Home channel holiday gift guide
In addition to alerting the industry to trends in new products, this holiday edition of the New Product Showcase can be seen as a gift guide for the beginner or serious DIYer. From stocking stuffers to show stoppers, or from impulse items to big tickets, here’s our holiday sampler. It’s the thought that counts.
Toro Z Master and GrandStand
For: The “green” motor head
What: Toro Z Master Professional 5000/6000 Series and GrandStand EFI mowers use the latest in fuel management technology, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Owners can save up to 25% on fuel costs, according to the company. The mowers feature a Kohler engine with a closed-loop electronic fuel injection system (EFI), which allows the engine to automatically adapt to load, weather, fuel and altitude changes. The engine continuously runs at optimal levels, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. A system of engine sensors monitors the engine while running, and indicator lights provide early warning of any potential issues.
Bosch GOP 300 SCE Professional
For: The repairman
What: The GOP 300 SCE Professional is useful for all kinds of adjustment, trimming and repair jobs. Its accessories can be fitted without auxiliary equipment, such as fixing pins or screws. The user releases the tension lock, inserts the accessory and closes the tension lock. The multi-cutter, which has a 12-point toolholder, sits comfortably in the user’s hand due to its slim grip circumference. The Constant Electronic ensures a constant oscillation rate under load, and the speed preselection enables the tool to be adjusted to suit different accessories and work materials. It comes with the L-Boxx, including eight accessories for sawing and sanding and 40 sheets of sanding paper with different grits.
Empire Level Power Tapes
For: The tool enthusiast
What: Empire Level’s new line of Power Tapes was designed with new features to improve visibility, durability and productivity. All of the tapes have a non-glare nylon blade and large print scale to make them easier to read. In addition, they feature 8-ft. blade standouts, and the blades are nylon-coated for a smooth return. The 7500 Rubber Boot series of Power Tapes conforms to the hand for easy control and features double-sided metal hooks with a reinforced metal bottom and four rivets for durability. The chrome 600 series Power Tapes are textured for a better grip.
MidWest Invisible Gripper Ladies Garden Glove
For: The female gardener
What: MidWest Gloves & Gear’s “Invisible Gripper” Ladies Garden Glove features a clear gripping surface that doesn’t cover or hide the floral pattern. The gripping surface is a clear nitrile coating on the palm and fingertips, and the white knit polyester glove offers comfort and form fits to the hand. A knit wrist keeps the dirt out.
For: The eco-minded
What: ThinkEco offers the modlet — or modern outlet — which is designed to save money and time. The modlet automatically cuts power to plugged-in electronics based on personalized schedules. Through the Web-based software, consumers can track savings and adjust schedules to control their electricity use. The software can also be used to control electronic devices wirelessly, from any browser or through a mobile device.
KitchenAid Preserva Food Care System
For: The host
What: KitchenAid’s Preserva Food Care System optimizes freshness with various features. A sequential dual evaporator system runs the refrigerator and freezer compartments independently, ensuring precise, consistent temperature and humidity management. Second, the system’s FreshFlow Produce Preserver absorbs the ethylene gas naturally produced by some fruits and vegetables to delay over-ripening by up to 25%. And third, an advanced air filter with 15 times more odor-reducing power than baking soda circulates and freshens air inside the refrigerator. It is available in four side-by-side configurations, and in French door models beginning early in 2012.
Gardex Leaf Scoops
For: The suburban homeowner
What: Raking leaves is easy. Getting them off the ground and into the bag is the hard part. Gardex Leaf Scoops are plastic discs that the user wears on his or her hands like cymbals. The “teeth” of each scoop effectively grab large piles, allowing for fast and easy transfer of leaves into trash bags.
Rockler Magnetic Cord Keeper
For: The power tool operator
What: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware’s Magnetic Cord Keeper keeps unplugged power tool cords off the ground and out of the way, using an Earth magnetic clip. Useful for any power tool, the Magnetic Cord Keeper secures loose cords and cord endings to any ferrous metal object. In addition, it helps avoid tripping and keeps the cord ending free of floor debris, preventing electrical hazards. It measures 1-1/2 in. in diameter and is 7/8 in. thick, with a 5/16-in. opening that holds a standard-thickness power cord. The magnet’s notched opening can also hold pens, pencils or drill chucks.
Wiss introduces Auto-Retracting Utility Knife
Wiss, a Sparks, Md.-based Apex Tool Group brand, has unveiled its Auto-Retracting Utility Knife, which automatically retracts its blade once it loses contact with the material being cut. This safety feature works even if the blade slider is in the open position.
“The new Auto-Retracting Utility Knife is a breakthrough solution to improve safety throughout the workplace,” said Chris Lance, product manager for Wiss, in a press release. “Unlike standard knives, the new Wiss knife reduces the likelihood of injury and makes every cutting job safer.”
Blade changes are quick and easy, and the tool accepts all standard utility knife blades.
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A thermostat for the iPod generation
An article in the New York Times points to a radical new design of an everyday home item: the programmable thermostat.
In an article titled: "A thermostat that’s clever, not clunky," the Nest Learning Thermostat gets a positive review. The product is designed by Tony Fadell, who helped design the Apple iPod.
The programmable thermostat category presents opportunities for improvement, according to Nest, in terms of functionality, style and ease of use.
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