With the Hitachi N2503AF you can install thin wood flooring without having to contort yourself into awkward positions to hold the nose at the proper angle. The stapler has two triggers, one in the normal place and a second at the rear. Both work fine, though it's often more comfortable to hold the tool "backward" and fire with the secondary trigger. The gun accepts 1-inch staples, making it useful for 1/4- to 7/16-inch flooring. The shoe has a tool-free adjustment and the magazine can hold up to 100 staples.
¦ Price: $269. 800-829-4752. www.hitachipowertools.com.
Even though they fold, stepladders are bulky and difficult to transport. The Little Giant Select Step combines two common sizes – a 6-footer and an 8-footer – in one model, so you've got one less ladder to haul around. The telescoping legs adjust in one-foot increments from 5 to 8 feet, and the sides move independently, allowing you to set up the ladder on steps or against a wall. A removable work tray with tool holders, cord holders, and a magnetized spot for nuts and bolts shifts vertically to provide a safety handle above the top step. The ladder has wheels and can be folded up and hauled around like a piece of luggage. It weighs a little less than 25 pounds and also comes in a 6- to 10-foot height.
¦ Price: Starts at $200. 800-453-1192. www.littlegiantladder.com.
Dust masks can be restricting, particularly when you're trying to talk to someone. With its pleated sides, the 3M Vflex respirator solves this and other annoyances. Because the pleats add material to the sides of the mask, they give more flexibility around the jaw and provide a larger filtered surface area to breathe through. They also make it possible to fold the respirator flat, for easier storage.
¦ Price: $3. 888-364-3577. www.3m.com.
Digital inspection cameras are useful for seeing into walls, down conduits, and anywhere else only a mouse can fit. As part of Bosch's 12-volt platform, the new PS90 has a 2-11/16-inch screen with a maximum resolution of 324x240. The camera is 7-1/4 inches long and comes with a 48-inch flexible snake that accepts extensions totaling up to 30 feet. The lens head, equipped with an LED, is 11/16 inch in diameter – small enough to fit through the hole in an electrical box. Keep in mind that even though it's called a camera, this device does not have the ability to capture an image. It's sold with a hook, a magnet, and mirror attachments.
¦ Price: $199. 877-267-2499. www.boschtools.com.
Because they have a pair of close-set blades spinning in opposing directions, dual-blade saws virtually eliminate kickback and are great for plunge-cutting. While the technology has been around for years – most notably on the late-night infomercial circuit – it hasn't gotten much traction in the construction world, perhaps because the tools themselves have simple angle-grinder bodies that offer little in the way of ergonomics. Ridgid's new Twin Blade Saw, however, adds top and side handles for easier maneuverability: It's like using a circular saw but without the base plate. The 10-amp tool has a cutting depth of 11/16 inches and can cut a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, steel, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel – all using the same blades.
¦ Price: $149. 800-474-3443. www.ridgid.com.