The JLC LIVE show has been around since 1995. I attended sporadically in the early years but have been to nearly all that have occurred in the last 10 years, including the one held in Portland, Oregon a couple of weeks back.

Portland is a fun place to attend a show; besides having excellent coffee and micro-brewed beer, it's in an interesting area. I arrived early before last year's show and visited the Leatherman Factory and Wayne's Chainsaw Museum. This year I visited the plants where Keen assembles some of its boots and where Purdy makes paintbrushes—both plants are located within Portland city limits (more on those visits in the coming weeks).

This year's JLC LIVE NW was as interesting as always, and the tool companies exhibiting had a couple of surprises in store for those who attended. Click the slideshow on the left for quick look at what you could have seen if you had gone to the show.