The Players

Tools of the Trade salutes these designers who provided a peek into the brains and brawn behind the research and development of new tool ideas and inventions:

Who: Edwin Bender, cordless group product manager, Bosch
Beginnings: Legos; B.S. Physics, Waford College; Georgia Tech engineering school; MBA Northwestern
First Project: Bosch Litheon 10.8-volt I-Driver
Best Inventions Ever: Listerine Breathstrips; iPod

Who: Gary Blanchette, director of product development, Bostitch
Beginnings: Parents remodeled the house every three years; high school woodworking; sold power tools at Sears in college
First Project: N62 and N88 framing nailers
Best Invention Ever: Internet

Who: Ken Brazell, vice president of industrial design and concept development, TTI
First Power Tool: 1/4-inch aluminum die-cast electric drill at 4 years old (still owns)
Creative Fuel: Woodworking
Favorite Tool: The circular blade
Best Invention Ever: Electricity

Who: Christine Potter, group product manager for batteries and chargers, DeWalt
Beginnings: Engineering degree, University of Michigan; MBA, Loyola College
Creative Fuel: Jobsite visits; DeWalt baseball team (semi-retired)
Best Invention Ever: Gas engine; Computer

Who: David Schimmel, director of power tools, Hilti
Beginnings: MBA, industrial marketing; worked at General Electric in marketing and product development
Creative Fuel: The discovery of something that solves a contractor need
Dream Invention: Anything that measurably helps people and improves our industry

Who: Mick Takezaki, project product manager, Max
Favorite Project: Designing side-by-side loading mechanism for pneumatic nailers
Creative Fuel: Spending time with family; fly fishing
Favorite Tool: HS-90 stick nailer

Who: Hiroshi Tsujimura, vice president of product development, Makita USA
Pedigree: 24 years with Makita, 18 with Makita USA
Creative Fuel: Using video ethnography
Favorite Tool: Makita magnesium circular saws