Hot New Tools Issue 42

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This article is from Issue 42 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Festool CXS 10.8V Lithium-Ion  Cordless Drill Multi-Chuck Set

3 great drills in one small package
Festool CXS 10.8V Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill Multi-Chuck Set

Most of us own a cordless drill or two, yet when it’s time to hang cabinets or install hardware, we may still reach for a handheld screwdriver. Enter the CSX, a super compact drill tailored for tight spaces.

The secret to the tool’s compactness is the FastFix chuck system. Three different chucks snap onto the driver: a Centrotec chuck for hex-head drivers and bits, a keyless Jacobs-style chuck, and a right-angle chuck. The Centrotec and Jacobs chucks also snap onto the right-angle chuck. For really tight spots, you can also fit hex-shank bits into the drill, sans chuck. (Note: The eccentric and depth setting chucks available for Festool's T- and C-series drills won’t work with the CSX. The company plans to introduce more chucks soon.)

When tested alongside Festool’s 10.8 volt C-series drill, the CSX didn't drive as many screws. But weighing a pound lighter and costing $100 less, this is the one I’d keep tucked in my apron.

The CSX set comes with three chucks, two 1.3 amp-hour batteries, charger, bit holder, and Systainer.

#564274   $275.00
Tester:  Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk

Granite Surface Plates

Super-sized slabs
Granite Surface Plates

When it comes to a reference surface, bigger is better, but it must be flat. Some woodworkers rely on cast-iron tops, others use float glass, but granite is as good as it gets. These A-grade slabs offer a combination of stability, durability, and flatness (within .0001 across the surface) that’s unmatched by other options. The stones can be used for a variety of chores, including flattening the soles of planes, truing waterstones, and as a backing plate for a dedicated sandpaper sharpening station.

Weighing in at 26 pounds apiece, the smaller stones are a good choice if you need a mobile surfacing station. Tipping the scales at 80 pounds, the larger slab warrants a permanent spot in your shop.

2 × 9 × 12" #144838 $32.99
2 × 6 × 18" #153109 $39.99
3 × 12 × 18" #153108 $69.99

Tester: Kent Harpool


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