Makita's 42-pound breaker (HM1317CB) bridges the gap between small 35-pound breakers and bigger, heavier 60- and 70-pound models. It's equipped with Makita's Anti-Vibration Technology, a counterbalance system that reduces vibration and directs more power toward the work surface – meaning your arms won't still be jiggling during coffee breaks. Other features include soft-start, constant speed control, and a multi-position side handle.
Most laser measures stop at calculating distance and area. The new Stabila LD500 Laser Measure goes far beyond that, making it something of an all-in-one layout tool. This device is equipped with a digital point finder and cross hair so that it can be used at longer ranges (up to 650 feet) and in daylight; the point finder appears on the viewing screen as a live view of the target. The LD500 can perform a number of advanced functions, such as calculating the area and volume of irregular spaces. A built-in inclinometer allows you to read degrees, percent of grade, and slope.
The human eye is far better at picking up green than red, so it would make sense for laser layout tools to project green light. The problem is that green laser diodes are more expensive than red ones, which is why not many companies use them. Johnson's new GreenBrite (40-6640) self-leveling cross-line laser projects green beams that the manufacturer says are 400 percent brighter than red. This makes them easier to see in bright lighting conditions and allows the tool to be used over longer distances.
DeWalt recently entered the hand-tool arena and now offers a 25-foot measuring tape – possibly the single most used item on any job site. Capable of a 13-foot blade standout, the DeWalt tape (DWHT33385) features an oversized hook that comes in handy when you're on a ladder and need to reach out and catch a distant stud or piece of trim. The first 6 inches of the tool's 1-1/4-inch blade has a protective coating that increases durability in the area that sees the hardest wear. This model is similar to the Stanley Fat Max tape, which isn't surprising, given that the two companies merged last year.
Bosch recently released the GTS1031, a more portable version of its model 4100 10-inch work-site table saw. Weighing in at 52 pounds, the tool can be easily carried by its built-in handles and is small enough to fit through a 16-inch on-center studwall. A metal roll cage around the motor and trunnions allows you to store the saw on edge. Its 18-rip capacity is less than that of a full-size model but more than enough for the majority of cuts made on site.