ProSales sister site Tools of the Trade's David Frane presents this year's Editor's Choice Awards for the best new and innovative tools and technologies of the year. The 2016 selection highlights 12 tools that really stood out to the editors for either bringing something new to the market or updating existing technologies. A few are spotlighted below, but continue to Tools of the Trade to see the full list.
DeWalt 12-inch Cordless Miter Saw
DeWalt’s new 12-inch dual compound sliding miter saw (DHS790) can be powered by batteries or run from a cord. Cordless power is provided by two of the company’s new FlexVolt packs, oversize batteries that are backwards compatible with most 20V MAX products. Lighter than most 12-inch machines, it weighs 56 pounds with batteries.
Ridgid Palm Impact Screwdriver
The R8224 is an impact driver with the form factor of a palm nailer. As such, it’s compact enough for use in tight quarters, where other drivers would be difficult or impossible to use. There’s no handle, just a motor, 12-volt max battery, and hex chuck. The motor is activated by pressing the bit into the fastener; the harder you push the faster it goes. Because the tool is grasped directly behind the bit you can apply enough pressure to prevent cam outs without resorting to a two-handed grip.
Louisville FXS1500 Series Ladder
At first glance this looks like any other fiberglass step ladder, until you see the angled corners and notch in the top. The shape of the top allows you to lean the folded ladder into inside corners or onto outside corners and posts—without fear of sliding. A latch keeps the legs closed when the ladder is being leaned; in the open position it works like a regular step ladder. The aluminum steps are heavily braced and the top has rubber bumpers and is shaped to hold tools and fasteners.