plumbing electrical awards lg

When you’re dealing with pipes and wires for a living, you need tools specifically designed to deal with your trade. While other contractors put buildings up and seal them with doors, windows, and roofs, your work largely goes unseen and unnoticed – unless something goes wrong. And when if it does, the results can be catestophic. So having the right tool is essential. But from there, having the most innovative tools can make your job faster, better, or just make the tool last longer than others. Whatever the benefit, these are the Pro Tool Innovation Awards for the Plumbing and Electrical division.

Winner – Pipe Cutters

Milwaukee 3pc Close Quarters Tubing Cutter Set

Milwaukee 3pc Close Quarters Tubing Cutter SetWhat they said: 
When we launched our lineup of copper tubing cutters earlier this year, we focused on delivering solutions that have the very best durability and cut performance in the industry. Now we’re enhancing this line further by giving our users another option when they need to make cuts in the tightest spaces. So, whether they prefer the adjustability of our original Mini and Constant Swing Copper Tubing Cutters, or the even more compact nature of our new Close Quarters Tubing Cutters, we have a range of solutions that can accommodate the most common sizes of tubing our users encounter.

What we say: 

We like Milwaukee’s Constant Swing Copper Tubing Cutter and the Mini, but sometimes we’re still struggling in tight spaces. So now Milwaukee is giving us even an even more compact set of options to get the job done. You still get chrome rollers to keep the durability high and weep holes allow water to drain before it can do more damage. These are available in 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ sizes along with a 3-piece kit to cover the most common tubing sizes.

Price: $49.99

For more information, click here.

Winner – Cordless Drain Snake

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Drain Snake with CABLE-DRIVE Locking Feed System 2772A-21

What they said: 

When we first made our introduction into the drain cleaning industry with the M12 Drain Snake, we set out to identify and solve frequent frustrations plumbers and facility maintenance crews have had with other tools that have dominated the market in years past. The simple cordless setup of the M12 Drain Snake freed these users from wrestling with cords, searching for outlets, and gave peace of mind from not having to drag an electric cord across free-standing water – providing them with tremendous productivity to tackle more service calls. Building off the success of this M12 unit, we’re now setting the bar even higher with our revolutionary M18 FUEL technology to put even more power and control into the hands of users who encounter the toughest clogs.

What we say:

Moving from the M12 to the M18 platform on Milwaukee’s newest Drain Snake means there’s more power available – enough to clear 50 feet down the line. Additionally, the Cable Drive Locking Feed System helps by maintaining the feed speed, and the twist lock automatically adjusts to 1/4″, 5/16″, and 3/8″ cables. On the safety side of things, the drum is fully enclosed which also helps contain the mess.

Price: $475

For more information, click here.

Winner – Specialty Plumbing

Milwaukee M12 AIRSNAKE Drain Clearing Air Gun

What they said: 

One of the most time-consuming parts of the drain cleaning process is the preparation to start the job, which often includes the tedious step of disassembling the fixture to access the clog. The M12 AIRSNAKE gives users the ability to clear a clog without disassembling a trap or struggling through tight bends with a cable, providing a new level of productivity to drain cleaning professionals.

What we say:

The Milwaukee AirSnake is an ingenious solution for grease-based clogs. By shooting a controlled burst of air down a fully sealed drain, you pop the clog loose and let gravity do the rest. Calls that used to take an hour take just a few minutes since there’s no disassembly of the drain required. You can also dial in the pressure to ensure that you don’t damage more delicate piping and connections.

Price: $399

For more information, click here.


Winner – Cordless Press Tools

Milwaukee M18 Short Throw Press Tool Kit with PEX Crimp Jaws

Milwaukee Tool 2674-22CWhat they said: 

The residential space has largely turned toward PEX tubing due to its cost, speed of installation, and lack of corrosion versus copper. Today, in order to join many PEX fitting systems, users have pressed manually with large, cumbersome hand tools, or invested in hydraulic press tools designed to press metals. The lightweight, inline design of the new M18 Short Throw Press Tool enables the installer to press with just one hand. And, with a 3 second cycle time, and the ability to press 400 1” connections on a single charge, this new tool allows residential installers to do their job faster and easier than any solution they’ve had up until now-without paying for more force than is needed.

What we say: 

Most of the conversation surrounding PEX installation is about expanders to help you get onto your fittings properly. But PEX needs press fittings, too and Milwaukee has kitted their M18 Short Throw Press Tool with PEX Crimp Jaws for that very reason. Keeping the tool relatively lightweight and well-balanced along with a 3-second cycle time makes it easy to control the tubing with one hand and make the crimp with the other. It’s another time-saving solution from Milwaukee that will keep your crew more productive.

Price: $699

For more information, click here.

Winner – Electrical Pliers

Milwaukee 6-in-1 Combination Wire Plier 48-22-3079

Milwaukee Combination Wire PlierWhat they said: 

When we first launched the 6 in 1 combination pliers, it was a new-to-world design that completely eliminated the need for users to carry multiple tools in their belt. This tool delivered immense productivity to our users. After listening to these users, we’ve now fully redesigned this tool to make it even more efficient than the original. We expanded the wire stripping capacity, included an all-metal swing lock, designed a longer curved cutting blade, and improved the handle ergonomics

What we say:

Multi-tools are great for every electrician because they save space and weight in your tool bag. This isn’t Milwaukee’s first rodeo with the 6-in-1 Combination Plier. The improvements they made give you additional stripping capability and improve the ergonomics. They also have tether holes so they’re ready to go for working at height. For $25, this is a must-have for electricians.

Price: $24.99

For more information, click here.


Winner – Punch Tools

Milwaukee Punchdown Tool

What they said:Milwaukee Punchdown Tool

Punchdown tools are used to terminate Cat 5 and Cat 6 wires. Currently, users must carry a flashlight and navigate tight workspaces to complete this type of work. The Milwaukee Punchdown Tool features a patent-pending integrated LED light, as well as a long-reach punch down blade for precision and accuracy. Finally, an ergonomic grip improves user comfort.

What we say: 

Milwaukee’s new Punchdown Tool is one of those “now why didn’t I think of that first?” kind of tools. It’s all well and good when you can see what you’re doing with an overhead light. But plenty of punchdown jobs take place in low or no light by necessity. For those times, Milwaukee gives you a light on your punchdown tools so you don’t have to manage a flashlight in your mouth. They also give you a long reach blade and more comfortable grip to round things out.

Price: $79.99

For more information, click here.

Winner – Electrical Specialty

Southwire ESP-1 Professional DataComm Snips

Southwire ESP Professional Datacomm SnipsWhat they said: 

The ESP-1 Electrician Scissors are designed with a unique patented spring-loaded blade action. These snips provide very precise control, and the serrated blades grip wire as they cut for the best result. The ESP-1 has a double-dipped textured grip for comfort and serrated blades that grip wire as it cuts, reducing slippage of wire. The ESP-1 also features two wires stripping notches for 19 & 23 AWG wires.

What we say: 

Southwire goes after a combination of comfort and utility with their ESP-1 Professional DataComm Snips. On the comfort side, you get an ergonomically designed, double dipped grip against your palm. The spring loaded snips take advantage of serrated blades to keep the cutting action easy. You also get a pair of wire strippers to cover the most common DataComm wire sizes.

Price: $19.78

For more information, click here.

Winner – Handheld Wire Strippers

Southwire Solid & Stranded Wire Stripper

Southwire Solid & Stranded Wire StripperWhat they said: 

Specially designed stainless steel cutting blades provide fast and clean wire stripping. Stainless Steel construction is rust resistant and more durable than other carbon steel wire strippers. Features screw shearers for 8-32 & 6-32 screws and comfortable double dipped handles.

What we say:

Southwire jumps on the increased strength of stainless steel with their Solid & Stranded Wire Stripper. Carbon steel is weaker and leaves you with jaws that like to fold over on each other. At that point, you might as well throw the tool away. With stainless, you not only have the strength to resist folding jaws but also to effectively shear 8-32 and 6-32 screws. And if you really need another reason to try them out for yourself, the handles are double dipped for a thicker, more comfortable grip.

Price: $16.18

For more information, click here.

Winner – Handheld Wire Cutters

Southwire 9″ Hi-Leverage Cable Cutters w/ Dipped Handles

Southwire CCP9DE cable cuttersWhat they said:

The new CCP9DE 9″ High Leverage Cable Cutter features a unique handle design that allows for easy one handed cutting of large wires. A high leverage pivot and drop forged steel construction allow for ultimate durability. The CCP9DE has a cutting range of up to 2/0 Copper and 4/0 Aluminum cables.

What we say: 

We’d love to let cordless tools take care of all our cable cutting, but the reality is that sometimes we have to rely on hand tools. When that’s the case, longer handles offer higher leverage and easier cutting. That’s exactly what you find on Southwire’s 9″ Hi-Leverage Cable Cutters. The handle design is of particular interest since it allows you to get the cutters around the cable and make a one-handed cut easier than with other models. Drop forged steel ensure long life and dipped handles offer comfort for users.

Price: $26.08

For more information, click here.

Winner – Handheld Cable Strippers

Greenlee Textron Adjustable Cable Stripping Tool

Greenlee G2090What they said:

The multi-directional, self-guiding cutting blade provides both ring and spiral cuts, replacing the need to use blades when stripping cable. This intuitive blade design allows the user to maintain contact with the cable at all times and the lifting edge hook aids the cable jacket removal after scoring is complete. The ergonomic spring handle design reduces strain while loading cable.

What we say: 

Using a utility or folding knife to strip cable is a time-consuming task compounded by the fact that your blade gets dull quickly. Then you’ve got spend more time sharpening it before starting the cycle back over again. Greenlee’s Adjustable Cable Stripping Tool give your knife a break, removing the jacket more efficiently while you maintain constant control over the cable. So save your knife blade and turn to a tool that’s designed for the job.

Price: $110

For more information, click here.

Winner – Fish Rods/Tape

Eagle Tool US Lighted Bull Nose Tip

Eagle Tool Lighted Bull Nose TipWhat they said:

Our New fiberglass fish rod light uses a somewhat common “knock” light (used for illuminating arrows when hunting at night). This bright and long lasting LED-Lithium Battery assembly is turned on and off by means of simply pushing or pulling of the LED. The current fish rod lights on the market are turned on and off by means of twisting the lens and this causes the lights to turn off inside the wall unintentionally. Our LED is turned on and then the lens is screwed on so the light will not go out inside the wall. Competitors products also are 3/8″ in diameter or larger so they do not fit through smaller holes. Our product is .35″ in diameter and easily fits through a 3/8″ hole or larger.
Fits Eagle Tool US fish rods, 1/4″ Greenlee fish rods, 1/4″ Klein fish rods.

What we say: 

Eagle Tool US is a relatively small company up in Illinois that’s dedicated to manufacturing in the United States with US-based raw materials. And they just so happen to make some fine installers tools and accessories. One of their latest is the lighted bull nose tip for Eagle Tool US, Klein, and Greenlee 1/4″ fish rods. The push/pull power design ensures that the light doesn’t go off behind a wall and the slightly narrower build means you’ll make it through a 3/8″ hole with no problems.

Price: $14

For more information, click here.

Winner – Cordless Cable Strippers

DeWalt 20V Max XR Cordless Cable Stripper

DEWALT DCE151What they said:

The 20V MAX XR Cable Stripper provides speed and torque-controlled stripping of #6 AWG through 750 MCM Cu and900 MCM Al cable. A forward/reverse variable speed trigger and the E-Clutch system help the user maintain control of the tool if it binds up on the material. In addition, the cable stripper’s efficient XR brushless motor provides extended runtime.

Other features of the 20V MAX XR Cable Stripper include a depth gauge that consistently strips up to 4” of insulation off the cable. An on-board adjustable LED light helps to illuminate the work area in low light settings. DEWALT offers 24 total quick-release bushing ranging from 1/0 through 750 MCM Cu and 900 MCM Al. The kitted tool comes with a bushing kit box that provides 20 of the most commonly used quick-release bushings. By using the appropriate bushing, the cable stripper works on both THHN/XHHW copper and aluminum cable, covering a range in size from #6 AWG through 750 MCM Cu and 900 MCM Al.

What we say: 

Electricians use a host of different tools to cut the insulation from wire during an installation. You’ll see cable skinning knives and pocket knives along with other hand tools specifically designed for the job. DeWalt’s 20V Max XR Cable Stripper has major advantages over all of those. It’s a huge time saver with the ability to set the correct cutter for the wire diameter, set the depth, and strip. The brushless motor ensures you get plenty of runtime and don’t have to worry about replacing carbon brushes.

DeWalt sticks with their standard drill/impact driver housing, so you get the advantage of a familiar ergonomic handle and a belt clip.

Price: $399

For more information, click here.

Winner – Cordless Knockout Tool

Milwaukee M18 FORCE LOGIC 6T Knockout 1/2″ – 2″ Kit

Milwaukee M18 FORCE LOGIC 6T KnockoutWhat they said: 

When we introduced our Milwaukee Knockout System in 2014 we brought a fresh perspective to hole-making, essentially redefining the entire process to promote better ease of use and productivity. The 10-Ton tool gave a wide-range of commercial and industrial users the speed, hole quality and capacity they needed. But because that range was so wide, it became increasingly important to provide an optimized compact solution for the breadth of applications that service and MRO professionals deal with which require maneuverability. The addition of the 6-Ton solution, which is 40% lighter than our 10-Ton offering, will provide these users with a reliable tool that they can easily navigate within these tight spaces and deliver the capacity to punch up to 4” holes in 14 gauge mild steel.

What we say:

While you can use heavy-duty tools for light- and medium-duty applications, there are some cases where light, more compact tools are more desirable. That’s certainly the case with knockout tools. Milwaukee has responded by bringing their M18 Force Logic technology into a more compact 6T tool. This knockout tool shaves off the weight and still gives you up to 4” capacity. It will save your arms and cover the majority of knockout needs for MRO crews and residential electricians.

Price: $999

For more information, click here.


Winner – Cordless Wire Crimpers

Milwaukee M18 FORCE LOGIC 600 MCM Crimper

Milwaukee M18 FORCE LOGIC 600 MCM CrimperWhat they said: 

Today electricians are using large, clunky, front heavy crimpers to splice or terminate electrical connections. Accuracy of crimp alignment is a key component of crimp integrity. Current crimpers are challenging to align because they’re so front heavy, often requiring two people ensure proper crimp placement. Through a proprietary jaw design, the 600 MCM Crimper easily holds connectors for instant alignment, resulting in accurate and fast initial crimps. The inline design and easy open jaws improve accuracy and speed of subsequent crimps as they can easily open the jaws with just the press of a thumb, a superior process for a single user.

What we say:

While we couldn’t possibly spell out all of the innovative benefits of Milwaukee’s M18 Force Logic 600 MCM Crimper in this space, two things really stand out. First, compatibility with the One-Key system ensures accurate tracking of completed crimps and notification of scheduled maintenance. Second, there’s improvement in the crimping process itself. The hydraulic Predictive Force Monitoring system starts the crimp fast and then backs off to produce the exact amount of force needed. This results in both a fast and accurate user experience.

Price: $2600

For more information, click here.

Winner – Cordless Wire Cutters

Milwaukee M18 FORCE LOGIC 3” Underground Cable Cutter w/ Wireless Remote

Milwaukee M18 FORCE LOGIC Underground Cable Cutter Wireless RemoteWhat they said: 

Due to the potential for Arc Flash, Linemen cut any potentially live cable remotely. When the situation calls for these types of cuts, Linemen have had to use methods such as hydraulic pumps and hot sticks that still maintain a physical connection between the user and the cut zone. We’re proud to introduce the most technically advanced underground cutter, creating a safer cutting process for linemen.

What we say:

Linemen have families that want them to come home after the shift is over, so when the potential of arc flash exists, safety is paramount. Milwaukee’s M18 Force Logic Underground Cable Cutter with Wireless Remote allows them to set up the cut on up to 1500MCM Copper and move to a safe distance before the cutter penetrates to contact the metal cable. Thanks to One-Key technology, you’ll also get feedback on maintenance schedules and diagnostics while syncing data to the cloud.

Price: $3800

For more information, click here.


Winner – Cable Puller

Greenlee Textron G6 Turbo 6000 Lb Cable Puller

Greenlee Textron G6 Turbo 6000 Lb Cable PullerWhat they said: 

The G6, 6,000 lb. cable puller is a fastest and most efficient cable puller in its class, running 60% faster compared to competitive models. The built-in dolly makes for easy transport from jobsite to jobsite. In addition, the handles on the dolly and the boom allow operators to easily and ergonomically adjust for height, which eliminates the need for heavy lifting. The puller has no loose pieces which can allow quick changeover and no adapters needed, making it easy to clamp conduit in seconds. The easy setup can be completed in less than 60 seconds.

The G6 Turbo puller is equipped with features to reduce downtime and injuries. The 120-volt AC drive motor can pull 6,000 pounds of maximum force and 4,000 pounds continuously. Dual capstans on the G6 Turbo puller deliver faster pulling speeds across the entire load spectrum of the pull. Control boards monitor the current draw of the G6 Turbo puller motor and protect it from over loading the puller. A footswitch safely controls motor power without the operator placing themselves in front of the rope. A gearbox feature prevents rope and cable tension from pulling back into the conduit when the operator stops pulling. The right-angle sheave allows the operator to stand out of the direct line of force, maximizing safety.

What we say: 

Cable pulling is no joke, and it takes a lot of pull force to get it done. What Greenlee gets about this task is that it’s not so labor-intensive on the user as it is on the tool. But they still looked at both aspects to make a more efficient machine. For the user, setup and takedown are done is less than a minute. On the tools side of things, the G6 pulls faster and doesn’t have the loose pieces to lose. The combination makes your crew more efficient and profitable.

Price: $7,857.15

For more information, click here.