Since the invention of such simple machines as the wheel, thewedge and the screw, human beings have been searching for ways todo it bigger and faster.

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For more than 2,000 years, people have relied heavily on thesesimple machines and elbow grease to get the job done. Andwhile we often hear the expression, “Things were built to last backthen,” it also took an unimaginable amount of time to buildanything.

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Tools have come a long way. Whether it's a small business ownerwho finds his favorite brands at a local hardware store or anindustrial contractor purchasing equipment from commercial gradesources, we see the role that power tools play in all of ourcommercial lines.

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The key is recognizing this class of content and understandingthe key value drivers and identifiers to properly locate anaccurate replacement.

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Power tools as we know them today truly saw their advent in thelate 19th century with the invention of the electric motor, but itsconnection with other major industries is what helped catapult itsmass acceptance and usage.

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The car industry and power tools have always been connected, andwhile Black & Decker may have invented the portable drill, itwas Henry Ford who challenged A.H. Peterson to come up with acompact, lightweight quarter-inch drill for deployment at the FordMotor Co. The result was the Hole-Shooter; which eventually becamethe signature item for what became the Milwaukee Electric ToolCo.

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Of course, there had already been in existence the larger tablesaws operating in saw mills and drill presses since the IndustrialRevolution at the turn of the 20th century. And whilemost industries took a hit during the Great Depression, it wasWorld War II and the years immediately after which carried theworld of power tools into a different stratosphere. Many companiesthat we know today started up in the 1940s and '50s; most in theMidwest and in proximity to the major auto manufacturers.

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power saw
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Today there are more tools than you can imagine and just as manycompanies and brands representing them.

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Like the car industry whose growth paralleled the rise of powertools, the market expands each year with different models, grades,competitors and hybrids. Consumers enjoy individual preferences andprice points. With innovation and expansion follow items that areexpensive and highly coveted.

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Oftentimes these things become the result of insurance claims.Theft losses, especially for tool claims comprise the largestpercentage of commercial losses; in some cases upwards of 33% ofthe total tools claim.

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Although hundreds of tools exist on the market, portable powertools can be segmented into three categories: corded, cordless andpneumatic (or air tools). There are also four classes of your handyhand saw: circular, reciprocating, continuous band, andchainsaws

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A webinar sponsored by Enservio on Jan. 22 willlook at the best practices for valuing portable power tools,including the common brands favored by do-it-yourself homeownerssuch as Craftsmen and Makita, and the more durable brands used byprofessionals.

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In cases involving high-end equipment, some commercial tools andequipment must be purchased online or directly from themanufacturer. Top models sold at local hardware stores are oftenavailable only at full retail, while tradesmen or companies may beable to purchase items at discounted rates.

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Having a frame of reference around these types of items andbusinesses helps to not only highlight items that are questionable,but to also question if a common item is missing from an insured'slist. Is someone claiming a cordless drill, but not the driver,drill bits and accessories?

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Certain trades require and commonly use specific tools. Some usehand tools more often while others may only use powered tools. Sometrades do most of their work on job sites, while others primarilywork out of a shop.

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All of these points can factor into what items are claimed orinsured for a variety of trades including woodworkers, plumbers,mechanics, landscapers, and electricians.

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