BUILDER sister site Tools of the Trade's David Frane presents this year's Editor's Choice Awards for the best new and innovative tools and technologies of the year. The 2016 selection highlights 12 tools that really stood out to the editors for either bringing something new to the market or updating existing technologies. We spotlight a few here, but continue to Tools of the Trade to see the full list.
DeWalt 12-inch Cordless Miter Saw
DeWalt’s new 12-inch dual compound sliding miter saw (DHS790) can be powered by batteries or run from a cord. Cordless power is provided by two of the company’s new FlexVolt packs, oversize batteries that are backwards compatible with most 20V MAX products. Lighter than most 12-inch machines, it weighs 56 pounds with batteries.
Ridgid Palm Impact Screwdriver
The R8224 is an impact driver with the form factor of a palm nailer. As such, it’s compact enough for use in tight quarters, where other drivers would be difficult or impossible to use. There’s no handle, just a motor, 12-volt max battery, and hex chuck. The motor is activated by pressing the bit into the fastener; the harder you push the faster it goes. Because the tool is grasped directly behind the bit you can apply enough pressure to prevent cam outs without resorting to a two-handed grip.
Dustless Drywall Sanding System
Full Circle International (FCI) recently released the Radius 360 Air, a dustless variant of its popular Radius 360 pole sander. It comes in a kit with a hose, hollow pole assembly, abrasives, FlexAir detail sander, and adapters for connecting the hose to the vacuum or dust collector you already own. Unlike competing products, where a standard swivel is shrouded by a rubber boot, the hollow swivel has a full range of motion.