Field test of 6-inch random orbit sanders

Tested: 6-Inch Random Orbit Sanders

Sanding is boring—and a lot of work. Depending on the project, you might be attached to a vibrating, dust-generating machine for hours on end. But it’s so important to success on certain projects—furniture and wood floor repair, paint prep—that once I get started, it becomes (sort of) fun.

man on ladder

The Right Ladder

One of the oldest tools ever invented, a ladder is an old-house essential. To be safe, choose one that suits the job and is sturdy enough.

It’s easy to go for the cheapest option when buying a caulk gun—but a quality model will see you through many projects.

Tool Review: Caulk Gun

A good-quality caulk gun will help you make a perfect bead every time.

A right angle drill fits easily into the space between wall studs.

Tool Review: Right Angle Drill

For drilling in tight spaces, a right angle drill is a DIYer’s best friend.

Cordless 16-gauge finish nailer test

Tested: Cordless 16-Gauge Finish Nailers

We fire off four battery-powered finish nailers to see which ones make the grade.

contour gauge

Tool Review: Contour Gauge

A contour gauge makes it easier to copy curved lines.

hand sander

Tool Review: Hand Sander

A hand sander is a valuable asset for tasks that demand a lighter touch.

Laser levels

Tool Review: Laser Level

Laser levels offer a level of accuracy and convenience that old-fashioned spirit levels can't match.

A narrow crown stapler is a must-have for trim projects.

Tool Review: Narrow Crown Stapler

When it comes to assembling trim, this overlooked tool often bests a hammer and nails.

Modern utility vacuums come in many shapes and sizes, and with increasingly sophisticated abilities. HEPA models, like this one from Delta, are capable of lifting extremely fine particles and are well-suited for lead abatement jobs.

The Dirt on Wet-Dry Vacs

You need more than your trusty Electrolux to tackle shop duty. Fortunately, today's utility vacuums are equipped with more features than ever before.

Electric tools like a cordless trimmer make easy work of overgrown shrubs and trees.

6 Must-Have Pruning Tools

These must have pruning tools will help keep your woody plants from becoming over grown.

Sliding compound miter saw

Tool Review: Sliding Compound Miter Saw

A sliding compound miter saw—with motor and blade assembly mounted on a moveable arm—is a versatile, powerful tool from frame to finish.

steel carriage-house doors by Garaga's Design Center

Best Garage Door Design Tools

We have an array of garage door design tools.

Miter clamp with pliers

Tool Review: Miter Clamps

These simple pieces of bent wire help keep mitered moldings together.

Scoring paint with a restorer's cat's paw

Tool Review: Restorer's Cat's Paw

Simple yet versatile, this no-frills hand tool is a must-have for any old-house restorer.

Sanding a window muntin with an oscillating multi-tool

Tool Review: Oscillating Multi-Tool

This gentle, easy-to-use power tool makes quick and accurate work of jobs traditionally done by hand.

Titanium-head hammer

Tool Review: Titanium Hammer

Smart design teams up with space-age materials to make a better hammer.

Attaching a hinge with a Yankee screwdriver

Tool Review: Yankee Screwdriver

An old-fashioned hand tool steps up when cordless drills give out.

Prying trim with pry bar

Tool Review: Pry Bar

An old house must-have, the pry bar’s effectiveness lies in the details.

Compact table saw

Tool Review: Compact Table Saw

Today’s compact table saws combine loads of features with sleek, portable designs.

Carbide scraper stripping paint off an old door

Tool Review: Carbide Scraper

For removing stubborn built-up finishes, a tough, professional-quality carbide scraper is your best bet.

Using 5-in-1 tool on roofing

Tool Review: 5-in-1 Tool

An indispensable mainstay for old-house restorers, the 5-in-1 tool has more uses than you can count.

The perfect tool belt

Tool Review: Tool Belt

With tool pouches, grab-and-go is the name of the game.

Japanese hand saws are designed to cut on the push stroke, rather than the pull.

Tool Review: Japanese Handsaw

When it comes to quality and ease of use, these Eastern imports often win out over their American counterparts.

Products of the Week

Indow Windows

Indow Window Inserts

Enjoy modern comfort while preserving the charm of your original windows. Indow window inserts press inside your window frames without a mounting bracket to give you all the comfort and efficiency of high-end replacement windows.

Indow’s compression-fit acoustic panel, interior storm windows

Window Inserts

Save energy. Reduce noise.