In almost every PHCP product category that requires the use of a contractor for installation, one word rules the day — efficiency. The plumbing tool category is no different.
With labor shortages top of mind throughout the supply chain, manufacturers of plumbing, heating, cooling and piping tools are making sure any new product they produce will help a contractor do his or her job as efficiently as possible without sacrificing quality.
“Getting jobs done efficiently, yet with a high level of quality, has been and will continue to be important to contractors,” RIDGID Director of Business Development and Marketing Rob Trefz says. “That’s especially true when it comes to the tools they use. Before adding a tool to their arsenal, contractors often ask themselves, ‘How can this make my life easier?’”
Thus, cordless options and more compact tools are requests DEWALT hears quite often from its customers. “We see users wanting either hand tools or corded tools with a cordless option,” DEWALT’s Mike Peiffer says. “There also is the desire to have more compact versions of their existing tools while maintaining performance.”
The marketplace has seen a surge in the number of pressing tools available to contractors. “Connection technology continues to evolve and grow year over year due to the productivity and safety benefits associated,” Milwaukee Tool Senior Product Manager Alex Boll explains. “We are going to see a continued investment in press technology as companies move away from traditional methods of pipe joining like brazing, soldering and welding.”
Channellock Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan DeArmet says contractors are savvy when it comes to researching the best tools available. “Professionals are looking for real product innovation from trusted brands,” he says. “More than likely, pros are walking into wholesalers ready to buy or looking to perform that final inspection in person before completing the purchase.”
Greenlee’s Mechanical Project Manager Dale Speggen notes safety and comfort are two subjects the company keeps in mind when designing new tools. “Reducing injuries is not only good for employees, but it saves the contractor money by reducing lost time, job opportunities and wages,” he says. “In addition, there are the expenses that occur when someone requires medical attention, whether due to immediate injury or wear and tear from performing repetitive tasks. At the end of the day, tools with safety and ergonomic benefits help keep the contractor up and running, as well as saving money.”
HOT NEW TOOLS
ChannelLock reversible jaw adjustable wrench: This wrench is as reliable on pipes and round bolts as it is on everyday jobs, the company notes. Flip the reversible jaw and let the angled teeth latch onto pipes. www.channellock.com
Greenlee Gorilla press tools: By installing fittings without soldering or welding, plumbers, pipe fitters and mechanical technicians eliminate the need for an open flame or hot-work permit on the jobsite or in facilities. www.greenlee.com
Milwaukee Tool Force Logic press tool: Featuring a one-handed, in-line design running on Milwaukee’s M18 battery platform, Force Logic offers an ergonomic solution for navigating around installed pipes. www.milwaukeetool.com
DEWALT PEX Expander: Can expand 3/8” to 1” PEX-A tubing and has five interchangeable expander heads in 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, 3/4” and 1”. The tool runs on DEWALT’s 20V MAX* battery platform. DEWALT. www.dewalt.com