November 11, 2007

Ryobi 12-Volt Lithium Ion Drill in Stores

Saw it today at Home Depot. $79.

Read about the tool here.

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

November 4, 2007

Skil 7.2-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Wrench - Review

Skil_wrench_1.jpgNow with just about every major tool company trying to convert every single power tool into a cordless version, there are bound to be some duds. Some tools just won't be able to make the conversion, due to who knows what. So every time a new tool comes out, we cringe a little bit, wondering if it will be the first big disaster. With this in mind, we were curious about Skil's new Power Wrench. Would it be possible to make a battery operated ratchet tool? Skil was nice enough to let us try one out, so we're happy to say we have an answer to that question.

skil_wrench_charger.jpgFirst, some general info on the tool. The Skil Power Wrench has a nice ergonomic handle, complete with little finger ridges. The trigger is right there and is no problem to get to and easy to keep depressed. Like a traditional ratchet, the forward/reverse toggle is located at the rear of the head, and operated just like you expect it to.

The tool is light, weighing just under two pounds. The weight is nicely distributed through the tool, so it's an easy 2 lbs to deal with, making the wrench feel solid and very natural in the hands. The tool operates on an internal lithium-ion battery, and the entire unit plugs into the charger stand, which can sit on any flat surface or be mounted to the wall.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (16) | social bookmarking

October 26, 2007

Dremel Duo (Stylus & Driver) - Review

dremel_duo1.jpgDremel has just released a new lithium-ion powered screwdriver, the Dremel Driver, and they've bundled it with their Dremel Stylus, which has been out since 2006. We were curious to see how Dremel was going to handle the whole lightweight lithium-ion screwdriver thing and we jumped at the chance to test out the little guy and as a bonus, we got our hands on the Stylus as well.

The Dremel Driver and Stylus come nicely packaged together, but are also available as stand alones (more on that later). They come with a stand/charger that fits both tools, charging one at a time. There is also a nice little compartmentalized case for your rotary bits and driver bits as well as an expansion piece for the stand that clicks onto the side and provides a space to store your bits for easy access. This last piece isn't pictured, as we lost it somewhere along the way during our test phase. We're pretty sure it's in the truck somewhere.

dremel_duo_box.jpg

The system has no removable battery to charge. Instead the entire unit clicks into the stand and it does its charging there. This situation presents no bench top space issues, seeing as both of these tools combined are hardly any bigger than the standard 18-volt battery and won't be taking up much space at all.

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

Skil 7.2-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Wrench

skil_wrench.jpgSkil has recently released an interesting little tool called the Power Wrench. It's essentially a 7.2-volt ratchet that fits a 1/4" socket and can also be used as a low-clearance screwdriver.

The wrench has a forward/reverse switch and a soft grip handle. The tool comes with a 17-piece accessory set which looks like it includes a standard collection of sockets and driver bits. Like the Dremel Duo, there is no removable battery, but a charging stand instead, which can either sit on a counter or get mounted on the wall. The tool weighs just over 1-1/2 lbs.

We're sure this is going to be a big Christmas item for Dad's and DIYers everywhere. It could also be a nice gift for someone who is getting on in their years and is losing hand strength.

Skil's Power Wrench sells for about $60.

At Amazon.com

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

October 25, 2007

Black & Decker VPX Website is Live (for real this time)

bd_vpx_2.jpgWell, after over almost two weeks of looking at that spinning battery, the Black & Decker VPX website is up and running. It looks very cool too. There's good info on all the tools, a bit about the battery system, and a neat page devoted to the team and some of the concepts they came up with during development.

Go and check it out at www.vpxsystem.com.

More on the VPX System here.

VPX tools at Amazon.com

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

October 18, 2007

Milwaukee V18 Vs. 18V?

milwaukee_li_ion_18.jpgA while back, we told you about Milwaukee's new Compact 18-Volt Drill, but what we didn't know is that the li-ion battery that comes with it is not the same as Milwaukee's standard 18-volt lithium-ion battery. As it turns out, the differences between the two batteries are significant. For one, the new compact batteries only work with other Milwaukee compact li-ion tools as opposed to the larger batteries, which are compatible with all of your old Milwaukee 18-volt tools.

But don't worry, there's a real easy way to tell them apart. The new ones are called 18V Lithium-Ion Batteries and the older ones are called V18 Lithium-Ion Batteries. Simple, right?

Our buddies over at Toologics have the complete run down of the two batteries here.

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

October 16, 2007

Black & Decker VPX3101 VPX Inverter

vpx_inverter.jpgContinuing our coverage of Black & Decker's new VPX line of lithium-Ion tools, we're now going to take a look at the item we think is the most interesting of the bunch, the VPX Inverter.

What this little li-ion gizmo does is provide you with a mobile power source good for giving a little juice where needed. It seems tailored to small electronic devices like cell phones and MP3 players. Because it's no bigger than the average flashlight and weighs less than a pound, it looks like a good thing to throw in the backpack for a camping trip or a long vacation.

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

October 12, 2007

Black & Decker VPX Website is Live

vpx_battery_charger.jpg
UPDATE: It really is live now. Details here.
Looks like Black & Decker is finally catching up to the buzz that's starting to emerge around their new VPX line of tools. Sometime yesterday, they put up a website just for that set of tools. At the moment, it's just a placeholder with a swirling battery, but if you're into staring at that for a while, the page is at www.vpxsystem.com.

Earlier postings on the VPS System here and here.

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

October 11, 2007

Black & Decker VPX Starter Set

black_decker_vpx.jpgLast week, we told you about Black & Decker's VPX Lithium-Ion Tools, their new line of affordable cordless tools. Now, we're going be highlighting the individual tools in the series to give you a closer look at what's available.

Because a lot of the tools in the line are available in tool only-format (no battery included), once you have a few batteries, you'll be able to pick and choose your tools in a relatively inexpensive manner. But, you have to get the batteries somewhere, so why not start collecting the line where Black & Decker advises, their VPX Starter Set.

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

October 5, 2007

Black & Decker VPX Lithium-IonTools

BD_vpx.jpgUPDATE: 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.

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

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