Not having the necessary tools can be a contractor’s undoing. Each year, as technicians add new tools to their box, many not only consider durability and cost, but are also looking for something to make their job easier. Making the job easier was a prevailing theme ofThe NEWS’ ninth annual Dealer Design Awards’ Tools category winners. Supreme Industries rolled out a new tape roll device called The TapeMaster.

This gold award winner separated itself from the competition with its ability to separate the paper backing from adhesive tapes while simultaneously creating an independent roll of the unused backing.

The silver winner from General Tools & Instruments helps contractors find hidden hot and cold spots. The company’s 8:1 Energy Audit IR Thermometer Scanner is equipped with Star Burst laser targeting to further enhance the tool’s capabilities. Victaulic’s Vic-Press rounded out the category, garnering a bronze award. This tool makes joining specific piping systems simple and fast.

Gold Winner

The TapeMaster from Supreme Industries took home the gold award in the tools category with its ability to make contractors’ jobs easier by taking away the need to separate the paper backing from adhesive tapes, according to the company. The primary function of the TapeMaster is to separate and roll up HVAC tape adhesive backing onto an independent roll. Its primary users include HVAC installers of flex duct, duct board, and spiral pipe. After loading the tape into the TapeMaster, the gun takes over for the contractor. Once the secondary take-up roll is full, the user simply removes it from the TapeMaster, reinserts it, and continues with the job.

“There is no other tape gun on the market that is this simple, cost effective or easy to use,” said the company.

One contractor judge agreed, noting, “It’s like wrapping a package. What a good idea.”

The TapeMaster was designed to look like a standard tape gun, but with the patented secondary take-up roller, it separates itself from the crowd.

Silver Winner

The 8:1 Energy Audit IR Thermometer/Scanner with Star Burst laser targeting (IRTC50) from General Tools & Instruments® provides the user with a way to determine hidden hot and cold spots from a distance. This handheld unit allows the user to designate a set point and determine, with its tri-colored light system and audible alarm, whether subsequent readings are within or outside selectable ranges from that setpoint. Its Star Burst laser targeting system also enables the user to approximate the size of the measured spot, resulting in a quick and accurate temperature measurement. The unit has a response time of 0.5 seconds and repeatability of ±1.5˚F (1˚C).

There is an automatic temperature hold when the trigger of the instrument is released. The unit has an auto power-off feature that activates after 60 seconds of inactivity. General’s IR Thermometer/Scanner has a rugged, ergonomic design and features a large backlit LCD display powered by a single 9-V battery. The IR Thermometer/Scanner comes with one 9-V battery, a user’s manual, and a limited warranty.

Bronze Winner

“This looks like it is easy to use and durable,” pointed out one contractor judge about the Vic-Press PFT510. According to the company it is an industrial-grade solution for joining off-the-shelf Schedule 10S stainless steel pipe (Type 304/304L and Type 316/316L). Vic-Press joins piping systems from ½ to 2 inches in a matter of seconds. The pipe is cut to size and deburred, marked for visual verification, and inserted into a lubricated coupling, fitting, or valve. The Victaulic PFT510 handheld pressing tool is used to press the component onto the pipe-end, providing a positive mechanical interlock and creating a rigid, permanent, leak-tight joint. Patent-pending press detection technology enables the installer to identify any unpressed joints as the system is filled. The tool meets ASME B31.1, 31.3, and 31.9 support requirements and with pressure tolerances up to 500 psi (3450 kPa). It exceeds ANSI class 150 standards.

It has wet and dry industrial and commercial piping applications. No flame or arc is required.

Sidebar: 2012 Honorees — Tools

Gold Winner

Manufacturer: Supreme Industries
Product: The TapeMaster

Silver Winner

Manufacturer: General Tools & Instruments
Product: 8:1 Energy Audit IR Thermometer/Scanner with Star Burst Laser Targeting

Bronze Winner

Manufacturer: Victaulic
Product: Vic-Press PFT510

Honorable Mention

Manufacturer: Fluke Corp.
Product: Fluke TiR125 Thermal Imager

Publication date: 7/9/2012