More stories about Opinion

  • Editor's Note: Our New Look

    If you're a longtime reader of Tools of the Trade, you have probably noticed some differences in the way we look. Like you, we had to do some belt-tightening after the economy tanked in 2008 – the magazine got thinner and went from six issues per year to four. When I became editor late last year we...

  • SSSSSurvey Says!

    I would like to thank everyone who completed the Tool Survey we posted a couple of weeks back. It contained a long list of questions and yet over 1800 of you took the time to fill it out and add comments of your own. The survey is still open and can be found on the home page, along with a link to...

  • An Introduction is in Order

    My name is David Frane and I am the new editor of TOOLS OF THE TRADE. This is a dream job for me because I have been fascinated by tools since the age of five, when my father gave me a hammer and handsaw and turned me loose on a pile of scrap wood. As an adult, I spent 20 years doing new...

  • New Place for Pride

    I remember riding some pretty wild ups and downs during my 20-plus years of building, though nothing like we're seeing now. Each time things got tight I learned more about survival, which made my business stronger when the economy turned around.

  • Torque & Horsepower

    It's been more than nine years since Tools of the Trade began pushing for industry-sponsored, standardized test procedures so tool buyers could reliably compare performance specs across brands. So nobody could be happier than we are with the Power Tool Institute's release of new torque and...

  • Optimistic Road Trip

    No doubt, these are strange times in our industry. From manufacturers to suppliers to contractors--even magazine editors--we're all adjusting to changing conditions and the latest reports on the worsening economy. It isn't easy to find good news these days, that's for sure, and optimists are few...

  • Net Play

    With the Olympics and U.S. Open tennis championships just concluded, I am still well within the statute of limitations on using a sports analogy to make a business point–especially a tennis analogy.

  • Re-Do-It Yourself

    I used to build a lot of second homes for lawyers, stock traders, accountants, and a couple of TV and movie execs. And based on the frequent calls I received during the week from their New York, Boston, and L.A. offices, it was clear that their minds were never far from their projects. They'd show...

  • Time and Trouble

    It's time once again for our annual Editors' Choice Awards for the year's best tools, accessories, and jobsite solutions. This year, we spotlight 13 great products that will help you save time and avoid trouble–two of my biggest pet peeves as a builder and employer.

  • Feast and Famine

    There's an interesting dynamic at play within the tool industry that I'm trying to figure out. On one hand, there are clear effects on the industry of the historic decline in new-home construction. It has affected everyone from jobsite subcontractors to tool store suppliers. We've never seen...