In September, we reported on how after years of disagreement over testing protocols, power tool manufacturers finally agreed on industrywide standards for measuring tool torque and horsepower. These standards will give tool buyers a dependable method to compare and evaluate product specifications.

In November, Makita became the first manufacturer to announce that it had begun implementing torque testing procedures under the new standards for all of its cordless drills, drill/drivers, and hammerdrills in drill/driver mode.

"There has been no single standard for measuring torque in cordless drills, and manufacturers have published figures derived from a range of different testing methodologies," says Stan Rodrigues, Makita's manager of regulatory and compliance affairs. "A single standard with a consistent methodology will produce more accurate measurements for comparison, and is a true win for dealers and end users."

Developed under the auspices of the Power Tool Institute, an association that includes 16 of the most respected power tool brands in the United States, the voluntary standards address corded and cordless power drills, drill/drivers, and screwdrivers. A second set of standards applies to all tools rated in horsepower. The standards are published on the PTI Web site (www.powertoolinstitute.com) and are available for use by both member and nonmember manufacturers.

Tool makers that collaborated on the new standards must comply with a specified PTI Torque Procedure, and each company is responsible for adhering to the standards and ensuring accuracy of its ratings.