NOTE: This article is a work in progress. It will take us several weeks to filter through the 100's of products we found, many of which are not even into production at this time. Be sure to check back weekly for updates. This NOTE will be removed when we are finished posting everything.
Every year, the North American Retail Hardware Association puts on the National Hardware Show, a three day convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. It had been a few years since our last visit in 2014, so our broadcast team packed up the cameras, recording equipment and set out to see the lastest and greatest in consumer tools, products and gadgets. Below are the favorites of our findings.
Ames Tools - America's oldest tool manufacture.
And the 3rd oldest company in America. We became aware of Ames Tools when we were invited to a media party Tuesday night in their upstairs exhibit room. Attendees were given a tool of their choice to try out. Romey selected the MANURE FORK for their horse stalls. Jennifer picked the METAL WALL MOUNT HOSE REEL and Julia opted for the SIDEWALK SCRAPER. After we get a chance to break them in, we will follow up with a product review. If you have an Ames Tool, snap a few shots of the next project you do with your Ames Tool and you could qualify for their Epic Outdoor Contest.
Thursday morning, Romey caught up with Director of Marketing Operations Karen Richwine for an interview where we learned just how deep Ames history in building America goes.
"Our tools have been used in the construction of the Statue of Liberty. Projects like the Transcontinental Railway, the Hoover Damn as well as Mount Rushmore."
Karen proudly said. (full audio below)
Ames tool lines include:
Romey concluded the interview by stating
"Y'all are doing your part in building America, consumers can do their part in buying American. Ames.com"
Recorded Interview with Karen Richwine (running time 4:36)
Interview aired live May 13th, 2017. Hear the interview in programming from the archive by clicking here.
Briggs & Stratton - The world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment.
What's a hardware show without good old fashion American powered engines? But that was not our main focus when we stopped by Briggs & Stratton; the standard in American small engines. Ladies & Gentlemen, allow us to introduce you to the new Snapper XD 82V Max. It's a line of five common yard tools, chain saw, hedge trimmer, blower, mower and edge trimmer, powered by the interchangable 82 volt lithium ion battery. Romey had the chance to grab their Consumer Products specialists Try Blewett for an interview where he boasts,
"We are a provider of power and we did not want to be out powered!"
Recorded Interview with Troy Blewett (running time 2:57)
Interview aired live May 20th, 2017. Hear the interview in programming from the archive by clicking here.
The fun didn't stop there...we also spoke with Dan Roche about Briggs & Stratton's quiet gas generator and their electric pressure washer.
Recorded Interview with Dan Roche (running time 5:44)
Estwing - The Finest Steel Tools.
The first hammer Romey bought when he broke into the trades was an Estwing 22oz framing hammer which he still has and used to this day. We have always known Estwing for their quality, American Made hammers. What we didn't know was how many different trades they make hammers for we learned about in an interview with Marketing Director Stephanie Thrasher, including tools for first responders, military, woodsmen and archaeologists. Thrasher boasts
"We do have a niche with the Geological world and paleontologists. They prefer our rock picks because they are durable."
Recorded Interview with Stephanie Thrasher (running time 3:37)
Interview aired live May 27th, 2017. Hear the interview in programming from the archive by clicking here.
Jennifer and Julia's Favorite Finds!
While there were a lot of products at the Hardware Show, there were a few useful tools and fun gadgets/accessories that stood out the most:
- KOOLGATOR - A premium solution to keep people cool in the heat.
- Creative Outdoor Distributor - Folding/rolling tables, folding chairs/benches, and more.
- BakerStone Box - The Original Pizza Oven Box's patent pending design raises the temperature of outdoor grills to that of a real wood burning pizza oven.
- Orion Coolers - American Made Cooler.
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