With More Products Than Ever to Choose 2021 From, There Were Plenty of Photo Finishes

It was a year of ties and tight races—more than we’ve ever seen before. That’s a pretty good indicator that the competition among new products was steep in 2021. It was also a big year for machinery, with nearly 20 machines making the survey across five categories.

Each year, [DWM]’s staff keeps watch on the industry, gathering the best products to fill our pages and website. We then wrap the year up by gathering all of those products into one final review: our [DWM] Readers’ Choice Survey.

In back-to-back years with fewer trade shows, the interest in products has never been higher. Four categories ended in ties. Others were so close they were separated by just one or two votes. For this reason, this year we’re choosing to include runners up in some categories.


Winner: SoftLite Windows and Doors – Black Window Frames

With more than a third of the votes, SoftLite’s new black window frames were an up and away winner among the latest coatings. They’re offered in select designs, providing design flexibility and a modern upgrade for any exterior or interior. The new color is available on the Elements and Imperial Elite window lines, as well as select Kingsroyal Glide sliding patio doors.

Runner Up: Sherwin-Williams Polyester Coatings

The Coil Coatings division of Sherwin-Williams launched a new platform for its polyester technologies, including polyester finishes made for metal building products and formulations for doors, window components and trim.

Components – Doors

Winner: Advanced Screen Systems Inc. Pet-Resistant Screen Door and Sliding Patio

Security Screen Door Officials for Advanced Screen Systems Inc. said they had two industry firsts: a pet-resistant screen door and a sliding patio security screen door. The pet-resistant screen door attaches quickly at door shops to create one pre-hung unit, while the sliding patio security screen door features a heavy-duty frame that rides in existing tracks.

Runner Up: FrontLine Bldg. Products Inc. Maintenance-Free Aluminum-Clad Frames

They’re offered for doors, sidelites, patio doors, garage doors, transom windows and many more products.

Components – Glass and Windows

Winner: Glasslam ClearSpacer

Officials for Glasslam said the company’s new spacer is virtually invisible after application and formulated for durable, long-lasting adhesion. One reader backed those claims by suggesting, “It has a persistent stickiness, which is good and doesn’t interfere with the view.” It was far from invisible in our survey, though, grabbing more votes than any other product in this category. ClearSpacer is designed for clear edge insulating glass and uses a transparent acrylic sealant on both sides.

Runner Up: AmesburyTruth – Pinnacle Balance

Officials for AmesburyTruth said its new Pinnacle balance is the first true redesign of a block and tackle system in many years. Designed for use in hung windows, the new design offers a new take on sash weight management, including a universal mounting clip that allows for installation into existing specifications.

Doors – Sliding

Winner: Monumental Windows and Doors – 5000 Series Sublinear System

A new design by Monumental Windows and Doors shook things up last year by upending the typical design for rollers. The result is more robust product,
officials said, that’s easy to use and maintain. The 5000 Series Sublinear System works on a patent-pending principle that relocates the track from the sill assembly into the bottom of sliding panels, while roller cartridges are placed into the sill.

Runner Up: United Window and Door – Distinct Composite Sliding Patio Door

With a knockdown frame that’s designed to be assembled onsite, the new Distinct Composite Sliding Patio Door from United Window and Door is designed for simple installation. Maybe it was installers who took to the “voting booth” for this one.

Doors – Entry

It’s a Tie: Simpson Door Company – Raised Panel Doors with MDF Veneers

Simpson Door Company was shooting for value when it came up with a new raised-panel style. The product combines the company’s wood door method
of construction with medium-density fiberboard (MDF) veneers on classic stile and rail surfaces, along with solid MDF panels and a priming process.

Masonite – DuraStyle Exterior Wood Doors with AquaSeal

The headline for Masonite’s new DuraStyle exterior wood doors was “Let It Pour.” And we meant it. The product is constructed with premium components and further protected by AquaSeal to seal the edges of wood panels and glass inserts with a clear barrier to protect against water penetration.

Doors – Interior

Winner: Frameport Doors – Stile-and-Rail Doors

Frameport caught readers’ attention in 2021 by offering plenty of options. The company’s stile-and-rail doors are offered in panel, louver, French,
shaker, bifold, barn and fire-rated models. The primed flat panel door series includes five designs available with square, ovolo or deco style sticking.
They’re available in clear Pine, primed or pre-finished.


Winner: Privacy Glass Solutions – BetweenGlassBlinds

With double-glazed units and fully integrated Venetian blinds that are hermetically sealed between lites of glass, Privacy Glass Solutions angled for large, residential applications. The product is well-suited for large door panels, sliding doors, floor-to-ceiling partitioning systems and entry doors.

Runner Up: ODL Canada – Mystify

ODL’s new Mystify decorative door glass features a “playful combination of pattern and texture,” officials say. Or as one reader put it, “The combination of pattern and ripple gives us a sense of design and privacy.”


Winner: FeneTech – FeneVision Ultimate v.15.3

FeneTech released the latest version of its software in 2021, including enhancements such as advanced purchasing and inventory control functionalities. Readers took note of those changes, including the ability to create a vendor scorecard report, define inventory bins as non-nettable, view inventory demand by either the day or month, and many more.


It’s a Tie: Pella Corp. – Easy Slide Operator

“User-friendly, fingerless and as easy to turn on and off as a light.” That’s how one reader described Pella’s Easy Slide Operator for casement and awning style windows. Designed as an alternate to traditional cranks, the product is slim and sleek, but it’s also made for ease of use.

Caldwell – Omni Drive

Caldwell’s new Omni Drive is a modular operating system for the company’s project-out and outswing casement windows. The product drives both a multipoint lock systems and vents in a single operation and allows for screen frames up to 1⁄2-inch in depth to remain in place while easily operating windows from inside.


It’s a Tie: Marvin Signature Coastline

Officials at Marvin announced this year that, following acquisition of the Fla.-based company SIW, SIW impact-resistant products are now officially Marvin Signature Coastline. Readers gave that move a thumbs up in this year’s survey.

Faour Glass Technologies – Slimpact XLIG

Officials for Faour Glass Technologies said their company received the first Florida product approval for a frameless impact window with insulating
glass. A fair number of readers must have been waiting for that option.

Machinery – General

Winner: Sturtz Machinery Inc. – Turbo Four Head Pass Thru Line Among general machinery, it was the ability to process multiple window systems in a single high-speed setup that gave Sturtz the advantage. The welding process, Motion Control technology, dynamic modules and intelligent controls combine to produce up to 800 frames per shift.

Runner Up: GED Roboclean

We were not surprised by the photo finish. Designed specifically for doors and windows, the line is a 12-axis robotic machine offering “infinite axis possibilities.”

Machinery – Cutting

Winner: RazorGage – Cyclone Upcut Saw and PocketHole Saw

As door and window companies look to replace workers with as many automated features as possible, the Cyclone Upcut Saw and RazorGage PocketHole Saw from RazorGage automatically scan materials for defects, mark them with a fluorescent crayon and then optimize remaining parts to fit into approved areas. Those features stole the vote in 2021.

Machinery – Doors

Winner: Builders Automation Machinery Co. – Door Machines

Machines dominated this year’s survey and the new door machines from Builders Automation Machinery drew a healthy percentage of
the votes. They offer the ability to switch automatically from a 5/8-inch radius to a 1⁄4-inch radius and single point pre-drill. Bar code information
can be sent to a machining center before doors arrive, which allows for automatic set up.

Machinery – Glass Related

Winner: Erdman Automation – One Man Robotic IG Cell

At a time when companies continue scrambling for workers, Erdman Automation’s One Man Robotic IG Cell stole the show for glass-related machinery. Designed for one operator, the unit has a cycle time of approximately 45 seconds.

Machining and CNC

Winner: Protomach – PROMCP CNC

It must have been time-saving features that readers went for in this category, because Protomach’s machining center for previously cut-to-length profiles can machine two profiles at once. Company officials say up to 10 tools can be programmed to machine pre-cut frames, sashes or mullions, as fabrication requires.

Seals and Sealants

Winner: Novagard – NovaFlex Qwik-Set Glazing Sealant

Novagard’s two-component sealant stole the vote in this category, possibly for the way it helps to speed up operations. With high initial green strength, officials say you won’t have to slow production.


Winner: EDTM – Glass-Chek Elite

With nearly two-thirds of the votes, EDTM’s GlassChek Elite stole the show by offering the ability to measure window thickness and identify the presence and location of low-E coatings. The unit not only identifies laminated glass in windows, but also measures the thickness of the laminate inner-layer.


It’s a Tie: Quaker Windows and Doors – Quartz Collection

With its new Quartz Collection, officials say they “started with a vision and looked for ways to go beyond the ordinary.” Including CityLine windows, the
latest line features the company’s Opti Core technology for improved thermal efficiency, structural performance and sound transmission ratings.

Weather Shield – Vue Collection

Aluminum frames have made a comeback in recent years and in 2021 they landed Weather Shield in the winner’s circle for its new Vue Collection. The product employs all-aluminum frames for windows and patio doors, in order to provide narrow profiles and large spans of glass.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

DWM Magazine

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