With the country in the midst of a protracted housing slump, more home builders are likely taking jobs that they never imagined doing in the past, such as remodeling, inspection services, and perhaps even handyman work. But these types of jobs sometimes call for specialized tools, and manufacturers are on the case with new products that cater to specific tasks.

Baltimore-based DeWalt, the company known for its high-performance, professional-grade power tools, has increased the breadth of its lineup with new laser distance devices and worksite charger radios. It also now offers a new 12 Volt MAX* lithium ion platform that includes an inspection camera and an infrared thermometer.

“When researching this product on jobsites, we found many user frustrations with viewing the screen on their existing inspection cameras,” says Mendy Johnson, product manager for DeWalt. “For instance, users would spend significant time making sure their camera was properly positioned, but they would then have to move the camera to view the screen. Our inspection camera features a cordless, removable LCD screen that allows contractors to view the area they are inspecting quickly and accurately, improving overall productivity.”

DeWalt is not the only manufacturer diversifying its tool offerings. Brookfield, Wis.–based Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. last year launched an entirely new division that focuses on testing and measuring products such as fork meters and temperature guns. The company also has introduced a host of other tools, such as an airless paint spraying system, laser distance meter, grease guns, and PVC shears, among many others.

Other tool companies also appear to be targeting more specific tasks. La Mirada, Calif.–based Makita U.S.A. recently unveiled a number of breaker hammers and concrete planers for the remodeling and commercial world, and several new grinders for metal work.

Manufacturers, of course, have always offered a diverse selection of tools that appeal to a wider audience, but the recent downturn means more contractors are curtailing major tool purchases, which in turn is prompting tool companies to spread their wings a bit while the market recovers.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Baltimore, MD.