RUBI UK & Ireland celebrates its 15th birthday

IT has already been 15 years since RUBI opened its doors in the UK and Ireland.

It was in April 2004, when the company started running with a team of seven employees, four of whom still work in the company. The main professional cutters available at that time were the TS and the TX manual cutters.

RUBI UK grew significantly and had to move in June 2007 to the current much larger premises. Since that date the growth has continued rapidly to where RUBI UK is today with over 15000 loyal users in the UK & Ireland. 

The following years were crucial in terms of technology and innovation. RUBI UK launched the redesigned TX & TX-N range in 2009, the predecessor of the latest most advanced TX to date, the TX MAX, and also the new TS-PLUS range with a more powerful breaker system. Three years later, the company launched the Slim System Cutter in the UK & Ireland, the manual cutting system with connectable guides for large format tiles up to 310 cm.

In 2016 Rubi UK & Ireland employed a new sales representative to service the North and South of Ireland. This completed the Sales Representative team giving users a great service from Lands End to John O’Groats, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Shetland. 

RUBI hasn’t stopped innovating and developing new products and, in 2017 it launched the TS MAX manual cutter, a manual cutter with a high-performance breaker and patented the RUBI ZERO DUST, a system to improve on-site working conditions with electric bridge saws.

Following this trend of innovation, in 2018 RUBI launched the most advanced manual cutter in the market, the TZ. Also launching the new Speed Magnet and TR Magnet into the professional cutter market. 

All these efforts have been recognised when RUBI won the Delta Awards by the Industrial Design Association of Arts and Design (ADI-FAD) in the category Best Design, for the Tile Level Quick levelling system and the TZ manual cutter, and been ranked on the top 4 Catalan companies in number of patented companies by the European Patent Office. 

This year 2019 has seen more new innovative products: RUBI upgraded its SLAB System range, introducing the SLAB TRANS HEAVY DUTY and the TC-125 KIT for large format tiles, and presented the powerful TX-MAX, a professional manual cutter with high-performance multipoint breaker.

But all these achievements and improvements wouldn’t have been possible without the trust and support of more than 15000 loyal users of the RUBI Tools!

RUBI wants to thank these users for the confidence shown over the last 15 years and offers to their users great deals on the TX-MAX professional manual cutter.

For more information, visit RUBI's 15th anniversary page.

WIN a hydraulic assisted Acrow from UNI-PROP®

TO celebrate its rebrand from ToolBUSNIESS+HIRE, ToolKit magazine is giving you the chance to win a tool set or piece of kit every publication month throughout 2020 in the ToolKit Great Tool Giveaway.

For the February draw, we are offering you the opportunity to keep your business well supported with a powerful Maxi model UNI-PROP® with hydraulic assembly kit.

This award-winning product is the most significant step in Acrow support props in 80 years, delivering a precise yet powerful hydraulic power option to the traditional support prop.

UNI-PROP® can quickly and safely be adapted to deliver millimetre precision controlled power of up to 2,000 kgs. In other words, UNI-PROP® is the next generation Acrow.

This innovative product is creating positive shock waves ni the construction industry because of its detachable hydraulic assembly, which is supplied as a sealed unit in a bespoke HDPE case and can be used again and again on multiple props.

UNI-PROP®  is available in three sizes: the Mini, Midi and Maxi models, which correlate with Acrows 0,1 and 2. UNI-PROP® is the noly temporary support on the market that's load-tested to BS EN 1065 - the current standard for adjustable props.


To coincide with the launch of UNI-PROP® at selected Jewson Tool Hire branches, ToolKit has one of these award-winning, innovative UNI-PROP® models (the Maxi model, measuring 2,105mm - 2,950mm) together with a hydraulic assembly unit worth a total of £272 + VAT, to give away to noe lucky digital subscriber.

All subscribers to the digital magazine will automatically be entered into the draw to win this, and every other piece of kit in the ToolKit Great Tool Giveaway for the rest of 2020.

To make sure you are in with a chance to win, follow the LINK HERE and enter your details to subscribe.

HB42 launches the Ultimate Bond kit

HILTON Banks has launched a new HB42 Ultimate Bond kit, developed to help produce the perfect mitre every time.

The kit includes a high viscosity super glue and an activator, designed to rapidly give users a fast and secure bond.

HB42 Ultimate Bond contains a ‘non-yellowing’ activator aerosol and when combined with the adhesive, accelerates the cure speed of the super glue, (also included in the kit) on wood mitre joints and difficult-to-bond surfaces.

The activator in the HB42 Ultimate Bond kit creates an instant bond on many substrates and cures rapidly. It will stick Polyurethane, granite, marble, wood to aluminium, acrylic to granite and rubber to ceramic. The kit can be used on wooden mitre joints, porous, acidic & difficult-to-bond to surfaces including MDF, Acrylic, PVC, Wood, Steel, Leather, Rubber, Ceramics and Aluminium.

The HB42 Ultimate Bond kit is part of the successful high performance HB42 sealants and adhesive range, designed specifically for the trade. Ultimate Bond Activator & Superglue are also available separately.

HAE EHA seeks new CEO as industry stalwart steps down

GRAHAM Arundell, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hire Association Europe (HAE) and Event Hire Association (EHA), the UK’s leading trade associations for the hire industry, is standing down after 13 demanding years at the helm.

Having joined HAE in 2007, Mr Arundell is credited with turning around the fortunes of a faltering organisation which had previously been beset with various challenges including declining membership and funds. He led a dramatic turnaround in the organisation through a series of measures all aimed at making HAE more fit for purpose and relevant to the membership. This included the creation of EHA as a separate entity, a complete rebranding of HAE to a more modern identity, and his biggest achievement was reversing the financial fortunes of HAE enabling it to purchase in 2019 the premises it and EHA had previously rented.

During his tenure, HAE and EHA have introduced new member services, widening existing provisions to include more member benefits and redesigned SafeHire to make it fit for purpose for the membership. These member services encompass everything from insurance, health and safety certification to additional training services. His creation in 2009 of EHA facilitated for the first time, a dedicated organisation to represent hire companies and suppliers associated with events or working within the events sector. In addition, Mr Arundell also led the development of the Association’s SafeHire and HITS schemes into the industry - now leading accreditations for the hire and construction sectors.

Graham commented: “I was advised at the outset that the role would be challenging, and that was part of the attraction. It’s certainly lived up to that but I’ve had some great experiences and opportunities meeting lots of people along the way who will remain life-long friends.”

Brian Sherlock, HAE Chair, commented: “Graham has not only made a valued and sustained contribution to the HAE, he has also had a significant influence within the hire sector. His drive and relentless enthusiasm coupled with strong leadership and networking skills has driven real change within the Association - on behalf of the former and current directors of the Tool & Equipment, Event Hire and Supplier Boards, thank you.”

On his retirement, Mr Arundell plans to spend time renovating a new property in his home village of Scruton, North Yorkshire, having developed several others nearby over the years. He has also agreed to carry on as a consultant with HAE EHA for up to 12 months to help ease the transition period under the new CEO, and additionally he will retain his role as chairman of another certification organisation within the print industry. The HAE EHA stalwart will also continue to support the organisations as they seek UKAS accreditation for the newly formed Certification Services.

Graham added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the role at HAE EHA and, although it has been very demanding, it has been extremely rewarding as well. I’ve found the hire sector a really interesting and welcoming industry and will genuinely miss the people and the job.”

Mr Arundell stands down at the end of April 2020 and the search is now on for his successor. Applicants are sought who have a hire background, as well as experience working with a trade association. Strong interpersonal skills are also a prerequisite and an ability to provide strategic direction and common sense in equal measures are a must!

Anyone interested in applying for this prestigious role is advised to contact Board Chair, Brian Sherlock, for more information by emailing him at [email protected]

For more details visit

ECHO launches new low-emission chainsaw

ECHO has launched the CS-621SX heavy-duty rear handle chainsaw. The new saw is a reduced emissions version of their best-selling CS-620SX, yet it retains all the power and dependability of its predecessor.

This is a chainsaw built for arborists and landscaping professionals who use this type of saw daily for felling large trees.

The CS-621SX boasts a new 59.8cc low emission, professional-grade 2-stroke ECHO engine, designed and manufactured in Japan. It is the latest chainsaw in the ECHO X-series of ‘Best in Class’ products which aim to be industry-leading in terms of power and performance. The saw is packed with advanced features to help the commercial operator power through their work. For a heavy-duty saw, it is surprisingly lightweight at only 6.3kg (dry weight) but that doesn’t take anything away from its cutting performance, which exceeds that of many higher capacity machines.  Its balance and ergonomic design offer manoeuvrability and precision, with dual bumper spikes enabling better control when sawing through stumps and thicker branches.

The CS-621SX is a superior saw in every respect, say ECHO, with its range of additional features designed to make the working day easier and more productive. There’s a decompression button for easy starting, a side-access chain tensioner and drop prevention nuts which can’t be lost during maintenance. A rotating plastic chain catcher is designed to help protect the user from potential injury while also preventing chain damage.   The heavy-duty aluminum handle has a secure rubber grip and reduces vibration in the hand. Fuel and oil caps are made larger for easier filling and the fuel tank is translucent to show the fuel level. The ‘G-FORCE’ air cleaner system features a large air filter to keep out debris.

It all adds up to a powerful, durable and heavy-duty chainsaw built to ECHO’s usual exacting specifications, which is borne out by a two-year professional or five-year domestic warranty. You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer.

Morris Site Machinery unveil ground-breaking new product at EHS 2020

A GROUND-BREAKING new hybrid lighting tower prototype took centre stage for Morris Site Machinery on their green-themed stand at this year’s Executive Hire Show.

For the first time, the UK’s leading tower light manufacturer used the event to provide a preview of a prototype product, the TL55 Solar H2 lighting tower, allowing the opportunity for early customer feedback which will enable their experienced team to further develop the machine for the hire industry.

The prototype’s environmentally-friendly fuel cell emits no pollutants as its only emission is water vapour. This additional energy source intuitively kicks in to charge the batteries as required, during long winter nights and adverse weather. It operates from two, easily accessed hydrogen cylinders mounted within the chassis.

Allan Binstead, managing director commented: “Bringing a prototype to a show has been a new experience and allowed us to really understand our customers.

“Innovation and eco solutions are crucial for the industry and we want to be sure we’re delivering the right products to suit the customer on the ground”.

Joining the new prototype on Morris Site Machinery’s green, bamboo stand was the next-generation SMC TL90 Evolve and the compact SMC TL60 Solar Trolley, a totally solar- powered, energy efficient and easily deployable unit that produces zero noise and zero emissions, also feature on the stand.

Morris Site Machinery will relocate later this year to a flagship site in Wolverhampton. The new £6 million manufacturing and office purpose-built base is more than 60,000sq ft and is located next to Jaguar Land Rover on the i54 South Staffordshire high-tech business park.

QEP announces landmark charity partnership with the Rainy Day Trust

LEADING tiling tools and accessories supplier QEP has announced a new partnership with the Rainy Day Trust, a charity that helps people who have worked in the home improvement and enhancement industry.

The partnership, which began January 2020, will see QEP assist the Rainy Day Trust through fund raising and activity support.

The Rainy Day Trust began as an ironmongery and hardware trades benevolent society in 1843. Today, the charity supports workers in DIY retail, manufacturing, and distribution, as well as tradespeople within the home improvement and enhancement sector.

The trust provides beneficiaries and their families with assistance through financial and legal aid, alongside the awarding of grants.

Peter Stone, Rainy Day Trust chairman, said: “It’s great to form a new partnership with businesses such as QEP. The company’s long-standing position within the DIY consumer marketplace means we can share knowledge and raise awareness to better help the people who need our support.”

Paul Boyce, President – International Operations/European CEO at QEP, said: “We’re extremely proud to announce our partnership with the Rainy Day Trust. The work the charity does is incredibly valuable for those within our industry. We hope to make a valuable contribution to the Trust’s fundraising and awareness initiatives.”

“We have many different activities planned throughout the year to both increase awareness and raise funds for our former and fellow industry professionals in need.”

Toolstation celebrates 400th branch opening in Balham with launch event

THIS month, British retailer Toolstation is celebrating a significant milestone – opening its 400th branch on the Zennor Road Trade Park in Balham.

Part of the Travis Perkins plc Group, Toolstation supplies tools, accessories and building supplies to the trade nationwide. The launch event is on Friday, 24 January, from 11am to 2pm.

The 400th branch opening is a significant milestone for the business and follows a period of sustained growth that is set to continue into 2020. The business has enjoyed 10 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. Most recently, Q3 trading results showed growth of 21.3% and 15.4% on a like-for-like basis.

On the day, the team from the popular On the Tools social media platform will be in attendance. They will be checking out products, interviewing staff and live streaming the event to their audience of 3.5m from 12.15pm. They will be running a variety of games giving customers a chance to win power tools, pressure washers and a lawn mower.

Rugby fans will be able to try their luck at the Toolstation rugby kick and pass challenge, to be in with a chance of winning a Dewalt Combi drill.

Trade brands Trend and Everbuild will be in attendance showcasing their products and will be on hand to talk to customers.

The first 400 customers can pick up a free Greggs sausage roll and soft drink in-branch or available for collection from the near-by Greggs bakery. Free hot drinks are also available at the Balham Toolstation branch.

To celebrate, there will be a 10% discount off everything in-store, from Thursday, 23 January to Sunday, 26 January.

At 12.30pm on Friday, Toolstation Managing Director James MacKenzie and Marketing Director John Meaden will be cutting a ribbon to celebrate the 400th store opening, as well cutting a celebratory cake with customers and staff.

The Balham branch is the 400th nationwide and the 64th in London. The Balham branch employs seven people permanently. The ambition is to double the number of stores in the capital in the coming years. In 2019, Toolstation opened 67 new branches nationally, creating 800 new jobs. In London, nine new branches opened and 67 jobs were created last year. This growth shows no sign of slowing down with a similar number of new branches planned this year.

James MacKenzie, Managing Director, commented: “Toolstation is one of the fastest growing retailers in the UK. As well as having market leading products at great prices, we make it easy for our busy trade customers to buy online and pick up from store. The 400th Store in Balham has free parking and complements the other 63 stores in London, which means a Toolstation is never far away.”

Wilko to support National Home Improvement Month 2020

HOME and garden retailer, wilko, which has 417 stores across the UK, is to support National Home Improvement Month, BHETA’s industry-wide consumer-facing marketing initiative, now in its third year.

It will be the first multiple retailer to sign up to the campaign which will run throughout April. Wilko’s involvement follows on from a successful Meet the Buyer event held by BHETA back in November 2019.

Keeley Vernon, BHETA’s sector manager for DIY & Home Improvement who is driving the campaign commented: “It is fantastic to have wilko, a major retailer on board for 2020. Its engagement provides a great opportunity within our industry not only for the wilko brand, but also for BHETA’s supplier members and for the consumer; and will elevate the campaign to new level. Everyone at BHETA is very much looking forward to working with wilko on this new opportunity; and raising the profile of National Home Improvement Month!”

As in previous years, National Home Improvement Month is all about inspiring and enabling consumers to get back into home improvement, make more of their garden and outdoor space, or have fun with new-style DIY, craft, and upcycling. The month-long initiative is intended to make the most of the key sales period over Easter for home improvement tools and consumables.

National Home Improvement Month uses the tagline ‘Love The Home You Live In’. Online and broadcast features will be backed through social media and in national and regional consumer media. A package of point of sale and support material will again be available.

As a BHETA sponsored initiative, suppliers and distributors wanting to get involved need to be, or become, members of BHETA to participate. Any supplier, distributor or retailer who would like more information about the campaign should contact BHETA’s home improvement sector manager, Keeley Vernon at BHETA on 0121 237 1130 or email  [email protected].

Back small house builders to improve the design of new homes, says FMB

REMOVING barriers to small house builders will deliver better quality homes and happier people, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to a national design audit conducted by UCL for CPRE, the countryside charity, and the Place Alliance, published yesterday.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: "Today’s report shows the impacts of 30 years of market consolidation, which has squeezed out the small builder.

"SME house builders have to compete on quality rather than volume, so it is hardly surprising that a broken housing market dominated by a handful of major developers is failing to deliver what homeowners want and need.
"To get SME builders back into the housing market we need to tackle the barriers of land supply, access to finance and a simpler planning system. Greater diversity in our housing market will not only help deliver better quality homes, but happier people as recent FMB research shows that homeowners are twice as likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of their new build home if it is built by a small builder than one of the top 20 firms."


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