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My Most Useful Tool

Workers on the job site weigh in on the tools they find most useful

Palmer 1

Workers on the job site often find the most useful tools in unusual ways Strap on a tool belt, and you quickly learn which tools you reach for most often, and how those specific tools can make your life easier and the job move faster.

Everyone on the job site has a different idea about which tool is the most useful, and it’s not unusual for lunchtime conversations to include discussions of what works and why.

We reached out to the men and women on job sites across the metal construction industry to ask them what their favorite tools were, which tools they reached for more often and why. We’ll post three responses here, and as we get more answers we’ll post on our website at If you want to submit your ideas, send us a picture of the tool and include your name, job title, company and a brief description about why it's so useful.

Palmer 1

Multiprocess Pipe Welding Systems

Eric Palmer
GEM Inc., Walbridge, Ohio

“It can put a root in a pipe a lot faster, and it increases the amount of metal you can deposit on fill and cover passes. It’s faster, cleaner and more efficient than traditional stick welding. We’re also able to weld stainless steel without purging pipe.”

Wilson 1 Rev

Slotted Drive System Hammer Drill with Dust Extractor

Zak Wilson
Rudolph Libbe Inc., Walbridge, Ohio

“It’s safer and healthier because it takes the dust out of the air. It’s also battery run so there are no cords or hoses.”

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Jason Harrell
Vice President PEMB Division
Harrell Construction Co. Inc., Jacksonville, Fla.

“With the ability to receive real-time updates and notifications of problems from the field, to pushing a repair fix or answer to a question in real time, the smartphone has really made the biggest impact on the day-to-day on our job sites.

“Consider the following are in the palm of your hand:

    • Instant updates to and from the field
    • Apps to improve efficiency
    • Simple tools and conversion charts
    • Calculators and date calculators
    • Photo sharing
    • OSHA app
    • Safety logs
    • Daily production reports

“Unfortunately, they are also one of the biggest safety hazards we have. Finding the balance between productivity and safety is always paramount. It requires constant discussions on when and where it’s appropriate to use these devices.”