Steel Studs: Dimples Cut Labor and Absorb Noise

"When a facility is converted, it no longer offers traditional flat steel," says Greg S. Ralph, product development director for Dietrich Metal Framing, a unit of Columbus, Ohio-based Worthington Industries. The producer is offering the bumpy studs in two gauges and five sizes, from 15/8 in. to 6 in.

Since announcing the change last year, the company so far has converted eight of 20 factories, starting in the Southeast. It expects to offer the galvanized studs nationwide by next May. Availability is updated regularly at the Web site below.

According to the manufacturer, the dimpled surface offers a thicker material that grabs hold of screws and then locks them into place. Stud flanges have a textured V-groove that gives builders a sight line to help them fit joints with more precision than before. Independent lab tests have found that the studs are more resistant to bending, fire and noise transmission than traditional-style metal studs, claims the producer. The rolling process also smooths out sharp edges.

Dietrich last fall announced that it bought a license to make the studs from U.K.-based Hadley Group, which developed the forming process 15 years ago. The innovation is in global demand. According to Hadley, production has shot up over the last 10 years from 600,000 meters a year to 200 million meters. Dietrich Metal Framing; 412-281-2805

Power Cutter: Increased Cutting Capacity
TMakita USA Inc.; 800-462-5482;

Rotary Hammer: Extended Handle
T Metabo Corp.; 800-638-2264;

Bracket Boxes: Saves Time on the Job
T Thomas & Betts Corp.; 800-816-7809; he U.S. manufacturer of UltraSTEEL interior framing is retooling its factories in North America in hopes of forever changing the face of the humble steel stud. Because the product's cold-rolled, "dimple" process yields a higher-strength stud using lighter-gauge steel, the producer says it is offering them at no extra cost. Meanwhile, old-style, "flat" studs are being phased out. he new 81-cc, 16-in. power cutter with a cutting capacity of 53/4 in. makes it easy for contractors to cut doors and windows in precast concrete walls, the maker says. It has a 5-stage filter system with Advanced Directional Air Flow to help ensure clean air for increased saw performance and long engine life. For added versatility, a reinforced aluminum blade guard offers a 70� range of limitless positioning, allowing the user to change the blade from central to outbound (flush) position for lateral cuts. he light weight, innovative design of the new BHE 20 Compact 3/4-in. SDS rotary hammer, makes it suitable for overhead or close quarter work, and for drilling small diameter holes in concrete, wood and steel. The light weight of this 5-lb tool combined with its extended D-shaped handle provides users with improved comfort. The BHE 20 is available in two versions�tool only, or with an integrated dust collection system. It is equipped with electronic variable speed control, a forward-reverse switch and an anti-vibration side handle. An accessory joist hanger that easily attaches to the tool makes it handy when working from a ladder or scaffold. In addition, the BHE 20 has a 4-amp motor that generates up to 89 in. lb of torque. he new Steel City MS Series bracket boxes help reduce contractors' installation time. They install on metal studs 67% more quickly than other methods, the company claims. These bracket boxes have patented gripping teeth, which eliminate the need to use fasteners and tools to install the outlet box onto a metal stud. They come in 4-in. and 411/16-in. square sizes, and in 1-in. and 2 1/8-in. depths.