Last week we attended the National Hardware Show. It’s the biggest trade show of the year for hardware industry retailers, featuring over 2,500 exhibitors. Even though we’ve been attending this show for more than 15 years, we still find something new every year. Here are a few of the tools that caught our eye.
Triton WorkCenter to Launch in August 2015
We first saw this versatile tool system at IWF last year (watch video of our first look at the Triton Tools WorkCenter at IWF). The WorkCenter features a base and several interchangeable tool inserts, including a clamping table, router table, contractor saw and project saw (a saw that slides on a guide rail). Their plan is to offer this modular system in several combinations. It looks a perfect system for small shops or jobsite projects.
High-Tech Tape Measure
The new eTAPE16 is a 16-ft. tape measure that features a digital display, three memory functions, several calculation presets and Bluetooth compatibility. It reads distances based on a code that is marked on the tape. Best of all, it is priced at $29.95 – not much more than a traditional tape.
Never Drop a Screw
The new WORX SD 4V Screwdriver with Screw Holder holds screws against the bit when driving and grabs screws as you are extracting them. A very useful tool in tight cabinet spaces. Available in September.
Swing-out Truck Storage
The Swing Case storage box mounts just inside your truck’s tailgate and folds behind the wheel well. When you need it, simply swing it out over the tailgate.
Very Handy Edge Clamp
The Rockler Bandy Clamp is a spring clamp with a built-in elastic band. The obvious purpose is to hold edge molding in place, but we instantly started thinking up other uses, such as holding an extension cord against a ladder or along the edge of a workbench.
Bit Creates Cleaner Exit Holes
The COLT FCE 5 Star drill bits are not new, but the demonstration still impressed us. These bits are made from HSS (high speed steel) and feature a unique tip geometry that creates very clean exit holes. The inset photo shows the exit side of holes that were bored through inexpensive melamine. These bits also cut well sideways, similar to an up-cut router bit – great if you need to make a quick channel on the edge of a board.
New Line of Screwdrivers
CHANNELLOCK® introduces a full line of screwdrivers and they’re made in the USA.
Instant Aged Wood
Pioneer Wood is a small Montana-based company that makes a DIY wood patina powder. It’s sold in 1-gal and 5-gal quantities that come in small pouches that look like miniature flour sacks – high points for the creative packaging. The powder is mixed with water and applied directly to the wood to create the brown-grey appearance of weathered wood.
Easy Cutting Multi-Tool
The Rockwell Sonicrafter F30 and F50 oscillating multi-tools are not new at the time of the show, but we were very impressed by the cutting performance. Rockwell had several of the competitor’s tools on hand and based on the test cuts we made, none cut as well as the Sonicrafters.