Kari Moosmann
Kari Moosmann

When I walk into a Starbucks, I find I have a lot of decisions to make. What do I order? I can't just walk up and order “coffee.” I have to supply them with the exact specifications for the type of coffee I need. Is this a tall or a grande day? What flavor do I want? Do I need chocolate today—my Caffe Mocha or White Chocolate Mocha—or perhaps a more stylish drink, such as the Caramel Macchiato or the Cinnamon Dolce Latte?

Sometimes the names—the specifications—seem like a secret language. And then there are all the options. Starting with the milk—there's nonfat, 2 percent, organic, or soy. Then you can add flavored syrup if you so desire. The choices can seem endless, but I find when I know what I what and give them my exact requirements, I walk away a happy customer. Then the product does the job.

It's the same way when choosing a tool. You shouldn't buy any tool without knowing what you want the tool to do and how you want the tool to perform. Under what conditions will you be working? Inside or outside? In a remote area? Do you need a corded or cordless tool? Battery-powered, hydraulic, pneumatic, or gas? How do you know what you need for your job? When it comes to cordless tools, it has been more of a marketing game when choosing the best tool for your job. There is not a lot of comparison information or standards to go by. Sometimes your own experience and the advice of a sales representative is all you have to go on.

This month, we've tried to take it a step further for you with a special section called Tools for the Concrete Pro. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to help you choose the tools you require and help you use them correctly and safely. In this edition of Tools for the Concrete Pro, we have featured cordless tools, saw safety, and handheld breakers. The cordless tool and handheld breaker sections will guide you through what is available and the factors to consider when making your selection. We hope you read through this information before you make your next purchase. The saw safety article is a “must read” for anyone and everyone who works with concrete saws. Even if you have been working with saws for years, this article is a good refresher in the safety issues that must not be forgotten.

We want to continue to help you determine what makes a good tool and how to find the right tool for the right job. Every contractor has tools all around his jobsite and we believe that we can help you sort through the array of what you have and what you need. If you have specific tools you would like to see covered or specific issues about tools that you would like more information on, please e-mail me at kmoosmann@hanleywood.com. We will try to cover your tool concerns in a future edition of Tools for the Concrete Pro.

Kari Moosmann
Managing Editor