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Dremel adds cutting and sanding accessories

BY HBSDealer Staff

Dremel has expanded its offerings with the addition of the 506CU and EZ506CU Premium Metal Cutting Wheels and the MM730 and MM910 Multi-Max sanding accessories, which add greater versatility to Dremel’s existing tool systems.

"High quality accessories like these with an extended life help consumers keep costs down and can even eliminate multiple trips to the hardware store," said Ed Pchola, product director for Dremel. "From sanding furniture to cutting stainless steel, the 506CU, EZ506CU, MM730 and MM910 can assist users with a number of household applications."

The 506CU and the EZ506CU cutting wheels feature a super abrasive cubic boron nitride (CBN) grit for added durability — the cutting wheels last 20 times longer than current metal cutting solutions.

Meanwhile, the MM730 Contour Sander accessory is Dremel’s first foray into oscillating contour sanding accessories. It has five contour shapes to fit a variety of projects.

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Emtek unveils Bluetooth-enabled door lock

BY HBSDealer Staff

Emtek has answered the call for a luxury Bluetooth-enabled door lock with the introduction of the LISCIO Keypad Leversey with Bluetooth Programming.

The lever features unobtrusive buttons that can be programmed from a free Emtek smart phone app, which can manage up to 20 user codes per lock.

"Noticing a gap in the marketplace for a Bluetooth-enabled deadbolt that adds security and beauty unmatched by others, Emtek is excited to introduce the Liscio Leverset," said company president Greg Gainer. "Extending our door hardware line to the digital space with a unique design was a natural next step, and we look forward to expanding further into that space."

"We’ve designed the Liscio to be easily installed; the only tool needed is a screw driver," says Emtek creative director William Zhang. "There are only a few steps between placing the lock on your door and programming it from your smart phone."

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Outlook: Choppy, volatile and pretty good

BY Ken Clark

Chicago — October is the most exciting month for Wall Street, and that’s often not a good thing.

Josh Rosenbaum, managing director of RBC Capital Markets, has led Wall Street-focused presentations several times during the month of October in years past — including scary months from the depths of the housing and financial crises.

This time, delivering a speech to the Home Improvement Research Institute on the day after a sudden drop in the stock market against the backdrop of an Ebola scare and global uncertainty, Rosenbaum gave a dose of reassurance to industry researchers. 

In comments that effectively summed up several pages of detailed charts and graphs, Rosenbaum said:  "This economy is OK. But when you look around the globe, it’s actually pretty good in comparison."

Rosenbaum’s first chart put the stock market in a six-year perspective. The S&P 500 index stood at 677 in March 2009; 1,698 in September 2013 and 1,966 in September 2014.

The same chart showed steady improvement in the unemployment rate, which dipped below 6.0% in October.

"The unemployment rate has been a good story," he said. "These numbers can be distorted as people drop out of the workforce. It’s not exactly fireworks and champagne situation, but at least you can see it’s getting better." 

The story of GDP growth is even better: from negative 6.1% in March 2009 to positive 4.6% in September. One concern circulating among investors, he said, is the prospect of rising interest rates. However, the 10-year treasury rate is 2.57%, lower than a year ago. But even here, the industry can’t lose. "If things get bad, the fed will keep interest rates low," Rosenbaum said. "If things get better, interest rates will go up, but the overall economy will be improved."

Consumer confidence has shown marked improvement. "Generally the consumer is feeling better. Oil and gas prices have gone down dramatically. That’s a good thing for the consumer and more discretional income for home improvement." 

In the realm of the closely watched stat of housing starts, Rosenbaum pointed to slow growth along with pent-up demand.

The consensus for 2014 is to finish the year at just under 1 million total starts, weighed down by the difficulty of the first-time home buyer to secure a mortgage.

It’s difficult to predict residential construction trends, he said, but given the historical average dating back to 1959 of 1.5 million annual starts, "there is a significantly greater chance on the upside."

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