March 10, 2008

Skil 7.2V Lithium Ion Power Driver - Review

Skil_7_volt_in_hand.jpgSkil has joined Bosch and Milwaukee (and now Hitachi) by getting into the compact driver market. Late last year they released a little 7.2V Pocket Driver, and we were pretty thrilled when they offered to let us try one out.

It's a very little driver that fits easily in the hands. It's got a 1/4" hex chuck for quick bit changing, a forward/reverse indicator, an 11 position clutch, and a little light to tell you when the battery is getting low.

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

March 4, 2008

Hitachi DB10DL 10.8 Volt Lithium Ion Micro Driver Drill

hitachi_micro_driver.jpgHitachi just kicked off their Micro Series, a new line of small Lithium-Ion tools, with a 10.8 Volt Micro Driver. It looks like it's very similar to Milwaukees 12-Volt Sub-Compact Driver, Skil's little 7.2 Volt Power Driver (look for a review soon), and especially Bosch's Litheon Pocket Driver, but there are a couple features that set it apart from the pack.

First, the design is similar to a regular-sized cordless in that the battery sits like a shoe at the end of the handle. To the user, this translates into the tool's ability to stand up on its own. This may sound insignificant, but if you've got your hands full with your knee propping this up and your shoulder holding up that, anything that makes grabbing the tool easier is a welcome thing.

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

February 26, 2008

Ridgid Job-Site Radio / Race Scanner

ridgid_radio.jpgHave you ever been working on a project and thought to yourself, "Boy, I wish I had every single one of my Slayer albums with me right now." If so, Ridgid's new Job-Site Radio is a blessing from the heavens. With this iPod compatible, portable radio, it'll be Reign in Blood one minute and Seasons in the Abyss the next.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (8) | social bookmarking

February 15, 2008

Dirt Cheap Black & Decker VPX Tools at Home Depot

black_decker_vpx_drill.jpgWe were at our local Home Depot the other day and saw some huge deals on Black & Decker's VPX line. The tools were all spread out on a folding table and the prices were marked with those little tags that you see at yard sales. To us, the whole scene screamed, "We stocked waaay too many of these things for the holidays." We can't remember most of the prices other than that the 7-volt Drill/Driver was $20.

Has anyone out there used these tools? We've played around with them in the store and thought they looked pretty cheaply made. The plastic seemed very breakable and they felt more like children's toys than power tools.

In other Home Depot news, according to our friends at Toologics, Lowes will no longer be carrying Milwaukee, making Home Depot the only mega-store to stock the brand. Details here.

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

February 12, 2008

10C Crew Charge and Pro Charge

10c_crewcharge.jpgIf you're like us you've got an army of battery chargers lined up at your jobsite or in your garage. You've got a Makita cordless drill, a DeWalt cordless recip saw, a Ryobi cordless circular saw, and you need to keep everything charged and ready to go. It's nice to have the tools but having so many chargers can be a real inconvenience. Someone else, someone smarter and business-minded, apparently had the same problem and so now a company called 10C has released the Crew Charge and Pro Charge.

In simple terms, they are multi-platform chargers, meaning they have the ability to charge all of your batteries no matter what brand they are. But in addition to this capability, the 10C chargers actually work better and faster (a full charge in 15 minutes) than the chargers that come with your tools. On the 10C website they refer to their technology as a 'low heat' charge using an 'internal microprocessor' and 'patented algorithms." We got confused by their science talk and just watched the video on their site, which shows that the 10C charger really beats out a standard charger as far as speed goes.

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

January 14, 2008

Denali 3.6V Lithium-Ion Cordless Screwdriver Kit

denali_screwdriver.jpgDenali has recently released a 3.6-volt screwdriver set that looks to us like a nice little kit. The tool, weighing less than a pound, has a nose-mounted LED, a cushion grip handle, and a battery indicator light.

But what really makes this screwdriver look good is the wall mounted charger which also doubles as a bit storage unit. Not only is the unit very compact, but all of the bits and accessories are easy to see and access.

denali_screwdriver2.jpgThe screwdriver also comes with a storage bag if you'd rather not have the thing stuck to your wall for all eternity. And because the li-ion battery can hold a charge for up to 18 months, this might be the case. The entire package goes for about $25, which sounds to us like a pretty good deal, especially for someone living in an apartment who just need something for minor repairs and hanging pictures.

At Amazon.com

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

December 10, 2007

Ryobi 4-Piece Lithium-Ion Power Tool Kit - Review

Ryobi_Li_set.jpgLithium-ion batteries are a big deal right now. They last longer, charge quicker, and are half the weight of other batteries. But the catch is that they're quite a bit more expensive. There has been a lot of talk lately about Ryobi and their new line of inexpensive li-ion tools. But are they any good? Bad tools for a good price are still bad tools. Well, we spent all week using and abusing the 4-piece set and we're here to report back our findings. For the review, we're going to look at each tool individually and then wrap things up with some thoughts on the set as a whole.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

December 5, 2007

Skil 14.4-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver - Review

skil14.jpgA little bit ago, we reviewed Skil's 18-Volt Lithium Ion Drill/Driver. We found it to be a nice tool for the casual user, but probably not for the contractor. Now we've gone and taken a good look at the Skil 14.4-Volt Drill Driver and can report that the tools are basically identical, except that the 14.4 is a little more affordable, lighter, and a little less powerful.

Like the 18-Volt Drill, the 14.4-Volt has the strange battery design with the exposed terminals. But this time, we took our heads out of the sand and realized that this serves a purpose. With the charging terminals located at the bottom of the battery, you are able to charge the battery with the tool attached. So there's a purpose to it, but does it make sense? Even in a really rushed situation, we've always had time to take the battery off the charger and plug it into the tool, so it can't be a time-saving issue. But maybe this is more for saving workbench space, so if you're someone with limited room, this could be a good thing.

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

November 30, 2007

Ryobi 4-Piece Lithium-Ion Set Arrives for Review

ryobi_four_piece.jpg

UPDATE: The review is here.

The good folks at Ryobi just sent along one of their 4-Piece Li-Ion sets and we're really looking forward to checking it out since it's pretty much the most talked about set this holiday season. Is it true that they offer both quality and affordability? We're going to start abusing them tomorrow and as soon as we can, we'll let you know what we find out.

There's more about the set here and here. And don't forget Ryobi's little 12-Volt compact drill/driver here.

We'll also be testing out Ryobi's Self-Leveling Laser, so stay tuned for that too. Details on that tool here.

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

November 15, 2007

Skil 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver - Review

Skil_18.jpgSkil has recently gotten into the lithium-ion race with their nice 7-volt Power Wrench and now they're getting into some higher voltage with their new 18-Volt Lithium Cordless Drill/Driver.

Although it's fairly stripped down, the drill/driver comes equipped with some nice features. It's got a little light, located at the bottom of the handle that shines on the tip of the tool, brightening up the work piece. Right next to it is a three light indicator system that displays the charge left in the battery. The drill also has a 15 position clutch and a little forward/reverse indicator light.

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

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