Source: TOOLS OF THE TRADE Magazine
Publication date: October 13, 2011
Throughout the year, the Tools of the Trade staff sees and tests hundreds of tools. We're especially busy now, because it's the season when many companies introduce new tools and unveil them at the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association show held every November. On the following pages is a preview of 18 new tools and accessories that will be showcased at this year's event. Plenty more new tools will be introduced at the show, and we'll be there to check them out and report on what we see in our magazine and newsletter and on our Web site. Stay tuned.
ROTOZIP DIRECT DRIVE ATTACHMENT
The Direct Drive Attachment is designed for doing cutoffs in tight spaces – such as under a sink – where it would be difficult to use a recip saw or angle grinder. The tool consists of a mandrel and wheel system with a die-cast aluminum blade guard. The silicon carbide wheels can cut steel, copper, and PVC; at 2-1/2 inches in diameter, they're small enough to make internal cuts in soil pipes in slabs. The attachment fits RotoZip RZ1500 and RZ2000 models, which use the company's quick-connect interface.
¦ Price: $20 for the guard, mandrel, and two cutoff wheels. www.rotozip.com.
At last year's STAFDA show, Pacific Laser showed a prototype of the new PLS4 laser layout tool – and just recently it became available for purchase. The PLS4 combines two of the company's more popular tools: the PLS180 line laser, which projects plumb and level layout lines; and the PLS3 point-to-point laser, which projects up and down plumb points. This new tool does both and – as with the PLS180 – the lines fan at very wide angles. It comes with a floor base, carrying pouch, and magnetic wall bracket, or it can be purchased as a "system" that includes a laser detector for use outdoors.
¦ Price: $456 for the tool; $582 for the system. www.plslaser.com.
Confirming plan dimensions on the job site just got easier. Johnson's PlanReader Architect Series Power Tape is a 25-foot tape measure with 1/8- and 1/4-inch architectural scales printed on the back of the blade. There's no need to do math or carry an architect's rule. It's also a standard tape measure with a 1-1/16-inch-wide nylon-coated steel blade, an impact-resistant plastic body, a rubber overmold grip, and a sliding lock button.
¦ Price: $14. www.johnsonlevel.com.
Paslode changed the battery of its cordless framing nailer from nicad to lithium ion. You wouldn't think this would make much difference, but Paslode says it does. The new model CF325Li is lighter than its predecessor and can drive up to 6,000 nails per charge – 50 percent more than before. Although a full charge takes 60 minutes, a two-minute quick charge can get you the 200 drives it takes to finish a job. The depth-of-drive mechanism has been redesigned so you can adjust it on the fly.
¦ Price: $399 for tool, case, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, charger, and safety glasses. www.paslode.com.
While we don't often get excited about tool storage, we might make an exception for DeWalt's ToughSystem. It consists of stand-alone toolboxes that attach to an upright metal carrier – basically a hand truck with foldable brackets – so that it's easy to haul around a lot of tools at once. The boxes can be clamped near the top of the carrier, leaving the base free to haul a bulky item, like a compressor. They come in three sizes and are sold separately, so users can mix and match. Internal-organization components include bins for small items and a vertical rack for chisels.
¦ Price: $45, $55, and $65 for the toolboxes; $160 for the carrier. www.dewalt.com.