Editor's Notes: 'These Tools Make or Break The Day!'

Editor’s Notes: ‘These Tools Make or Break The Day!’

Celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Top 5 Tools awards.

Many magazines have countdowns, best-of lists and various other awards. Many of these awards are judged by a panel of editors and/or specialists. TechShop’s offering in this category is our Top 5 Tools award, and our specialists are you — the people using the tools and equipment every day.

Throughout the year, you — our readers — submit to us what tools and pieces of equipment help you do your job more efficiently and productively. At the end of the year, we tally these submissions and award the companies that are mentioned most with our Top 5 Tool award. This is truly an award judged by our readers.

This year’s winners are:

Cornwell Tools
Electronic Specialties
Induction Innovations
Ingersoll Rand
Mac Tools
Matco Hand Tools
Mitchell 1
Power Probe
Redline Detection
SK Hand Tools

Since its inception, the following companies have won this recognition each year: ALLDATA, Ingersoll Rand, Mac Tools, Matco Tools, Power Probe, Snap-on Tools and SPX Corporation.

“This is quite a testament to the quality of tools these companies manufacture/sell,” says Publisher Jeff Stankard. “Technicians continue to choose these brands for their innovative products and dependable service that help them do their jobs better and faster.”

First-time winners include Autologic, Electronic Specialties, Induction Innovations and PicoScope.

Other stand-outs throughout the years have been: Makita, Mitchell 1, Bosch (Vetronix), GearWrench, Hunter and Streamlight.

We receive your entries online, by e-mail and from the postage-paid card in the magazine (attached to the reader service cards). While we receive a variety of responses, some comments are more descriptive than others. We love to hear when you’re as passionate about tools as we are.

Whether the tool is “A must for electrical repairs!” or your feelings for it tend toward the devout: “The guy who came up with the concept should be canonized,” I especially like the entries where a reader describes a new way to use a tool, further helping other technicians. For instance, Scott Palm, owner of Palm’s Town Pump in Hoyt Lakes, MN, recently described how he uses his scan tool and his Droid phone together — “I use these tools for all parts of my business, both are integrated with shop management and allow me to do everything from diagnostics, to estimating, to parts ordering through websites for my local parts stores. I can e-mail or text the customer about the job, take pictures with my phone and send them to parts depots for proper identification. I can keep up with the latest industry news and check on known problems through iATN while having a Bluetooth device hooked up to a car outside waiting for a certain condition to happen on my phone!”

Some shop owners honor their technicians or their favorite mobile tool rep with a shout-out. Some count their information systems among their Top 5 Tools.

What better way to let fellow technicians know what helps and what is indispensable? So many online forum questions begin with “I’m looking to purchase (XX tool), what do you think about it?” Here’s your chance to share your opinions.
Your entries also help tell nominated companies what they’re doing right. Reward them for it with your entry. We’ll reward them with a customized plaque.

So we’re counting on you to nominate the Top 5 Favorite Tool companies for 2011. 

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