September 21, 2010

Paslode Cordless Roofing Nailer


Last week at The Remodeling Show, Paslode released their version of the Cordless Roofing Nailer that Duo-Fast announced earlier in the month. Other than the paint color, it's the same tool, so if you prefer orange over blue, boy is this your lucky day!

Check out what we had to say about Duo-Fast's nailer here.

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

September 15, 2010

DeWalt 12-Volt Max Cordless Screwdriver - Review

dewalt_screwdriver.jpgA few months ago, we packed up and headed out to DeWalt HQ (they call it Black & Decker University), and got a first look at their new 12-volt line (our post on the subject is here). While there, we got to get a little time with the tools, but we were anxious to get them out in the real world.

So thankfully, DeWalt recently sent us a sample of their new 12-volt cordless screwdriver and we've had a chance to introduce it to some jobsite tasks (as well as some non-jobsite tasks that we designed only to push the tool to the edge), and here is how it fared...

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

September 10, 2010

Duo-Fast DFCR175C Cordless Roofing Nailer


It's been a busy time for nail guns. First, Bosch hit the scene with their Full-Force Technology, a big advancement in air-powered guns, then, a few months ago, Senco introduced the Fusion cordless nailer, which combined pneumatic strength with a cordless single fuel source. And now, here's Duo-Fast with another first: a battery/gas powered coil roofing nailer.

Last night, we were lucky enough to sit in on a conference call with Duo-Fast as they introduced this fella to the world and afterward we had a cup of tea with an imaginary friend and had a nice little Q&A about the tool.

So this is the first cordless coil nailer?

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

September 8, 2010

Craftsman NEXTEC 12-volt Right Angle Impact Driver

craftsman_right_angle_impact.jpgWe've used two 12-volt right-angle impact drivers (the Hitachi and the Ridgid JobMax) and we're big fans of the category. They're great for a lot of things and the Hitachi in particular can get into spots that are unimaginably tight.

So we see it as generally good news that Craftsman is in the process of releasing a 12-volt right angle impact driver. Overall, we've been impressed with their 12-volt line (finding their oscillating tool particularly attractive), and at first glance, this new one looks like a nice tool at a slightly-higher-than-you-would-expect price.

By the numbers the Craftsman (700 in/lbs torque) tops out both the Hitachi (235) and the Ridgid (650), so it's certainly powerful enough (we compared the Ridgid directly to the Hitachi here).

Other than that, there's not a whole lot to say. The handle is similar to the AutoHammer and we can vouch for the comfort there. The weight is 2.2 lbs, the same as the Hitachi.

The Craftsman will go for just under $100, including a case, a charger, and one battery. It's the one battery thing that sticks us on the price. It just seems expensive seeing as Bosch and Milwaukee both have 2 battery drivers in the $100-$120 range (granted, they're not right angle drivers, but still....).

At Sears

The press release is after the jump...

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

September 2, 2010

Milwaukee Red Lithium

Milwaukee_logo.jpgRemember that whole thing about us going to Milwaukee earlier in the year and the part about, 'there are things we saw that we legally can't talk about until Milwaukee tells us we can?" Well, we just got word that the embargo has been lifted and that we can finally spill the beans about their new Red Lithium battery.

Q. So what does the battery offer?
A. More.
Q. More what?
A. More.
Q. More?
A. More.

More everything. More run time (up to 40% more according to Milwaukee). More speed (20%). More torque (20%). More charges (50%). And more durability in extreme conditions (operable at 0F).

We saw this battery in action and it's no joke. Particularly impressive to us was when they started pulling tools out of the freezer to show off its cold-weather abilities. Living in the northern part of the country, we run into the lithium-ion vs. winter problem a lot, and this new battery was a clear winner in this department.

Red Lithium is ready to go for the M12 and M18 platforms so in the next few months Milwaukee will be releasing 8 new tools which will come with the Red Lithium battery (the ones we saw at the Symposium) and from that point on all of their tools will transition to the upgrade. We recall being told that the new battery will not effect the price point of the tools. Also the battery will be available as a stand-alone so you can upgrade your existing Milwaukee tools.

We really like the theory behind this move. Why bother tinker around with individual tools making them better, when you can just improve the fuel system and thus upgrade your entire line in one sword swipe? Pretty crafty and a definite bonus to your end user.

Milwaukee tools at

Press release with more information on the battery is after the jump...

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

August 20, 2010

Porter-Cable 12-Volt Max Clamp Saw


Just yesterday, Porter-Cable dropped the news of their new 12-volt line. Of the three new tools, the drill/driver and the impact driver look like pretty standard operators at a nice price ($140 for the combo set) but it's the third and final tool of this initial release that cause our ears to prick up a bit.

The 12-volt Clamp Saw carries with it the micro-recip vibe that is already establishing itself on the market, but this one appears to have a few characteristics that make it stand out from both the Milwaukee Hackzall and the Hitachi mini-recip.

pc_clampsaw2.jpg pc_clapmsaw3.jpg

First, the body has a hinge, giving the tool a close relationship to the Milwaukee Hatchet. This hinge should make for easier maneuvering in crawl spaces and other tight spots. We're generally in favor of handles that allow for 'between-the-joists' options.

And what will you be doing with the Clamp Saw in those cramped spots? Probably cutting out the broken 1/2" copper line that you let freeze, which leads us nicely into our next feature. The shoe of the tool is not only adjustable, but it can clamp small diameter items against the tool, holding them stable for the cut. Anyone who has had to cut an unsupported piece of pipe can see the benefit of this. If it works, it should remove all the clangity-clang and rattle-rattle-rattle associated with cutting small little objects.

The Clamp Saw will be available in October and will retail for about $130 for the tool, a bag, a charger, and two batteries.

The press release on all three tools is after the jump.

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

August 10, 2010

Popular Mechanics Cordless Finish Gun Test

nail-guns.jpgMy latest article for Popular Mechanics was posted up yesterday. In this one, I compared the various fuel types available for cordless finish guns. In other words I pitted the DeWalt against the Paslode against the Senco Fusion. As a control, I also threw in the Bosch pneumatic. A few of the test results are pretty surprising, so if you're into finish guns or if you're even just part of the tech crowd, it might be worth a look see.

Read the article here.

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

July 29, 2010

ZipSnip Multi-Function Cutting Tool

ZipSnip.jpgThe Skil Power Cutter (our review here) is an interesting little tool. Released about two years ago, it seemed to fill a little void in the cutting world, but we never had the impression it really caught on. We use ours from time to time, but instincts or habit (whichever we feel like blaming at the time) usually have us reaching for regular old tin snips or construction scissors rather than the Cutter. That's not to say anything about the functionality of the tool, just our little monkey-brain and the obstacles that tool companies face when they create something that replaces a tried and true hand tool.

So there's now a new tool called the ZipSnip that is essentially the same thing (but a whisker less expensive) than the Skil Cutter. It doesn't seem to have any new features. In fact without the fuel light, it has less. This may account for the $10 difference in price. The ZipSnip has a slightly different handle configuration with a larger paddle switch and the safety switch on the top of the tool, rather than the side. Other than that, it has the same self-sharpening blade and plug-in charger.

Our guess is that it works just as well.

The Power Cutter is about $40 at and the ZipSnip is $30 (at

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

July 26, 2010

Milwaukee 2010 Product Symposium


The reason we were so light on posts last week is that we were lucky enough to be at Milwaukee's annual Product Symposium. While there, we ate some great food, hung out with a solid group of our tool-writer pals, enjoyed a lot of great conversations with the Milwaukee crowd, and most importantly had the opportunity to get a look at this year's line of new tools.

The nitty-gritty of the event has been covered by a few of our fellow compatriots here and here, so we're going to stick to just a few thoughts on some of the new items that we saw...

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

July 20, 2010

Senco Fusion F-15 Cordless Finish Nailer - Review

senco_fusion_hero.jpgThere's been a lot of buzz around the Senco Fusion. And if you're to believe what Senco has been saying about it, there should be. To give it all some context, you need to know that, to date, the technology behind cordless finish guns seems, well, incomplete. There are the gas powered guns, which take a battery and a removable gas cartridge, but they smell terrible and have the added expense of replacing the gas cartridge. Then there are the nailers powered by a flywheel motor, which have solved the dual fuel problem (as well as the odor), but are lacking in power, particularly when dealing with hardwoods. So there are options out there, but you're getting yourself into a tradeoff; sure I don't have a compressor or hoses, but I've got a smelly gas cartridge or I've got a gun that has some difficulty with mahogany. There isn't any ideal situation out there.

So the Senco Fusion seeks to fill this gap and combine the best of both arenas. Its goal is to fuse the manueverability of the cordless gun with the power of the traditional pneumatic nailer. And how does it attempt to do this, you ask?

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

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