7 Unique Tools That are Invaluable for Some Trades
These specialized tools could make your next project much easier.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Simple Insulation Cutter
If you hang insulation more than a couple of times a year, the Shut-N-Cut is more than worthy of consideration—it’s a no-brainer. Here’s how it works:
- Attach the Shut-N-Cut to a table or sawhorse;
- Lay a batt of insulation over it;
- Clamp the batt in place;
- Slide the insulation knife through the slotted clamping arm.
No more kneeling on the ground or changing utility knife blades every 15 minutes, and no more pulling half-cut batts apart with your hands, throwing tons of nasty fibers into the air.
Propane Is Easier Than Gas
When it comes to portable generators and ease of use, liquid propane (LP) definitely beats gasoline. Gasoline is a handy fuel, but it’s not without its problems. Storing enough gasoline to get you through a several-day power outage requires constant vigilance. You have to buy several 5-gallon gas containers, fill them up, add fuel stabilizers and find a safe place to store them. Gasoline also needs to be replaced after several months to make sure it’s still fresh when you need it. Propane makes the whole operation much more straightforward and requires much less maintenance.
Shingle Repairs Made Easier
Replacing damaged shingles is tough on super-hot days—the shingles are soft and tear apart. It’s not much easier on cold days—frozen shingles break in two if you pry them up too far. But the “Goldilocks approach,” waiting for the temperature to be just right, isn’t always an option.
The Roof Snake by PacTool International makes shingle repairs easier. Here’s how it works:
- Pry up a little bit on the surrounding shingles to remove the nails that hold down the damaged one.
- Pull out the old shingle and slide a new one into place.
- Flip the tool around and insert a roofing nail into the nail slot.
- Slip the tool under the overlapping shingle, and (here’s the ingenious part) hit the tool with your hammer to get the nail started.
- Then pull the slot free and pound the nail in with the flat part. Because you don’t have to pound directly on the nail, the shingles don’t need to be pried up so far, making damage less likely.
Wire Brush for Your Reciprocating Saw
Reciprocating saw accessories have come a long way, and the folks at Spyder Tools have a lot to do with that. One of their simplest but most innovative attachments is a wire brush. Stick it in the end of your reciprocating saw and you’ll be able to quickly scrub away dirt, rust, and unwanted paint.
Did You Know You Owned a Power Scraper?
Another great reciprocating saw accessory from Spyder is the Spyder Scraper blade, which transforms your reciprocating saw into a power scraper. These blades aren’t tough enough for concrete or tile demo, but they do a nice job of removing vinyl flooring or glue-down carpeting. The 2-in. and 4-in. blades are the most useful. The 6-in. blade creates more kickback, which will eventually destroy either the blade or your wrists. Spyder Scraper blades are not the tool to reach for if you need to remove tiles from an entire gymnasium floor, but these blades deserve a spot in your reciprocating saw’s box for smaller jobs.
Not a Tire, Not a Wheel…it’s a Tweel
Pro landscapers are going to love this. John Deere ZTrak 900 commercial mowers can now be outfitted with Michelin X Tweel Turf tires that won’t ever go flat and ride much smoother than pneumatic tires. The benefits are almost too obvious to mention: no more downtime repairing flat tires and much less bouncing around, which is a big-time back saver.
Check out a video on the Tweel and more product information here on John Deere’s website.
Flexible gear ties work great for securing tools for travel, but they come in handy for all sorts of other stuff, like holding a flashlight in place while you work. The one pictured is made by Nite Ize and is available online as well as in many hardware stores and home centers.