Thursday, December 24, 2009

Baby Proofing - One Project - A Few Purchases

With our upcoming adventures in parenting, Shira and I figured we should at least do some sort of baby proofing of the house. While there's no doubt tons to do, we quickly identified two places to start: (1) cover outlets which naturally attract little fingers to stick metal objects in and (2) put cupboard locks on the doors that hold our brightly colored, yummy smelling cleaning products.

I can't say I was surprised at the dizzying number of options you have for securing potential hazards in the home. Thanks to the reviews on Amazon, we were able to settle on Mommy's Helper Safe-Lok cabinet locks and Mommy's Helper Outlet Plugs. The plugs are trivial to install, but the Safe-Lok's were going to require a bit of effort.

Looks like we've got a project here

This brings us to the fun part of the story - installing the cabinet locks should have been as easy as grabbing my rechargeable drill, and screwing stuff into place. Even if I allowed time for installing backwards (which I always seem to do), it should have been a 10 minute job.

But, alas, the batteries for my Black & Decker rechargeable drill wouldn't take a charge. This really ticks me off - the drill works just fine, but I have to either go out and buy a replacement, or spend just as much on a new battery.

And even when I do buy a replacement (which happened a year or so ago), I can either leave the drill plugged in - in which case I probably end up hosing the battery. Or, I can leave it unplugged, and the drill loses its charge. Which means, to do a 10 minute job, I need to first charge the drill for an hour.

And it's the best kind of project

Lately, my solution has just been to use an actual screw driver and just tough it out. But this little project was the perfect excuse to try a better solution.

Remembering that I saw a review on CoolTools of a small rechargeable screwdriver, I went back and re-investigated it. The claim to fame of the Skil 2336-02 iXO is that it has a lithium battery that will stay charged for up to 18 months, and won't have any of the battery woes that my Black & Decker drills had. Combine that with the fact that it's tiny and not particularly expensive ($56.00), and you had a winner.

So, in order to complete a 5 minute job, I first needed to order a $56.00 drill, and wait to have it shipped to me. Aren't home improvement projects fun?!

Actually doing the project

Well, the iXO came yesterday and I was able to complete the project. How would I rate the driver? On the pro side, I have to give the driver credit for being able to complete the task with a minimal amount of fuss. Plus, it really is lightweight and tiny - I can see leaving this in a conspicuous place like the kitchen and getting lots of use from it. On the cons side, it's a far cry from a real drill replacement - power wise, it's really unimpressive (but it never claimed to be that). Plus, you look like kind of a wuss using it.

Do I recommend the iXO? Not sure yet. Let me get some use of out if, and see if it can outlast the life of my old B&D drill. What the iXO lacks in power, it may very well make up in utility. Or maybe not.

OK parent readers, what other child proofing should we be making a priority? And how I can use it as an excuse to buy more tools?

Here a some action shots....


  1. You might like a manual hand drill for stuff like this (that is if the mini every dies).

  2. i keep thinking about something like one of these:

    I actually have an old hand powered drill (kind of like a hand mixer) but doesn't work to well when you are drilling 'up'

  3. Nick and Grant - your suggestion is a good one. I'm really tempted to get a nice hand drill if this one bites the dust.