Looking forward to the New Year, I've spotted the customary promotions for "life-changing" gear for home maintenance and repair. Take note that I never personally endorse products here, but I do mention them so you can evaluate them on your own. That said, I am always fascinated by new products and read reviews of them when they're released to the public. If you have any money left over after the holidays and are looking for some clever gadgets, here's a brief round-up of several that caught my eye.
I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried one of the three iRobot Looj products. Selling from $129 to $169, the Looj is a gutter-cleaning robot that uses a battery-powered auger to zip along your gutter for between 300 and 150 linear feet of coverage. The Looj cleans out a 60-foot section of gutter in up to ten minutes. The coverage depends on the charge in the battery and the amount of sludge and debris. You stand on your ladder and power the Looj forward and back with a remote control unit. Then you take the unit to the lawn and clean it out with a hose. Find out more at iRobot.
Rockwell 12V Sonicrafter Kit
This cordless multi-function tool from Rockwell cuts, saws, sands, scrapes and takes accessories for handling a lot of your floor work. It sells for around $230 and is capable of 5,000-20,000 oscillations per minute on a 12V Lithium ion battery. The SoniShear attachment will zip through corrugated board, carpet, vinyl sheet, rubber mattering, canvas, and leather. Read a product review at HCI.
Bosch 7" High Performance Large Angle Grinder
I like the idea of a tool that weighs 20 percent less than comparable tools and which also reduces vibrations by as much as 50 percent. Those are nice numbers. Built-in service minder brushes stop the grinder when it needs maintenance. It sells on Amazon for $244.99.
12 Gal. Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter Clean
Home Depot sells this absolutely necessary (if you have allergies like I do) DeWalt shop vac for $579.00. It's made specifically for extracting in remodeling, woodworking, concrete and dry wall jobs, using a gust of air to clean out the filters every 15 seconds to prevent the constant cleaning of many other vacs. Check it out at Home Depot.
There you go. Home maintenance made simpler. Have a Happy New Year.