As any builder knows, every site-built U.S. home is "Made in America." But what about the products inside, or the tools that put it together? With the 4th of July coming up on Thursday, here's a spotlight on some of the newest tools and building products from American-made brands:
The M18 FUEL 7 1/4-inch Rear Handle Circular Saw is designed to deliver the operating power of a 15amp corded saw at 5,800 RPM. The saw is constructed from cast magnesium for light weight and durability, and its gears don’t require oiling. Hardware features include an electric brake that stops the blade after a cut, a built-in LED work light, and a multi-sized rafter storage hook.
When used with Milwaukee Tool’s M18 REDLITHIUM HIGH OUTPUT HD12.0 Battery, the saw can deliver 570 cuts in 2x4 on a single charge. The tool and battery together operate with 50% more power, run 50% cooler, and deliver 33% more runtime than with Milwaukee’s M18 REDLITHIUM HD9.0 battery. milwaukeetool.com
Ornamental Mouldings & Millwork
The new Haute 2-in-1 Moulding collection by Ornamental Mouldings & Millwork offers a two-tone decorative accent package. It includes a whitewood molding base, available in crown, baseboard and chair railing configurations, with a choice of a gold rope or silver pyramid crown molding insert. For installation, contractors should remove the gold or silver insert, paint the primed molding profile, install once dry, and use a construction adhesive to affix the insert in the molding's cavity. The moldings can be used as ceiling accents, wall designs, or living room baseboards. Pricing ranges from $3 to $5 per linear foot. ornamental.com
Fence Quarter will begin accepting orders for its debut product line of wood deck and porch railing inserts in July 2019. The inserts come pre-assembled, and may be installed into any existing posts and rails on-site. They are made exclusively from knot-free, marine-grade Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Bald Cypress trees sustainably harvested in the USA. These species were chosen for their quality, durability, low maintenance needs, and weather- and pest-resistance. Each rail insert kit includes all of the tools required for installation.
As of launch, Fence Quarter will offer three insert designs. Landmark is a classic vertical railing style, Torrey Pine is a clean-line design with two rows of grid squares at the top, and Bellevue is an elegant geometric pattern. fencequarter.com
ClosetMaid has expanded its ExpressShelf product—a pre-finished shelf and rod system—to include a new collection of premium, ventilated shelving and hardware featuring the warmth of real wood. The wood shelving is available in 12-inch and 14-inch depths, and is offered in white and chocolate pear finishes. The expanded offering features a variety of new components, including shelf cap kits, trim, shelf joiner caps, and angled support brackets. Fitted with a unique patent-pending hardware system, ExpressShelf installs quickly and easily with basic tools, and eliminates the need for ladders, caulking, and painting, says the manufacturer. The product is also available in basic laminate and melamine solid wood shelving. closetmaid.com
Red Wing Shoe Company
The Red Wing Burnside boot collection is made specifically for use in heavy industrial work, with safety and comfort features borne from first-hand work site research and feedback from workers in the field. The boots are available in mens’ sizes, with a choice of Dark Brown Vaca Loca Leather or Black Yukon Leather construction, and start at a suggested retail price of $299.99.
Among the boot’s new features is the Vibram outsole, which provides enhanced slip and heat resistance. The direct attach construction style allows for greater flexibility, and the non-metallic Nano composite toe cap provides lightweight protection. A Helcor polyurethane top coating on the toe and heel surfaces provides an additional layer of exterior resilience. redwingshoes.com
The Vanquish toilet is designed to solve some of the issues associated with cleaning standard toilets—namely keeping the bowl clean and scrubbing around seat hinges— without requiring users to change their habits. Vanquish’s side-mounted seat hinges offer an unobstructed, easy-to-clean deck, and the PuraClean glazed surface resists bacteria and repels stains and debris, according to the manufacturer. The product recently received a Good Design award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum. mansfieldplumbing.com
In the past year, True Residential has added a new Emerald finish option to its Build Your True custom finish and hardware collection, and expanded the product range for Build Your True to include all of True Residential’s undercounter appliance options. These include freezers, refrigerators, refrigerator drawers, wine cabinets, beverage centers, and beverage dispensers.
Each unit comes in a choice of seven finishes—stainless steel, gloss black, matte black, cobalt, antique white, matte white, and emerald—and six hardware finishes—stainless steel, pewter, gold, copper, brass, and chrome—for a total of 42 color combinations. trueresidential.com
The Trellis Oak profile’s 36-inch porcelain floor planks are designed to emulate the look of waxed hardwood flooring. The tiles’ authentic oak wood visuals are available in a choice of four colors: grey-brown smoke, dark-brown espresso, and mid-tone amber and natural ash. The floor tiles measure 3/8 inch thick, and are available in 9- or 6-inch widths, which may be mixed onto the same floor plane in a variety of pattern options. The collection also includes a series of 1-by-3-inch glazed ceramic lattice weave mosaics, as well as 18-by-36-inch decorative accents. daltile.com
The new Lifestyle Series of wood-framed windows and patio doors are available in a wide array of frame styles and interior, exterior, and hardware finishes. Optional features include grille patterns, shades or blinds, as well as accessible blinds between glass panes, Rolscreen retractable screens, and integrated security sensors. The security sensors may be monitored or controlled through the Pella Insynctive App and Insynctive Bridge.
The Lifestyle series products include awning, casement, and double-hung windows, as well as hinged and sliding patio doors. A number of energy-efficient glass options are also available, up to Pella’s triple-pane, AdvancedComfort Low-E insulating glass. pella.com
FastenMaster now offers flathead versions of its LedgerLok structural screws. The code-compliant LedgerLok Flat Head was engineered to fasten a deck ledger board to a house rim with no predrilling. Its built-in washer head eliminates the need for an additional washer, and its internal Torx ttap drive system installs flush to the ledger surface. A three-step coating process protects against corrosion. Pricing ranges from $21 for a 12-pack of 3 5/8-inch screws to $194 for a bucket of 250 5-inch screws. fastenmaster.com
The Merit ML14XP1 Single-Stage Heat Pump and Elite EL15XP1 Single-Stage Heat Pump are the first in a series of new high-efficiency Lennox heat pumps this year. The ML14XP1 performs at up to 14 SEER and 9.00 HSPF, while the EL15XP1 offers up to 16 SEER and 9.00 HSPF. The EL5XP1’s precision-engineered scroll compressor lowers the unit’s noise levels and increases its durability. The ML14XP1, when installed with a compatible Lennox furnace, can form a dual-fuel system that can switch between electricity and gas automatically, depending on exterior conditions. lennox.com