Inside the 2012 International Hardware Fair

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Tool buyers gathered around a demonstration of the Knipex Twin Force cutting pliers. The double-jointed pliers move the fulcrum closer to the cut for a power and ergonomic benefit.

Exhibitors from 50 countries are taking part in the 2012 International Hardware Fair in Cologne, Germany, at the sprawling Koelnmesse Convention Center.

Mary Ross, director of marketing for Annandale, Minn.-based Malco Products, shows off the company’s sheet metal cutter attachment that brings power-tool versatility to a new level.

Roberto Izaguirre, Arrow Fastener’s new VP international sales, described international growth as one of the “top priorities” for the Saddle Brook, N.J.-based manufacturer.

Heavily promoted at the fair, the Joker, from Wera, is named for the smile-shaped head. The shape of the wrench, combined with a “limit-stop” plate grabs the nut and keeps it secure.

Durable? No. Edible? Yes. A vendor from the Chocolate Workshop combines two German passions -- chocolate and hardware.

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