Black & Decker VPX Lithium-IonTools
UPDATE: More info on the VPX starter Set here.
UPDATE II: The VPX website is live. Info here.
UPDATE III: More info on the VPX Inverter here.
UPDATE IV: This time, the website is really live. Details Black & Decker is getting in on the big lithium-ion frenzy. They've decided to call their battery system the VPX and they have a new and interesting twist on the whole cordless tool idea.
The deal is that each VPX battery is 7-volts and they work in just about all of the tools, but some tools are capable of taking two batteries to up their juice to 14.4-Volts. It's a neat idea to standardize the batteries for different voltages. As far as marketing goes, it's similar to the Ryobi One+ system, where you're encouraged to buy a starter kit with a battery and charger and then from that point on, you only need to buy the stand alone tools which don't come with batteries, and are thus much more inexpensive.
Black & Decker's starter kit for this line consists of a battery, a charger, a cordless screwdriver, a flashlight and a cut-off saw. The kit goes for just a hair under $100. A stand alone battery and charger is about $35. To give you an idea of the stand alone tools (battery not included), a drill/driver is $35, a little air inflater is $29, and a flashlight is $20. They've also got a battery powered inverter that essentially is a GFI outlet also for $20. The drill kit (including two batteries and a charger) is $100. It's a wide range of tools and we can only expect it to get wider with time.
Like a lot of other companies, Black & Decker is releasing a new color branding scheme with their Li-Ion line. The orange and black have been replaced with a stylish black, orange and white look.
These look like good around the house, DIY tools. Because of the price, we're not sure that they'd withstand a contractor's daily beating, but since Black & Decker has smartly veered their cordless system towards lifestyle items (cordless air inflator - perfect for bike rides!), that's probably not their target market anyway. So that said, it's likely a great line of tools for what it's intended for.
These tools have a release date of October 23rd, but are available for preorder now. We assume that there will be plenty more tools in this line by the holidays.
Starter Set with Screwdriver, Flashlight, Cut Saw, Battery, and Charger ($99) at Amazon.com
VPX 14.4-Volt Drill with 2 Batteries and Charger ($99) at Amazon.com
VPX Inverter ($20) at Amazon.com
VPX Flashlight ($20) at Amazon.com
VPX Inflater ($30) at Amazon.com
VPX Battery Pack and Charger ($35) at Amazon.com
VPX 7-volt Screwdriver with Battery and Charger ($60) at Amazon.com
VPX 7-volt Drill/Driver without Battery and Charger ($35) at Amazon.com
Read More in: Cordless | Lithium-Ion | Power Tools
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at October 5, 2007 5:10 AM