Remodeler: Dave Seegers

Company: Hudson Valley Preservation, Sherman, Conn.

Product: DeWalt Small Angle Grinder,

Daily Grinder

Dave Seegers started out in the business of historic preservation and did a lot of work with posts and beams. He found his DeWalt Small Angle Grinder to be a valuable addition to his toolbox then for mortise-and-tenon work. Now that he does mostly remodeling work, he has found even more uses for it. "It solves a multitude of problems with one tool," Seegers says. "I can get a lot of tricky things done with it."

Courtesy DeWalt

Seegers says his tool has proved durable in all kinds of situations. "I've had this for 12 years, and I've put a beating on it." He uses his small angle grinder to do stone and tile work and for fitting pieces of wood together. "It's a great shaping tool to remove stock quickly. You can get it into tight spaces," he says. "I can make difficult cuts with it, saving time and money." DeWalt offers several models of small angle grinders with 10,000- or 11,000-rpm motors, all of which accept 4 1/2-inch wheels.

Remodeler: Ben Yanker

Company: Buffalo Restoration, Bozeman, Mont.

Product: Nikro Industries' Insulation Removal Vacs,

Check Out this Sucker

Working in the restoration business, remodeler and disaster restoration contractor Ben Yanker has to move fast when cleaning up his clients' fire- or water-damaged homes. Instead of subbing out insulation removal, he invested in an Insulation Removal Vac from Nikro Industries. His purchase offers him greater control over scheduling and the overall scope of the restoration work, he says.

Courtesy Nikro

The Insulation Removal Vac offers greater efficiency over using a regular shop vacuum or removing damaged material by hand or shovel, which can damage home wiring. "The greatest thing is ... it helps save money and reduce cleaning," Yanker says.

The vacuums can be fitted with disposable collection bags or discharged directly to a Dumpster.

Remodeler: Randy Ricciotti

Company: Custom Design & Construction, Los Angeles

Product: Simpson Strong-Tie's Strong-Wall Shearwall.

Shear Force

Like all remodelers in California, Randy Ricciotti has to work within the state's stringent seismic requirements for continuous shearwall panels. "Typically, you can't have a window or door opening within 4 feet of a corner," Ricciotti says, which limits the ability to use large window and door openings. But since he started using Simpson Strong-Tie's Strong-Wall Shearwall, a prefabricated wood shearwall, Ricciotti has been able to place doors and windows within 24 inches of corners and still meet the state's seismic requirements.

Courtesy Simpson

Three wall types are available: a standard wall, a raised floor wall for first and second floors, and a garage portal wall.

For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog.