9. Sun-Smart Hard Hats
According to 3M, the sun’s UV rays can cause hard hats to become brittle over time and reduce their impact resistance. The company’s H-700 series short-brim and H-800 series full-brim hard hats that include “UV” in their product numbers have a red “Uvicator” sensor on the back that incrementally changes from red to white as the hard hat accumulates UV exposure. When the sensor turns white, it’s time to replace the hard hat. The hats are also supposed to weigh 10% to 15% less than competing models. They come in several colors and have ratchet suspensions, replaceable brow pads, and slots for various accessories. Short-brim models cost about $13 and full-brim models about $18.
3M, 800/243-4630, 3m.com/occsafety.
10. Composite-Decking Blades
Freud and Trex have teamed up to develop the first saw blade designed specifically for cutting composite decking. According to Freud, the new Diablo/Trex carbide-tipped, super thin-kerf blade makes clean melt-free cuts in composite decking and cellular PVC and requires less cutting power than normal. The blade is available with diameters of 71/4, 10, or 12 inches, and costs about $30 to $70.
Freud, 800/334-4107, diablotools.com.
11. Versatile Job-Site Clamp
I can envision installing Stanley’s new 2x4 Clamp on the crossbar of one of my Trojan sawhorses and using it as a vise for various carpentry tasks. I could do it easily without removing sawhorse legs. To mount it that way, you simply slide the clamp heads out of the yellow brackets, slip the brackets over the 2x4, reinsert the heads, and tighten the brackets from below. Screw the brackets to the wood, and you can apply more clamping force. The tool can also serve as a job-site bar clamp with an almost unlimited jaw capacity. It’s scheduled to hit the market this spring and will cost about $20 per set.
Stanley, 800/262-2161, stanleytools.com.
12. Autofeed Upgrade
Over the next few months, Senco is recharging its lineup of autofeed screw guns with several new 2-inch and 3-inch corded and cordless models that appear to be a big improvement over their predecessors. The intriguing cordless model DS215-18V, for example, is designed primarily for drywall pros. Powered by the same 18-volt lithium-ion battery used by Senco’s Fusion cordless nailers, it drives plastic-collated screws from 1 to 2 inches long at a blazing top speed of 5,000 rpm, and is supposed to drive 500 to 700 screws per charge. Deluxe features include a “corner fit” nosepiece that promises to drive screws into corners and tight spaces where competing models can’t reach. Available in April, the kit will include two batteries, a one-hour charger, a drywall and wood nosepiece, two drive bits, and a nylon bag. It will cost about $260.
Senco, 800/543-4596, senco.com.
13. Pinpoint Caulk Nozzles
One way to caulk hard-to-reach places is to tape a length of plastic tubing to the caulk-tube nozzle. But various extension nozzles are also commercially available, including the new disposable FlexNozzle and Klose Kaulk nozzles displayed at the show. The former can accordion up to a length of 12 inches and costs about $10 per three-pack. The latter is rigid, but curves to a length of about 7 inches. It costs about $4 for the black holder and one nozzle, and replacement nozzles cost about $4 per five-pack.
Newborn, 800/638-3983, newborncaulkguns.com.
14. Potent Pinner
Bosch says its new 2.3-pound 23-gauge pin nailer (model FNS138-23) has 10% more power than the competition so it can consistently sink long nails into hardwood. It’s also advertised as the first pin nailer to feature a dry-fire lockout mechanism that doesn’t kick in until the magazine is empty. Other pin nailers with dry-fire lockout leave some nails in the magazine, which can cause problems. The tool’s self-adjusting magazine holds headless nails from 1 to 13/8 inches long. Other deluxe features include a narrow nose for improved access and visibility, a self-cleaning air filter, and plenty of overmold to protect your work. The kit — which includes safety glasses, an Allen wrench, and a case — costs about $160.
Bosch, 877/267-2499, boschfullforce.com.
15. Aggressive Deck Clips
Hidden deck fasteners typically allow deck boards to move. According to Grabber Construction Products, that’s a big mistake. The company argues that the boards should in fact be held securely to provide extra resistance to racking and help prevent decks from collapsing. The new Grabber powder-coated Deckmaster deck clips are designed to lock deck boards in place like top screws do, and are installed with beefy #9?x?15/8-inch screws. Deckmaster G5 deck clips work with any 1/8-inch grooved decking, GTT5 clips work with TimberTech, and the GW5 clips shown work with softwoods and hardwoods. Before you can install the GW5 clips, you need to use the Deckmaster PowerBlade router bit to cut the grooves. Deckmaster clips cost $90 to $105 per 100 square feet of decking, and the router bit costs $25.
Grabber Construction Products, 800/477-8876, grabberman.com.