2016 – What a year!
Donald Trump became the President-elect…
The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series after a 108 year drought…
And we saw the death of a great gorilla. (Rest in peace Harambe. We will never forget you!)
As the end of the year quickly approaches, I thought back to what 2016 brought to our industry, and it’s been a HUGE year as far as innovation is concerned. And since I like to give credit when credit is due, I present to you, our Annual Tool Awards…
Best New Addition to the Jobsite: Makita XCS01Z LXT 18V Li-Ion Cordless Rebar Cutter
When it comes to cutting rebar, there are a number of ways to get the job done. Some choose to use a basic manual cutter. Others use angle grinders.
But at the end of the day, both ways can be either too time consuming or just too much work. This year, Makita came out with their Cordless Rebar Cutter. Though there were already a couple of cordless rebar cutters on the market, this was the first from one of the big manufacturers. Makita‘s rebar cutter provides spark-free cutting, a 4-way rotating blade that will provide up to 4,000 cuts and best of all, it’s priced more competitively than others on the market.
Time is money, and this new tool release will save a ton of time, money and labor, which is why we crown the Makita XCS01Z as 2016’s Best New Addition to the Jobsite!
Best New Innovation: FLEXVOLT
Since Dewalt announced the release of their FLEXVOLT line in June, it has been the most talked about topic in the industry. In fact, FLEXVOLT was so popular that most models have been on factory backorder since they were released! I mean, who wouldn’t love FLEXVOLT?
It’s the world’s FIRST 60V platform that automatically changes voltage when you change tools. And FLEXVOLT also provided us with a classic drinking game during the World Series…every time a baseball was hit to center field and the flex volt advertisement was shown, take a shot!
In all seriousness, FLEXVOLT brought us the power of corded tools into a cordless platform, as we saw a Cordless Table Saw, Cordless 12″ Double Bevel Miter Saw, and some of your core tools, such as a Reciprocating Saw, have so much power that they can cut through materials that no other cordless tool on the market can cut through. And it’s for these reasons, that we crown Dewalt’s FLEXVOLT the Best New Innovation of 2016.
Hottest Tool Release of the Year: Festool 201234 ETS 125 Random Orbital Sander
Realistically, any tool made by Festool could be considered the hottest new tool that not enough people have tried. It’s not because people don’t know the name. It’s because Festool is the “Lamborghini of Tools.” (Don’t forget, the Festool American Roadshow will be here today!) All of Festool’s tools are built in Germany and made for those who demand unmatched performance and precision. Thus, these tools come with hefty price tags.
But when Festool announced the release of their ETS 125 5″ Random Orbital Sander at only $99 with a free $50 gift card to be used towards a future Festool purchase, the sales went crazy! So crazy that all distributors had to suspend sales due to the high number of pre-sold units.
In fact, sales were so high that the tool is no longer available. And those that placed their orders before the tool was discontinued either have the best damn $99 sander, or they’ve made a nice little profit, as they’re now selling for as much as $230 on eBay! This is why we are crowning Festool’s ETA125 the Hottest Tool Release of 2016.
Best New Cordless Addition: Milwaukee 2738-22P M18 FUEL 7″ Cordless Polisher
For years, people have been asking me if any of the major manufacturers have a cordless polisher. And for years, I’ve been unable to say “yes.”
Nobody likes having to deal with a cord. I don’t know about you, but when I’m washing my car, I don’t want to have a cord on my wet driveway.
Well, it appears that Milwaukee heard everyone’s requests and launched the world’s FIRST full-size 18V Variable-Speed Cordless 7″ Polisher. It’s not only lighter than corded polishers, but one 5.0ah battery will allow you to complete a full-size car on one charge.
Milwaukee delivered one of the most asked-for tools in the industry, and for this reason, Milwaukee’s 2738-22P is crowned 2016’s Best New Cordless Addition.
Best New Hammer: Hitachi DH40MEY 1-9/16″ SDS MAX AC Brushless Rotary Hammer
If you’ve read our previous blog posts, you would know the advantages of owning brushless tools. Since this brushless technology has come into the mix, we’ve seen a ton of new exciting cordless tools adapt this technology.
Thanks to its brushless motor, this tool is maintenance free, which means the life cycle of the motor is significantly extended. It also has a variable-speed trigger and uses Hitachi’s “UVP technology” (User Vibration Protection) to help limit user fatigue. Because of this technology, and for developing a hammer unlike any other, I’d like to crown Hitachi’s DH40MEY as the Best New Hammer of 2016.
Best New Light: Milwaukee 2146-20 M18 Radius LED Compact Site Light with One-Key
This category was extremely tough. Cordless lights are released every year. But in 2016, we saw so much innovation in this category.
Dewalt announced their badass light in June, but unfortunately, it has not yet been released. So I can’t nominate it for this award which makes my decision a little easier. (Better luck next year, Dewalt!)
Milwaukee has been releasing cordless lights left and right. They led the way this year and appear to be dominating this category…especially after the release of their M18 Radius Site Light with One-Key. This is the industry’s FIRST task, area and overhead light, all-in-one! And it syncs with your phone, allowing you to set the light remotely from up to 50 feet away, adjust the lumens based on how long you need it to run and program the light to automatically turn on based on your schedule.
Reaching 4,400 lumens on its highest setting, this light is a must-have for anyone doing work in the dark. Based on its innovation, Milwaukee’s 2146-20 radius light gets the award for the Best New Light of 2016.
Best New Blade: Milwaukee AX Carbide Tooth Reciprocating Saw Blades
I know what you’re thinking. “Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Milwaukee…” I’m seeing red myself just writing this. But when a company releases this much innovation into the market in a 12-month span, well, they deserve the credit.
For years, companies like Diablo, Irwin and Lennox have been the go-to brand when it comes to blades. But the major tool manufacturers are continuously putting the necessary time and money into advancing their blade technology, and we’re starting to see somewhat of a shift…especially when Milwaukee released their infamous AX reciprocating saw blades with carbide teeth. These blades cut 2x faster than the Diablo carbide tooth blades, making them the fastest carbide tipped blades on the market. I’ve seen the demos of these blades compared to ALL competitors, and if you’re cutting wood, these are a MUST buy, which is why the Milwaukee AX Carbide Tipped Blades are crowned the Best New Blade of 2016.
Best New Tool of 2016: Dewalt DCB1800B Power Station
And the moment you’ve all been waiting for…The top award of 2016: Best New Tool.
Though many awesome tools were released this year, this one stood out the most and is my personal favorite. And if you’ve never heard of this thing, it’s about to be your new favorite too!
At first glance, this looks like just another multi-port charger…But once all your batteries are charged, this thing changes over to a portable power station, providing 1800 watts (15 amps) of power, which is enough power to run most corded tools. With this portable power station, say goodbye to extension cords, as you can just take this wherever you need to work, plug in your tool and get the job done!
It’s also great for camping or hooking up a TV at your next tailgate. Unlike a portable generator, this thing runs off your batteries so there’s no need for gas, which means no fumes! It’s durable and compact, and in my opinion, the most innovative tool of 2016, which is why I’d like to give it the award for Best New Tool of 2016.
And there you have it, our first annual Tool Awards. Thank you all for reading! Goodnight, and see you next year!