With all of the focus on proven contractor testing, most toolmakers say product confidence for new tools hitting the jobsite is at all-time highs. Of course, while you're enjoying the latest new gadgets, the Dream Teamers are still at work. Most are a bit tight-lipped about their current projects, but some have offered Tools of the Trade a glimpse into the not-so-distant future. Tsujimura is excited about Makita's brand-new magnesium circular saws, one of the first product lines where development was outsourced in part to prototype and research companies stateside, a trend that he hopes to continue.
Looking further out, many developers see an increased focus on how we put the power into our power tools. "If I had zero limitations, I'd be working on a cordless tool that did not have to be charged at all, that fueled itself perpetually," says Zick. Independently, his colleague at TTI agrees. "We carry power, we drag AC cords, and ultimately if you could transmit power to the tool via whatever waves, you would not have to refuel at all," says Brazell.
Definitely the push, particularly in the cordless world, is for a way to reduce size and weight while providing a dependable pro-level power supply. "I don't know that we will ever dispose of a power generator," says Bosch's Bender. "Even if we end up transmitting power to a tool via radio waves, you'll still need something on site that is generating and transmitting those power waves. But sure, the idea at the end of the day is to have a tool where you push a button and it pushes over a building, or builds one."
Dreamers maybe, but they are not alone. If necessity is the mother of invention, the push for perpetual power looks to keep tool designers and their jobsite contractor testing partners busy, at least in the short-term. "It's all about how you fuel the tool without a cord, hose, or battery," says Blanchette with a certain air of confidence. "And that's not just a dream. That day is coming."
–Chris Wood is executive editor for our sister publication ProSales.