When it's cold outside, the temptation is great to stay inside and putter around. So it's not surprising that tools turn up on a lot of holiday wish lists. More tools are sold...

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When it’s cold outside, the temptation is great to stay inside and putter around.

So it’s not surprising that tools turn up on a lot of holiday wish lists. More tools are sold in the fourth quarter than at any other time of the year, manufacturers and retailers say.

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No matter who you are or who’s on your gift list, there are tools aplenty.


Skil’s X-Shop:

Talk about multitasking! X-Shop is a 15-amp, 10-inch table saw that converts effortlessly into a shaper, drill press, stationary sander or scroll saw just by attaching portable tools to inserts that fit easily into the platform. Of course, you’ll need to buy the portables (drill, scroll saw, router and sander), but doing so is cheaper, and X-Shop takes up much less space than comparable stationary tools. Cool feature: The table saw shows the distance between saw blade and fence as an electronic readout for greater accuracy. Price: $380; www.skil.com.


Sarut’s Hawaiian Tools:

They look pretty, but they mean business: They cut, hammer, grip and tighten. The tools (hammer, scissors, screwdriver, stubby screwdriver, pliers and utility knife) come in packs of four for $30 or individually for $7.50. The hammer’s handle is a detachable slotted screwdriver with two detachable stubby screwdrivers in the bottom; www.sarut.com.


PDI’s Light Switch and Outlet Covers:

Here’s one of those ideas that’s so simple yet so ingenious: These reusable little covers eliminate the need to meticulously tape around electrical switches and outlets when you’re painting. Result: You save time and protect the wiring. It’s a great stocking stuffer. Price: 69 cents each, available in “painter’s dozen” packs of 13 for $8.95; www.theoutletcover.com.


Ryobi’s AirGrip:

If you never get anything straight, this laser level may help. It operates on two AA batteries and rotates at 360 degrees to give a straight line at every angle. Best feature: It uses a vacuum to grip the surface, leaving no marks and the user’s hands free to adjust pictures, etc. Price: $39.95; www.ryobi.com.


Barbara K. Tools:

Barbara Karovit acknowledges that her products are geared to women, but her ideas have universal appeal. The Barbara K 12-volt cordless drill/screw gun ($49.99), for instance, is not much different from the others, but you can reduce fatigue by detaching the battery from the drill, inserting it into an adapter, and slipping it into a pouch that clips onto a belt. Her 30-piece toolkit ($49.99) comes with all you need for simple jobs such as hanging pictures and shelves and replacing washers in faucets. One nice feature: The pliers have a spring-assist clip, so they are easier to hold and adjust; www.barbarak.com.