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Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be

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Moving Heavy Stuff

Best come-along Maasdam Pow’r Pull Come-alongs are a must-have for country living. They’re most often used to tug vehicles out of ditches and unsuccessful stream fordings, and to tighten fencing. I’ve also used mine for erecting and tightening large tents and canopies, pulling objects into and onto trucks, hoisting 350 lb carcasses for...

Aura frame/AI-travel assistant/Breathing practices

Sign up here to get Recomendo a week early in your inbox. Calm streaming framesWe were gifted a digital picture frame, and it has been a revelation. It’s a whole new medium different than a fixed picture, different than a picture on your phone. A constant stream of images from our collective lives are flashed in a modest-size frame quietly sitting...

Tory Leather Belt

Solid leather belts are a staple but are often rather expensive for quality ones made with thick, durable leather and strong, solid brass buckles that won’t tarnish. Companies like Tanner Goods start at $100. Filson Belts, Shinola, and the other nationally popular ones are all pretty expensive as well. For a similar value but lower cost, look to horse...

Chris Walker, Lifelong learner

Chris Walker has spent a lifetime learning and experimenting. He has lived on Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco and most recently the United Arab Emirates. TOOLS:0:00 – Intro0:35 – Dekoni replacement ear pads4:05 – Purist hot water bottle8:19 – Mural collaborative software13:24 – RAD massage ball

Wash and Drain Tub

As someone who has used this wash and drain bin for over three years, I can say that it’s been a great investment, despite the somewhat high price tag. Although marketed for dishwashing, I’ve found it perfect for hand washing smaller items. Here’s why I think this bin stands out from other similar products: Deep Enough for Soaking: The...

Nomad Spots/Ancient Earth/Best Travel Hats

A weekly newsletter with four quick bites, edited by Tim Leffel, author of A Better Life for Half the Price and The World’s Cheapest Destinations. See past editions here, where your like-minded friends can subscribe and join you. Finding Your Ideal Nomad Hotspot I recently chatted with Jason Moore on the ZeroToTravel Podcast to kick off...

Massage Balls

As a user of massage balls for over a decade, I can attest to their effectiveness in relieving back pain. I was first introduced to the balls in a yoga class and was amazed by the immediate relief they provided. Since then, I have continued to use the same brand, but I believe other brands would likely have similar results. The balls are great...

6 Types of Screws Every Maker Should Know About

Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales is published by Cool Tools Lab. To receive the newsletter a week early, sign up here. 6 Types of Screws Every Maker Should Know About The Honest Carpenter offers his recommendations for 6 different screws every maker should have on hand (and a few to avoid). He discusses 2″ and 3″ deck screws, trim...

One-Handed Can Opener

I have had this one-handed can opener for over five years. Though the price seems high for a basic tool, I will say that this can opener has turned the chore of opening cans into an easy and straightforward one. The can opener is easy to attach to the can and then you are away with a one-handed cranking motion (squeezing the handles together) to open...

Adhesives

Once a week we’ll send out a page from Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities. The tools might be outdated or obsolete, but the possibilities they inspire are new. Sign up here to get Tools for Possibilities a week early in your inbox. Flexible epoxy 3M Scotch-Weld 3532 This is as close to “bombproof” as I have found a glue...

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