Tools & Materials
New Tools From STAFDA 2017
Sure we love the parties at the annual STAFDA convention, but we keep coming back for the fabulous new tools and products. Here are a few of our favorites.
If you love everything about tools, there probably isn’t any better place to be on earth than at the annual Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) convention. This year the show was held in beautiful Austin, TX, and as always there was too much to see in just a couple days. There were great speakers, dazzling parties, and of course tools, tools, and more tools. Here are just a few of our favorites.
CHANNELLOCK Reversible Jaw
CHANNELLOCK may have a solution to help unclutter your tool box with their new CHANNELLOCK Reversible Jaw Adjustable Wrench. One side of the jaw works just like a normal adjustable wrench, and the other side is angled and has teeth, which transforms it into a pipe wrench. These new wrenches are available in 6, 8, 10 and 12-inch. at retailers in the US and Canada. Prices range between $20 and $40 depending on size.
Milwaukee air snake
The New M12 AIRSNAKE Drain Clearing Air Gun from Milwaukee is the latest and greatest pipe unclogging solution. The AIRSNAKE uses an onboard air compressor to send a burst of air through pipes reaching clogs up to 50 feet away. The best part about the AIRSNAKE is that you don’t need to dissemble any part of the drain to create a seal. It comes with several extensions optimized for sinks, toilets and floor drains and has a variable pressure dial so you don’t damage some of the more delicate pipe systems. The M12 AIRSNAKE is available online and in specialty tool stores for $329.
Makita Auto-Start Wireless System
Tool-activated auto-start is a great feature to have when working with a dust-producing tool hooked up to a vac. But since most tool activation systems work by sensing power draw in the cord, they don’t work on cordless tools. Makita addressed this drawback (pun intended) with a line of tools equipped with Auto-Start Wireless System (AWS). AWS allow cordless tools to communicate with the vac via Bluetooth: Start the tool, and the tool says, “Hey vac what are you waiting for.” So using the XCVO8Z dust extractor equipped with AWS, you can run the half-dozen or so Makita cordless tools also equipped with AWS and enjoy the benefits of auto-start with the hassle of cords
Stanley tape measure
If you’re looking for a great tape measure for a great value, check out the new DualLock from STANLEY. The DualLock displays the fractions as well as inches and is overall very easy to read. It has a Tru-zero” hook that lets you get the most accurate measurements possible and a durable blade coating so it doesn’t get dinged up easily. The multi function lock lets you retract the tape in a smooth and controlled way or hold it firm and in place. The DualLock is available at home centers, hardware stores for under $15.
Wiha BiCut SuperCut Pliers
The BiCut SuperCut Pliers are heavy-duty pliers made for a variety of different taks. They are designed to cut through both soft and hard materials, from nails and screws to wires and chains up to 3mm. The SuperCuts come in three different grip styles, Soft Vinyl, Industrial SoftGrip and Insulated Industrial Cushion Grip. This German-made tool is basically like a wire cutter and mini bolt cutters combo. The Wiha BiCut SuperCut Pliers are available online starting at $39.88.
Werner lean ladder
According to OSHA, a step ladder should never be used if it’s leaned against a wall because traditional step ladders are made to support themselves as a stand only. Werner has now broken that rule with the release of LEANSAFE, a line of stepladders that remain stable when leaned against walls, and even poles, studs and corners. The LEANSAFE works and is OSHA compliant because the top of the ladder has a unique shape that is covered by rubber bumper pads that hold the ladder in place. The pads also protect surfaces from mars and scratches. Also, the legs closest to the wall do not touch the ground when in the leaning position which creates a more stable base. The LEANSAFE is a versatile hybrid between the traditional step ladder and a leaning ladder. There is also a tool holder and magnetic parts caddy built into the top. Werner LEANSAFE ladders are available at some home centers and online. The 8-footer costs $189.
DEWALT carbon fiber hammer tacker
The DEWALT Carbon Fiber Hammer Tacker is made from lightweight carbon fiber composite structure, making it much, much lighter, which reduces the amount of vibration transferred to the user. At 1.8 lbs. it weighs almost half what other tackers on the market weigh. According to DEWALT, the lessened vibration will help decrease muscle exertion by up to 25%. Another cool feature of the Carbon Fiber Hammer Tacker is that it’s designed with a hammer-style handle and grip, so it feels comfortable and is less likely to slip from your hand. The DEWALT Carbon Fiber Hammer Tacker costs $39.97 and can be found online or at Home Depot.