May 18, 2007 Zircon have added a couple of clever new electronic tools to their range; a laser measuring device that can automatically calculate surface area or volume, and a very affordable metal detector/stud finder. These new products are the latest additions to a range of Zircon tools that use smart technology to make the handyman's life a lot easier.

We've been impressed before by the clever thinking of Zircon's innovative designs. Here's a few items from the Silicone Valley company's catalogue that caught our imagination:

HyperTape d100 Just released - a quick, simple to use laser measuring device that can automatically calculate surface areas and volumes. Plonk it on the floor and it'll tell you the distance to the ceiling. Sit it in the corner and it'll tell you the length of a wall. Point it the other direction for the width of the room, then press a button to have it calculate the volume of the room or surface area of the walls. You've then got all the measurements you need to order paint or wallpaper, or work out how much heating power you need. Simple and brilliant.

MetalliScanner m40 Another new release, this is the first consumer-level metal detector under US$50 that can detect ferrous (magnetic) metal up to 4 inches deep and non-ferrous metal up to 2 inches deep. Use it to detect studs, metal plumbing, ductwork, rebar, nails and screws through non-metallic walls. It's also brilliant for finding bits of embedded metal in reclaimed or recycled timber before you go blunting your saw.

Repeater 25 Tape Measure Realising that a lot of home handymen have the memory of a sieve - and certainly this one does - Zircon built a tape measure with a built-in voice recorder. Take a mesaurement, and simply speak it into the tape measure. Playback when you need the measurements - no more square pencil behind the ear required. This device does however have the potential to record incriminating evidence, so don't leave it recording while you're using a hammer.

iLine Auto-Leveling Laser A fantastic little device, the iLine sits on the wall and auto-levels a horizontal or vertical laser line. It acts like a neat combination of spirit level and plumbline.

Water Level Pro This long-distance leveling tool is an electronic evolution of the techniques the ancient Egyptians used to achieve levels on the great pyramids. Hopefully that kind of heritage doesn't put too much pressure on the home handyman. An electronic water level that uses audio signals to tell you when you've achieved level, up to 100 feet (30m) away and even around corners.

All these products and many thers in the Zircon range show canny innovations that make the handyman's life a lot easier. Smart, useful and affordable technology. Great stuff!

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