Image

Wow Factor

  • Image

    http://www.builderonline.com/Images/tmp68DF%2Etmp_tcm138-1480639.jpg?width=683

    true

    683

    Image

    Wood Works Addressing the trend toward more compact power tools in woodworking, the manufacturer has introduced the RT0700C router, combining performance with less weight. The 3.9 pound tool has a 1 1/4-horsepower motor with a variable speed control so users can match the speed to the application. Additional features include soft start for smooth start-ups and a shaft lock for easy bit changes. Makita USA. 800-462-5482. www.makitatools.com.

  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/tmp68E0%2Etmp_tcm138-1480640.jpg?width=1500

    true

    1500

    Image

    Drill Down The MAG 28 LTX might be the world’s first cordless magnetic drill press. Designed with a 25.2-volt, lithium-ion battery, the tool uses a rare-earth magnet that offers up to 2,500 pounds of holding force and is adjustable when drilling on vertical, horizontal, or sloped surfaces. It features a maximum drilling diameter of 1¼ inches with an annular cutter and ½ inch with a spiral drill. Its maximum drilling depth is 2 inches. Metabo Corp. 800-638-2264. www.metabousa.com.

  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/tmp68E2%2Etmp_tcm138-1480642.jpg?width=2000

    true

    2000

    Image

    Band Stand Weighing 6.75 pounds and measuring 12 inches in length, the M12 is the lightest and most compact cordless band saw on the market. It's ideal for one-handed cutting applications, cuts through 3/4-inch electrical metallic tubing in 3 seconds, and makes over 150 cuts per charge with the included XC high-capacity battery. It will cut most small-diameter metal. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. 800-SAW-DUST. www.milwaukeetool.com.

  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/tmp68E3%2Etmp_tcm138-1480644.jpg?width=2000

    true

    2000

    Image

    Frame Up The CF325Li may be the first cordless framing nailer with a lithium-ion battery that allows builders and contractors to drive up to 6,000 nails per charge, or 50 percent more than the previous model. It features a 7.2-volt battery, offers a depth-of-drive adjustment, charges in one hour, and holds a charge five times longer than the company’s earlier version of the tool. Paslode. 800-222-6990. www.paslode.com.

  • http://www.builderonline.com/Images/tmp68E4%2Etmp_tcm138-1480646.jpg?width=2000

    true

    2000

    Image

    Saw Buck At just 2½ pounds, the RotoSaw is designed to tackle plunge and freehand cuts in building materials such as tile, wood, plastic, underlayment, drywall, and more. The saw has a 5.5-amp motor, dual grip housing, and advanced electronics that sense if the motor is being overloaded and instantly slow down the tool. It comes with various attachments and is compatible with more than 20 bits. RotoZip. 877-ROT-OZIP. www.rotozip.com.

During a bear market, many investors do the opposite of what they should be doing—they start selling off their stocks when they should be buying more. In a recession, many companies do likewise. They should be investing more on marketing and research and development but instead they cut spending on advertising budgets and curtail new product development.

This, consultants say, is not a winning strategy.

As housing starts remain low, it would be easy for some companies to struggle through the hard times with only their existing products, but others understand that a tough economy is no time to hunker down. A few are introducing products with unique features and first-of-their-kind technologies that aim to capture the attention of contractors and other building professionals.

Milwaukee, Wis.–based Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., for example, has launched a band saw that it says stands alone. Weighing 6.75 pounds and measuring 12 inches in length, it’s the lightest and most compact cordless band saw on the market with less than half the size and weight of deep cut band saws, the company says.

“The M12 Band Saw is not only ideal for one-handed cutting applications because of its size,” says David Lincoln, product manager for the company’s cordless division, “it is the only band saw on the market with a fully integrated lower guard that covers the blade outside the active cutting area. This addresses OSHA guarding requirements to make the tool suitable for one-handed use.”

Another company taking a similar approach to innovation is West Chester, Pa.–based Metabo Corp. The tool manufacturer has launched what it’s calling “the world’s first cordless magnetic drill press.” The tool uses lithium-ion battery technology as well as “a permanent rare earth magnet, requiring no energy from the battery, which allows the use of the mag drill in remote and previously inaccessible environments.”

Some companies’ new features are small, but still manage to feel major. Vernon Hills, Ill.–based Paslode, for example, added a lithium-ion battery to one of its framing nailers, the CF325Li, and the company is touting it as “the first fuel-powered cordless framing system in the USA with a lithium-ion battery.” The tool drives 50 percent more nails per charge (up to 6,000), and holds a charge five times longer than a previous version of the nailer with a Ni-Cad battery.

“With the decline in new-housing starts, many builders have begun taking on smaller [projects], such as home improvement and repairs, room additions, and remodeling jobs,” says John Sarah, marketing manager for Paslode. These types of activities are perfectly suited for cordless tools such as the CF325Li, she adds. The tool “translates to increased jobsite efficiency and also helps builders produce consistently high-quality projects that they and the homeowner can be proud of.”