Other sales were up on contractor optimism. Hilti saw many customers wanting to "tool up," or purchase multiples of a variety of tools.

With its existing and ">newest products—such as the TE30-A36 cordless combihammer drill, Safe-Set Technology and HIT-HY 200 Adhesive Anchor System, Hilti saw this year's World of Concrete sales advance far beyond last year's numbers, executives said, noting that sales by the end of the first day were more than 200% above the first day last year and more than the company sold during the entire show in 2010.

Makita demonstrated what it claimed was the world's first four-stroke power cutter, which does not need gasoline mixed with motor oil as with two-stroke engines.

Contractors "don't want to hassle with mixing the fuel," said Wayne Hart, spokesman. The 14-in.-dia saw, which retails for just under $1,000, is quieter and requires 40% less pulling force to start up.

Building-information modeling vendor Tekla showed contractors a sneak peek of its latest release, due in March. The software's Version 19 is optimized for modeling concrete pours, allowing users to plan pour breaks for the first time, increasing productivity and safety.

"People have realized that the come out of the recession, they need technology," said Hans Ehrnrooth, president of Tekla, which was acquired by Trimble in 2011.

Survey-tech rival Topcon introduced several new iterations of its technological offerings, including the new P-32 asphalt paving-control system, which allows for control of both sides of the paver by one operator.

"This new control box is a quantum leap for end users," said Tony Vanneman, product manager. The company also introduced a new version of Pocket 3D positioning software for its HiPer SR GNSS receiver. "It's obviously one of smallest, lightest weight receivers on the market, with a max range of 1,000-ft," said Scott Langbein, product marketing director. "It's also priced under $20,000."