January 24, 2011

i-Drill 2i-Drill Review

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There's a new 12-volt platform on the block and it's from a company called i-Drill. They were nice enough to send us one of their new 2-Speed Drills to review.

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

January 20, 2011

Milwaukee M12 Cordless Multi-Tool (Oscillating Tool)

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So this one was just a matter of time. We're actually surprised it took so long for Milwaukee to get with the oscillating tool program and on top of that, we're actually disappointed that they opted for a cordless version. We privately had high hopes for a corded version that would give King Fein some competition. No such luck.

But still the new Milwaukee Cordless Multi-Tool looks like a nice item and while we're generally uneasy with the idea of a cordless oscillating tools because of the fast battery drain, the Milwaukee is powered by their new Red Lithium battery so it stands a pretty good chance of breaking this curse, or at least making it less obnoxious. So far, cordless oscillating tools seem to drain out within 10 minutes of constant sanding, which to us is just not enough. Powering an oscillating tool is a lot to ask of a battery, and from what we've experienced, the oscillating function, when used in a construction site setting, is simply incompatible with the life that a 12-volt battery can afford it.

So anyway, we talked about Milwaukee's new Red Lithium battery here and according to the company, it supplies the juice for 40% more run time. If this holds true here, then we might finally be in business with the cordless oscillating tool.

It looks like this oscillating tool has all of the trappings of yet another solid Milwaukee offering; a metal gear case, a nice gripping area, and easy controls. The kit comes with two batteries and an accessory adapter which makes it compatible with most available accessories.

At Amazon.com

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (13) | social bookmarking

January 12, 2011

Craftsman QuickBoost Charger

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Craftsman
tipped us off to this new item about a month ago and because they made us promise we wouldn't say anything until its official release today at the Builder's Show, we've been chewing on our knuckles and shoving socks in our mouths in order to not spill the beans. The news is that their new 12-volt Nextec charger can do something they refer to as "QuickBoost."

What this charger does that no other charger can do is put 25% of a charge back on a dead battery in three minutes. That means that in the time it takes you to boil an egg, you could have your tool powered up enough to finish your project.

And don't sit there rolling your eyes thinking that 25% of a full charge isn't that much. According to Craftsman, three minutes of quality time with the QuickBoost means another 70 screws (1-1/4") driven by their Right Angle Impact Driver (which we reviewed here). It also means another 4 hours for their flashlight. So we're not talking just enough to put in one or two more screws, but rather enough to finish the last third of your project.

This three minute charge is twice as fast as their current charger which takes approximately six minutes to get to the 25% mark. Might not seem like a huge difference, but if you're standing there propping up a half-installed upper cabinet, it'll all make sense.

This gives Craftsman a nice step up against their 'one-battery' competitors (companies that offer two batteries with each tool are on a different playing field because, if you're smart about it, you'll always have a full battery ready to go).

So as it stands, all Craftsman 12-volt tools released from here on out will be sold with the new charger. And because it's compatible with all existing 12-volt Nextec batteries, the charger will also be available as a stand alone for a slightly higher price than the existing charger, which currently sells for about $30.

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

January 7, 2011

Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket - Review

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Once you've conquered the massive 12-volt Pex expander market, there's really nowhere left to go but casual outerwear. And that's what Milwaukee has done. Their crushing domination of the 12-volt world is fully on display with the release of their new M12 Heated Jacket. It's almost like they're taunting the other companies at this point. Whether or not that's actually the case (it probably isn't), they nicely sent us one to check out.

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

January 5, 2011

Bosch IXO Vino Cordless Lithium-Ion Screwdriver with Corkscrew Attachment

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Because of the lame litigious nature of the society we live in, the marriage of drinking and power tools has yet to be fully explored in a commercial context. Thankfully, Europe feels differently, particularly Euro-Bosch. Usually, when we're describing something with the prefix, 'Euro,' it's not a good thing (see: Euro-trash, Euro-hair, Euro-tude), but this time it's different.

bosch_corkscrew.jpgBehold, the 4-volt Corkscrew! Huzzah!

It's really just a 4-volt Bosch screwdriver with a funky corkscrew attachment, but we're going to ignore the fact that the tool can be used like any other screwdriver and pretend that it can only be used for opening wine bottles.

The corkscrewdriver comes with a wooden case which is quaint and nice and like everything about this tool, probably only gets nicer as more and more wine is opened and consumed.

The corkscrew costs about 40 pounds which translates to around $60USD.

At Amazon UK

H/T Geek.com

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

December 17, 2010

i-Drill

idrill.pngWhile this might seem like something from an Onion article, it's not. There really is something called the i-Drill. It has just hit the scene and it has some interesting mojo to it.

The i-Drill is a 12-volt drill/driver with a standard three-jaw chuck. It's got two gears and a variable speed trigger. As far as function goes, it appears to be a standard 12-volt drill driver (minus the part where it looks like it's made from Stormtrooper armor).

But there are two things that are unique about the drill. First, it comes with a number of international plug adapters for the charger, like you get if you travel overseas and get an international cell phone. With these adapters the tool can be used in "99.9% of the countries in the world." Our guess is that if you live in that unfortunate 0.1%, you've got larger problems than not being able to use the i-Drill. But this universality is certainly good for online retailers who can sell the drill to just about anyone in the world. It's also good if you spend your weekends in Iceland, helping your friend Bjerg tinker around with his geothermal heating system.

The other interesting thing about the tool is the look of it. There are a lot of companies out there who try to capture the 'non-tool' market, whether it's making pink tools to target women or giving tools easy-to-use features. But to us, this looks like the first tool to really succeed on that front. It has a really stylish and smart look about it with none of the 'you-don't-know-anything-about-tools' pandering that we see elsewhere. But we can't seem to shake the feeling that we've seen the general aesthetic before. We can't quite place it but there's something very familiar about it...

At Amazon.com and i-Drill (they also have a few other tools on the platform. An oscillating tool, an impact driver, a smaller drill, and a flashlight)

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

November 11, 2010

Ridgid Job Site Radio with ShockMount Technology

ridgid_jobsite_radio.jpgAny video that begins with a warranty disclaimer stating that the tool will be shown in "abnormally abusive situations,' is one that we're going to watch. We're fully in favor of the current trend in which companies display their tools' toughness by beating on them in front of a camera, but what Ridgid does in this video goes above and beyond.

To say that they're bringing down the hurt on their new radio is like saying Charlie Sheen likes to have a beer every now and then. To say that they seem to be truly attempting to destroy the tool is far closer to the truth. The standard beat-the-tool video has kind of a contrived feel, like they're going most of the way, but backing off on the abuse when they know the tool might be at risk. Not this one. And Ridgid not only doesn't back off at that delicate point, they seem to accelerate.

The one fatal flaw in the video is that there is an editing cut after they throw the radio off the roof which is the only time the face of the tool sees any abuse...call us cynical, but our BS detectors went bonkers at that one. Still, the cinder block bonanza is sublime.

Check it out...

(and thanks to Reader Thomas P. for the head's up)

Ridgid doesn't have any info at their site yet, but we found the radio at Home Depot for $150

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

November 9, 2010

Milwaukee M12 Cordless Heated Jacket Kit 2331

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Never have snow angels been easier!

Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Milwaukee what will you think of next? You're handing out a lifetime worth of tools in exchange for permanent skin-scarring loyalty, your 12-volt line has about 15 times the number of tools as all of your competitors combined, and your new lines of hand tools and measuring devices are hitting the scene with stellar reviews. We know, why don't you get into apparel? Actually no, why don't get into heated apparel? Oh wait, it looks like you're doing that too.

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

October 21, 2010

Craftsman NEXTEC 12-Volt Right Angle Impact Driver - Review

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Thus far, we've been pleasantly surprised with Craftsman's 12-volt line, particularly their cordless oscillating tool. A couple weeks ago, we got word that they released a right angle impact driver and when they offered to box one up for us and send it on for a review, we happily agreed.

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

October 14, 2010

MasterForce 18-Volt Bandsaw - Review

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We've used bandsaws on a variety of job sites, but its always been on metal, so we sort of mentally anchored the tool to that material. Now, after having the MasterForce cordless bandsaw just kicking around the shop for about two months, we can say that the bandsaw is a far more versatile tool than we gave it credit for. In fact, it's sort of our new best friend.

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

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