Dwight Sherman's Top 10 Tools
1. Fein Multimaster detail sander: Our customers like it for getting them out of those sticky sanding situations -- it's a versatile creation with literally hundreds of applications and outstanding accessories.
2. Random orbit sanders: These started jumping off my shelves when they were introduced 10 years ago. Literally two tools in one, they remove stock as fast as a belt sander and leave it as smooth as any finish sander.
3. Sliding compound miter saws: Cut-capacity on large trim or bulk framing is no longer a problem. What a truly remarkable improvement for carpentry and trim work.
4. Dry diamond technology: Do you remember changing abrasive wheels 30 to 40 times a day to cut masonry? Enough said.
5. Porter-Cable and Paslode nailers: Porter-Cable made pneumatics high quality, but inexpensive so people could buy multiple tools, while Paslode made driving finish and framing nails a hose-free experience.
6. Nextel phones: The private radio and standard cell phone all-in-one revolutionized how we communicate. Contractors and their crews have never looked back.
7. Lasers of all kinds: Ten years ago our level and instrument department was one-third its current size. Today, it's a complete and unending display of laser engineering for every imaginable application unthinkable just a decade ago.
8. Cordless impact drivers: Makita struck first with this tool, and the category is starting to take over. It's by far the hottest tool category we've got and will be for some time to come as new people discover the big power and small size.
9. Quick-Grip bar clamps: Frankly, I can't remember what we did before this category was created. They're indispensable on our customers' jobsites.
10. Stabila box beam levels: Fixed vials, virtually indestructible, and of unquestionable accuracy. They hit our shelves about 10 years ago and our customers haven't looked back.
Dwight Sherman is president of one of the world's best tool stores, Berland's House of Tools in Lombard, Ill. If there's anybody who can pick tools and trends over the past 10 years -- it's Sherman.