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Christmas Gift Guide

Supercharge your pepper mill

​Roast marshmallows

​Power scrub

​Carve a pumpkin

​Buff your car

​Exercise your cat

​Sharpen pencils

​Make a garden

​Mix paint with a hanger

​Peel produce

Whip and blend

When making big batches of soups or chili, grinding pepper with a pepper mill can be a pain in the wrist. You can supercharge your pepper mill by removing the lid. The metal prong sticking out of the center of the mill fits perfectly in your drill. Just tighten it down in the bit holder and start grinding.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

Getting a marshmallows perfectly golden on all sides is an art, as any skilled s'mores maker will tell you. Rotation is the key. Avoid sore wrists, and impatience, by sticking a few marshmallows on a roasting stick, putting the stick in the drill and taking them on a spin over the campfire.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

A dirty tub or shower needs more than just a wipe down. If you don't want to spend quality time with your grime, make a power scrubbing brush that attaches to your power drill with these instructions.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

After a few years, carving pumpkins can start to bore without a fresh idea. Next time, scoop out your pumpkin as usual, then carve out designs by making holes using various sized drill bits. This idea is a variation on pinhole art, and you can find many free tutorials online.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

You can save a little cash by waxing and buffing your car yourself. Your local auto parts store carries buffing pads that attach to power drills. These pads typically come with special wax or buffing creams. With a little time, your car can shine.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

If your cat is overly energetic and regular cat toys just don't cut it, add a little power. Tie a piece of string to the end of an unsharpened pencil, or blunt stick and put the other end of the stick in the drill. Tighten it down and tie a soft cat toy to the end of the string. Turn the drill on at its lowest speed and amp up the fun.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

If homework or back-to-school time has got your kids down, cheer them up with this trick. Put the eraser end of a pencil in the drill bit hole, tighten it down and put the unsharpened end into a manual pencil sharpener. Let it rip. The pencil will get sharpened in seconds. This is a great trick to use if you need to sharpen a lot of pencils the night before school starts.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

Even something as pretty and delicate as a flower garden can benefit from a little power. Instead of digging individual holes for each bulb with a spade when you plant perennials, equip your drill with an auger bit. The bit will tear into the soil and leave you with nice, clean holes for your bulbs. Look for an auger bit that is around 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) wide for the best results.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

To get the best results when paining, your paint needs to be thoroughly mixed. Creating a power mixer using a plastic hanger is fun and practical. Wearing gloves, break the corner and the bottom of a plastic hanger so that it forms a J shape. Put the straight end in your drill and use the hook to mix your paint.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

No one likes peeling fruit and vegetables, so why not make it fun with a little horsepower? Stick a fruit or vegetable onto a clean drill bit. Hold your peeler against the skin of the fruit or vegetable (while avoiding your own!) and slowly turn on the drill. As the produce rotates, slide the peeler up and down to remove the skin.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

There's no need for a hand mixer as long as you have a power drill. The handles of smaller forks will fit into the slot where drill bits typically go. Simply slip it in, tighten it down and make homemade whipped cream, meringue or scrambled eggs.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET
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