Max USA wins an Editors' Choice award for adding a simple feature to a number of its nailers that reduces maintenance and extends their lives. Drop your nailer's air hose onto the deck or on the ground, and the fitting can pick up dirt and debris. The bad stuff usually ends up in the nailer when you re-attach the hose. Max USA solves that problem with its innovative, maintenance-free end cap filter, which catches particles before they make it inside the tool, yet lets air and oil pass freely. When you disconnect the hose, air captured in the tool body exits through the fitting and blows debris out with it. That leaves the filter clean for the next use.

Max equips its roofing nailer, siding tool, coil framer, and three strip framers with end cap filters. The company claims that this feature extends tool life by keeping the tools' chambers clean and unscored by loose debris, which saves the rings, gaskets, and driver. The end cap never needs changing. Pricing varies among tool models. For more information, contact Max USA, 800-223-4293;

Stanley Bostitch

When Stanley Bostitch committed itself to devising a cordless nailer 13 years ago, the company had no idea what form it would take or how many approaches it would try. But perseverance paid off, and last year Stanley Bostitch introduced the world's first cordless roofing nailer: a battery powered, multi-blow tool that establishes a whole new tool category.

Model CRN 38 is a fast, nimble, 20.4-volt, multi-blow nailer that drives 1- to 1 1/2-inch coiled roofing nails. A hardened steel driver hits the nail head 10 times per second; that requires much less energy than driving the fastener completely in one blow. The tool can fasten about two squares of shingles before the battery must be switched out for recharging.

It's also rugged. Stanley Bostitch engineers designed the CRN 38 to withstand long falls by designing break-away parts that snap back on, intact, after a big impact. A related noteworthy innovation is the company's development of packaged nail coils for the CRN 38, which makes handling and loading fasteners a no-brainer. The 8.1-pound tool comes with a charger and two batteries and sells for $499. For more information, contact Stanley Bostitch, 800-228-0567;

Porter-Cable Corp

Porter-Cable's new Site Boss compressor with high-pressure technology is unique: It gets 49 gallons of air in its 20-gallon tank. That means more useable air to power your pneumatic tools and better performance.

The tank holds its 29 extra gallons of air at 175 psi (typical compressors store air at 125 psi). This results in more nailing time before the compressor kicks on.

And the Site Boss kicks on at a higher pressure than other compressors do (145 psi vs. 90 psi), so your nailers won't leave nails proud as the air gets low.

The Site Boss wastes no time refilling, either; high-flow regulators put air in the tank. The unit ships with a Quadra-Port ready to accept four hoses, yet it can run up to seven framing nailers. Fold-away handles and a wheel package make it easy to move the unit around the site. The Site Boss sells for $699. For more information, contact Porter-Cable, 800-487-8665;

Spec out Electric Air Compressors on ebuild, the Professional's Guide to Building Products (TM).

ebuild specs for Gas Air Compressors.