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Power Tools and Some Extra Bits from the National Hardware Show

September 21, 2016

A better multi-tool, superior sandpaper, and some tidbits you may not have seen yet ...

Held each May in Las Vegas, The National Hardware Show is where buyers from hardware stores, lumber yards, and home centers go to see the latest and greatest tools and products being pitched by the companies that make them.

The 2016 show was particularly good, with more interesting new tools and products than I have seen in years past. Some recently came out, some are scheduled for release later this year, and some are concepts in search of buyers—years away from being produced or fated to never be produced at all.

Here is another sneak peek at what you would have seen if you had been able to go to the show, which is open only to members of the NRHA (North American Retail Hardware Association) and select media.

Rockwell F80 Sonicrafter

The first brand to compete with Fein after the expiration of its patent, Rockwell has produced a succession of oscillating multi-tools over the years. Their latest is the F80 Sonicrafter, an upgraded model that allows user to switch between oscillating angles of 5.0 and 3.4 degrees. The higher angle is for fast cutting; the lower angle offers greater control and cleaner cuts.

The F80 has a 4.2-amp motor, keyless blade change, and a universal blade interface.

Scheduled for release in Q4 of this year it is expected to sell for about $150.


Norton ProSand

It’s great to own a bunch of sanders, but you’ll be forced to stock many kinds of paper if they’re not the same brand. Norton’s ProSand hook and loop abrasive disks work with any dust-collecting orbital sander of a given size. With their continuous perforations, there is no need for them to line up with the holes on the tool.

These 5- and 6-inch disks have a No-Fil ceramic abrasive coating and are available in 40 to 320 Grit.


Oxx CoffeeBoxx

The CoffeeBoxx is a ruggedized portable coffee maker designed for the jobsite. Powered by household current it takes the same K-cups used by Keurig brewers.

The top contains the controls, a handle, and compartments for the K-Cup and a removable 2.5-litre water tank. A door flips down from the front to hold the cup while freshly brewed coffee is dispensed. According to its maker, the CoffeeBoxx is spill proof, dust and water resistant, and can support a 500-pound load without being crushed.

I drank some coffee from one at the Hardware Show and it tasted just like the coffee I make at home.

Price: $229.


Blufixx People

I had to ask this guy what he was supposed to be—I thought he was a giant voltage sniffer. Turns out he represented the LED light used to cure Blufixx plastic repair resin. You squeeze the resin out of a pen-like tube, flip the tube around, and use the light on the opposite end to cure the resin.

The wavelength of light emitted by the device cures the resin in a matter of seconds. I’ve had some success using a similar product from Bondic to repair items that could not be repaired with conventional glue.


Binford 2000 Blower?

I saw someone wearing this backpack blower and from a distance thought it was real—like some Tim Allen creation come to life.

When I got closer I realized it was a prop being used to illustrate the power of a new cordless blower from Worx.

—David Frane is a freelance editor and a good buddy of ours. Formerly, he was editor of Tools of the Trade magazine and website. He lives in Northern California.

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