Last month in this space, I reviewed a series of market projections for 2014 from Harvard University as well as the industry’s leading associations.
Field Tools and Equipment
This is the time of the year for giving and getting gifts. Of course, it's also a good time of year to assess your firm's assets and inventory and see what needs to be replaced, restocked or supplemented. Either way, that means checking out the latest hand tools, power tools, toolboxes, ladders, truck and van accessories, vacuums, boots, personal protective equipment, fasteners a...
This is the time of the year for giving and getting gifts. Of course, it's also a good time of year to assess your firm's assets and inventory and see what needs to be replaced, restocked or supplemented. Either way, that means checking out the latest hand tools, power tools, toolboxes, ladders, truck and van accessories, vacuums, boots, personal protective equipment, fasteners and batteries.
Advanced technology, safety and environmental concerns play a large role in the innovations being introduced in these product categories. Lighter-weight tools have ergonomic grips designed to prevent wear and tear on the body. Other tools have attached dust collectors to minimize pollution in clients' homes and in your lungs.
At the same time, manufacturers are adding power, increasing durability, and making tools more adjustable to improve functionality and your field employees' performance. New security features keep those precious tools from walking off the job.
So get out those markers, circle your favorite(s), and leave the magazine laying out on the table or desk. If there's more than one of you reading it, you might want to put your name next to your favorite.
Vaughn has added a curved fiberglass hammer to its line of Blue Max California framers. The curved design and shock-absorbing hollow core handle of this 21-ounce hammer allows a more natural alignment of the wrist and forearm to minimize fatigue and long-term risk of arm injury. All Blue Max hammers feature the Head-Start magnetic nail-holder, an extra large, milled striking face and a high-impact overstrike guard for increased handle protection. The Blue Max series offers 11 framing hammers that range in length from 16 to 18 inches with head weights of 19 to 23 ounces.
The BSZ 14.4V cordless drill/driver works for drilling, tapping, and driving screws in a range of applications. It has 20 torque settings and a drill setting with forward and reverse. This tool also comes with a two-speed gearbox, a keyless ½" chuck and an ergonomic, rubber-coated T-handle. The motor offers up to 487 inch pounds of torque and the onboard Variospeed electronics allow no-load speeds up to 1,400 rpm. The 4.6-pound tool comes with a battery and built-in case that holds two bits.
The 800-Watt, two-stage turbine Earlex Spray Station 5000 is the newest in the line of HVLP (High Volume/Low Pressure) spraying systems. Lighter and quieter than buzz guns, the spray station applies a professional finish with less overspray and no visible brush marks. The adjustable gun nozzle allows for three spray patterns: round, horizontal and vertical. It comes with a 9.5-foot hose, a 5.6-foot main cable, two masks and weighs 12.3 pounds.
Stanley introduces the FatMax adjustable sawhorse which features four independently adjustable telescopic legs. The legs are adjustable between 32 and 39 inches and are able to carry up to 1,000 pounds. Rubberized grips on the feet maximize usability and increase stability on a variety of terrains and jobsites. Other features include an integrated pipe v-groove and two lumber slots to aid in various cutting, sanding and filing tasks and a folding tray to store tools and accessories. The 2½" space-saving design folds for easy storage.
Paslode's 8.5-pound positive placement nailer is ergonomically designed. It allows for accurate placement of fasteners in a variety of metal hardware applications. Features a ¾" hardened probe that locates the hole in metal hardware while guiding the fastener and controlling penetration depth. The smart lever automatically adjusts to either 1½" or 2½" nail length to eliminate tool damage resulting from incorrect nail selection.
Klein has introduced a line of insulated hand tools that protect users against shock from energized sources up to 1,000 volts. The handles are constructed of a flame-retardant, impact-resistant outer coating and a thick, high-dielectric inner coating bonded to the forged steel handle. Handles also feature Klein Cushion-Grip material for greater torque.
Hitachi's 12" sliding dual compound miter saw has a patented laser marker and top-mounted digital LCD scale for cutting accuracy. Its compact slide system requires zero rear clearance. The sliding arm moves along fixed rails, enabling the saw to sit nearly flush against a wall on a bench without compromising the range of movement. The saw is powered by a 15-amp, belt-driven motor with 1,850 watts of power.
ProVent's weather-proof code box stores plans and displays building permits on the job site. Available in two versions: one for posting permits and address numbers and the other a lockable version that stores plans in addition to posting permits. The combination lock eliminates keys and provides easy access for inspectors, architects, engineers and subcontractors.
Job Site Armor is Milwaukee's new line of heavy-duty safety equipment, including safety eyewear, work gloves, hearing protection and respiratory protection. Job Site Armor features lightweight materials, a high level of adjustability and over-molded contact points that meet or exceed standard industrial safety guidelines.
Makita's 1" rotary hammer features a built-in dust bag and enlarged fan. Equipped with a three-mode operation switch for rotation, hammering with rotation and hammering only and a 360-degree adjustable chuck with 40 different locking positions. This lightweight, 6.6-pound hammer has 6.7 amps and 1.6 foot pounds of impact energy with 0–1,000 rpm and 0–4,500 bpm.
The SureShot 18-gauge narrow crown stapler weighs just 4 pounds and is designed for applications such as cabinets, doors, windows and underlayment. Drives 18-gauge ¼" crown staples and has a staple size up to 1½" leg length. Features a bottom-load aluminum magazine and a fastener usage window that monitors staple volume in the magazine.
The Gorilla Slide provides a faster and easier way to load and unload heavy items in pickup trucks, vans, service bodies and fifth-wheel trailers. The heavy-duty slide-out tray glides on sealed roller bearings on a galvanized steel track and can be locked in place at six points at 10" increments. Made of heavy gauge 1/8" aluminum, it is rated to handle 1,200 pounds evenly distributed.
This lightweight Multishox 6" Lace-to-Toe work boot has a rubber outsole with Goodyear Welt construction, a gas-infused polyurethane midsole and a comfort gel insole. Soft, full-grain leather molds to the wearer's foot and the Dri-Lex lining, Wolvering Performance leather padded ankle collar and comfort flex arch provide added support. Available in soft-toe and Electrical Hazard certified steel-toe styles.
Colors: Black or aged bark
Bosch BlueCore batteries provide up to 50 percent more cordless battery life, according to the manufacturer. The single and dual-bay chargers will charge the batteries within 30 minutes. BlueCore batteries are compatible with all Bosch cordless power tools. These NiCad batteries come in 9.6, 12, 14.4, 18 and 24 volts. The charger also charges older generation batteries.
McGill offers a line of portable ground fault circuit interrupters that safeguard power tool operators from shock and accidental start-ups. They can be used indoors or out with a wide variety of electrical devices to provide protection in 3-wire circuits. Available in 15- and 20-amp, 120 and 240V, 60Hz models, including an 11" cord set, tri-tap receptacles, inline GFCIs and a GFCI protected quad box.
DeWalt's heavy-duty 12" double-bevel compound miter saw features a 15-amp, 3,600 rpm motor that provides extended power and durability. Includes adjustable miter detent plate with 11 positive stops. Sliding fences support crown molding up to 6 5/8" nested and base molding up to 6½" vertically. Will bevel left and right 0–48 degrees with positive stops at 0, 33.9, 45 and 48 degrees by flipping the saw instead of the material.
Pam Fastening Technology's Copperhead line of wood screws are recommended for ACQ, CBA-A and CA-B treated lumber. Designed for use with Pam's P13 autofeed screwdriver system and available in collated strips of 50 screws. Copperhead screws use an anti-corrosion coating that withstands 1,500 hours of salt spray testing. Available in 2", 2½" and 3" sizes.
The new self-leveling multi-beam line generator projects four self-leveling cross lines plus one down-beam for precision measurements. Features 360-degree adjustment and a low-voltage indicator. Can be used with a laser detector, indoors or out. Includes a hardshell carrying case and locking mechanism to protect the inner pendulum during transport.
The ProSite miter saw protractor allows you to achieve perfect miters without math. Made from durable, ¼" aluminum with a Teflon 'O' ring for smooth and precise operation. The red scale and arrow (miter cut) shows the exact miter saw setting for miter joints and the black scale and arrow (single cut) shows the setting for fitting a single workpiece to any angle. Available in 12" and 7" models (shown above).
The Air Boss one-man portable HEPA air cleaner assists in eliminating smoke, dust, powders and other dry process pollutants from work zones to help meet OSHA air quality standards. Contaminants enter through the slotted nozzle and 10-foot flexible hose, are filtered through a three-stage filtration system and then recirculated as clean air. An optional aluminum mesh pre-filter is available for collecting oily particulates.
Ridgid's heavy duty ½" VSR right angle drill has a high-performance 8-amp extended life motor designed to operate in dusty, abusive job site conditions. Features auto-stop brushes that halt the drill's operation when the brushes are worn, before they can damage the motor. It has three speed options — 300, 600 and 1,200 rpm — and an automatic safety clutch that disengages the bit from the gear train to reduce risk of kickback.
The RotoZip FS2 Flex Shaft attachment expands the diverse Spiral Saw system by converting the tool into a lightweight precision sanding, grinding, polishing, carving and detailing tool. FS2 quickly attaches to any new RotoZip spiral saw and works with a wide range of Dremel accessories as a solution for accessing hard-to-reach or tight work areas. A simple shaft lock button makes any 1/16" to 1/8" diameter accessory change quickly and easily.
Hilti's TPS Theft Protection System is available for many Hilti tools and can be customized to suit most needs. The system consists of a company card, activation key and electronic module inside the tool. After an initial code is set, the activation key electronically unlocks the tools. If the tool is stolen, it will lock after 20 minutes and cannot be restarted without the key. Also works with the Hilti serial number tracking system.
The Weather Guard van ladder rack has been improved to include a universal gutter clamp that allows it be installed on new and existing vehicles. It also features Mylar anti-wear strips that protect ladders in high-friction areas, ladder guides, Velcro straps for securing materials and zinc phosphate undercoating. Sway braces are also available on ladder rack products that feature the quick clamp.