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The Latest In Versatile Gizmos: Multifunction Tools

The tool industry is beginning to understand what the electronics industry has known for years: Gizmos and gadgets that pack more in, pack more punch with consumers. Shoppers have been snapping up all-in-one cell phones that let you e-mail, surf the Web and shoot photos. And many are likely to be wowed by the latest TVs expected to soon hit the market, which can record shows, store digital music and access satellite programming without the need for additional set-top boxes. Now, it would seem, it's the tool industry's turn. Today's tool sets and individual handheld tools are not only more compact, but are built for multitasking. Companies such as Sheffield Mfg.

, for example, are taking their best-selling products and reinventing them for a wide array of applications. A hammer is no longer just a hammer-it's a "jack-of-all-trades" with several other implements built into the handle. Take Sheffield's 14-in-1 Deluxe Hammer Multi-Tool, for instance. This striking implement is a complete tool set with a wood handle and brass finish. Fitting nicely in the palm of your hand, it encompasses 14 gadgets such as screwdrivers, pliers and blades of various sizes.

Then there's the screwdriver. Screwdrivers now come with multiple bits ranging from slotted and Phillips to star, all fitted within the tool handle to facilitate easy changeover-thus eliminating the need for a drawer full of different screwdrivers to complete a project. "As the trend moves towards multitasking, several new products have been engineered specifically to meet this need," said Steve Maltese, Sheffield director of marketing. "The 14-in-1 Deluxe Hammer Multi-Tool is a staple item for every do-it-yourselfer who wants to do more with less. Storage is also a factor. Whether you live on a farm in the Midwest or a small apartment in a city, a complete tool set that can fit into a kitchen junk drawer or car glove box is innately appealing." The suggested retail price for the Hammer Multi-Tool is $14.99 and it can be purchased at AutoZone, QVC.com, Sportsman's Warehouse, Tractor Supply Stores and other fine retailers. All products manufactured by Sheffield Mfg.

are high quality, competitively priced and come with a limited lifetime warranty.


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