Editor's note: There is never a shortage of new tools or test instruments developed by those in the sheet metal and hvac industries. It seems as if almost every day, there is a new or improved product being released. Undoubtedly employees at these companies have spend many hours and a lot of money refining or inventing these items, all hoping that workers will indeed find them more useful than whatever they were using before.

Here are just a few of the many new tools and test instruments that have crossed the desk in recent months.

Tape measure

Sheet metal tool manufacturer Klenk Industries Inc. says its new Magnetic-tip Tape Measure simplifies the task of measuring lengthy ducts and other objects that are difficult to reach. The 25-ft. tape's large, magnetic end-hook readily adheres to metal surfaces. Measurements are printed on the blade in 1/8-inch fractions, for fast, accurate readings. Numbers and markings are protected from wear by the durable, acrylic-coated blade. The blade is stored in a high-impact, ergonomic case designed for a comfortable grip. Klenk's new Magnetic-tip Tape Measure is available through distributors.

For a free catalog or the location of the nearest distributor, contact Klenk Industries Inc., 1016 Ninth Street S.W., Canton, Ohio 44707, call (800) 327-5619; ww.klenktools.com.

Duct beader

Empire Machinery and Tools Ltd.'s "General" duct beaders now offer adjustable bead rolls along the length of the shaft, on both the 16 ga. and 2O ga. models. Company officials say it allows accurate beading of shorter lengths of duct. Upper and lower rolls are powered to pull the material through effortlessly, officials add. A driven support/exit roll eliminates the problem of exiting material "hang up." Stainless steel guide bars ensure long life when beading plasma cut fittings. Shaft bearings are used for longer life as compared to bronze bushings. The unit also features a central lubrication point for all bearings and moving parts. Beading duct eliminates cross-braking, stiffening ductwork in seconds.

Rick McLean, Empire sales manager, say costs are reduced, quality is improved and the beader provides faster production and installation times. Made in Canada, General duct beaders are heavy-duty machines with a 3/4-horsepower motor on the 20 ga. model and 1.5-horsepower on the 16 ga. General duct beaders use a gear box with a ratio of 25 to 1 as compared to direct-drive systems. The gear box eliminates the problem of motor stalls and material jamming. Made with a welded steel tubular frame, the 16-ga. unit weighs 1,750 lbs. and the 20-ga. model weighs 1,250 lbs.

For more information, including a fee video and catalog, write Empire Machinery and Tools Ltd., 47 Airport Road, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0V5, Canada, or call (800) 665-8089; fax (204) 779-7796; www.empire-machinery.com.

Sheet-metal shear

Shook Manufactured Products Inc. says its "Jiffy Tuff" swivel-head sheet metal shear features 120-volt, four-amp double-insulated power with a variable speed switch. It also includes an 8-ft. cord, high-speed steel cutting blades, and more. Company officials say it cuts 16-ga. sheet metal and 18-ga. stainless steel and 150 in. per minute. The unit's all-aluminum cutting head swivels a full 360?.

For information, contact Shook Manufactured Products Inc.; (800) 354-9792.

Bending brake

Van Mark Products recently announced the newest accessory for their line of portable bending brakes. The TrimCutter cuts light-to-heavy gauge materials right on the brake, leaving clean factory edges every time. It uses a four-point track-bearing system, which prevents the tool from riding off the brake during cuts, a common problem in the industry.

Van Mark Products; (800) Van-Mark; www.van-mark.com.

Air hammer

The makers of the "Big Bully" Pittsburgh Lock Seam Straight Grip No. 261 say it can cut your finishing time up to 80%. It can be used to fold over or seam metal up to 22 ga. and lighter on general fabricating, run Pittsburgh Lock Seams on ductwork, tubes, doors, panels and more. Operators require no special training or skill, officials say. The finished seam is neater and more uniform than seams hammered by hand. Fabricating plants using the adapters claim that one operator's production equals that of eight hand-hammering workers.

Superior Pneumatic & Manufacturing Co., P.O. Box 40420, Cleveland, OH 44140; (800) 521-2282; fax (440) 871-5127; www.superiorpneumatic.com.

Tool, fastener guide

Contacted to provide information about their newest tools, Dynamic Fastener Inc. officials said they couldn't pick just one. Instead, they mentioned the company's recently released new tool and fastener "hand" guide. According to company officials, it provides answers to problems common and uncommon to sheet metal workers. The 116-page, full-color guide includes applications, engineering data, and details on fastener sizes, materials and availability. Also featured in the guide is information on flashings, sealants, tapes, safety equipment and more. Price information is also included.

Dynamic Fastener; (800) 821-5448; www.dynamicfastener.com.

Tool bags

Klein Tools has introduced a new line of rugged canvas bags with internal pockets. For models are available, ranging in size from 16- to 18-in. with a leather or Naugahyde bottom that extends 3 in. up the sides. The 16-in. bag has eight interior pockets and the 18-in. bag has 10 pockets. Both bags are 14-in. deep and 6-in. wide, large enough to carry tools, small parts and accessories, according to company officials. Leather-bottom bags offer an additional exterior pocket for extra storage. All bags have a wide-mouth steel frame for easy tool access.

The bags are made of No. 8 canvas. Handles on the leather model were tested to 900 lbs.

Klein Tools, 7200 McCormick Blvd., P.O. Box 599033, Chicago, IL 60659-9033; call (800) 553-4676; fax (847) 745-4612; www.kleintools.com.

Catalog

Tinners Tools Inc. offers a 58-page catalog of tools for the hvac and sheet metal industries. Arranged by subject, the catalog has tools for layout, fiberglass duct fabrication, fastening, metal forming and more. All product listings include color pictures and price information. Many include a list of features. Tools shown include tin snips, notchers, punches, bending machinery and more.

Tinners Tools Inc.; (866) 846-6371; fax (866) 846-6372.