Recently we had a chance to ask Chris Grundy, host of DIY Network’s Cool Tools some power tool questions. We used some questions we had received by readers at Coptool.com as well as some questions about the show in general. Read a few of the responses below.
Q: With the holiday shopping season coming up many people will be buying tools for their friends and family members. How do you discretely find out what tools they might need and do you have any suggestions for tools that might be popular this holiday season?
A: You wanna buy someone some tools – ask their friends, neighbors and co-workers what they’ve been borrowing lately. If they’ve been putting their paws on someone’s recip saw, impact driver or whatever— it’s probably time they get their own!
As for gift ideas, I think oscillating tools are going to be popular this season. They’ve got some pretty attractive price points with a variety of power options. I predict a lot of folks who didn’t even know oscillating tools existed will find they’re a must have. I can’t imagine doing a rehab job without one in my kit.
Q: A few years ago it seemed like all cordless tools were either 14.4 or 18v. Recently we have seen the addition of many tools with more power, such as 28 volt and 36 volt tools, while at the same time there are so many new tools at 12 volt of less. For your average do-it-yourself user who ideally would like all his tools to use the same batteries and charger, would you still recommend 18 volt tools or something else?
A: The 28 volt and 36 volt tools really supply the run time and power for pros on the jobsite. The new 12 volt Li Ions are great for pros and homeowners. Fourteen and 18 volts are great for serious DIYers because of a larger range of tools. I am personally fond of staying within a brand because chargers and batteries are usually compatible. Chargers for the bigger batteries will do the lower capacity ones as well, and I don’t get stuck lugging around 17 chargers.
Q: Obviously the show is all about finding the Coolest Tools around, but in your search have you come across any real dud tools that are either impractical or just ridiculous? What are some of worst tools you have found?
A: I don’t like to dis innovators, but I have seen some multi-purpose tools that just do too many things and none of them well. People forget that the KISS rule applies to everything – even tool design. You know, Keep It Simple Stupid. Oddball painting gadgets seem the hardest to use, unless you are the inventor. To solve a problem, my advice is to think it all the way through and simply do one thing better than anyone else.
Q: When buying new tools we all want something that is going to last a long time for the best possible price. With such a wide range of products and pricing out there, how do you determine which tools are the best value?
A: I determine the value by my intended use. If I need the gizmo to complete a task that I am not planning on doing again I might skimp a little, but if it’s going to be a trusty sidekick, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” is especially true in tools. Quality is never cheep.
Also just a reminder; the Cool Tools Holiday Blitz is still going on and you can catch Cool Tools on the DIY Network every night in December at 8:00 pm est. New episodes are on every Thursday at 9:00 pm est. Also don’t forget to sign up for the Holiday Blitz Sweepstakes which runs through December 29th and is good for a $15,000 cash prize. Not bad for 30 seconds of typing.