As we put 2021 in the rearview mirror, it’s a great time to look back on some of the coolest, best, and most innovative tools we got to put our hands on this year. Here’s a look at what made our eyes pop in 2021!
Be sure to click on the title to read each review.
Greenworks made a great call by giving their 60V cordless shop vacuum a cord so you can use the most convenient power source at that particular moment. We let Eli take this one to the ranch so he could keep the heavy equipment cabs clean and we haven’t seen it since.
Snap-off utility knife blades aren’t new, but Lenox made the process SO much easier. Just flip the lever on top to break the blade segment off and a magnet catches it. Easy-peasy.
Crescent redefined how durable a framing blade can be with the NailSlicer. In abusive head-to-head testing, it cut much further than Diablo and still has great tracking characteristics. Plus, it’s only $10.
Ryobi crushed it with the design of their 730 CFM Whisper Series Blower. Their HP Brushless technology pushed more Newton force than we’d seen from a battery-powered blower before and did it at a ridiculously low 76 decibels measured from our operator’s ear.
DeWalt had a great 2021 and it was tough to nail down our favorite. In the end, it’s the 20V Max Atomic 1/2-inch impact wrench. It has a genuinely compact design yet gave us far more power than we ever expected for the size—400 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque!
The question of cordless nailer performance has been answered. Size and weight? That’s a different story. Milwaukee’s M12 23-gauge pin nailer came in with low weight and compact size, making it our favorite cordless pinner by a long shot.
Makita proved that you do have a second chance to make a first impression with their Sub-Compact oscillating multi-tool. Despite a bulbous look out of the box, this saw cuts fast and has ridiculously low vibration. Its Starlock interface is an added bonus!
Blade-left or blade right? Who cares? By bringing their 24V brushless 6 1/2-inch circular saw to an inline design, Flex’s design offers both preferences solid sight lines. Even better, its belt drive gives the blade some extra clearance, letting its 6 1/2-inch blade cut at the same depth as 7 1/4-inch saws.
Several battery-powered zero turn mowers hit the market in 2021 and if you want the Tesla of the group, you have to check out EGO’s Z6. Using a modular battery system that works with its 56V tools, it sets itself apart with a more refined design and control system than its competitors.
We are huge fans of Bosch’s axial glide miter saw design and now we have a cordless version! It’s not a compact or 10-inch saw, either. It’s a full 12-inch model that now serves as the primary miter saw in our shop thanks to Bosch’s ProFactor performance technology, including a BiTurbo brushless motor and Core18V batteries.
Graco brought us the tool we never saw coming in 2021. Using DeWalt FlexVolt batteries for power, they now offer a cordless airless paint sprayer that’s way beyond the capabilities of other cordless sprayers. Matching its corded counterpart in performance, the Graco390 PC Cordless is designed to stand alone as a full corded replacement.
When we tested the top cordless trim routers, we just knew someone had to be on the verge of a full cordless plunge router and Metabo HPT won the race. Better yet, it’s part of the 36V MultiVolt system, so you can use it with the convenience of a battery when you want to, or switch over to the AC adapter when you want unlimited runtime.
Traeger changed the way I cooked this year, taking me from a decent griller to making some of the best bbq our family has ever enjoyed and even beating the snot out of Josh in our turkey cook-off. WiFire lets us monitor the food without taking us away from our work and we get to sit down to an outstanding dinner without paying restaurant prices for it.
What were your favorite tools that came out this year? Let us know in the comments below!