Tools from the 2011 International Builder’s Show

Tools at the International Builder’s Show

Today at the 2011 International Builder’s Show we spent the entire day focused on tools. Before getting into some of the memorable tools from the show I wanted to vent a bit to the tool industry. I’m very disappointed that more tool companies don’t come to the show and showcase their latest tools. Come on guys!

Anyway, today we roamed around the show looking for some cool tools to report and below is a short list of some of the more memorable.

Paslode TetraGRIP

Earlier this week I reported about an exciting announcement from Paslode about the new TetraGRIP Sub-Floor Fastening System. For me this was the most exciting tool and product at the 2011 IBS. So today I spent quite a bit of time at the Paslode Booth putting the TetraGRIP system to the test.

After shooting all kinds of TetraGRIP nails into the demo floor systems I wanted to see how difficult it would be to remove the nail. Removing a TetraGRIP nail is nearly impossible with a hammer or CatsPaw. After pulling on the nail with full force (listen folks I’m a BIG guy!) the head completely pulled off.

In order to remove the nail I had to turn the claw to the side and pry it out. Needless to say this wasn’t an easy task and when it finally came free it brought wood with it!

We’ll write much more on this exciting new system in the coming months. For now just take my word for it when I say this is one of the most exciting new developments in the framing industry.

Porter-Cable Oscillating Tools

Today we had a chance to test some new oscillating tools from Porter-Cable. In fact, they had a corded and cordless version on display at the Lowe’s Booth. These new tools are not out on the street yet but they are sure to be a big hit as oscillating tools are one of the most popular tools on the market today.

Porter-Cable’s version offers a really cool toolless release for changing the blades (see the lever that my index finger is holding in the photo above). This new feature is sure to help Porter-Cable push to the front of the pack. In our short trial of the tools they both featured good power and weight balance. Once samples are available we’ll get our hands on these for a better review.

Rockwell Tools – Jobsite Table Saw and Finisher

Rockwell had several new tools on display this year. One of the more notable tools is their all new Jobsite Table Saw and Finisher Accessory.

The new Jobsite Table Saw offers an impressive 30 inch rip capacity to the right of the blade and the ability to cut materials up to 3-9/16 inch (a full 4×4).

The saw has several options including a Sliding Extension Table and a Finisher. The Rockwell Finisher is a very interesting new concept that we think is a first for jobsite table saws.

In a nutshell the Rockwell Finisher is a portable planer mounted to the table saw so you can use the fence and create a jobsite jointer of sorts. This is a really cool idea that has some great applications on the jobsite.

Over the coming months we’ll try to get our hands on some of the new Rockwell tools and share our thoughts.

Grip-Rite Mini Palm Nailer

We had a really nice visit with the guys in the Grip-Rite Booth today. Over the years I’ve personally purchased a ton of Grip-Rite fasteners but never used many of their nailers. I was pretty impressed with their line-up today including a very impressive “little” nailer called the Mini Palm Nailer.

The Grip-Rite Mini Palm Nailer only weighs a lb and it easily drives 16d nails. As you can see in the photo this little guy isn’t much larger than the air hose coupling.

I was blown away at the power and quickness of this powerful tool. You may not think you need one of these handy palm nailers but trust me, when you have one you’ll use it for those really tight spaces.

Hitachi 12V Drivers

Another pleasant surprise at the show today was the Hitachi 12V drivers. I have no idea who developed theirs first but Hitachi has a 12V line that has a similar battery design to the popular DEWALT 12V MAX line.

I’m so sold on this type of battery configuration that the Green and Yellow both take the top rankings for me. I hope to get my hands on some of these soon to test and report back to all of you.

During our short test drive of the impact driver we found plenty of power and a comfortable balance. Being able to stand these drivers up like the photo is a huge benefit (at least in my humble opinion!).

2011 IBS Comes To An End

The 2011 IBS has come to an end for us. I really hope more tool manufactures return to the event in the future. I can’t think of a better trade show to showcase tools! Come on guys get on board and give us what we  crave!

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz, and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

All posts by Todd »


  1. Calvin Wing

    This is a great article. Good information. I found this at the Porter Cable website while checking out some new cordless tools. Question, since you really like the Hitachi and DEWALT compact 12V drivers are you planning a comparro of all the manufactures? I spoke to an major appliance repair tech the other day who had the Snap On model and he had nothing good to say about it. I have a PC180ID and like the power and handling. However, there are times when it won’t fit where it needs to. Who make the best/worst?

    1. Todd Fratzel

      We do lots of comparisons. The 12V line-ups from the manufacturers vary greatly in size, speed and torque. It really depends on the application on which ones I like best.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Product reviews on this site contain our opinion of a product or service. We will always strive for objectivity and transparency in our reviews. Our goal is to provide readers with honest, objective information based on our own experiences. We never have and never will accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the products that we review are provided to us for free by a manufacturer or retailer. In some cases, we also have advertising or affiliate relationships with manufacturers and retailers of products and services we review. For additional information please visit our additional disclosure policies.