Leap Day tools, edition 2024

This year’s February is one day longer than usual, it’s a leap year. That extra day, the 29th, brings a bunch of useful tools that deliver excellent results quickly and easily. There are jobs that no other tools would do and even though I was very sceptical about adding them to my tool collection, I’m happy I eventually did. It’s like an investment that pays off, sooner or later. You just have to wait for the right moment, take on a relevant job, build up your skills and enjoy the results. With the right tools, some knowledge and patience everything can be achieved giving you satisfaction and probably some profit too.

Makita SP6000 Track Saw along with the track, the pair of clamps and the square was a quite expensive purchase but has turned out to be an excellent choice. When I can’t bring a workpiece to a tool, I bring a tool to a workpiece. All these long boards, worktops, acoustic panels, steep angles (and much more) can be cut with that tool, using the blade it originally comes with. I generally don’t use track clamps but I still have them in the Makpac box, just in case. The track and its rubber bottom are kept clean and checked before each cut to make sure the track doesn’t shift. The saw has a few unique features like a quick stop button (for cutting 2 mm shallow cuts that are proceeded by full-depth cuts, and that is supposed to minimise tear-out), bevels that can be cut from -1 to 48º and also a slide lever that prevents the saw from tipping over and locks it on the track. I don’t always use all these features, but they’re there. To speed up my work and make 90-degree cuts a breeze, I also purchased a track saw square, which is accurate and has a built-in tab that keeps it on the workpiece. Overall I’m happy with this set, it wasn’t cheap, but as they say “buy once – cry once”. There are jobs to do that no other tool would give me the results this tool delivers with ease and precision.

Bosch Professional GOP 12V-28 Oscillating Tool does a great job when it comes to installing vinyl flooring and can replace multiple tools. That would explain its name – a multi-tool. With the use of a few blades, it can cut wood, aluminium, tiles and grout. All the blades I use are shown below and they fit into a neat case, along with the Allen key. The tool allows me to minimise dust and somehow noise, which is an advantage in delicate jobs. I decided to buy a 12-volt version as it was smaller and lighter, I simply needed something very compact and cordless. For a longer while I was very sceptical about these tools, but they prove to be extremely useful when the job is right for them. There’s not much I don’t like about this particular tool, but if I have to point something that would be the lightly magnetised Starlock blade fitting system, which isn’t really that helpful and the blades are rather on the dear side. Plus changing the blades requires an Allen key, that isn’t even stored on-board.

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