When we saw two carpenters working on top of a pair of ReechCraft's Bronco Job Horses set up with a staging plank on a shed roof, we knew right away that the company had come up with an award-winning, time-saving product. Three telescoping legs on each horse adjust to match a roof pitch or uneven ground; rubber feet on each leg make for a sure grab on various pitches. The adjustable devices can get your planks as high as 68 inches, giving you a maximum working height of around 12 feet. Two Broncos are rated to carry 600 pounds.
And you don't have to use them for staging all the time. Since their adjustable legs easily conform to uneven terrain, a set of these innovative horses can make a great work station. Each easily moved and stored horse weighs 23 pounds. Prices range from $329 to $369 a pair. For more information, contact ReechCraft, 888-600-6160; www.reechcraft.com.
For years, "smart" features have been sneaking their way into our tools in the form of power-sensing circuitry, warning lights, and micro-processors that monitor or adjust the tool without the user realizing its amp-draw, wearing brushes, or rpm have been changed. Two of the smartest innovations we've seen this year do something a little more obvious. While drilling, Metabo's Contact tools shut off the instant the bits touch grounded electrical conductors. And Atlas Copco's Explorer side handle senses metal and live wire up to two inches deep in walls or solid concrete. No surprise shock? No plumbing repairs? Smart.
Metabo took steps into smart technology by installing safety features on its SBE 808 hammerdrill and model BHE 6021 rotary hammer. These enhanced tools can keep you from drilling through water pipes or electrical lines by sending a .16-milli-amp electrical charge to the end of the bit you're using. If this charge hits a grounded conductor (like a pipe or wire), it completes a circuit and shuts the tool down. When this happens, a light near the handle illuminates to indicate why the tool stopped. The Contact hammers sell for $259 and $345, respectively. For more information, contact Metabo USA, 800-638-2264; www.metabousa.com.
Atlas Copco installed a detachable electronic sensor into a side handle that detects metal studs, copper, steel rebar, or live wires up to 2 inches deep in concrete. The Explorer is an accessory side handle that fits Atlas Copco's Kango 220 and 240 rotary hammers' 38-mm collars. It works like a metal stud finder. Activate it and move it along the surface you're about to drill or chisel. If the sensor detects some embedded metal, the side handle lights up red. Pass it over electric lines, and a yellow light comes on. If the coast is clear, just grab the object-finding side handle and go to work. It sells for $29. For more information, contact Atlas Copco, 800-284-2373; www.kangotools.com.
Spec out Cordless Hammerdrills and Rotary Hammerdrills on ebuild, the Professional's Guide to Building Products (TM).
ebuild Specs for Corded Hammerdrills and Rotary Hammerdrills.