Little Giant WallWalker Hanging Scaffold
The WallWalker is the first hanging staging of its kind. It can hang on either side of a stud wall, over a beam, or over 8-inch block to make a safe, adjustable stage. The device's 38-inch-wide walkboard arm adjusts in 6-inch increments along a 6-foot-tall vertical rail. This lets you move the work platform to within 12 inches of the top plate. Arms are OSHA approved and are rated for 500 pounds a pair. Each 20-pound aluminum unit comes with handrail attachments and folds tightly for efficient storage. Hooks are available for walls up to 12 inches thick. WallWalkers cost $449 per pair. Little Giant, 800-542-9464; www.wallwalker.com.
Ironclad Work Gloves
Ironclad has developed the first line of task-specific gloves we've seen for construction trades. They fit like a second skin, but the space-age materials are tougher than skin and are highly breathable. This makes the gloves great for hand-punishing jobs like pulling wire, twisting pipe, handling sheet metal, and cleaning up. The palms and knuckles are reinforced, and the thumb is covered with terry cloth to serve as a brow wipe. The carpenter's model leaves three fingertips exposed. The gloves cost around $30. Ironclad, 310-314-3164; www.iclad.com.
The Stanley Works Max-Grip Pliers
Stanley's Max-Grip pliers generate powerful, versatile grabbing force for myriad applications with their patented, self-adjusting, dual-position pivot head. The 6 1/2-inch long, rubber-gripped pliers feature notched jaws for easy, one-handed pinching or twisting. The smartly-shaped handles sit well in the hand for a non-slip grip on anything from a piece of wire to a 1 1/4-inch nut, bolt, or pipe. The small, maneuverable pliers can do much of the work of their larger cousins, but be aware that the grips aren't insulated against electric shock. Max-Grip pliers sell for about $10. The Stanley Works, 800-648-7654; www.stanleyworks.com.
Vermont-American Industrial Router Table
Vermont-American packs versatility, portability, and value into its router table. The 28-pound table adapts any router into a mobile, on-site shaper. The universal mounting plate accepts any brand of router, including large, industrial models. V-A's 570-square-inch, die-cast aluminum top has a four-way adjustable fence with a 14-inch clearance for shaping wide stock, a master power switch, miter gauge, and clear guard for safely viewing work. Table extensions provide an additional 230 square inches of work surface for stabilizing long runs. The table sells for around $100. Vermont-American, 800-742-3869; www.vermontamerican.com.
Central Bench Portable Work Station
Central Bench takes the age-old workbench, and literally puts a new spin on it. This 28 square foot mobile workshop packs a table saw with full sheet-rip capacity, a router table, bench sander, drill press, bandsaw, radial arm saw, and steel vise. The secret? All items bolt to the sectioned table. Each section spins on an axle so the attached tools can be used in table-top mode or stored upside down below the table. It sells for about $400 without tools. Central Bench, 877-892-0111; www.centralbench.com.
10-Inch Portable Table Saws
We love to see real improvements in a tool category, and portable table saws have been improving for years. Advances in rip capacity, power, portability, stands, and blades make them increasingly valuable and versatile on a well-outfitted job site. The companies that bring the most to the table this year are Bosch and DeWalt.
Spec out Table Saws on ebuild, the Professional's Guide to Building Products(TM).