Best New Tools: 2009

By Christopher Schwarz
Pages: 57-61

From the December 2009 issue #180
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With the world’s economy taking a nose dive in 2009, we saw a lot of things happen to the tool-making community. Many of the major manufacturers, which were pummeled by the housing market, played it safe this year. Either they held out on introducing new tools that would require a big investment in the factories, or they diverted their resources elsewhere.

However, some toolmakers, particularly individual makers, small companies and lean manufacturers, kept going. And as a result we saw the most unusual crop of new tools and machines in a long time.

Many of the machinery makers were cautious in 2009, but Grizzly Industrial and SawStop in particular still seemed to be firing on all cylinders. And their efforts definitely show in this year’s list of our 12 Best New Tools.

And on the hand-held power tool side of the market, Makita seems unstoppable when it comes to continuously refining the products in its strong areas (as least as far as woodworkers are concerned): cordless drills and miter saws.

But the big story is the number of the amazing hand tools we saw across the board in all price ranges. Check out the list. You’ll see what I mean.


From the December 2009 issue #180
Buy this issue now