Sometimes the little things make more of a difference in the shop that big huge machines. This month we’ll take a look at three innovative new products from Stanley that aren’t big-ticket items, but they stand to pay back lots of dividends in increased productivity.

2x4 Clamp

It’s a woodworking truism that you can never have enough clamps. A corollary to that is that you always seem to need a longer clamp. Stanley’s new 2x4 Clamp helps solve that problem with a bar clamp system that uses common 2x4 lumber as the bar.

There are two clamping units that themselves clamp to any 2x4. You put the one with the clamping screw on one end and slide the other one to where you need it on the board. For really strong clamping needs you can further secure the clamping units with screws. Both units have removable non-mar pads, and brackets are designed to let you stand up the clamp off the work table. The clamp develops 860 pounds of clamping force.

FatMax PowerClaw

Just as you never seem to have enough clamps, you never seem to have enough electrical outlets. And power strips often aren’t conveniently or safely located. Stanley tries to solve those problems with the FatMax PowerClaw. It’s a three-outlet power strip that has spring-loaded jaws to grab onto things to get the power strip up and out of the way. You could hang it on a ladder or temporarily to a table or workbench. Simple, clever, and useful.

LeverLock Tape Measure

There have been plenty of improvements in tape measures over the last few years, many of them cosmetic, but quite a few actually significant. Stanley’s new LeverLock Tape Measure’s most prominent feature is the LeverLock system that automatically holds the tape out when you pull it out. No need to manually lock the tape or hold it with an extended finger, just pull and it locks. You press the lever lock to free the 25-foot tape to retract. This seems to save time and frustration in daily use.

Another great feature of the unit is a write-on surface on the side of the tape. Write your measurements there with a pencil and just wipe it off when you’re done. No having to look for paper or a scrap of wood to write on, and the measurements are handy right there on the tape.

None of these products are likely to revolutionize your operation, but they all could eliminate a few headaches and speed things along. That’s well worth it. For more information, visit www.stanleytools.com.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.