Product Picks: April 2021

Each month, hundreds of products and services vie for industry attention. Here are some that our editors think will interest LBM Journal readers.


Strong-Wall from Simpson Strong-Tie

The new Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Wall high-strength wood shearwall (WSWH), is engineered to be a versatile, high-performance solution for lateral-force resistance in light frame residential and commercial construction. The code listed, prefabricated WSWH has a patented design that, according to the manufacturer, provides the highest allowable loads for a wide variety of applications. Strong-Wall is fabricated from a wood-based material that is field-trimmable at the jobsite. Designed to provide additional structural strength and lateral-force resistance in areas subject to earthquakes and high winds, the WSWH is code listed to the 2018 IRC/IBC, conforms to ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria AC130 and AC436, and can be used in standard, garage portal, and balloon framing applications. Strong-Wall wood shearwalls are supplied with top-of-wall shear transfer plates, nuts, washers, and installation instructions, and are wrapped to provide protection from the elements on the jobsite.

- Sponsor -


SmartSide Smooth Finish Panel Siding

LP Building Solutions has added finish panel siding to its line of smooth finish products. LP SmartSide Smooth Finish Panel Siding is designed to deliver durability and versatility while incorporating a no-groove square edge to accommodate a variety of aesthetics. LP SmartSide Smooth Finish Panel Siding is designed for easier use in channel applications with advanced durability to hold up against extreme weather conditions including moisture, hail, freeze/thaw cycles and up to 200 mph wind gusts. Like all current LP SmartSide products, it is manufactured with engineered wood strand technology and treated with LP’s proprietary LP SmartGuard process to help protect against fungal decay and termites. The product is backed by the LP SmartSide 5/50-Year Limited Warranty and is pre-primed for improved paint adhesion.


Benjamin Obdyke’s HydroFlash LA

As a liquid-applied flashing, HydroFlash LA is designed to simplify the process of flashing rough openings, transitions, and seams, as well as filling imperfections, penetrations, and geometrically difficult areas. Sold in 20-ounce tubes, HydroFlash LA applies with a caulk gun and is spread to a recommended 20- to 40-mil. thickness. According to the manufacturer, the product easily conforms around corners, arch tops, and awkward areas that normally require extensive cutting and bending to flash with tape. It also can be used to fill or cover gaps of less than 1/4″, or 1/4″ to 1″ with a backer rod. HydroFlash LA is designed to be vapor permeable and is suitable for most climates, including humid environments like Florida and colder regions like the Northeast, with an install temperature range of 25 to 100º F. Designed to be installed on damp or wet surfaces, the product is suitable for rainy climates as well. The hybrid material, a silyl-terminated polyurethane (STPU), is said to be extremely flexible and can stretch 300% of normal width while maintaining its adhesion.


Euro-Slim Tube Balusters from Crown Heritage

Crown Heritage Stair Company has introduced Euro-Slim Tube Balusters, hollow round tubes at only 5/8″ in diameter designed to allow builders to complete multiple looks with one tube style. Euro-Slim Tube Balusters feature a satin black, powder coat finish and are available in 8′ lengths for custom jobsite cuts. According to the manufacturer, the hollow round tubes are designed to create a unique and distinctive appearance by combining contemporary looks with traditional materials.




Landmark ClimateFlex AR from CertainTeed

CertainTeed’s Landmark ClimateFlex AR (algae-resistant) technology improves upon the company’s Landmark brand, thanks to the latest advances in polymer science. Landmark ClimateFlex AR has been developed to deliver additional impact resistance, cold-weather
flexibility, and granule adhesion along with superior UV protection and durability. According to the manufacturer, ClimateFlex works at a molecular level to make shingles more pliable and easier to install in cold weather than typical asphalt shingles. In addition to hail resistance, Landmark utilizes ClimateFlex AR NailTrak, StreakFighter, and QuadraBond technologies to deliver what CertainTeed says is exceptional nailing speed, algae resistance, and bond strength.


Pro Plug from Envision Building Products

Envision Building Products now offers the Pro Plug hidden fastening system for use with all full-profile deck boards and colors. Made by Starborn, Pro Plug allows installers to face-fasten deck boards while eliminating visible screw heads and holes. When used in combination with Envision’s EverClip hidden fastener, the Pro Plug system is designed to achieve a fully hidden and securely fastened deck. The Pro Plug System consists of three components: epoxy-coated carbon steel screws or stainless steel screws; a patented PVC/Composite tool that attaches to a standard drill/driver to drive screws to the correct depth without overdriving or stripping the screw; and plugs made with Envision’s decking material designed for a perfect match to the deck boards.



SIP Fasteners from TRUFAST are specifically engineered for attaching structural insulated panels (SIPs) and nail base panels to wood and metal framing. Featuring a large, pancake head-style with a 6-lobe drive, Trufast SIP Fasteners are designed to drive quickly and smoothly, and draw panels securely without the need of a washer. TRUFAST offers three fastener styles for use in wood, corrugated steel, and steel members without pre-drilling. According to the manufacturer, TRUFAST SIP Fasteners are case-hardened and tempered for easy installation and long-term durability.


SENCO full round head cordless framing nailer

The F-35FRHXP is the latest addition to SENCO’s line of cordless nailers, which rely on air power rather than gas or mechanical flywheels, to drive nails. The F-35FRHXP drives up to 3-1/2″ full round head, plastic collated nails. The nailer is built with SENCO’s proprietary FUSION cordless pneumatic technology, which relies on a sealed compressed air cylinder to deliver the speed, feel, and performance of a true pneumatic tool, the manufacturer says. It is capable of sinking nails fully into the hardest substrates, including engineered lumber such as LVL and OSB. The F-35FRHXP is engineered to be intuitive for users of traditional corded pneumatic nailers—there is no ramp-up time between shots, allowing users to work quickly when bump firing. The F-35FRHXP features a 20-degree magazine that holds 35 fasteners and accommodates nails from 2″ to 3-1/2″ long and .113″ to .131″ in diameter. Each 3.0 Ah Li-Ion extended-life battery can drive up to 600 nails per full battery charge. Each nailer comes with two batteries, a 5-amp quick charger, a no-mar tip and a storage bag.


RISE Siding from RISE Building Products

RISE Building Products has introduced RISE Siding in 20′ lengths. Designed to minimize unsightly seams and reduce jobsite waste, RISE says its product is the only exterior siding available in 20′ lengths. Available in a vertical wood grain finish and offered in all the typical sizes needed to complete the exterior of a home, RISE Siding is pre-finished in white and seven colors specifically chosen to work with all types of home styles. Featuring two-sided water protection (front and back), RISE Siding is designed to minimize expansion and contraction rates, and is decay, rot, and freeze-thaw resistant. Comprised of 94% recycled carpet fibers, RISE Siding is designed to outperform wood, OSB, and fiber cement products.


Milwaukee Tool String Trimmer

The the M18 Brushless String Trimmer provides up to 6,200 RPM and features a brushless motor built specifically for trimming applications. For versatility, the trimmer has two speeds; a high speed to take on demanding applications and a low speed to maximize run- time. A 16″ cutting swath is said to trim more grass in a single pass and an easy load trimmer head is designed to offer the ability to load up to 25′ of trimmer line in under 30 seconds. Backed by a three-year warranty, the kit Includes: M18 Brushless String Trimmer, M18 REDLITHIUM HIGH OUTPUT XC6.0Ah Battery, M18 & M12 charger.


Kapro Tools’ 905D Condor Digital Level

Kapro Tools introduced its 905D Condor Digital Level with OPTIVISION Red Technology features a “mode” function for selecting degree (0, 1, or 2 decimals), percentage, pitch mm/m, in./ft. and in./ft. in fraction format. The “hold” button freezes the readout on the display and the “false zero” function lets you manually set your base angle for quick and precise slope measurements as needed for ADA 4.8.2 ramp compliance. The 905D has electronic recalibration, visual and audible slope indication and a low-battery indicator signal. For conserving battery life, users may set the auto shutdown for 15, 30, 60 and 120 minutes of non-use. The 905D is IP65-certified waterproof and dustproof and comes with a lifetime warranty. The 905D model features a LCD display tilted at 45° with a flip readout for optimal readability at any angle, including when it is inverted overhead. The 905D features accuracy of <0.05° at level and plumb and <0.1° at other angles.


DEWALT Power Cleaner

The 20V MAX 550 PSI Power Cleaner is designed to deliver 10X the pressure of a garden hose. For added versatility, the Power Cleaner can connect directly to a garden hose or draw from a fresh water source with the suction hose (included). Four quick connect nozzles (included) offer various degrees of spraying including turbo spraying, and additionally, the unit is equipped with a soap bottle, which the manufacturer says makes it ideal for a range of cleaning applications. The Power Cleaner includes two spray power settings controlled by a Hi/Lo power switch and is available bare (battery and charger sold separately) or kitted with a DEWALT 20V MAX 5.0 Ah Battery.


Bosch Thermal Camera

Bosh’s GTC400C 12V Max Connected Thermal Camera includes a 3.5″, 19,200-pixel color display, and ergonomic controls designed to be simple and intuitive, with a trigger to quickly snap workplace images and back buttons to provide one-touch operation. The camera is capable of capturing thermal images at 160×120 resolution, with thermal measurements accurate to ±4° Fahrenheit in a range from 14° to 752° Fahrenheit. Users can also select from a red/blue or black/white color scheme. In addition to the thermal camera, the tool also features an integrated visual camera, allowing users to compare images side-by-side, picture-in-picture, or overlaid for a greater understanding of the work area. The camera has built-in memory for 600 images and the MicroUSB port lets users upload images to their computer using Bosch’s GTC transfer software.

Stay Updated

Get our email newsletter with LBM industry trends, data, new products, and best practices.