2014 STAFDA Recap

Tool Skool News

2014 STAFDA Show Comes to a Close

Tool Skool Got to See the New Products and Brings them to You

Each year, a city plays host to distributors, manufacturers, rep agents, and affiliates (trade press) serving the light construction/industrial market for STAFDA’s (Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association) annual convention. This year drew more than 4,500 members to Charlotte, NC to attend educational sessions and see the latest product offerings.


2014 STAFDA held in Charlotte, NC

While big box retailers are the most common face of power tool purveyors, the majority of professional grade tool and accessory purchases are made at a STAFDA dealer location. These guys deal in bulk and carry a number of specialty tools that big box doesn’t stock.

Diablo Tools

Diablo stole the show. They had numerous media outlets attending their booth for a product demonstration in advance of the show opening. It was well covered by ToolBox Buzz, A Concord Carpenter, Pro Tool Reviews, CopTool  and Tools in Action to name a few.

So, what was their “next-gen” show-stopper reveal? They introduced three products of note:

  • Steel Demon carbide-tipped reciprocating blades:
    • The company claims they are the first carbide-tipped blades for metal cutting and their advanced metal cutting design makes it possible to cut thick metals such as high-strength alloys, cast iron, and stainless steel with the least amount of effort. They claim 20 times longer cutting life than standard bi-metal blades in extreme thick metal cutting applications ranging from 3/16” to 1/2”.
STAFDA Diablo Blade

Diablo Steel Demon Carbide Tipped Blade

  • Demo Demon carbide-tipped reciprocating blades:
    • Featuring a new break-through innovation that dramatically increases the blade’s life from 10 times to 20 times cutting life in nail-embedded wood
    • Faster cuts with less vibration for maximum performance in nail-embedded wood.
    • Carbide tip to blade connection has been enhanced for increased impact resistance in demolition applications

Diablo Demo Demon Carbide-Tipped Blade

  • Hole Saws – What is new is the length of the cup, which measures up to 2-2/8” inch for deeper holes in one pass. The hole saw system employs their “Snap-Lock” mandrel system that allows for quick cup changes.
Diablo Hole Saw

Diablo Hole Saw

Skil Tools

In Europe you’re apt to see Bosch tools in green or the traditional Bosch blue.  Green is the color of Bosch’s DIY tools and blue is the color of the professional grade offerings.


Bosch Tools are Green in Europe.

Skil, a Robert Bosch company, has re-branded their ubiquitous Skilsaws to differentiate previous and other DIY related tools from their new made-for-pros saws and in the process became a leader in trademarks.


SkilSaws have been re-branded.

Skilsaw showcased four new offerings that all feature their Dual Field motor (TM #1) that features dual copper windings that they say will keep the motor running cooler. Waste heat creates inefficiencies, increases maintenance and decreases the life of the motor.


Dual Field Motor has been trademarked by Skil.

So sure they’ve built a better mouse trap, the offer a Stay True (TM #2+) guarantee that if within the first 180 days after purchasing, you can get your money back.

STAFDA Skil Stay True

Skil offers a Stay True Guarantee

Traditionally, circular saws came in two formats, sidewinder and worm drive. Now, there may be a need to create a third category as Skil has trademarked (#3) the term sidewinder. They offer a 7-1/4” that they say is the lightest pro circular saw that weighs in at 8.6 lbs.

Not to be outdone, they’ve added more trademarks (#s 4 &5) to their worm drives with, “The original worm drive” and “The legend. Reborn.”


Skil Worm Drive Saw: The Legend… Reborn: MAG77LT

Years ago, a professional contractor/remodeler was looking for a solution of cutting 4x materials and his brain child was the Big Foot saw adapter. This kit, when combined with a worm drive, extends the cutting capacity to a whopping 3-3/4”.


Big Foot Ten Inch Saw

Now, Skil has introduced their 10-1/4” worm drive saw named Sawsquatch (#6). This behemoth weighs in at 16.5 lbs and can cut up to 3-11/16” at 90-degrees.


Skil Sawsquatch

Fein Tools

In 1967, Fein introduced the first oscillating tool and until recently, had a patent on the design. Once the patent ran its course, just about every major manufacturer has developed an oscillating tool.

So, Fein went back to the drawing board to redesign itself from previous tools and really amp up production and with one model, keep down the noise. They debuted two new offerings, the MultiTalent and the MultiMaster.

The MultiTalent features:

  •  250 Watt high-performance motor designed for continuous use
  • Tool-free accessory change, using the QuickIN rapid change system
  • Electronic speed control
  • Softgrip zone provides optimal handling

It only weighs 3.1 lbs. and is reported to be 50% quieter than older models.

The MultiMaster has the same attributes but, boasts a 350 watt motor and an electronic speed control with tacho generator for constant speed, even under load.


With all of those sharp blades out there, one company, Sāf-T-Küt, claims to have the dullest blade around. These unique reciprocating saw blades are tiny and only have two teeth. But, they only cut what you want cut.


Sāf-T-Küt Blade

Designed for drywall and plaster cutting, these small blades only cut deep enough to score to the back of the drywall while keeping wires, pipes and other hidden mechanics in place.

They claim that these blades also reduce one of the biggest frustrations of working with drywall, the amount of dust created when cutting.

A two-pack will set you back about $10 but, this is a small price to pay when compared to shredding an electric line.

Makita Tools

In a related ToolSkool article, Makita announced plans for 2015 when they will have more than 100 cordless tools available which is just in time for their 100th anniversary. Some of those tools were on display at STAFDA.

Makita is another company with different trade dresses, folks are most accustomed to the traditional teal but, they have tools in white line that is specific to their compact line. Brushless and cordless were the buzz of the show.


Makita Tools dressed in white

In lieu of the 36v platform, Makita doubles up their 18v batteries to deliver more power. To make sure that batteries are running at the peak, Makita has introduced Dual Port Optimum charger that is non-sequential so both batteries can charge at the same time.

Makita Dual Port Charger

The new Makita 18V Lithium-Ion Dual Port Charger offers the same category-leading charge times when charging two batteries at a time, and also has a USB port.

With a built-in fan, the unit cools the battery by forcing air through the battery’s air vents during the charging process for faster charging. The charger communicates with the battery’s built-in chip throughout the charging process to optimize battery life by actively controlling current, voltage and temperature. By the way, it has a built in USB port for charging the cell phone as well.

  • Charges two (2) 18-volt compact lithium-ion 2.0 Ah batteries in only 25 minutes
  • Charges two (2) 18-volt LXT lithium-ion 3.0 Ah batteries in only 30 minutes
  • Charges two (2) 18-volt LXT lithium-ion 4.0 Ah batteries in only 40 minutes
  • Charges two (2) 18-volt LXT lithium-ion 5.0 Ah batteries in only 45 minutes

Their 18V Lithium-Ion Oil Impulse Brushless Cordless 3-Speed Impact Driver features their Oil Impulse Technology utilizes oil viscosity to hydraulically drive the impact mechanism for up to 30% less noise. In addition, the 3-speed selector with Quick Shift Mode provides the user with precise fastening control for a wide range of applications.


Makita Oil-Impulse Impact Driver

They also showcased a wide array of outdoor power equipment.


Makita Introduces New Tools at STAFDA

And one thing I thought was kind of cool was their mini-vac that can clean floors or by removing the wand, makes for a great vac around the shop.

STAFDA Makita Compact Vac

Makita Compact Vac


Makita Compact Vac without the tube attached

Bosch Tools

Not to be outdone, Bosch also entered into the vacuum category with their 12v Max handheld tool. Weighing just 1.55 pounds and measuring 11 inches long, the VAC120’s crevice nozzle attachment makes clean-up in tight or confined spaces. The flat filter design allows for a larger 11.8 ounce canister volume and when paired with their exclusive Micro Filter System it can trap 98 percent of dust particles as small as 1/2 micron in diameter.

Bosch VAC120 Cordless Vac

Bosch Vac120 12V Max Compact Vac

Irwin Tools

Not all of the glory was reserved for power tools. A number of companies introduced new and innovative hand tools. One thread was manufacturers producing tools that require less exertion to cut materials.

Irwin introduced their new 8″ Ergomulti Long Nose Pliers with Wire Stripper & Wire Crimper.


IRWIN Ergomulti Long Nose Pliers

Features include:

  • 62° Ergonomic angled head for reduced wrist strain
  • Induction-hardened cutting edges cut ACSR, nails, screws and even piano wire
  • Three-zone comfort grips are contoured for optimal cushion and control
  • Integrated handle hooks equipped for Performance Lanyard system for safer elevated working conditions and easier retrieval when stored
  • Specially coated for superior rust-resistance and longer tool life
  • Built-in spanner for turning screws, nuts and grounding rods

Their new 8″ Max Leverage End Cutting Pliers with PowerSlot employs a technology provides 2X more power and half the cutting effort.


IRWIN Max Leverage End Cutting Pliers

Wiss Tools

If you aren’t familiar with Apex Tool Group you’ve probably heard of some of their 30+ brands in their portfolio. One such company is Wiss who debuted their new Flip Joint Cable Cutter. This 3-in-1 electrician’s tool cuts vinyl coated or bare wires up to 10/3 cable then, the handle flips over to act as a cable sheath knife and then, flip back to strip the wires.


Wiss Flip Joint Cable Cutters

Crescent Tools

Another Apex tool company, Crescent, claims more power with less effort in their PivotPro pliers. They claim that their pivot design allows users to make cuts with 40% less effort.

STAFDA Crescent

Crescent PivotPro Pliers


Rust-Oleum is thinking outside the can with SpraySmart. Driven by a lithium ion battery, this marking paint system has kicked the can and is propellent-free. The engine is ready in 30 seconds and can dispense up to 48 paint pouches on a full battery and unlike aerosol delivery, all of the contents are emptied.

With STAFDA coming to a close, so too is our coverage of 2014 trade shows. Stay tuned for 2015 shows.