In June I was in New York City for a Stanley Black & Decker media event, during which a large number of new tools from DeWalt, Bostitch, and Porter-Cable were unveiled. Here are a few of the more notable introductions from the group of tools I am able to talk about. As with all such events, I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement that bars me from discussing products that are in the pipeline. All I can say is – there many more tools on the way and I'll tell you about them as they are released.

DeWalt Adjustable Depth Setter and Dust Collector

DeWalt announced these attachments early this year but I did not want to write about them until I saw them in person. The first item is the DWA5537DS Adjustable Depth Setter, which fits onto the end of a rotary hammer and can be set to stop the bit at a preset depth. It works with DEWALT's 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch and 5/8-inch SDS Plus drill bits.

The most likely use for the depth setter is drilling holes in concrete for drop in anchors. This type of work is typically done overhead, which is why DeWalt developed the DWA500DC Dust Collection System – a cone-shaped device that fits over the depth setter. There is no vacuum attachment; it merely catches the dust as it falls from the hole.

The depth setter sells for about $40 and the dust collector for about $13.

My take: The depth setter is simple to use and is a far better way to gauge depth than putting tape on the bit. The dust collector will not capture as much of the dust as a HEPA vacuum system, but it's cheaper and easier to use. Think of it as a low-cost way to keep dust from falling onto your face during overhead drilling.

  • Adjustable Depth Setter
    Adjustable Depth Setter

  • Dust Collection System
    Dust Collection System

DeWalt Impact Ready Step Bits

Step bits are used to make and enlarge holes in metal. Most have cylindrical shanks so they won't fit in an impact driver without the use of an adaptor chuck. DeWalt's Impact Ready Step Bits have 1/4-inch hex shanks so they will fit an impact driver. They are aimed at the tradesman (electrician, HVAC mechanic, glazer, carpenter, etc.) who needs to make smooth burr-free holes in metal. There are 5 SKUs in the series, one of which is a three-piece set. The smallest bit makes 1/8- to 1/2-inch holes and the largest 7/8- to 1 1/8-inch holes.

My take: Hex shank step bits are a great idea. These are not the only such bits on the market but they are the first from a major manufacturer. The others are off-brands that no one has heard of.

  • Large Impact Ready Step Bit in action
    Large Impact Ready Step Bit in action

  • Small Impact Ready Step Bit
    Small Impact Ready Step Bit

DeWalt High Impact Demolition Steel Chisels

DeWalt introduced a new series of chisels for demo and combination hammers. The chisels contain two types of steel, a shock-resistant shaft to resist breakage and a harder tip to resist wear. They are available for use with SDS Max or 3/4-inch hex shank tools. There are 11 SKUs in the series, which contains bull points, scaling chisels, and cold chisels.

  • High Impact Demolition Steel Chisels
    High Impact Demolition Steel Chisels

Bostitch LPF33PT Low Profile Framer

Bostitch introduced a number of new nail guns, including the LPF33PT, a low-profile 30-degree paper tape framer. Like other low-profile tools, it's short top-to-bottom so that it will fit more easily between 16-inch on-center framing. At 7.6 pounds, it's 0.3 pounds lighter than the full-size F33PT. Features include an internal air filter, an adjustable rafter hook, and a tool-free depth-of-drive mechanism. A selectable trigger allows the user to switch between bump-fire and sequential modes. The gun will not dry-fire, and there's a magnet to keep the last nail in the magazine from falling out of the tool.

Available now, the LPF33PT has a seven year limited warranty and sells for about $240.

My take: This is a good addition to the Bostitch product line, which until now did not include a low-profile model.

  • LPF33PT Low Profile Framer
    LPF33PT Low Profile Framer

Bostitch Light Gauge Steel Nailer

The SF150C is a sheathing nailer designed for use with light gauge steel framing – and as every carpenter knows, nails go in faster than screws. The tool takes special wire-collated coil nails and can fasten gypsum, plywood, and OSB sheathing to steel, and steel to steel.

It weighs 5.8 pounds and has a rafter hook, zero nail lockout, and tool-free depth-of-drive. A single-piece magazine cover makes for faster loading and a foot on the bottom of the tool insures nails are driven at the correct angle to the work.

The SF150C has a seven year limited warranty and is expected to sell for about $400.

My take: This is a welcome addition to the Bostitch product line, though perhaps not as revolutionary as it is made out to be – since steel stud framing guns have been around for years. ET&F makes several models.

  • SF150C light gauge steel nailer
    SF150C light gauge steel nailer

Porter-Cable 18-gauge Nailer

The new BN200C nailer is an upgrade to the earlier BN200B. Changes include a magnesium housing (earlier models were aluminum) and a less obtrusive belt hook (low on the tool instead of near the air fitting). The tool weighs 2.65 pounds and drives 5/8- to 2-inch long fasteners. It requires no oil, and has a rear exhaust, tool-free depth-of-drive mechanism, and a tool-free jam release on the nose. The BN200C is expected to hit store shelves in July 2012 and will sell for about $80. The kit includes 500 fasteners, a 1/4-inch air fitting, and a carrying case.

A related narrow crown stapler, the NS150C, will be introduced at the same time as the 18-gauge nailer. The tool accepts 1/2- to 1 1/2-inch long staples and is expected to sell for about $100.

My take: Both tools have a good set of features and it's hard to argue with the price.

  • BN200C 18-gauge pinner
    BN200C 18-gauge pinner

  • NS150C narrow crown stapler
    NS150C narrow crown stapler