Our fifth annual roundup of the latest tools on the market


It’s our fifth annual roundup of the latest tools on the market to help you get the job done faster, smarter and more efficiently. On your next run to the building supply centre, add the ones that catch your eye to your order. Or, better yet, add them to your holiday wish list.

DeWalt Atomic compact 20-volt 23-gauge pin nailer

DeWalt continues to expand its Atomic Compact series of tools designed for working in tight spaces and awkward positions with this 20-volt, 23-guage pin nailer. Cordless means you can ditch the compressor and hose. But the 20-volt Max battery and brushless motor still give you the power to drive up to 2,000 pin nails from 5/8-in. to 1.5-in. into a variety of woods, including solid oak.

Milwaukee M18 packout six-bay rapid charger

You can never have too many fully charged batteries. This six-bay rapid charger refuels two Milwaukee M18 batteries at a time, then sequentially moves on to the next two sets plugged into it, fully charging six batteries in three hours. It also includes a USB port for charging your phone or tablet.
The 15-in.-wide, 12-in.-high charger weighs in at just under eight pounds so, even with six batteries connected it’s easy to transport around the jobsite with you, or lock in in place on any of the company’s Packout storage systems.

Irwin 25-ft. Straight-Line tape measure

After your brain, a tape measure is probably the tool you use most on the job. Which is why tool manufacturers are constantly trying to get their latest version in your hands. Irwin’s 25-ft. Straight-Line offering features up to 17 ft. extension, an 80-ft. drop rating, a finger brake on the base, an extra-large hook, and oversized numbering on both sides of the tape. Also available in 16- and 35-ft. models.

Festool mobile phone charger

PHC 18
Cellphones are increasingly becoming one of the most important tools on the job. Think about that panicky feeling you get when you notice your battery is running low… With wireless chargers, such the Festool PHC 18, you don’t have to root around for the right cable to charge your phone. Simply attach it to any of Festool’s 18-volt batteries and lay your phone on top for wireless inductive charging. If you do have cables handy, the adapter also has USB A and C ports so you can charge three devices simultaneously.

Milwaukee Redlithium neck light

Now that we’re in the depths of winter, we start our days heading out in the dark and wrap them up after dusk. So, jobsite lighting becomes an essential tool to keep you going. Over the past few years, Milwaukee Tool has introduced a number of bright ideas, from USB rechargeable flashlights to their M18 Rocket Tower that’s an area light and charger in one.
This hands-free option is an ergonomic, sweat-resistant band that wraps around your neck. The two adjustable lights provide 400 lumens output with more than eight hours of run time.

Lenox fast snap knife

Odds are you’ve got a knife in your pocket or attached to your belt right now. You might want to swap it out for this innovative, ergonomic snap knife by Lenox. Use the carbide-edged blade until it gets nicked or dull, and then use the built-in snapping mechanism to expose a fresh edge. Best of all, an integrated magnet captures the old bit of blade, so you don’t have to hunt around on the ground for it.

Bessey telescopic support rods

STE98, STE118, STE145
You can usually use an extra set of hands on the job. But when none are available, these one-handed telescoping support rods can keep you productive while you’re on your own. With an ergonomic handle, PVC pads on both ends for a non-marring grip, pump mechanism, and quick release button, each can support loads from 140 to 350 lbs. when fully extended, and 770 lbs. when retracted. They’re available in three different sizes: 58 to 98 in., 67 to 118 in., and 82 to 145 in.

DeWalt Powerstack 20-Volt Max 5-amp hour batteries

As we increasingly ditch the cords and hoses for cordless tools, battery life becomes the lifeblood of any jobsite. DeWalt’s latest innovation is the Powerstack 20-Volt Max battery. This award-winning system utilizes something known as pouch cell technology that’s been used in batteries for electric cars. According to DeWalt, the Powerstack batteries produce 50 per cent more power and have twice the lifespan of previous models. Each pack weights 1.5 lbs. and has a built-in LED fuel gauge.

Festool CTC Midi I cordless dust extractors

These tools suck. Really well. The 36-volt turbine provides 109 CFM of suction and 76 in. of static water lift, providing the power of a corded wet/dry vac with the flexibility of a cordless tool.
The compact tool weighs 22.5 pounds (without batteries) and has three different power settings. It’s available in HEPA-basic (577069) and HEPA-plus (577506). And there’s a remote control at the end of the 3.5-m-long hose to save you some steps.

DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 compact tool bag

Some days you need a truck and trailer’s worth of tools. Others, a portable bag will do. For the latter, grab this 11-in.-wide and
15-in.-high backpack-style case with a 40-lb load capacity. Made of dirt-repellant ballistic nylon and featuring a waterproof base, it has more than 25 storage pockets, an external tape measure holder and a slot for your water bottle.
Carry it by the handle, straps or lock it into any of DeWalt’s ToughSystem 2.0 storage units.