• TOTT Distro Test

    This is the abstract.

     
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    Ryobi Portable Table-Saws Recalled

    One World Technologies of Anderson, S.C., is recalling Ryobi portable table saws with potentially misaligned saw blades, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The recall involves over 21,000 Ryobi RTS20 portable table saws that were imported from China and sold at U.S. and Canadian...

     
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    Bosch Recalls Hammer Drills

    Bosch has issued a recall of about 20,000 hammer drills. The models have a grounding system and trigger switch that could cause ground wire abrasion and/or ground connector failure posing a shock hazard.

     
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    A Cool Hot Product

    Last week I talked to the folks from

     
  • Jobsite Falls

    If you have seen this month's survey on safety practices, then you probably figure this blog entry was planned to coincide with it. In fact, it's kind of an accident (no pun intended) that I am writing about safety now. The survey was written weeks ago and it wasn't until the other day, when I...

     
  • Truckin' Around: GM Rolls Out New Heavy-Duty Silverado and Sierra Pickups

    When General Motors recently previewed its completely revamped Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Heavy-Duty pickups to automotive journalists, the event included a display of stripped chassis that allowed the media to compare the previous models side-by-side with the new ones. Last year's versions...

     
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    Truckin' Around: Dodge Looks to Fiat As Mercedes Takes Back Sprinter Vans

    With little fanfare, the complete Sprinter line was returned earlier this year to Mercedes-Benz, the former Chrysler/Dodge corporate partner that developed the cargo and utility van in Europe and brought it to the U.S. as a Freightliner truck in 2001, then badged it as a Dodge vehicle in 2006...

     
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    Tool Test: Airless Paint Sprayers

    We gathered nine pumps, ranging from midlevel budget models to a few suited for everyday use on smaller jobs – they just had to be able to handle the pros' requisite .019-inch tip. Our painter of 25 years used them with interior and exterior latex paints to determine their worth from a full-time...

     
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    Launch Time 2010

    As tool makers prepare to roll out their newest products at the annual STAFDA (Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association) Show, Tools of the Trade is right there with them – and, in some cases, a step ahead, with an advance look at what will be unveiled in the coming year. Here's just a...

     
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    Product Watch: Work & Safety Gear

    Work Boots / Kneepads / Safety Harness / More...

     
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    First Test: Protective Hammer Caps

    Prefinished siding and trim – whether fiber-cement, plastic, or wood – are becoming more popular. Factory-applied finishes are hard to beat, and it's great not to have to schedule another sub or deal with weather-related painting delays. For the best look, matching color-coated nails should be used...

     
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    FirstTest: Two-Handed Sanding

    Just after we completed our 5-inch random-orbit-sander tool test for the Winter issue, Makita announced the release of an updated model.

     
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    First Test: Nailing With Nitrogen

    Senco's new Fusion trim nailers operate unlike any drive system you've seen before and represent a giant leap forward in hose-free technology. As in pneumatic models, a cylinder-housed piston creates the force to drive fasteners, but the system uses a captive volume of nitrogen to pressurize, shoot...

     
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    Fall 2010 Hot Finds

    Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw / Palm Nailer / Rotary Hammer / Impact Driver

     
  • CuttingEdge: Equipment Rentals Trending Up

    Despite the continuing economic uncertainty affecting the housing and construction industries, not all of the news is bad. Three recent high-level studies are seeing early signs of recovery and forecasting growth for the months ahead, with residential building and remodeling picking up steam as we...

     
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    History In Hand

    Peter Liebhold must have a million tools. As the curator of the Division of Work and Industry at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., he weaves them into stories that illuminate our growth as a country.

     
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    SiteLines: Changing of the Guard

    The legacy of this magazine is based on our expertise, editorial independence, technical accuracy, job-site relevance, and down-to-earth hands-on experience. During my tenure I have worked to honor, nurture, and protect the credibility we've established over the years, as a way of acknowledging the...

     
  • 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...

     
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    New HEPA Vacs from Festool

    Several weeks back I had the opportunity to check out Festool's new CT 26 and CT 36 dust-collecting HEPA vacuums. As I examined the tools and read the list of features it reminded me of how far vacuums have come since my early days in the trade. My first shop-style vac was little more than an...

     
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    Paslode CR175C Cordless Roofing Nailer

    Last week I was at the Remodeling Show in Baltimore, where I attended a demonstration of the CR175C, a new fuel-powered roofing gun from Paslode. With so many types of nailers having gone cordless, I had been wondering if and when someone would develop a workable gun for roofing.

     
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    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...

     
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    SiteLines: Training Day

    If there's one thing that gets swept aside in the constant rush to put out daily fires and meet long-term deadlines, it's our ability to educate and train our teams – rookies and veterans alike – on an ongoing basis.

     
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    Cutting Edge: Arkansas Contractor Wins Site Commander!

    Veteran contractor Don Hodge of North Little Rock, Ark., went online to look for a Lenox 3-inch hole saw and came away as this year's winner of the Site Commander Sweepstakes. He picked up the keys to his new truck at the Lenox 301 NASCAR Race in Loudon, N.H., at the end of June.

     
  • Cutting Edge: Confusion Surrounds Lead Rule

    By now, everyone involved in residential remodeling should know about the EPA's Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule. As of midsummer there were still plenty of questions and confusion regarding the requirements for tools and equipment. In particular the government was still in the process...

     
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    Summer 2010 Hot Finds

    Prefilter Hepa Vacuum / Two-Stage Hepa Vacuum

     
  • Cutting Edge: Tool Crib Founder Returns to the Web

    Acme Tools, the Midwest retail powerhouse that created the original online tool and construction equipment sales site, Tool Crib of the North, has re-entered Internet retailing after a 10-year hiatus. Tool Crib was sold to Amazon.com in 1999.

     
  • Truckin' Around: Toyota to Replace Rusting Tundra Frames

    If your pickup is a Tundra and it's got serious frame rust, you could be in for some good news: Toyota has announced that it will replace the complete frame on affected vehicles built between 2000 and 2003 at no cost to the owners.

     
  • Truckin' Around: Dodge Ram Hybrid Pickup Cancelled

    Just a few short months after Dodge announced that it would produce a gas-electric hybrid version of its recently re-engineered Ram 1500 pickup 'sometime in 2010,' the struggling automaker has pulled the plug on the project.

     
  • Truckin' Around: GM Rolls Out New Heavy-Duty Silverado and Sierra Pickups

    Turnabout is fair play in the automotive business, so after Ford and then Dodge gave their heavy-duty pickup lines a top-to-tailgate remodel, truck buyers could guess that it wouldn't be long before General Motors' fleet of HD work vehicles would get an overhaul as well.

     
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    First Test: DeWalt's New Framing Saw

    Wormdrive saws are known for being plenty strong – and plenty heavy too. And as it turned out, where power is concerned, the DWS535 ranks right up there with the best of them.

     
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    First Test: Milwaukee Compact Band Saws

    Finding a new tool that fits the work is a real pleasure for the pro. A full-size portable band saw used to be the tool of choice for cutting angle iron, Unistrut, and threaded rod on the job – even though its nearly 5-inch capacity is overkill for most chores – but now our plumber's crew grabs one...

     
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    Hands-On Hand Tools

    We've carefully selected more than 50 hand tools to share with you this issue. This diverse collection of tools represents the next generation of designs, with features that will help you carry on your own legacy of quality and provide continued enjoyment in your particular trade.

     
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    Hackman Retires

    Lee Breton has been asked to do some crazy things in his career at Lenox Industrial Tools, and he's done them all. But now, after 48 years with the company, he's hanging up his tool pouch – and leaving a hole in the tool industry that will never be filled.

     
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    Product Watch: Laser Levels & Measuring Tools

     
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    Tool Test: Concrete Pinners

    Tools for nailing through steel or into fully cured concrete used to be limited to PATs (powder-actuated tools), but gas-powered pinners are gaining popularity. And there are powerful pneumatics – some old and some new – that have been flying under the radar for some time even though they excel at...

     
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    Site Commander Sweepstakes Winner

    Veteran contractor Don Hodge of North Little Rock, Ark., went online to look for a Lenox 3-inch hole saw and came away as this year's winner of the Site Commander Sweepstakes. He picked up the keys to his new truck at the Lenox 301 NASCAR Race in Loudon, N.H., at the end of June.

     
  • List of Lead RRP Rule Vacuums

    With all of the confusion surrounding the new requirements for remodeling work in houses built before 1978, one of the biggest sources of confusion we hear about is the HEPA vac requirement.

     
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    Clamp-On Levels

    Miter-Saw Automation / Clamp-On Levels

     
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    Miter Saw Automation

    Miter-Saw Automation / Clamp-On Levels

     
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    Tool Test: Six-Inch Jointers

    Jointers are the go-to tools for straightening and squaring lumber, and standard-length 6-inch-wide capacity models are a great choice for most carpentry and trim uses in the shop and on the job site. These 46-inch bed machines are the entry-level size for stationary jointers and, as the smallest...

     
  • Test - Article 3

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  • Cutting Edge: Bostitch Launches Hand-Tool Line

    Bostitch, one of the best-known U.S. manufacturers of air-powered tools and a major subsidiary of Stanley Tools, officially launched a line of nonpowered hand tools under the Bostitch brand name on March 1.

     
  • Cutting Edge: New DOT Rule May Boost Prices

    New regulations now being proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation would severely restrict the way lithium-ion batteries and equipment containing them are transported, packaged, and labeled – a move that could cost power-tool-users and manufacturers millions of dollars in add-on fees...

     
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    Truckin' Around: Three Pickups Make Top 2009 Sales List

    Last year might have been one of the worst in automotive history, but that didn't prevent a trio of U.S. truck manufacturers from scoring top overall automotive sales figures for their best-selling pickups. And although the annual sales list perennially includes the Ford F-150 pickup – the world's...

     
  • Truckin' Around: Dodge Ram 1500 Hybrid in the Works

    In January, just days before the big North American International Auto Show in Detroit, when automakers reveal their hottest vehicle introductions and innovations for the year, Dodge Trucks announced that a gas-electric hybrid version of its recently re-engineered Ram 1500 pickup was in development...

     
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    Cutting Edge: New Tool Report

    Our mission at Tools of the Trade is to feed your endless appetite for new tools, which includes telling you about product introductions as soon as we learn about them.

     
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    Product Watch: Cordless Tools

     
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    First Test: Paslode Angled 16-Gauge Nailer

    In my architectural woodworking business, finish nailers are the pneumatic tools we use the most, and having a good complement of nailers for every application is critical to the success of a custom job. My primary arsenal of finish guns includes a 15-gauge finish nailer and an 18-gauge brad...

     
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    First Test: Craftsman Twin Cutter

    Readers have been asking us about dual-blade circular saws, so we decided to put the Craftsman 25574 Twin Cutter Saw to the test. Craftsman came out with its first version of a dual-blade saw early in the last decade, so the technology has been around for a while, but the 25574 model is the latest...

     
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    Sitelines: War Stories

    We go to work every day worrying about the weather or wondering if our crews and supplies will show up on time so we can stay on schedule with our progress and our profits. We love to brag about how hard we work and complain about the tough conditions we face on our job sites – and then brag again...

     
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    Troops With Tools

    When 1st Lt. Eric 'Moose' Petrevich sent me a photo from his deployment in Iraq, I was blown away – not just because I noticed the Tools cover on the workbench next to his slider, but because I read in the accompanying letter about how he and his fellow soldiers use their workshop to build their...

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice Awards

    This year's search for outstanding new tools, equipment, and innovative features was as challenging as ever, given the continued rate of product introductions from all corners of the manufacturing world serving professional construction markets.

     
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    Tool Test: 5-inch Random-Orbit Sanders

    The workhorse sander for most tradesmen is the 5-inch-diameter random-orbit sander. Thanks to its ability to hog off stock with a coarse grit disk and leave a smooth, finished surface with a fine grit, this single tool has replaced the old progression of belt sander to half-sheet finish sander for...

     
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    Site Lines: The Truck Issue

    Anyone with the wherewithal to shop for a truck last year found himself in the driver's seat when it came down to the bottom line in striking a deal. Between dealer desperation and the cash-for-clunkers program, it was a rare chance for consumers to actually come away ahead

     
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    Ideas That Work: Burt Weinstein

    Tradesmen are problem-solvers. We all have 'Aha!' moments – those instants of clarity and understanding when you see the solution to your problem, right in front of you. Burt Weinstein has made a career of such moments. The big difference between him and the rest of us is that he patents his...

     
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    2010 Site Commander: On the Road to Recovery

    If there's one thing we learned over the past year of touring with the Site Commander, as we visited 600 cities across the country, it's how hard contractors will work to keep their companies afloat. Survival in this business is difficult enough without facing historic economic conditions and the...

     
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    Product Watch: Truck Accessories

    Below-Deck Storage / Tough, Quiet Tires

     
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    First Test: Budget Circ Saw

    The latest pro circ saw from Skil (model HD5687) is not one of the company's signature wormdrive tools but a new blade-right sidewinder model. We found it interesting enough to test because of its price (under $100) and the fact that it's Skil's only 7-1/4-inch sidewinder warranted for professional...

     
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    First Test: Shower-Drain Cutter

    Plumbers typically cut chamfered drain holes in subflooring by eye, using a recip saw held at a shallow angle. The resulting inconsistencies in the roundness of the hole and the chamfered angles can keep the drain from sitting totally flat and centered in the opening, and a generous application of...

     
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    Truckin' Around

    New Heavy-Duty Dodge Rams / What's That Beater Worth?

     
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    Winter 2010 Hot Finds

     
  • Cutting Edge: Mega Toolmakers Plan Merger

    Two of the world's oldest, largest, and most respected makers of hand and power tools surprised just about everyone in November by announcing that they intend to combine their many assets to form an $8.4 billion global tool company, to be called Stanley Black & Decker. As of this writing, the...

     
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    Truck Report 2010

    To say 2009 was a tough year for auto-makers would be something of an understatement. But you could also say it was a very good year for truck buyers who managed to stay in the market. When the construction industry went into a skid, prices for pickups and other work vehicles plummeted, and nearly...

     
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    Hot Finds: Fein Power Tools T-Series Angle Grinders

    Fein Power Tools has introduced a new line of low-vibration compact angle grinders (model WS-14) that lock out accidental start-ups.

     
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    Hot Finds: Senco Fusion Cordless Nailers

    Rather than rely on fuel cells, Senco's all-new Fusion cordless nailers operate on the same principle as pneumatic tools: compressed air.

     
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    Product Watch: BAKflip CS Contractor Series Tonneau

    The BAKflip CS Contractor Series tonneau combines a weathertight load-bearing folding pickup bed cover with an integrated sliding rack system.

     
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    Product Watch: Firestone Industrial Products Ride-Rite LS Load Levelers

    Ride-Rite LS load levelers from Firestone Industrial Products are designed for heavy-duty (2500 series and up) Ford, Chevy/GMC, and Dodge pickups.

     
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    Product Watch: Knaack WeatherGuard E-Line Saddle Box

    The WeatherGuard E-Line Saddle Box (model 143) is the first in a new line of pickup toolboxes introduced by security tool-chest manufacturer Knaack.

     
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    Product Watch: A.R.E. Deluxe Commercial Unit Truck Caps

    Deluxe Commercial Unit truck caps and covers from A.R.E. are available for most 2010 pickups.

     
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    Product Watch: ARB 50QT Fridge Freezer

    The 50QT Fridge Freezer from Australian four-wheel vehicle-parts manufacturer ARB was designed to improve on all other portable vehicle units now available, says the manufacturer.

     
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    Product Watch: Step n Tow Tow-Hitch Step

    Step n Tow is a Class III 2-inch receiver-mounted tow hitch.

     
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    Product Watch: Tuffy Security Products Full-Pull Utility Drawers

    Full-Pull Utility Drawers from Tuffy Security Products provide lockable storage for pickups with 4-, 6-, or 8-foot beds.

     
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    Product Watch: Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor Pro-Grade Tires

    The hard, knobby treads on construction-vehicle tires are good for navigating building site terrain and debris, but they can be loud and slick on paved roads and they offer poor fuel economy.

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Senco Cordless Nailer

    Senco has simplified cordless-nailer operations with its new Fusion trim nailers featuring the company's Reflex-Shot technology, which provides instant trigger response.

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Nail Kicker Denailer

    With more and more emphasis placed on salvaging building materials for reuse and reducing the volume of material sent to landfills, a lot of contractors are taking a new look at the value of nail-infested lumber that used to end up in a Dumpster.

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Milwaukee Cordless Mini Band Saw

    Milwaukee continues its leadership role in trade-focused tool design with this exciting compact 18-volt cordless portable band saw, the M18 2629-22.

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Rockwell Jawhorse Workstation

    Rockwell bills its Jawhorse as 'the only workstation you'll ever need.'

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Husqvarna Autotune Chain Saw

    Husqvarna's latest innovation makes the operation and maintenance of its two-stroke engines a new game and raises the bar for high-performance chain saws.

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Festool Router

    Festool makes a practice of producing category-leading tools, and the 3-1/4-hp OF2200EB+ router is no exception.

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Ridgid R1005 Angle Grinder

    When we saw Ridgid's new R1005 angle grinder, it immediately struck us as an ergonomic solution to this category's age-old problem.

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Makita Four-Rail Miter Saw

    Makita has always been known for bringing innovation and quality to its sliding-compound miter saws, and it continues its category-leading legacy with the new LS1016L, a 10-inch saw with 12-inch capabilities.

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Ford Transit Connect Work Van

    Ford introduced a welcome sense of practicality to the industry when it brought the Transit Connect work van to the U.S. from Europe, where it has been popular since 2002.

     
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    2010 Editor's Choice: Hitachi WH14DBL Compact Cordless Impact Driver

    We love the way this category has continued to evolve, especially in terms of performance features previously seen only in industrial assembly tools.

     
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    Product Watch: Makita BHR261 Rotary Hammer

    Makita's first 36-volt cordless tool is the 9.9-pound BHR261 rotary hammer.

     
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    Product Watch: Porter-Cable 18-Volt Jigsaw

    With a tool-free steel shoe to switch quickly from straight to 45-degree cuts, the Porter-Cable 18-volt jigsaw (PC18JS) runs at a maximum of 2,500 strokes per minute.

     
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    Product Watch: Rockwell H3 Rotary Hammerdrill

    Rockwell's 3-pound H3 rotary hammerdrill has an SDS-plus quick chuck that converts it to a three-jaw drill or power screwdriver.

     
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    Product Watch: Bosch 18-Volt Impact Drill/Driver

    Bosch's 26618-01 18-volt impact drill/driver is 7 inches long and has a two-speed motor (0 to 750/2,800 rpm) with an impact mode of 1,500 inch-pounds of torque.

     
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    Product Watch: Milwaukee M18 Cordless Reciprocating Saw

    Milwaukee's M18 cordless one-handed 18-volt reciprocating saw (2625-21) weighs 5.9 pounds, has a 3/4-inch stroke length, and operates at 0 to 3,000 strokes per minute.

     
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    Product Watch: RotoZip Cordless CR18L Spiral Saw

    RotoZip's cordless CR18L spiral saw weighs 2.8 pounds (with battery) and runs at 30,000 rpm on an 18-volt Bosch Litheon battery.

     
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    Product Watch: DeWalt DC012 Job-Site Charger And AM/FM Radio

    Rock out to AC/DC on your iPod while simultaneously charging 7.2- to 18-volt nicad or lithium-ion DeWalt batteries.

     
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    Product Watch: Ryobi Cordless Power Paint Sprayer

    The portability of Ryobi's 18-volt cordless power paint-sprayer kit P631K makes it useful for outdoor priming, sealing, and staining.

     
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    Product Watch: Hilti WSR 18-A CPC 18-volt Reciprocating Saw

    Hilti's WSR 18-A CPC 18-volt reciprocating saw has a two-step injection molded grip for greater comfort, says the manufacturer.

     
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    Product Watch: Ridgid JobMax R82234 Multi-Tool

    The Ridgid JobMax R82234 is a 12-volt variable-speed multi-tool with interchangeable heads that share a single power base.

     
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    Hot Finds: Bostitch Hand Tools Level/Clamp

    A level with built-in clamps able to grip lumber or other materials up to 3-1/2 inches thick is one of the first products to be introduced under the new Bostitch Hand Tools brand.

     
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    Product Watch: Johnson Tile/Flooring Laser Level

    Johnson's Tile/Flooring Laser Level 40-6616 projects two 90-degree laser level beams that are visible over multiple surfaces with an accuracy of +/- 1/4 inch for up to 60 feet.

     
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    Product Watch: Hilti PMC 46 Combilaser

    Hilti's PMC 46 Combilaser features Hilti Pulse Power technology for accuracy in level, plumb, and squaring functions.

     
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    Product Watch: DeWalt DW030 Laser Distance Measurer

    DeWalt's DW030 Laser Distance Measurer covers distances up to 100 feet with 1/8-inch accuracy.

     
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    Product Watch: CST/Berger Mini-Line and Point Laser

    CST/Berger's electronic self-leveling Mini-Line and Point Laser Tool XLP-34 provides a 90-degree horizontal and vertical layout grid with bright red laser lines and self-leveling accuracy up to 1/8 inch at 100 feet.

     
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    Product Watch: Stabila LD400 Laser Measure

    Stabila's LD400 Laser Measure calculates length (up to 200 feet), area, volume, continuous measure, square footage, and diagonals with an accuracy of +/- 1/16 inch.

     
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    Product Watch: Bosch CPL5C Five-Point Laser

    The Bosch GPL5C self-leveling five-point laser projects plumb, level, and square as well as cross-alignment lines on floors and ceilings, eliminating the need for two setup points.