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Best and worst home improvement products

Consumer ReportsAre you a fan of Consumer Reports? I am. Totally. The nonprofit company’s integrity and independence remind me of the good old days of journalism.

In the May issue of the magazine, CR named the Best and Worst in home fix-it-up products. The winners and losers include:

Cordless tool kits

Consumer ReportsPorter-Cable PCL418C-2 and Skil 2887-16 cordless-tool kits

Porter-Cable PCL418C-2 and Skil 2887-16 cordless-tool kits

Best: Combine a drill, reciprocating saw, and circular saw, and you have a cordless-tool kit. The Porter-Cable PCL418C-2, $300, at top, drove screws and sawed 2x12s almost as well as a $500 kit. Worst: Don’t be tempted by the $230 price tag of the Skil 2887-16. It’s mediocre overall, but worse, it has a short battery run time and will require frequent recharges.

Interior paints

Kathy's Remodeling BlogBehr Premium Plus Ultra Satin Enamel and Sherwin-Williams
Duration Home Satin interior paints

Behr Premium Plus Ultra Satin Enamel and Sherwin-Williams Duration Home Satin

Best: Low-luster paints, also known as eggshell or satin, are ideal for most rooms. And Behr Premium Plus Ultra Satin Enamel, $33, sold at Home Depot, had impressive one-coat hiding and stain resistance and doesn’t need a primer. It’s also low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Worst: But Sherwin-Williams Duration Home Satin, $47, was only so-so at hiding and stain resistance. Plus its sheen noticeably changed after scrubbing.

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