corded tools awards lg

Remember when cordless tools were relatively new and more of a novelty and corded tools had no reason to fear being replaced? While cordless tools have made great strides, their corded brothers haven’t been sitting around collecting dust. Innovation is still taking place at an excellent pace with these tools. The 2016 Pro Tool Innovation Corded Tools Awards have found some of the best products to highlight this year.

Winner – Angle Grinders

Metabo WEV1500-125Metabo WEV1500-125 5″ Variable Speed 13.2 Amps Rattail Grinder

What they said: This new Rattail grinder powered by Metabo new 1,500W / 13.2-Amp motor is controlled by a variable speed electronic unit designed for the most versatile applications. The wide speed range (from 3,500RPM to 11,000RPM) allows for all metal work from polishing to cutting and grinding. With a powerful rattail design and trigger-style paddle, the tool offers unmatched ergonomics. Featuring an electronic clutch, Vario-Tacho-Constamatic electronics (our most advanced speed control) and restart protection, the performance and safety work together to deliver an exceptional grinder.

What we say: Over and above the powerful motor and outstanding speed range it offers, there are several small points on Metabo’s WEV 1500-125 Rat Tail Grinder that make a big difference during use. One of the most talked about is the quick locking nut. It’s something Metabo has done for a while now, but it sets them apart since the rest of the industry hasn’t caught up yet. Fairly common individual features like electronic shutdown, soft start, and electronic speed control combine with excellent ergonomics for a user experience that’s a cut above the rest when you put them all together. 

Price: $189.00

For more information, click here.


  • Walter Surface Technologies Big 6 PS

Winner – Magnetic Drill Press

Magswitch MagDrill Disruptor 30Magswitch MagDrill Disruptor 30

What they said: The brand-new Magswitch MagDrill Disruptor 30 utilizes patented shallow-field magnetic technology that offers incredibly strong grip, even on steel as thin as 1/8 inch. Also, the patent-pending base automatically pivots to conform to any pipe 3 inch or larger. The pivoting base can be used on the outside of pipe or the inside of curved surfaces. The magnets do not require electricity, so all the power goes to the motor. This also offers increased safety as the tool will not release from the target material in the event of an unintentional power loss. The magnets can be turn partially on, so the user can fine-tune the exact placement of the cutter head prior to fully engaging the magnets. One magnet can be turned off at a time which allows the user to pivot the drill away to clear away shavings, inspect the hole or change tooling, while the other magnet holds the weight of the tool. Once you have experienced the Disruptor 30, you will wonder what you ever did without it.

What we say: Magnetic Drill Presses are a compelling tool class by nature, and Magswitch offers features on the Distruptor 30 that are pretty attractive. Anytime weight drops in a tool without sacrificing quality, it’s a good thing for the end user. The Magswitch MagDrill Disruptor 30 comes in under 25 pounds. We also really like the ability to turn magnets off individually to help with setup for a tool that’s often used in less than ideal positions. Those magnets also swivel so you can work on flat or rounded surfaces without the need for an adapter plate.

Price: $1,299.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Drills/Drivers

Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Drive PROSDX150 Steel-Decking systemSimpson Strong-Tie Quik Drive PROSDX150 Steel-Decking System

What they said: The Quik Drive advantage for steel decking: Attaching steel decking with screws provides a strong connection like welding and powder-actuated fasteners provide, but with less hassle. The Quik Drive tool extension enables stand-up screw driving, saving time and increasing comfort. The patented Quik Drive auto-feed mechanism provides hands-free screw advancement, eliminating the need to handle individual screws and there is no special certification required to operate the Quik Drive system. Testing has shown that Simpson Strong-Tie collated screws achieve some of the highest sheer load values in the industry, ensuring a strong, secure connection.

What we say: Stand up deck fastening systems aren’t a completely foreign concept when it comes to wood and composite decking, but steel deck installers haven’t been quite as lucky prior to the Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Drive. While the holding strength advantage of screws is well-documented, spending all day on your hands and knees isn’t something most of us look forward to. Keeping you on your feet and providing plenty of screw driving power, the collated system auto-feeds fasteners to help you quickly install steel decking with incredibly high sheer load values.

Price: $557.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Garage Door Opener

Ryobi Garage Door Opener ProgramRyobi Modular Garage Door Opener Program

What they said: Get more out of your garage with RYOBI. Introducing the next generation of garage door openers with the RYOBI Ultra-Quiet Garage Door Opener. The ultra-powerful motor will quietly open and close large doors with ease due to the 2HPs for faster openings. With motion controlled overhead LED light has a selectable duration control, you are never left in the dark. Rest assured even in power outages, this unit is compatible with the RYOBI ONE+ system, and is battery backup ready with over 100 openings using a RYOBI ONE+ P108 4Ah Battery (sold separately). For added control, the Ryobi opener is compatible with HomeLink and is Wi-Fi connectable.

What we say: Whether you’re a Ryobi fan or a skeptic, you really have to see their new modular garage door opener. The fact that it’s packing 2 horsepower and still runs quietly is one thing. It’s another that your Ryobi One+ 18V battery works as a backup power source. Ryobi took it to a whole new level by making it modular with an optional fan, Bluetooth speaker, laser parking assist, and cord reel. Plus, there’s more on the way. We’ve seen these in action, and we have to say, they’re legit!

Price: $248.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Electric Sanders

Festool ETS EC Brushless SandersFestool ETS EC Brushless Sanders

What they said: Festool USA recently introduced its new 5” and 6” brushless ETS EC sanders which feature a compact, ergonomic, low profile and low vibration design. Built for prolonged use and extended service longevity, the new ETS EC sanders achieve performance standards of air sanders without the expense or bulk of an air system. Festool’s ETS EC sander line is available in three different models: the 5” ETS EC 125/3, which has a fine 3mm sanding stroke, the 6” ETS EC 150/3 and the 6” ETS EC 150/5, with sanding strokes of 3mm and a broader 5mm.

What we say: When Pro Tool Reviews looked at the Festool ETS EC brushless sanders, they said it was the closest in feel to a good set of air sanders they’d ever experienced. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the possibility of getting oil on your finished workpieces. It’s like stepping out of your F-150 and into a Mercedes—you can feel the difference immediately. There’s plenty of power, the ergonomics are outstanding, and they integrate beautifully into your existing Festool dust collection system. Thanks to the brushless motor, there are also no carbon brushes to replace.

Price: $385.00

For more information, click here.


  • Porter-Cable PXRA2676 Restorer

Winner – Circular Saws

Festool HK/HKC Carpentry SawFestool HK/HKC Carpentry Saw

What they said: Making exact and repeated cuts quickly and accurately anywhere without taking materials to a miter saw or sacrificing accuracy with a standard circular saw makes this the ultimate solution for all wood processing on the jobsite. Equally handy for all ripping tasks as well. Equipped for plunge-cutting for cut-outs with easy depth control and release. Integrated pendulum cover with riving knife automatically retracts when combined with FSK and FS rails with fast return to cover position. Use free-hand for all cut types.

Versatility: Cross-cutting with ease or ripping materials to size, HK saws are adept at all circular saw tasks while bringing a higher degree of efficiency, repeatability, accuracy, and quality of cut unlike any other circular saw before.

Repeatability: When used with FSK Guide Rails with integrated angle stops, making accurate, repeated cuts is not only easy it is also fast thanks to the integrated retraction feature.

What we say: Who would have thought you could add a track to a circular saw and still keep it light enough to tote around the jobsite? Apparently someone at Festool did. By selecting the angle you wish to cut and pivoting on the fixed point underneath the track, you can make miter saw quality cuts relatively easy using the HK Carpentry Saw. Once the cut is complete, the track will retract back to its original position leaving you the ability to make those repeatable cuts with a hand free for stability. There will still be some cuts you need a miter saw for, but they are becoming fewer. This new saw is available as a corded (HK) and cordless (HKC) model as well—that alone is pretty innovative.

Price: $560.00

For more information, click here.


  • Cuz-D Industries SFS85 Flush Cut Saw

Winner – Metal Cutting Circular Saws

SKILSAW Power Tools SPT78MMC-22SKILSAW SPT78MMC-22 8 Inch Worm Drive Saw for Metal

What they said: The SKILSAW 8-inch OUTLAW Worm Drive Saw for Metal is the first true Worm Drive specifically optimized to cut through metal. The Worm Drive design and left-side blade offers superior ergonomics and ease of use, and a best-in-class Dual-Field motor provides more power, precision and durability.

In addition to being the industry’s first metal cutting saw to feature a blade window for added visibility, jobsite pros will value OUTLAW’s largest available chip tray which holds 33% more material.

Other key features of the OUTLAW include a depth-of-cut stop which easily adjusts for materials of different sizes and shapes and on tool wrench storage for quick and convenient blade changes.

What we say: As Pro Tool Reviews resident furniture manufacturer and writer, Jon Bucklew, put it in his review: “Skilsaw definitely came out swinging with the Outlaw.” Worm drives are known for the additional torque they provide and, oh, can you tell the difference in metal cutting! The blade window is a nice touch for when cuts absolutely have to be accurate, and the larger vented chip tray leaves more time between trips to dump them. There aren’t a ton of good metal cutting circular saws on the market, and Skilsaw has created something special. 

Price: $319.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Miter Saws

Ridgid R4221 15 Amp 12" Corded Dual Bevel Sliding Miter SawRidgid R4221 15 Amp 12″ Corded Dual Bevel Sliding Miter Saw with 70 Degree Miter Capacity

What they said: RIDGID introduces the RIDGID 12 in. Dual Bevel Sliding Miter Saw which can handle any job that is thrown its way. This Miter Saw has an industry leading 0-70° miter range, both to to the left and to the right. It has a dual bevel design with crown molding stops so that you can move the saw head instead of the material. The LED cut line indication and work-light illuminates work to improve visibility and accuracy of the cut. Upon registration, this Miter Saw is backed by The RIDGID Lifetime Service Agreement. Free parts, free service, for life.

What we say: Ridgid has extended the miter saw’s range to 70 degrees with their new R4221 12-inch model. That’s certainly enough to catch anyone’s attention, but they’ve done more with it. If you take a look at the motor head’s placement, you’ll see that it’s offset at an angle that gets it farther out of the way. Ridgid has also abandoned the laser cut indicator for an LED shadow style—a feature that has quickly become a favorite at the shop. 

Price: $399.00

For more information, click here.

Winner – Job Site/Portable Table Saws

Bosch GTS1041A REAXX Jobsite Table SawBosch GTS1041A REAXX Jobsite Table Saw

What they said: Safety comes first on any construction jobsite, especially regarding a table saw where a momentary lack of focus could have permanent consequences. Bosch, a power tool industry technology leader, extends its heritage of award-winning table saw design with the introduction of the Bosch REAXX Jobsite Table Saw-the first saw with the company’s flesh-detecting Active Response Technology.

The Bosch Active Response Technology platform helps reduce the risk of injury to users by combining advanced Bosch sensors and electronics with mechanical injury-prevention systems. The Active Response Technology system on the REAXX table saw detects human flesh that comes in contact with the blade and rapidly drops the saw blade below the tabletop. This high-speed action helps reduce the potential of serious user injury.

What we say: Bosch enters the safety table saw sector as only the second portable jobsite model, and we’ve watched its development carefully ever since we got a early glimpse of the prototype. What Bosch does really well with the Reaxx flesh-detecting system is save your blade and make resetting the saw really fast. When the safety mechanism fires, a cartridge similar in function to Bosch airbag technology blasts the blade below the table surface where it remains undamaged. Resetting can be done in less than a minute, and each cartridge is good for two incidents. The Reaxx saw also comes with Bosch’s outstanding gravity-rise stand.

Price: $1,499.00

For more information, click here.