Hands Down the Best Handhelds

Words: Dan KamysNovember 2014

Handheld Tools

Hands Down the Best Handhelds


Look around any jobsite, and you’ll see a wide variety of handheld tools. A tool exists for seemingly every task imaginable. Technology continues to evolve in the area of handheld tools to make them lighter, more efficient and super affordable. Following are a few examples of some of the industry’s best available handheld tools.

BLACK+DECKER Towson, Md. 4V MAX Lithium Pivot ScrewdriverBLACK+DECKER’s 4V MAX Lithium Pivot Screwdriver is ideal for DIY projects around the home. The handle of the 4V MAX Lithium Pivot Screwdriver rotates 90 degrees, to allow for either pistol-grip or inline orientations, making it easy to use in tight spaces. With an over-molded handle and an ergonomic finger grip that follows the contours on the hand, this screwdriver is comfortable to use even during long projects. An included micro USB wall charger supplies the screwdriver with a 400 milliamp charge rate, which is up to four times greater than that of standard 100mA BLACK+DECKER chargers. The screwdriver accepts any micro USB to USB charging cable (not included) and, therefore, can be charged from a variety of ports, including a computer with a USB outlet. The screwdriver incorporates a state of charge display, which indicates remaining charge and charge progress. www.blackanddecker.com
Robert Bosch Tool Corp. Mount Prospect, Ill. GLM 15 Laser MeasureBosch’s GLM 15 laser measure will change the way the world measures, with a simple, one-button operation and pocket-sized precision. The GLM 15 can go where measuring tape can't. The GLM 15 redefines simplicity. With a single touch of a button, the unit turns on and defaults to always-on measuring, perfect for walk-off measurements. Click the button again to record that measurement. And, when you're done, press and hold that same button one more time to turn it off. When close doesn't cut it, the GLM 15 delivers quick and reliable accuracy. Bosch engineered an exclusive solution for smaller laser components. With its patented small technology, the GLM 15 fits in a pocket to go anywhere. A square, flat design makes the product easy to use on any surface. Rest it on a flat surface, and measure in any direction with the display screen pointed the same way. www.boschtools.com
DEWALT New Britain, Ct. Precision Lasers in Jobsite-Tough DesignDEWALT introduces two new self-leveling professional lasers in a rugged, jobsite-tough design for precise leveling and point transfer applications. The new Three Beam Spot Laser (model DW08301) and Cross Line Laser (model DW08801) feature powerful laser diodes for exceptionally bright lines and point visibility at an approximate price of $99.99. Both lasers automatically self-level using an internal pendulum. If the angle of the tool exceeds four degrees from level, the laser will blink and an indicator will blink signaling it has exceeded the four degrees in which it is able to self-level. The lasers feature a locking pendulum so the internal components don’t bounce around risking potential damage when the lasers are not in use. To handle demanding jobsite conditions, both lasers feature robust, rubber over-molded designs and an IP54 water/debris resistance rating to help prevent moisture and dust from entering the laser. www.dewalt.com
Hilti Inc. Tulsa, Okla. Laser Range Meters PD-I and PD-EThe new Hilti Laser range meters PD-I and PD-E offer the latest in measuring technology, enabling reliable measuring performance. Whether measuring long distances, calculating areas and volumes, or in difficult to reach situations, the PD-I and PD-E take measurements quickly and accurately. Hilti Pulse Power Technology allows for reliable measurements even under challenging conditions. Simple to use, these laser range meters have an accuracy of +/- 1/16 inch. The PD-E laser range meter is streamlined for exterior applications. Designed for use in direct sunlight, the new E-paper screen technology allows for superior readability even in the most challenging light conditions. And, the precision optical targeting sight makes long distance measurements up to 656 feet much easier. The PD-I for interior applications measures up to 328 feet, making overhead measurements without the use of a ladder or forklift possible and helping to increase workplace safety. www.us.hilti.com
Milwaukee Tool Milwaukee, Wis. SDS Plus Rotary Hammer on One Battery SystemMilwaukee Tool redefines the cordless SDS Plus rotary hammer market with the addition of two M18 FUEL models that will round out the line and deliver the market’s first and only full SDS Plus solution powered by one battery system. The SDS Plus rotary hammer market is divided into three product segments that satisfy varying user needs: compact, medium and large. The market is currently trending away from corded and into cordless, as users look for increased productivity. Manufacturers have developed tools for the compact segment on 12V to 18V platforms and in the medium to large segments on 18V to 36V platforms, but none offered the complete range of solutions on a single battery platform. The technology did not exist to use a single battery platform that was small enough for use on compact tools, but powerful enough for medium and large tools. www.milwaukeetool.com

Porter-Cable Towson, Md.

V MAX Linked SystemPORTER-CABLE launched its 20V MAX Hammer Drill, which is ideal for use on brick, block and concrete materials found in HVAC, plumbing, electrical and residential building applications. Its powerful motor and high-performance transmission deliver up to 330 watts to maximize drilling and fastening applications. The variable, two-speed gear transmission delivers 400 RPM for high-torque applications and 1600 RPM for high-speed applications, while the hammer mechanism powers through material at 27,200 BPM. The Hammer Drill features a 1/2-inch metal ratcheting chuck that minimizes bit slippage. The Hammer Drill’s lightweight, compact design and slim, ergonomic handle provides comfort during use.


STANLEY New Britain, CT. FatMax Auto-Locking Tape LineupStanley added a new 16-foot FatMax auto-locking tape rule – model FMHT33316 – and 30-foot FatMax auto-locking tape rule – model FMHT33348 – to its lineup of FatMax auto-locking tape rules. Stanley introduced the new, 25-foot FatMax auto-locking tape rule – model FMHT33338 – in 2013. At the heart of every professional’s tool collection is a tape rule. The new FatMax tape has a blade that automatically locks at the length to which it is extended. When the release button is depressed, the blade retracts. The auto-locking feature allows users to control tape retraction, which helps to provide long blade life. The tape also features a manual mode – a setting used to override the auto-locking mechanism, enabling it to become a traditional retractable tape by depressing the button and pulling back away from the hook. Featuring a customizable hook system, users can configure their tape for the right application.www.Stanleytools.com
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