Download PDF version (413.8k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.
In recent years, the line between consumer-grade and professional-duty tools has been blurred, often by marketing hype that substitutes image and attitude for quality and integrity. Nowhere is this more evident than at the annual National Hardware Show in Chicago, where manufacturers introduce new tools to buyers for hardware stores and home centers as well as lumberyards and contractor supply houses. At this year's show in August, I was reassured to find manufacturers who still understand the difference between consumers, for whom tools are often status symbols used occasionally, and tradespeople, for whom tools are essential to their livelihood. These companies continue not only to provide high-quality tools, but to promote them with the kind of accurate information and meaningful performance specs that construction