SF Blog: New Cool Tools From Home Depot
A couple weeks ago, I got the chance to attend a tool event hosted by Home Depot in Atlanta, Georgia. I learned a lot about the company and a lot about the tools Home Depot sells and, in some cases, produces.
Every company has values that are listed on a website somewhere or talked about in employee orientation, but Home Depot elevates its eight core company values even more by evaluating employees on them annually. For example, they’ll ask an employee, “How did you build strong relationships this year?”
One of those values is giving back. The company doesn’t publicize it, but retail locations across the nation work hard at bettering the communities they’re based in so Home Depot employees and customers have a nice place to live. The company’s charitable arm, the Home Depot Foundation, is on its way to donating $250 million to veteran-related causes by the end of 2020.
On our final day in Atlanta, we suited up in our matching orange T-shirts to help repair and maintain veterans’ homes in Atlanta, but weather forced us to instead help out the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta. Our large group of journalists and influencers divided into two. The half I was in built 55 dressers that will be given to struggling Atlanta individuals trying to establish stable homes for themselves. I know the other half built coffee tables and dressers as well, so it’s nice to imagine the lives touched when Atlanta residents receive their brand-new furniture. I’ve never done a service project at a new product event, so getting to do some community service really felt good.
I also got to spend some time at a very personal new product event where tool brands showed off their latest innovations and, in some cases, let us try them out! Here are the farmer-friendly tools I discovered:
On this trip, we also had the opportunity to check out the Product Quality and Engineering Lab, which is the section of Home Depot’s headquarters devoted to testing Husky, Home Depot’s line of tools. Each of the Husky hand tools is extensively tested to stand up to competition and ensure durability forever since a lifetime guarantee comes standard with each hand tool purchase. Engineers put Husky products through intense beatings, salt fog conditions, water and then freezing, etc., which was fascinating to see.
Regardless, here are a few of the Husky offerings to take note of. Keep in mind that Husky tools are generally cheaper since Home Depot doesn’t need a middle man to sell its own products.
The Universal Mechanics Tool Set from Husky comes with 60 pieces and retails for $79.97. If you’re used to a standard mechanic’s set with 72 teeth, the Husky version is a little different as it has only 50 teeth that are engineered to manage 100 positions. An impressive long-handle ratchet with a 3.6° arch swing and laser-etched size marking is included in this set but typically sells for $19.97 on its own.
For $39.97, you can own the six-piece 100-Position Double Ratcheting SAE Wrench Set. These ratchet wrenches are directional, so you can work quick without having to take off the bolt to crank. They have narrow, 3.6° arch swing box-ends and longer beams for better access.
This five-piece set of Torque Limited Impact Extension Bars, also known as torque sticks, can be bought for $49.97, which Husky’s John Medicus says is a steal compared with competitors prices’ around $120. To avoid overtightening, each ½-inch drive extension is preset to a torque limit. The five torque sticks included cover the most common torque requirements: 65, 80, 100, 120, and 140.
Husky’s Digital Display Click Torque Wrench has an LED screen that’s backlit for tricky lighting or late-night engine repairs. Grab it for $99 at Home Depot.
DeWalt’s 1800 Watt Portable Power Station (DCB1800M3T1) can handle four batteries at once, but also creates its own power with noise or gas usage. It can produce up to 15 amps and 1,800 continuous watts, and it has a watt peak of 3,600. Unlike other bulk chargers, the DeWalt station charges multiple batteries at once rather than one at a time. Farmers can also plug corded power tools into the product, which should be helpful for remote areas or inside homes as it can substitute for a gas-powered generator without the gas. The power station retails for $599, which includes four batteries: three 4.0Ah 20V MAX and one 6.0Ah FLEXVOLT.
The bolt extractor from DeWalt comes in a five-piece set with an adaptor that together retail for $19.97. Grab this extractor without hesitation to deal with worn down lag screws in seconds. See the video below to watch the product in action.
Farmers also might be interested in what Ben Weddle, DeWalt vice president of construction DIY sales, calls the latest beater tool. The 22-ounce Demolition Hammer has a 2×4-inch gripper, an enlarged claw curve, and a large strike face. You can expect it to hit nails just fine, but this tool can also be used in a number of different (destructive) ways. It’ll hit stores in June at $29.97.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a durable and work-ready measuring tape, check out DeWalt’s 25-inch Tape XP. The tape has a thicker coating to stand up against scratches, has large and legible numbers, a stronger belt clip, and its first 9 inches are reinforced for serious strength. It can extend 13 feet without curving, and it can be dropped from 60 feet without breaking the casing. Grab it for $29.99 in stores soon.
If you’re looking for a powerful handheld vacuum, the GEN5X Brushless Wet/Dry Vacuum from RIDGID is a versatile option that is the most powerful on the market, according to the company. With the ability to suck up a tray full of metal nuts, this vacuum can clean up four cups of mess while still accounting for dust and too-large debris with special filters. A floor nozzle, crevice nozzle, and 2-foot extension tube attach easily and give this shop vac the ability to fit into whatever space needs cleaning. This versatile hand vac is available now for $79.97, which includes free parts and service for the tool for life.
The RIDGID GEN5X Brushless 18V Hybrid Forced Air Propane Heater has only been on the market for two months and has an impressively long name, but what you should know about it is that it’s a lightweight, portable heater that can be powered with a RIDGID 18V battery or an extension cord. Operators should expect this heater to run up to seven hours continuously with a RIDGID 5Ah hyper lithium battery, but it can run up to 12 hours using a standard 20-pound propane tank on low heat output.
According to RIDGID, this propane heater is quiet, starts up easily with an electric ignition, and is certified to not overheat. You can snag this heater for $129; you’ll get a three-year limited warranty on the product.
With a four-grind design for longer life, faster drilling, and more accurate metal drilling capabilities, the Daredevil multipurpose drill bit from Bosch is back and better than ever. The bit has a ¼-inch hex shank, so it can fit on any impact driver to create near-perfect circular holes in metal or other materials. You can grab the five-piece drill bit set in stores now for $19.97.
The Compact Tape Measure from Milwaukee has a five-point reinforced frame for durability and is 30% more compact than past Milwaukee tapes. The $15 Milwaukee tape is double-sided and nylon-coated for scratch resistance for all of its 25 feet in length. Creature comforts include a magnet on the end of the tape and a nifty spot on the bottom of the housing that gives your finger a safe spot to hold the tape without the risk of getting the tape snapped back on you. You can also expect to see a little architectural scale on the new tape measure.
Milwaukee also showed off a new 24-inch HARDTOP Rolling Bag that looked like something that could be handy in the field or when doing maintenance work in a large farm shop. With metal skid plates, an industrial-grade extension handle, and 6-inch metal-rim, all-terrain wheels, the bag is durable no matter the conditions. With a large storage space and 53 pockets, these bags can hold plenty of tools and hold 250 pounds worth of stacked tools or materials on the hard top. You can snag one of these bags for $200.
Fun Fact: Home Depot was almost named Bad Bernie’s Buildall. After one of the initial Home Depot exec’s wives suggested the name Home Depot, branding quickly followed. Orange was chosen to stand out, and the crooked store name was meant to signify that Home Depot is a little off, meaning the company does things a little differently than the competition.