We were just researching the new Milwaukee 12-Volt Power Port when we remembered that Black & Decker had released something similar way back in October 2007 as part of their VPX line. We did a quick check over at the VPX micro-site and discovered that at some point the line was taken behind the woodshed and dispatched with. The site now contains little more than a shadowy picture of the VPX battery and a notice that the line has been discontinued.
We wrote about the VPX line when they were released, but really never heard much else about them. We saw them once in a Home Depot and thought that they felt pretty cheap and we had a few conversations with our readers who all thought the same. Still, we liked the idea that Black & Decker was going to make a battery system that would go beyond standard power tools and get into things like air inflators, hand vacs, power sources, etc.. But apparently no one really bought into the idea. Our guess is that this is old news considering the VPX sale we stumbled across over a year ago.
It looks like the tools are still available at Amazon for some pretty low prices if you're interested.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at May 5, 2009 4:48 AM
Firestorm, VPX, Navigator saw, & more - all gone in about 18 months after the initial big splash at Home Depot or Lowes. I don't see how they get any return on their R&D, which must be considerable when it comes to cost engineering. With this kind of pattern, it's scary to buy anything from them that you'd like to keep around for a while. I really liked the Navigator saw. Nw, the blades are getting scarce.
Yeah, it's the color that makes the tool...really.
Anyway, I have the 2VPX drill and thought it was great. Lasts a good long time and has plenty of power; really sorry that B&D decided to discontinue the line - a lot of their stuff has been junk lately and these seemed decent enough, no matter what you think they looked like.
I had a feeling this line was going to fail. I was a big fan of the versapak stuff from 17 years ago, mainly the little screwdriver and snake light, but these VPX tools looked like nintendo controllers from the 80's. B&D should get back to the basics, make a simplified line, and change the color of their tools back to black as well, the ugly orange can't be helping things.