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National Hardware Show Highlights 2012

Tool Reviews May 9, 2012 Sonia










If you’re the kind of tool hound who buys really obscure items just in case you might possibly one day have a use for them, then the National Hardware Show is your kind of event. Cool tools and handy gadgets abound, as hundreds of companies pitch their wares to the people who decide what gets sold at your local hardware store. The EHT staff exhibited our magazine at the convention, plus we scoured the show floor for the latest innovations. Here’s a list of some of the highlights from the 2012 National Hardware Show (


RAM Rod Impact Tool

I don’t know any big fans of cutting brick. The job generally requires a wet saw or worse—a hammer and cold chisel. The versatile new RAM Rod Impact Tool provides a way to cut brick accurately on the ground from a comfortable standing position. The tool’s Return Action Mechanism (RAM) essentially works like a large, vertical slide-hammer that uses a heavy-duty spring, weight and gravity to maximize delivery force. Score and break bricks or landscaping stones, break through asphalt, concrete or hardened dirt. The RAM Rod comes with a 1-in. spike bit, 6.5-in. scraper and 3-in. chisel, and because the cutting head remains stationary at the point of impact, you can make cuts easily and accurately. Plus, the “vertical grip” handles permits use on walls and other vertical surfaces. Visit.


Exakt SP 190 Sander Planer

A sander like no other, the SP 190 Sander Planer from Exakt Precision Tools Ltd. has a unique design based on a sanding drum—an abrasive roller that is interchangeable with a conventional planer drum. This depth-adjustable sander runs at 16,000 RPM, which makes it ideal for stripping, planning and finishing with a degree of control that is virtually impossible to achieve with an orbital or belt sander. The sanding drums are available with various grit types, giving the user the option of selecting the appropriate finish. And the dust-removal system relies on a built-in vacuum to keep the work surface clean. Visit

Universal Arch Kit

The Universal Arch Kit includes the key framing components needed to build an arched doorway for new construction or remodeling applications. Choose from two options of arch style—smooth style or stepped. The kits fit all openings and can be cut to fit depths up to 12 inches. Professionals and DIY’ers can easily install the kit to framing or to existing drywall openings. The arched pieces are basically screwed into the door corners and finished with standard wallboard, and detailed instructions are included for specific building applications. Visit


EcoBust Demolition Agent

Need to render a big rock to rubble in an environmentally friendly way? Instead of ripping through concrete or stone with a jackhammer–or even explosives–Ecobust is an “expansive demolition agent” that breaks up rock and concrete effectively and silently. Here’s how it works: (1) Drill into the concrete or rock. (2) Mix the powdered Ecobust agent with water. (3) Pour the mixture into the holes. The agent will expand inside the hole, breaking apart the concrete or rock from the inside, saving money and time. The product requires no special licenses or permits, and the demolition creates no dust, noise, vibrations, flying debris or toxic fumes. Visit


The Handler

The Handler Yard Tool is 100-percent guaranteed for life, which was the first claim to get our attention on the floor of the NHS. Boldly marketed as “indestructible,” The Handler comes packaged with four interchangeable heads, including a dirt shovel, a metal yard rake, a leaf rake and a shop broom. Additional heads for other jobs will soon also be available, including a pitch fork, edger, post-hole digger and more. The interchangeable heads are designed to reduce unnecessary space requirements, and the handle is made from complex, durable aerospace materials that withstand the most strenuous conditions. Visit