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SpotCheck #33

A quick look at some of the cool stuff that has come across our workbench or inbox this week.

Hardcore Cutting

Milwaukee Hardline Knives Milwaukee Tool has had great success with its foray into the knife business. In fact, its FastBack series have been some of the best-selling pocket knives in the industry. Now, Milwaukee is stepping up its game with the introduction of its new premium Hardline D2 Steel Series Utility/Pocket Knives ($60-$80). Available in four sizes ranging from 2.5"-3.5" with one 3" serrated blade option, the Hardline series steel frame locks, a fast-flip bearing system, glass-filled nylon handle, stainless steel back handle, and reversible heavy duty belt clip. For premium knives in this category, the Hardline's are hard to beat. Tough, affordable and guaranteed to stay sharp.

Rocker's Powerful New F-Clamp

Rockler Piston F-Style Clamp Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has introduced a new heavy-duty F-style bar clamp in partnership with Piher, a Spanish clamp maker known for quality and innovation. The Rockler Piston Clamp ($40-$55) incorporates an enclosed, double-threaded, piston-style mechanism, double threads for faster head advancement and tightening, and an enclosed design to prevent glue from clogging the threads. The head also advances without rotating, eliminating any twisting torque that might cause misalignment or marring. Available in 16", 24" and 32" capacities, the Rockler Piston Clamp has a clamping force of more than 2,000 pounds.

FIXD: Understand Your Car

FIXD The market for DIY vehicle diagnostics is heating up with the advancement in smartphone tech, and a startup called FIXD is yet another entry into the space. FIXD ($50) is a small device that plugs into your vehicle's OBD port (usually below the dash on the left side) and connects to a mobile app to translate check engine lights and track scheduled service. FIXD claims to report back on the severity of each issue, what is going to happen if you keep driving, and what you need to do to keep you car well maintained. Reviews are mixed, but we'll reserve judgement until we get our own to test—particuarlly against other OBD devices that have strong reviews, like the popular BlueDriver.

Charge Your Stuff; Find Your Car

ZUS Smart Car Charger with Car Finder App Nonda's new ZUS 4.8A/24W Car Charger and Car Locator ($30) with dual-reversible USB charging ports is one of the better charging adaptors we've seen—and it's smart. The ZUS allows you to plug your cables in any direction and features Nonda's own ElegantShine lighting, making it easy to plug your cables in when it's dark. The ZUS has a built-in Smart Car Finder, too, so you can locate your car when parked in large or crowded parking lots (although it won't work well where GPS signals aren't available, like underground parking garages). Strong reviews and award-winning German design that's built to withstand extreme temperatures in the car.

Forget Clay Bars!

Nano Skin If you've used clay bars on your car's finish before, you know just how amazing the stuff really is, when used properly. Clay bars remove contaminants that washing or even polishing alone can't. Recently, we got our hands on a new product that promises to replace clay bars called, NanoSkin AutoScrub. We've used it on five or six different personal vehicles so far and the results were very, very good. NanoSkin sponges come in both fine- and medium-grit, and, unlike clay bars, you simply rinse the NanoSkin sponges off if dropped or as using. You'll have to use a lubricant just like clay, and NanoSkin offers two: Glide and NanoShock, which is also a sealant. We love this stuff and recommend trying the NanoSkin Fine Grade Starter Kit ($80) to see for yourself.

Get FREE Stuff!

Get Free Stuff Just a quick PSA from the GarageSpot.com crew: As we continue to grow, we're getting more "stuff" from various brands to highlight, review and put on your radar. We want to give something back to you for continuing to support GarageSpot, so please be sure to add your email address to our list (you can find the sign-up form on our homepage) because from time-to-time, we'll be giving away some "slightly used" tools and equipment, brand new stuff, gift cards to various places where you can buy your own stuff, and more. Thanks for your support and please tell your friends!

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About Michael Turner

Forty-something years later, Michael still doesn't' know what he wants to do if he grows up. Raised around cars and trained in diesel mechanics, Michael has owned a successful detail shop, developed and sold software, lead a K-9 SAR team, ridden the dot-com wave as a sales/marketing/PR executive, led digital strategy teams at both large and small agencies, and now this. He digs Jeeps, off-road racing, football, photography, flying, trains, making EDM, cranking metal, PC gaming, and a plethora of other contradictory things.

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