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Yakety-Yak: Now Tools Talk Back

April 29, 1999

Picture this: You've decided to replace the linoleum under the kitchen sink, so you've squeezed yourself in between the drain pipe and the dish detergent to take a measurement. That's when you realize you don't have a pencil. Or a sheet of paper. This could be the moment you've been waiting for, if you happen to have indulged (some would say, invested) in a talking tape measure.

The Repeater, by Zircon, is a standard metal model with a twist. A tape recorder inside stores up to 20 voice recordings. Home improvement types who spend a lot of time teetering on ladders and wiggling into tight spaces might find it worth the $37 just to be free of pencils and note pads.

Talking tools are Zircon's claim to fame. The company's "Studsensor," with an electronic device that beeps when you find the stud, is its most popular product, with 20 million sold since 1981, said Zircon's Dan Harrell.

For details about the Repeater, click on the Web at http://www.zircon.com, or call (800) 245-9265. Ace True Value and Home Base also carry it.

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