Home Depot Tools and Media Event – Atlanta 2017
More than 10 major tool and accessory manufacturers took part in the first Home Depot Tools and Media Event, held in Atlanta. Called The Home Depot Prospective Tool Event, this show brought in more than eighty bloggers, influencers, and professional tool reviewers to meet and greet with product managers and engineers from the tool companies. For the majority of three days we rallied with others of like-kind to discuss our favorite topic – tools. Our first day in Atlanta placed us at HD headquarters for the first media visit to The Home Depot Tool Testing and Engineering Laboratory.
On the last day of the event, we joined with The Home Depot Foundation to help families in need. With nearly every event attendee taking part in giving back, the intentions were to take part in an outdoor build. However, with rain threatening, a last minute change split the group into building furniture at a furniture bank and helping out at a community center. We can’t speak for the community center group, our group at the furniture bank knocked it out of the park by assembling furniture that will help more than 43 families.
The Home Depot Prospective Tool Event – Day 2
Entering the venue for The Home Depot tools and media event looks like cross between a new home construction site, a pallet-furniture store, and your local Home Depot tool department. Open stud walls set the boundaries for each Home Depot tool partner, as well as plenty of seating made from pallets (comfy cushions added) allowed space for sitting, while enjoying some refreshments. Tool manufacturer reps were very kind and informative and were excited to discuss their tools available for purchase at all Home Depot stores, and online.
Husky tools, the flagship brand of hand tools for The Home Depot take up most of the back room displaying tool boxes, workstations, hand tools and compressors. One that catches our eye is the Husky Torque Sticks. These are welcome additions to the mechanic line of tools, and everyone who changes tires or remove/replace wheels appreciate this addition. Torque sticks eliminate the over-tightening of wheel lugs, mitigating the possibility of damaging expensive wheels and rims.
We use the open-end ratchet wrenches for the first time and see how they function. This function is remarkably similar to another brand of ratchet wrenches – hmmm! Husky workstations and tool boxes are in abundance, including a new box and color that we’re not allowed to show – yet. Just remember to look for it around Father’s Day, and don’t be surprised if it’s the same color that’s fit for Corvettes and Ferraris (oops – was that tool much info). The price will surprise you as well.
Milwaukee brought their plethora of tools that covered everything from LED work lights, to recip saws and even capacitive touch gloves. We were able to see the new raised-work-top Milwaukee 52-inch Mobile Work Station, as well as put our hands all over it and try out the drawers. We can’t wait for this to be released. Chalk lines and tape measures were also a big display item for Milwaukee, so it wasn’t just power tools they were showcasing.
The Milwaukee TICKs covered a pallet table, waiting to suck the blood from any tool, not just Milwaukee Tool. Ok, they don’t suck blood, but the TICKs do track tools for theft recovery. With any Android or Apple smart device, the user can track tools to ensure all the tools are on the truck. The Milwaukee One Key app works in conjunction with the TICK, and the app doesn’t even have to be running to receive tool notifications.
Accessories are a part of our everyday jobs that we can’t overlook. From bits for screws to drill bits for wood concrete and steel, Bosch has it covered when it comes to accessories. Bosch displayed their new bits for tile that can penetrate the toughest ceramic, porcelain or glass substrate. We demo the new multi-use bits that can be used in wood, concrete and steel. These bits now include a full 1/4″ hex shank to allow use with an impact driver.
Also on display and for demo was the Speed Clean dust extraction bits, for concrete drilling. These long bits are hollow and include a vacuum attachment, this allows the concrete dust to be extracted through the center of the bit. These Bosch drill bits help keep a cleaner jobsite and keep OSHA off your back for less silica intake. In addition, the hole is now ready for epoxy when setting anchors or rebar.
Bosch is not all about bits. Also on display are the digital tape measures and laser levels, in both green and red. Even the bottom-of-the-line Bosch digital tape measure includes a color screen and 20 saved results. These start at just $99 and are available at The Home Depot. More expensive models are available that include additional options, such as more presets and saved results, larger screen, and integration.
Several laser levels beam lights across the stud walls and through to the brick walls, over 20 feet away. The greens lasers seem stand out much more, especially looking at a distance, compared to the red. With auto leveling included, the Bosch laser levels easily mount to a tripod and cast a laser-straight, green or red, line on one wall or up to the entire perimeter. This allows any work crew to start work sooner and see the level, even in bright light.
Ridgid and Ryobi are no strangers to The Home Depot. In fact, you can say they go hand in hand, as you can atest every time you walk into your local Home Depot tool department. You’re sure to find several on display, even adorning end-caps. Ryobi continues to expand the GDO (Garage Door Opener), displaying additions like the Compressor and Hose Reel, as well as the security camera. Users can add more than one security camera to the Ryobi GDO, so you may want to see the garage door and your home entry door. All this is capable with the Ryobi GDO app, for Android and Apple.
A sneak-peak on some Ryobi secrets, it seems that we’ll soon see a 9Ah battery for the bright green power tools. This will enable many more projects to be completed with one of the favorites at the Ryobi booth, the P301 hot glue gun. How great is it to put the glue gun down and it sit up straight, on its own?! The fluid transfer pump demos how easy liquid can be moved, such as emptying that hot water heater from the basement to the yard.
Flexing their muscle, the DeWALT says FlexVolt everywhere possible. The 4-battery power station and new job-site radio proves that DeWALT is focused more than just tools. They want intend to make the worker’s life more functional, enjoyable and efficient. This new radio not only provides great quality sounds, it also includes a hideaway for the user’s phone, a bottle opener on one side, and and low-amp-output 120V plugs on the other. Cordless impact drivers and full-size impact wrenches also in abundance in the DeWALT area.
In addition, a couple of combos should be hitting The Home Depot stores with great prices as well. Keep an eye out for these in your local store.
The new rear-handle circular saw from Makita is a real beast, and we had the opportunity to do some cutting ourselves. The awesome black sub-compact drill and impact tools look really cool, and we will soon review these. We’re looking forward to the review to see how they perform. Our expectations are very positive.
The Home Depot Foundation
With more than 80 volunteers from the Home Depot Tools and Media Event group, we divided the group and visited a community center and furniture bank to pay it forward. With our half of the group at the furniture bank, we built and assembled furniture to help more than 43 families in the near future. The furniture bank in Atlanta has helped more than 5,000 families with needed furniture. They may not be able to provide all the amenities, but their promise to every family in need is a matress to sleep on. That’s a pretty important need for any family. Great work for The Home Depot Foundation for helping these community helpers.
Our trip rounds to a close, and the first Home Depot Tools and Media Event is history. We met some new friends and conversed with old friends as well. It’s always great to mix it up with the tool industry. We look forward to when we can see them again. Look for all these tools to be available at your local Home Depot.