Bob Vila Suggests New Tool Innovations That Work For Dad

Dilemma: what do you give Dad that he'll use often -- but doesn't yet own? America's most popular home improvement expert, Bob Vila, advises, "Give an innovative new tool, to help Dad save time, reduce messes, or even solve all kinds of household problems."

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Vila explains, "During the 75th anniversary of Craftsman tools, nifty practical features have been added to some of Dad's most frequently used tools." Vila adds, "Among this year's Craftsman innovations are a sprinkler with up to 50% more lawn coverage, a wet/dry vac that can actually pump water from one area to another; and a magnetic tool tray to prevent runaway nuts and screws. Other hot innovations introduced recently include an exceptionally compact drill, a ratchet that helps do-it-yourselfers loosen and tighten fasteners in extremely tight spaces, and a monitor that signals when the garage door has been left open."

Following are Bob Vila's picks for innovative Father's Day gifts that will be used again and again:

Dads with lawns will save time with the Craftsman Extra-Large Coverage Pulsating Sprinkler (#79215, $24.99), since it won't need to be moved around the yard as often. It covers up to 50 percent more area than sprinklers with conventional pulsating heads. The new sprinkler provides a water jet that covers up to 8,500-square feet of lawn. It has trip levers for full or partial coverage, as well as a reversing full-circle setting.

Keep tools handy and reduce the fear of losing screws or nuts with the new Craftsman Magnetic Rolling Tool Tray (#41339, $24.99). The round, 13-inch- diameter tool tray is made of heavy stainless steel and is perfect for working underneath a car or kitchen counter, and in other tight spaces. Two folding handles provide balance when carrying tools and parts, and three ball-bearing casters roll easily over bumps in the floor or driveway.

More extreme water messes can be managed with the new and very versatile Craftsman 16-Gallon Pump Wet/Dry Vac (#17923, $119.99). This high-powered wet/dry vac touts 6.5 peak hp -- and an innovative built-in pump that can transfer water from one location to another. Water can be pumped through a standard 5/8-inch garden hose at six gallons-per-minute and up to 50 feet high. The wet/dry vac also can be used as a blower with an air stream of 190 mph.

Dads with garages filled with tools, a cherished motorcycle or car, may enjoy the peace of mind provided by a monitor that signals when the garage door is left open. The Craftsman Wireless Open Door Monitor (#53689, $49.00) includes a receiver that can be positioned inside the house on a table, countertop or mounted to the wall. When the garage door is open, the battery- powered sensor signals the receiver. A flashing red light from the receiver indicates the garage door is open; a steady green light indicates it is closed. Maximum distance between receiver and sensor is 350 feet.

For fathers who need to tighten and loosen fasteners in tight spots under hoods or in the house, the Craftsman Thin-Profile Ratchet (#44995, $39.99) may be the solution. The ratchet's gear head is 15 to 20 percent thinner than those of other leading 3/8-inch ratchets. The ratchet's fine gearing results in an arc of only six degrees, compared to 10 degrees for most other ratchets.

When drilling in tight confines is a must, the compact Craftsman Professional Mini T 3/8-Inch Drill (#27996, $139.99) fits into places that other drills can't -- to get work done between joists, inside cabinets and under decks. Conventional drills position the motor -- the heaviest part of the tool -- either in the head or the handle. The Craftsman Mini T's motor is located below the handle grip, resulting in perfect balance in the operator's hand. The powerful 3.2-amp motor develops 0 to 1,500 rpm. It features convenient one-hand reversing and includes a carrying case.

For families chipping in for Dad's present, consider this great value: a set of three cordless tools, which comes in its own carrying case. The Craftsman 75th Anniversary 19.2-Volt Combination Tool Kit (#11315, $159.99) includes a cordless 3/8-inch drill-driver; cordless trim saw; work light with 90-degree pivoting head; two slide-pack batteries; a 5 1/2 -inch carbide- tipped saw blade; an edge guide; two double-ended bits; and storage case.

Children, who enjoy seeing their gifts used frequently by Dad, will enjoy giving Dad the Craftsman-Handle BBQ Utensil Set (#41627, $19.99). The well crafted, five-piece, stainless steel set is distinguished by its familiar Craftsman screwdriver handles -- complete with leather straps for hanging. The made-in-the-USA cooking utensils include a king-size turner, fork, tongs, basting brush and scraper.

These and other innovative Craftsman tools for Father's Day and year-round are available at Sears. More Bob Vila picks for Father's Day may be found at

Following the introduction of Craftsman tools 75 years ago in 1927, a Sears catalog touted, "You will find in Sears 'Craftsman' tools the same unquestionable quality that is to be found in silver that is marked with the word, 'sterling.'" Today, consumers rank Craftsman No. 1 for quality, of any kind of product, ahead of Waterford crystal and Rolls-Royce motor cars -- according to a 2001 EquiTrend (SM) study by Harris Interactive. Craftsman is the top-selling brand of tools in the U.S.



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SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

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