1. No one will argue that the jobsite is tough on tools. Tool manufacturers spend a lot of time and money coming up with ways to make their tools last longer in the face of everyday battles with dirt, rain, ladder drops, and other forms of workload abuse. And why shouldn’t they? We invest our hard-earned money into those tools, relying on them to work regardless of the day’s weather and site conditions.

    Few trades have the luxury of being precious about their tools, though. But as our smartphones, tablets, and laptops become more and more common on jobsites, we need to be mindful about protecting them. New technology is being introduced regularly, including CAT’s S40 , an Android-based smartphone (shown here, which we’re in the process of reviewing). So it seems the technological industry is thinking more and more about end users who’s worst-case scenario go far beyond a drop on the breakroom floor while pouring coffee. But devices that can withstand a beating without added protection are still not as readily available as other, more delicate devices.

    Until then, we’re stuck looking for “rugged” protection for our mobile tools – protection that is going to stand up to the everyday demands of jobsite activity. Most uber-protective cases available today use the term “rugged”, and display the label: MIL-STD 810, a standard guide devised by the U.S. Military where things take a bit more abuse than on the jobsite. The standard covers 8 tests:

    Method 501.5 – High Temperature

  2. Method 502.5 – Low Temperature
  3. Method 506.6 – Rain
  4. Method 507.5 – Humidity
  5. Method 510.5 – Sand and Dust
  6. Method 512.5 – Immersion
  7. Method 514.6 – Vibration
  8. Method 516.6 – Shock

All of those things apply to every job I’ve ever been on, but what exactly does the MIL-STD 810 entail? Read more here.