Smart Plugs to Ease Your Mind
How often have you been at work worrying whether you left the iron or space heater on at home? Well, if it’s plugged into a Wemo Smart Plug, worry no more—you can turn the power off when you’re away. Controlled by an app on your phone and connected to your home WiFi, these units offer some great features:
- You can schedule anything that’s plugged into it.
- You can use Voice Control with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
- The “Away Mode” will ran domly turn a lamp on and off while you’re on vacation.
- One model, the Insight shown above, enables you to monitor your energy use.
- Wemo Mini Smart Plugs are stackable and don’t block the outlet when they’re plugged in.
Note: These plugs control the power to the device that’s plugged in but not the device itself. For example, a lamp or humidifier will turn on when supplied with power, but a coffee maker will still need to have a button pressed.
Single units are $35 to $45, and multipacks are $60 to $100 at belkin.com. Click here to find it on Amazon.
Big Value in a Big Saw!
Harbor Freight’s Hercules 12-in. miter saw has many features in common with expensive pro-grade saws: an LED light to show the cutting line, the ability to bevel both directions, and of course, the sliding feature for wide cuts. Its bevel adjustment works smoothly and has the standard positive angle stops other saws have. The angle adjustments go from 60 degrees on the right side of the blade to 50 degrees on the left. Dust collection is hopeless, even with a vacuum, but that’s true of all miter saws. If you want a contractor-grade miter saw without the contractor-grade price, you’ll be perfectly happy with this lower-cost alternative. It’s available for $350 at Harbor Freight stores and harborfreight.com. Or find it on Amazon here.
A miter saw is only as good as it’s stand. Check out this convertible, mobile stand from Family Handyman magazine.
What sets Sandflex blocks apart from other abrasive blocks is that there’s grit all the way through, making them more like an eraser than a sanding block. They can be carved to fit any profile, so they’re a great option for sanding molding. They’re ideal for removing rust and polishing shop tool surfaces, hand and garden tools, even stainless steel sinks. You’ll find them in coarse, medium and fine grits online or in woodwork-ing stores for about $12 for a set of three, or $4 apiece. Buy these blocks on Amazon now.
Check out our video review of these three products:
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