10 Innovative Tools from Brands You Might Not Recognize

Cutting 45s

There’s a reason popular brands are so, well, popular. They’re often better quality, higher performing, more innovative, offer a better value, or a combination. But they all had to start somewhere, and some cool products are available from smaller brands that you might not have heard of before. I’ve pulled together 10 of our favorites in hopes you might find a gem or two that can help your next job run more efficiently.

1. CMT Orange Tools Zero Gravity Framing Blade

CMT Orange Tools Zero Gravity Framing Blade

CMT Orange Tools takes an innovative approach to circular saw blade design with their Zero Gravity framing blades (also available in a demo blade). Cutouts in the blade reduce heat buildup and lessen the overall mass of the blade, making them a perfect fit to improve the number of cuts per charge with your cordless circular saw. Of course, they’re also a great fit for corded saws, too.

We’ve been using these blades on our saws with excellent results, and they’re just $14.97 per blade.

2. Levrack Storage System

levrack storage system innovative tool

If you’re ready to take your shop storage to the ultimate level, you have to check out the Levrack system. Supported by a solid steel structural frame, heavy-duty shelf units slide on an overhead trolley system, holding an impressive weight load while moving easily to gain access. Thanks to the gliding shelves, you’re can store more gear in a smaller space compared to standalone shelf units. It’s also versatile, with the frame opening up the possibility of attaching items to the sides (we created a charger wall on ours) and overhead storage.

The best place to order yours is directly from Levrack. Prices range from $3,850 to$7,325 depending on what size you want.

3. YesWelder Welding Helmets

10 innovative tools

yeswelder welding helmets

YesWelder starts with the concept of an auto-darkening welding helmet and takes it to the next level in a few ways. First, they’re reasonably low weight, reducing fatigue and discomfort, especially as the temperatures rise. You’re welcome to go with the classic black if you like, but if you want to stand out, they have some outstanding graphic designs that look incredible!

Plus, they’re affordable. Prices run from $39.99 to $149.99 and most of our favorite designs are $99.99. Order on Amazon or direct from YesWelder.

4. StrapCap Caulk Plug

strapcap caulk plug 

10 innovative tools

Both Pros and DIYers know the challenge that comes with using caulk and sealants—you often don’t use the whole tube and have to deal with the leftovers. While there are various options, StrapCap got my attention with their Caulk Plug System.

The design covers and seals the tip while eliminating the need to use a nail or screw in the tip. From there, you flip a strap around to the back of the tube. You can even use it without removing the tub from your caulk gun.

This Made in the USA tool is available at Lowe’s for $5.98. We also found a 2-pack on Amazon for $11.99.

5. Volterrex LED Pro Lantern

Volterrex LED Pro Lantern

Volterrex is a brand we stumbled across at Lowe’s and they make some impressively powerful balloon lights. There’s also a 4000-lumen rechargeable lantern that has the potential to help you out on and off the job.

360°, 180°, spotlight, and warning light modes are built in, along with two ways to hang the light and tripod threads. At max brightness, expect 2.5 hours of runtime with the full 360° or 5 hours on the 180° setting. Using the lowest output settings, your runtime is 25 or 50 hours on those same modes.

Grab one for $239.99

6. Disston QuickCore Hole Saws

Disston QuickCore Hole Saws

Disston opened our eyes with their QuickCore hole saw system. Instead of the typical arbor with threads and pins, the QuickCore design uses three spring-loaded side-entry pins with a collet release to make the removal far easier than any other hole saw we’ve used.

Our only real complaint was that there were no carbide hole saws available for the system. That’s not the case anymore. Both bi-metal and carbide options are available. Pricing varies based on size and set configurations.

You can pick up the QuickCore on Amazon for about $90.

7. Tri-clone Trimmer Head

innovative trimmer tool

Tri-clone Trimmer Head

Plenty of replacement string trimmer heads are on the market, but the Tri-clone is different. Three swing blades utilize your trimmer’s centripetal force to extend an 11-inch cutting swath that can handle woody overgrown up to 3 inches in diameter. Not only does it eliminate the need for frustrating line changes, but it also has replaceable blades, so you never have to worry about sharpening them.

There are a few retailers available, and we were able to find the head and replacement blades most conveniently at Amazon and Lowe’s. The head runs $58.99 and the replacement blades are $29.99.

8. The Hole Troll

hole troll

Cut holes long enough, and you’ll eventually come across one that isn’t wide enough. Widening existing holes is a pain, but the Hole Troll can handle it. Simply center the recyclable polypropylene disc over the hole, nail it down, and the grooves guide your hole saw teeth into the cut. It’s that easy. It also works on new holes and also with hole saws that have broken or missing pilot bits.

6-packs are $19.99, so it’s easy on your wallet to keep a set around. Plus, the Hole Troll is a Made in the USA product. Find them on Amazon or direct from Hole Troll.

9. Crocodile Cloth Power Scrub Wipes

Crocodile Cloth Power Scrub Wipes

On the job, shop towels aren’t terribly effective on some messes and wet wipes are a joke. Crocodile Cloths combine the benefits of higher durability and a wet formula, and then take it up a notch to get your hands clean whenever and wherever you are. The wipes are big enough for the largest hands with a texture that gets into all those places grease and grime like to hide.

They’re not only good for your hands, but on tools and surfaces as well. Instead of smearing, Crocodile Cloths can wipe away grease and make your cleanup duties far easier. Plus, there are a wide range of varieties to match what you need to clean. I like to keep the Power Scrub Wipes around for everyday use.

Check them out at various retailers, including Amazon and Acme Tools. The Power Scrub Wipes run $23.99 for an 80-pack.

10. Skateplate Circular Saw Guide

Skateplate Circular Saw Guide

Using a fence to make serial cuts is par for the course. The problem is that, between your circular saw’s shoe friction and the friction of the fence, it’s not the smoothest process in the world. That’s where Skakeplate comes in. Its universal shoe has rollers that glide over your workpiece. The fence also includes rollers, making each cut smoother and faster than ever before.

There are multiple fence designs, including the Zilla with a range of 1/4-inch to 27 inches, giving you the capacity to cross-cut 4 × 8 sheet good in half.

These Made in the USA circular saw accessories are available at a variety of popular retailers. A starter set with the Skateplate and standard-size rolling fence is $79.95.

Related articles