stores.
Rick Muscoplat, Contributing Editor