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Improvements to old standards

An Ohio-based company, Norwolf Tool Works, has put a spin on some everyday tools like the hammer, torque converter and crowbar to create innovative helpers for use in the shop or machine shed.

The Missing Link. Give yourself an extra hand when tightening or loosening hard-to-reach or too-tight bolts with the Missing Link torque multiplier (below). It transfers torque from your power tool - or your own elbow grease - and multiplies it for added effort.

You can use it with any wrench -hand, pneumatic or hydraulic - to loosen or tighten bolts that need extra power to remove them or those that are in a tight spot where your hand or tool won't fit.

The tool takes on male or female hex adapters and comes in two configurations: double sizes for hex bolts up to 2 in. and single sizes for bolts larger than 2 in. Or the company will customize a unit to your specifications. Price: $295.

Stud remover. This cool tool (bottom left) threads onto wheel studs just like a normal hex nut but is used to remove frozen or rusted studs without breaking them.

After tightening its six cap screws with an Allen wrench, you can remove the Studmate with any standard socket or wrench, according to the company. It doesn't require any special tools.

Sizes range from 1/2-in. thread with a 7/8 hex size all the way up to a 4-in. thread with a 61/8 hex. Prices start at: $30.

Angle crowbar. You can use the Uni-Bar anywhere where standard crowbars just won't fit and get extra leverage as a bonus. It features a forged-alloy steel head that can be adjusted 180 to help pry and lift wood or other materials with added power. Like most of the company's tools, its handles are made from aircraft aluminum.

There's also an industrial Uni-Bar that can lift heavy machinery and is available with 48- or 60-in. handles. It comes with either plain or railroad spike pulling heads. Price range: $75 to $95.

Swivel Hammer. The angle of the Swivel Hammer's head can be adjusted to let you gain access to odd or hard-to-reach angles.

According to Norwolf, this helps eliminate stretching and stress to your lower back and forearms when you're hammering or prying.

The hammer comes in sizes from 12 to 17 in. Price range: $55 to $65. Contact Norwolf Tool Works Inc., Dept. FIN, 6969 Promway Ave. NW, North Canton, OH 44720, 888/867-4719.

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