Show Report: STAFDA Show Recap 2014

STAFDA Laps the Field:
790 exhibitors + 4,500 attendees = a winning combination.

The STAFDA convention is an industry bellwether event and the 2014 show, held November 9-11 in Charlotte, proved once again that well-earned status.

From the pole position of the Charlotte Convention Center to the eagerly attended educational sessions and Sunday’s opening party at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the convention gave attendees an inside track on the hottest topics, best practices and most innovative new products in the industry.

More than 4,500 members attended the convention, which included a 790-booth Trade Show. STAFDA had to enlarge the show floor twice as exhibitor registrations exceeded the original show floor allocation.

Once the Trade Show opened, attendees had to race to see the all the newest products from 790 exhibitors. Here are just a few.

Senco is hitting the market with several specialized new tools and launched them at STAFDA, including the new RoofPro 445XP.


“We’ve had a roofer for some time and it has been a great tool for us,” said Eric Bellman, Senco product manager. “Speed and weight are key components for a roofer and we have made several improvements that make this RoofPro 445XP lighter and faster than our previous model.”

Several internal improvements accomplish this. The top cap and the firing valve, is a two-piece assembly — when the tool is influxed with air and fired, the firing cap blocks off the return air and reuses it to help drive the piston. A bi-metal driver blade increases durability. Another unique feature is Senco’s “power in/power out” feed system. Rather than the spring-pawl found on typical nailers, the Senco system uses air to feed the nails and return the feed pawl to grab the next one.

Above: (L-R) Pickett Council, Cameron Council and Joe McShane showed Council’s fire/rescue tools, axes and  nonsparking hammers, including the new ApocalAxe (below).

Council Tool’s national sales manager, Joe McShane, was demonstrating Council’s nonsparking bronze hammers.  

“Non-sparking is a misnomer. It does generate a spark, which is called a cold spark,” McShane explains. “It’s not hot enough to ignite a source. These are used in nuclear, petroleum, natural gas and similar environments where combustible hazards exist. This hammer has the only chemistry on the market certified by the Copper Development Association.”

Picket Council, vice president of Council Tool, gave us a preview of the company’s upcoming ApocalAxe.

“The ApocalAxe is all-steel and has an ax head, hammer, gut hook, a bottle opener and built-in handle,” Council said. Nothing says ‘Merry Christmas’ like an Apocal-Axe!” she added and laughed.   

Over at the Miyanaga booth, Phillip Lech demonstrated the new Aquashot accessory.

“The Aquashot is a center-diamond-tip drill for ceramic, porcelain, tile, granite and stone that has a self-contained water supply,” Lech explained. “Rather than running a water line from a reservoir, the reservoir is built into the shank.

Once the water is put into the unit, as you drill, it automatically feeds water out through the tip and into the diamond cutter.

The shank has a quick-change adapter so you can replace the body and the cutter independently.”

Southwire has been making a major push into the STAFDA market the last couple of years, and John Payne, director of product for meters, testers and voice/data/video was showing several new products.

“Our ESP-1 datacom snips are the only ones of their kind on the market that are spring loaded,” Payne said. “They give you a far more precise feel and control when working with very small cables. We’re having to increase our manufacturing on these because we didn’t forecast high enough — we’re selling more than we can make right now.”


Southwire’s new Professional Tone & Probe Kit focuses on industrial design.

“This is the only tone and probe on the market with built-in cable management on the tone generator,” Payne explained.

"The wires wrap around the body of the tester and the clips fit into the back of the tester body —  at the end of the workday you can wrap it up nice and neat, put it in your tool bag and it won’t get damaged.”

For cutting pipe up to 14 inches in diameter, Exact Pipe Cutting Systems’ pipe saw is unlike any we have seen. A specially modified circular saw attaches to pipe and rides around the circumference of the pipe, sawing neatly as it goes.

“The concept originated in Finland,” explained Mike Stone, CEO of Exact Pipe Tools, the U.S. subsidiary. “The saws range from the smallest, which cuts just 1/2- to 6.7-inch-pipe, up to the largest, which cuts from 1.6- to 14-inch-diameter pipe.

Up next: Phoenix!
STAFDA’s 39th Annual Convention & Trade Show takes place November 8-10, 2015, in Phoenix. Do your business a favor and mark your calendars now. Visit for more details. CS