Cordless

February 13, 2014

Craftsman SpeedShot 19.2-Volt Cordless Brad Nailer

craftsman_speedshot.jpgWell, this is interesting. While researching for another article, I just ran across this little fella at the Craftsman website. It's a cordless brad nailer and it looks like it carries a lot of the same mojo as the Ryobi AirStrike which was released last year (our review is here).

Both tools can handle 18-gauge brads from 5/8 to 2-inch. They both have LEDs and two firing modes. Belt hooks, you name it...they're pretty similar.

I'm a big fan of the AirStrike and think that it really opens up nail guns to the non-pro crowd. Compressors are a hassle and not everyone wants to deal with them, and the cordless nail guns that are already on the market are priced waaaay too high for the casual user. So here comes Ryobi, and now Craftsman, both well established brands with solid battery platforms offering a relatively inexpensive ($130 for the Ryobi, $140 for the Craftsman) nailing options.

So as far as which one to get, it probably comes down to a couple questions:

1. Do you already have any 18-volt Craftsman or Ryobi tools?

If none, proceed to question #2.

2. Which is closer: Home Depot or Sears?

Speedshot at Sears ($219 with Charger and one battery) and bare tool at Craftsman.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

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January 16, 2014

Bostitch BTC400LB 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver

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Update: Bostitch just informed us that the pricing on the drill should be $150 and not the $80 that Amazon is selling it for. Who knows what's going on over at Amazon, but they just bumped the price down another $10 and added "only one left in stock," so go on and get while the Gettins good.

Sooo...Bostitch is into power tools now. At the moment, they've got a basic line-up; Standard carpenter gear, nothing too fancy. Jigsaws, recips, circ saws type things. No routers or anything specialized. We were curious about the line-up and the quality level, so Bostitch was nice enough to send us one of the 18-volt drills to check out (the flagship tool of just about every product line).

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

November 5, 2013

Senco DS212 18-Volt Li-Ion Auto-Feed Screwdriver - Review

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A little while back Senco updated their line of cordless auto-feed screwdrivers. The new versions are not only powered by a li-ion battery, but they also have a space age look to them, giving it the appearance of something that Ripley from Aliens would use. Senco was nice enough to send us one of their DS212 18s to check out and here's what we thought.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 30, 2013

Ryobi AirStrike 18-Volt 18 Gauge 2-inch Brad Nailer - Review

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So it's no secret that we're on board with the cordless Paslode for all of our finish nailing needs. If we can take the compressor out of our routine, we're going to do it. But what about a cordless brad gun? Ryobi was kind enough to get one of their new 18-volt AirStrike Brad Nailers in our hands and we've been playing around with it for a little while. Here's what we think:

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

September 5, 2013

Paslode Fuel + Nail Packs - Review

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This isn't a review as much as it's a high-five, fist-pound, belly-bump to Paslode for their Fuel + Nail packs. Since we got the li-ion version of the Paslode finish gun, we've hardly even picked up a pneumatic nailer. Why bother? The Paslode has all of the power with none of the compressor hassle. Gone are hoses, finding an outlet for the compressor, obnoxious filling noise, and just lugging the thing around. Goodbye.

So Paslode offers, these Fuel + Nail packs where you get 1000 galvy finish nails and a fuel pack. By a total coincidence, a fuel pack is good for approximately 1000 nails. They sent us one to check out and it all works like you'd expect it would. One really nice touch is that each pack includes an adapter nozzle so the gas canister can be used with the NiCd version of the tool. The connection in the Li-Ion gun is much better and not as fragile, but if you already own the older gun, these will work for you too.

Overall, they're really convenient and they eliminate that constant feeling we used to have where we were always worried about running out of fuel half way through a job.

The packs are around $20 and are available at Home Depot or online (or your local tool store).

At Amazon

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 5, 2013

Festool Carvex Is Almost Here (for reals this time, yo)

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At least we hope it's for real. I think it was two years ago that it was on the verge of US release and then it was pulled at the last minute. It was so close that I got to test drive one at that year's JLC show. But then word went out that it was a no-go. If I recall, Festool said that it had to do with a performance issue.

But now, it's back again and slated for a September 1 release.

We're usually pretty impressed with Festool products, their four-headed drill is a champ and the RO 90 DX Rotex sands like the devil himself. I've never used any of their Trion Jigsaws, but I've actually heard quite a few luke warm things from those who have. Sort of a, "yeah, it's kinda cool, but...."

That said, the Carvex, their new line of jigsaws, looks to be above and beyond. That's really the only way to describe a tool that has a four LED strobe light that shines on the blade, timed to the stroke. So when you're using the tool, the blade looks like it's standing still. Seriously. Check it out here:

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

June 20, 2013

Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter - Review

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Construction happens fast these days. Communications between client, contractor, designer, subs, and architect go back and forth like a bouncy ball in a shoebox. Part of this is due to the 'cover your ass' mentality that relies on email for the digital paper trail. Another part is that people no longer seem interested in the more efficient method of, well, just picking up a phone. I used to work with a project manager who would literally send hundreds of emails each day. Most of them just asking a single follow-up question to a previous email. Fella, just pick up the phone and it will be all over in about 3 minutes. But anyway, my point is that even crusty construction workers need constant access to a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, and for them, there's the Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

June 19, 2013

Flipout 7.2-Volt Cordless Screwdriver

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The first time I heard about Kickstarter was when someone told me that multi-bazillionaire Zach Braff was drumming up money to make some unwatchable art film. I think he got 3.1 million dollars or something. I thought the ridiculously high ticket prices were donation enough, but I guess I'm wrong.

But anyway, recently I've found some worthy projects at the site, including my old friend who just raised enough coin to start bottling her own whiskey (now, THAT is worth donating to). And then, this morning, I got an email directing me to another campaign, this one for the Flipout Electric Screwdriver.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 17, 2013

Milwaukee Tools: Annual Shindig 2013

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Last week I was lucky enough to get invited to the annual Milwaukee Tools Product Symposium. It's their yearly event where they showcase all of the new things they have coming down the pipeline. And lets just say that this time around, it was a seriously big pipeline.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 1, 2013

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hammer Drill/Driver - Review

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We've been holding on to this review for a while. We've had the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hammer Drill/Driver for months and months and we kept thinking we'd find its breaking point, but no such luck. We've tried hard to bust it up, wear it down, and simply burn it out. But we can't, it's a champ. A real heavyweight. Maybe the most powerful 18 volt drill we've used. There is no stopping it.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 4, 2012

Red Wing 4216 Work Boot with Boa Closure System - Review

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UPDATE: We realized that we failed to mention the most impressive thing about the Boa and that is the fact that the 'laces' never loosen. We really like our boots to fit snug around our ankles and these deliver the good all day long.

***

As soon as we put on our first pair of Red Wing 606s, we were hooked. To us, they're the ideal work boot; durable, comfortable, and completely devoid of 'features.' We like the old fashioned feel of them. It's little that a few pieces of leather and a really nice sole. Perfect for our simple sensibilities.

But Red Wings also can swing the other way towards the hi-tech and they've just introduced a pair of boots, the 4216s, that utilize the Boa Closure System in lieu of laces. It's a funky set-up and it looks pretty strange. If you're a snowboarder, you're already familiar with it because it's been used in that industry for years. But now it's taken it's first foray into the world of construction. Red Wing sent us a pair to check out and because of our undying devotion to the 606s, we were pretty excited about it.

We've had the boots here for a while and we've come to our conclusions....

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

September 7, 2012

Paslode 16-Gauge Angled Li-Ion Finish Nailing System - Review

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Paslode has the reputation as the go to company for cordless nailing. Their guns have really become the standard of the category. We even hear the word "Paslode" used in a generic sense, like Kleenex and Sawzall. The company has to be aware of this dominance and they likely take great pride in their position. So along with that comes the overriding need to remain current and fresh. Enter: the new Paslode 16-Gauge Li-Ion Finish Nailer. They sent us one to review and here's what we thought...

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 5, 2012

Black and Decker MATRIX

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Next month, Black and Decker will be getting into the modular tool arena with something called the Matrix. It's sort of their version of the Ridgid JobMax. It's a battery-powered handle with a PTO end that can accept a variety of different tool heads ranging from a sander to an oscillating tool to a router to a mini-circular saw. It looks like B&D has two different bodies to choose from; one powered by a 12 volt battery and one powered by a 20 volt battery. An AC version in en route and will arrive early next year.

The kits come with a drill/driver attachment and the other available heads are...

From the B&D website:

Impact Driver Attachment
• Up to 1,300 in-lbs of torque** for tough fastening applications

Oscillating Multi-Tool Attachment
• Up to 18,500 OPM (oscillations per minute)** for precision and performance when sanding, cutting, scraping, grinding, or paint removal
• Tool-free release that allows users to quickly change between accessories

Jigsaw Attachment
• Up to 2,800 SPM (strokes per minute)** for fast straight cutting or detailed curve cutting in wood, metal and plastic

Detail Sander Attachment
• Compact tool for access into tight spaces

Router Attachment
• Up to 9,000 RPM (revolutions per minute)**- ideal for use on decorative edging projects, small woodworking projects and more

Trim Saw Attachment
• Up to 3,400 RPM (revolutions per minute)** for use on plywood, paneling and fence boards

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One thing that's funky about the Matrix is that they've opted to go with a screw gun-like base, rather than a 'lightsaber' base like Ridgid used. Not sure how easy the router head will be with the Matrix, but we'll see. There are always drawbacks with the 'one-tool-does-everything' scenario and here the handle may cause some issues.

It's doubtful that the Matrix will be able to handle the abuse of a construction site, but that's OK. If it functions as advertised, it could be a nice item for a DIYer looking to consolidate or an apartment dweller who is looking for a lot of functionality but only has room for one or two tool boxes.

At Black and Decker

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 9, 2012

Bosch DGSH181K 18 Volt Cordless Die Grinder - Review

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Imagine if a Dremel mainlined Human Growth Hormone and anabolic steroids for weeks on end. The result of such an ecstatic binge of doping would be a massive, bulked-up handle with a spinning head capable of whirling an abrasive bit into thick metal. It would be a durable tool that could withstand the constant abuse of a jobsite and remain unfazed at being casually thrown into the back of a pick-up truck. This newly engorged tool would look exactly like Bosch's new cordless die grinder.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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