Following are the top 5 new products that WOWed me this year. They’re the tools that caused the most expletives to spill forth from my lips. They’re what I talked about most outside of ToolGuyd. These are the kinds of tools that deserve extra-special recognition because they’re just that awesome.
This list is quite short by intent. Many more new tools deserve recognition – just not the highest recognition – but I didn’t want to risk watering things down with a list of 20+ tools you probably assumed would be mentioned here by default.
I know some of these tools are focused more towards narrower audiences than say the latest brushless power tools, but I figured you would find the roundup interesting nonetheless.
For a much longer list of new tools worth reading about, check out our new tools category. You might also want to check out our ultimate tool gift guide, which contains 50+ sensible tool upgrade ideas.
1. Proto SkyHook Tool Tether System
It is almost ridiculous how much better Proto’s SkyHook tool tether system is compared to other tool retention products.
This isn’t something I use, or would use, on any kind of regular basis, but I was nonetheless deeply impressed.
What I would like to see next are optional SkyHooks with built-in RFID chips, although I’m not sure there would be many practical benefits.
2. Ingersoll Rand 12V Series
Ingersoll Rand’s new IQV12 cordless power tools didn’t really wow me when they were first announced, but since then I have poured over new information, chatted with a product manager, and started testing some of the tools.
IR designed the new 12V-class compact cordless tools primarily for auto mechanics, techs, and industrial users, but I think other types of users should consider giving them a try too.
The new tools are very masterfully designed and brilliantly engineered.
3. Fluke CNX Wireless Multimeter and Test Tools
Fluke’s CNX system isn’t flawless, but it does open up a world of new options and ways to use testing equipment. The ability to wirelessly monitor different sensors from a single handheld multimeter or thermal imaging camera is extremely convenient.
It probably won’t be long until you can control a bunch of test meters from your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
4. Zoro Tools
Zoro Tools isn’t really a tool, but they have become one of my new favorite tool and supply dealers. Their deals are often good, customer service is great, and shipping is consistently free for $50+ orders. The deals are sometimes so good I almost feel like I’m robbing them, which makes up for their so-so website and could-be-better product selection.
5. Black & Decker LED Snakelight
I wouldn’t have thought I would like a consumer LED flashlight product so much, but I do. Black & Decker did a great job with the new Snakelight, and I am almost expecting to see them release additional models under different branding.
If Black & Decker were to change the orange to yellow and modify the battery holder to accept removable battery packs, I could totally see this being marketed as a Dewalt 8V Max worklight.