2011 National Hardware Show Highlights

June 1, 2011

A few members of our team recently attended the 2011 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. On the show floor, the aisles were filled with excited attendees scoping out the latest products and trends while networking with retailers, distributors and vendors. Overall, a large focus of the show was on the advances in energy efficiency across all product categories. The following highlights a few of the products that stood out to us at the show.

The Compost Wizard Hybrid by Good Ideas Inc., while not the most attractive product we saw, is a key example of the continued shift toward energy saving innovation. It proposes an extremely economical way to garden, and is constructed of 100% recycled plastic. The product combines a rain barrel and a compost barrel into one unit, cutting down on cost and providing nutrient rich fertilizer and rain water.

Jasco Products Company had a new section at the show dedicated entirely to energy-efficient home products. They showcased several new GE branded LED lights, home automation products, Nickelodeon™ branded Projectables™ night lights, and more. There seems to be an incredibly fast trend of companies moving away from incandescent lights and incorporating LED lights into their designs. Their GE LED Under Cabinet Fixture has a very sleek design and offers dramatically reduced energy consumption and a long-life. It can also be controlled with the use of a remote control that can be mounted for use as a wall switch from up to 50 feet away.

“Jasco’s new under cabinet fixtures pair energy-efficient lighting with modern designs to provide simple solutions perfect for today’s green living on a budget.”

Gardena’s booth was a definite stand-out in the Lawn/Garden area of the show, with a number of innovative products that we’d love to own. The electric lawnmower was top of the list, mainly because of its ecological impact, but also because of the cool colors and aesthetics. The lawnmower is powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that can be recharged at any time, without memory effect. The lawnmower can also be used as a mulcher. In addition, the handle folds away for easy transport and space-saving storage.


The Worx JawSaw makes using a chainsaw look extremely easy and safe. It is powered by electricity and can be used to make cuts directly on the ground, without fear of kickback or damage to the chain. The WORX features an automatic oiler that provides constant lubrication to both the bar and chain. With the chain enclosed by the jaw guard, it really is safer than the normal chainsaw.

There are a number of small portable solar chargers available which are designed to keep mobile gear such as MP3 players and mobile phones powered up when there’s no electrical outlet around. More recently, we’re seeing a growing number of larger and more powerful units designed for devices that require more power. This portable solar-powered generator from Wagan Tech provides 1,500 watts of power for seven to eight hours. It is the perfect accessory for campers, hunters, and RVers. It folds open to display five solar panels, and gives the option of adding two more.

Infusion Brands was there with their ultra-marketed portable Dual Saw. It was reintroduced this year with improved branding and a new smaller version and larger version. It is a great combination of precision engineering and advanced blade technology, not to mention we really like their new branding and design. The product uses a counter rotating blade technology to reduce kickback and enhance performance and can cut through just about anything. The blade sizes range from 3.125” to 6.38”. The smaller design is extremely ergonomic and has an oversized handle for increased control and balance, while the oversized blade on the large unit offers more cutting depth than the early unit that was introduced a couple of years ago.

The Honeywell Blade Tip Wind Turbine, by WindTronics, was first revealed at the 2010 Hardware Show, but wasn’t released to market until just last month. It is one of the coolest products we saw at the show. It is a gearless wind turbine, six feet in diameter and 185 pounds, that is intended to be installed on rooftops or poles and generates power in gusts of wind as little as two miles per hour. It creates power from magnets in its blade tips and in the enclosure for the blades. The turbine is meant for homes and businesses, and offers a much more affordable and approachable option for green energy.

With over 2,300 vendors at the National Hardware Show, just about anything you could find at your local hardware store, and more, was on display. It was a high-energy event filled with innovative products, educational seminars and even a few special celebrity cameos.

“For retailers and distributors, the National Hardware Show represents a way to stay ahead of the competition and put the latest and most innovative products in front of their customers.”

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