Find Local Retailer

Enter your:




[ Back To Main ]

Tempting Tools in the Big Apple

Tempting Tools in the Big Apple
By Rob Johnstone

For you, my dear readers, I have braved the streets of Gotham. Unlike Batman, however, I didn't have to hang out in a cave to see cool tools. Instead, I sallied forth to New York City's Hotel Intercontinental for the Porter-Cable and Delta new product introduction luncheon. This summer's series of tool tours may be taking a toll on your intrepid reporter — I think I ate too much swordfish, for one thing —but I'm enough of a tool geek that sneak peeks at new offerings is compensation enough for me. (I didn't even make them turn on the sky beacon to invite me!)

The Scoop
Porter-Cable and Delta Tools President Jack Garlock started off the luncheon with a review of the year gone by, specifically addressing the challenges in moving the Delta Tools division from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, down to Jackson, Tennessee. While he didn't soft-soap the problems, Garlock revealed that both PC and Delta are on track to hit their business plan of around $900 million. He also reported that, with the purchase of DeVilbiss, the Pentair Tool and Equipment Group has become the second largest tool manufacturer (behind Black & Decker/DeWalt) in their category .

The Right Stuff
The really good part — the tool presentation — started off with a look at the new line of air compressors and generators Porter-Cable will bring out in the coming year. As usual, the P-C focus was on the high-end amateur and professional market. I did get the impression, however, that the company would be marketing these tools more strongly to consumers (us "regular joes") than it has in the past. Out of the whole line, the compressor that caught my eye was the CPF23400S. It was easy for me to see how well the dashboard controls and dual hose hook-up would fit into my woodshop.

Porter-Cable's most interesting woodworking tool was the hand-held oscillating spindle sander. I had an opportunity to see this unique new tool earlier this summer, and the longer I thought about, the more impressed I got. Look for a print review in the Woodworker's Journal later this year, after I've had more time to run it through some paces in my shop. Of course, new tool concepts are always tricky — only time will tell how this new offering will do on the market.

By comparison, Delta had what I would call a modest selection (in terms of numbers) of new products at the luncheon. Scott Box, Delta's new product guru, assured me that bigger things are coming at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, Georgia, this August. At the New York demonstration, the model 31-250 drum sander was clearly Delta's most impressive tool. It has already sparked considerable interest in the consumer market — so much so that Delta actually started a second production line to meet sales demands. As for the rest of the New York offerings, Delta's downdraft sanding table which doubles as an ambient air filter also caught my eye.

The Future
As I winged my way home to the center of the continent, my thoughts turned to woodworking tools, tool shows and the immediate future. The summer tool show season is now building up steam, and I'll be plunging into all of the upcoming shows. Most imminent are the National Hardware Show in Chicago, Illinois, August 13 through 16 and the aforementioned International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, August 23 through 27. From the Windy City to the heart of Dixie, the Woodworker's Journal eZine will be there, delivering woodworking tool updates straight to you as fast as we get them.

(c) 2002, Woodworkers Journal. All Rights Reserved.