In the display room of the Deering Banjo Company Greg and Janet Deering speak with a family from Tucson, Arizona that are about to take a tour of the facility. The banjo Janet is holding is an Ivanhoe Gold model. At left are the company's Goodtime line of banjos.
CHARLIE NEUMAN
TOOLS

The First Couple of Twang

Greg and Janet Deering built the leading American banjo company of the 21st century.

A Wilburn Forge culinary knife with a 10-inch integral blade (2 1/8 inches wide at the heel) with a handle of stabilized amboyna.
FRANCESCA WILBURN-RITCHIE
TOOLS

Knife-Edged Beauty

One-of-a-kind hand-forged knives by Aaron Wilburn are wonderful to look at — and even better to use.

Birkenstocks are the product (and namesake) of a German shoe company.
ISTOCKPHOTO
TOOLS

Birkenstocks

The clunky sandals are soles with soul

The Oculus Go offers virtual reality experiences at a budget price.
TOOLS

Putting the ‘Real’ Into Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has been just around the corner for more than 25 years. Will the Oculus Go headset finally make VR real for the masses?

CHRIS HARDY
TOOLS

Getting Ready for the Big One

The quality of earthquake survival kits ranges from solid to shaky. We rated several emergency kits on the market to find the survival bag most likely to come in handy when The Big One hits.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS HARDY
TOOLS

The Write Stuff

Artists, writers and editors agree: The Blackwing is the pencil of the pros. In our digital world, Tim Wendel explains why one brand of pencils is changing the graphite game.

Leica M Monochrom Type 246, $7,450
LEICA
TOOLS

Monochrome Love

The Leica M Monochrom costs a fortune, but it’s worth it — it’s a digital camera that shoots black and white with the same high quality as old film cameras.