May 30, 2012
Ever dug into a wall and cut a wire? How about a pipe? We've all done it and it's not a good scene, especially that first moment of "awwww....come on!" General Tools has come up with a downright futuristic way to avoid the problem and it's all contained within the two-part tool they're calling the CL10.
Continue reading: "General Tools CL10"
July 26, 2011
Last week we had the honor of attending this year's Milwaukee Product Symposium. It's their big annual to-do where they announce all of their new tools for the coming year. There were big tools, little tools, new tools, classic tools, and most of all embargoed tools. It's this last category that is driving us a little batty at the moment. These are the tools that Milwaukee is on the verge of releasing, but they're not 100 percent ready to make the public announcement yet, so all of us press types got to look at them, play with them, hear about them, but we can't talk about them. It's killing us too, because some of these tools are great. As in really great. One in particular (to us the highlight of the show) is so bizarre and off the beaten path that it makes their 12-volt Pex Expander look like a common everyday item. But enough about the things we can't talk about and on to the things that we can...
Continue reading: "Milwaukee Product Symposium 2011 (aka: EmbargoLand)"
January 28, 2011
In just a few short years, inspection scopes have gone from, "only the specialists have them" to "my mom's got like three of these things." Actually, that's not true, we're not there yet, but we're getting there. And with its big box store availability and nice price, the Ryobi Cordless Inspection Scope, powered by their 4-volt Tek4 battery gives a solid push in that direction. Ryobi sent us one to check out and after using it for about a month in a variety of settings, here we are writing the review...
Continue reading: "Ryobi Tek4 Cordless Inspection Scope - Review"
October 14, 2010
Looks like it won't be long before we start seeing Bosch inspection cameras. Big Blue just yesterday announced a partnership with Perceptron, a company specifically dedicated to optical devices and apparently the makers of the first inspection camera.
As we started digging through the Perceptron website, we began to get all worked up in a tizzy up over this. We can't even understand the purpose of easily 2/3rds of their products, so thinking of ways that all this crazy technology could be distilled down to the contractor world gave us that euphoric nitrous balloon feeling. Could Bosch be completely blowing the doors off the inspection world? And then we stumbled across this...
The first commercial [visual inspection] product, the Ridgid® SeeSnake® micro™ inspection camera, was launched in 2007 through a partnership with Ridge Tool Company. The SeeSnake® micro™ allows users to easily perform visual inspections in hard to reach areas.
and then this,
Perceptron introduced its second major product for Ridge Tool, the Ridgid® microEXPLORER™ Digital Inspection Camera, in July 2008. The microEXPLORER™ takes inspection to the next level with it's ability to capture still images or record videos for diagnosing and solving difficult problems. In October 2008, CBU released the second generation of the SeeSnake® micro™.
There's also information on Perceptron partnering with Snap-On for inspection devices targeting the mechanic. So there is the possibility that the partnership will be similar to Ridgid's and may only be about an inspection camera and little else.
We'll see though. We hope we're wrong. We want to see fireworks.
Press release after the jump...
Continue reading: "Bosch Announces Partnership with Perceptron"
September 3, 2009
Jay over at CopTool has just posted up a nice review of of the two most popular inspection cameras on the market, the Ridgid Explorer and the Milwaukee M-Spector. The upshot of his review is that the Ridgid Explorer seems to have the better selection of features, but that it costs almost three hundred dollars more. But this isn't to say that the Milwaukee is a bad tool at all, because it's not. It has it's own set of advantages such as battery compatibility with other M12 tools, a longer battery life and a built-in microphone.
Check out CopTools review here.
(Image gratuitously snagged from CopTool)
Ridgid Explorer at Ohio Power Tool and Amazon.com
Milwaukee M12 M-Spector at Ohio Power Tool and Amazon.com
April 27, 2009
Ridgid recently increased the capabilities of their SeeSnake with the release of two new monitors for the system. The big selling point on these two new items seems to be the fact that they can be powered by both standard AC or with Ridgid's 18-volt li-ion battery. This feature obviously translates into a much greater degree of portability and ease of use.
The LCDPak is the larger of the two new monitors. It's got a 10.4" color LCD display with 640x480 resolution and ten levels of light adjustment. The LCDPak can run for about five hours on two 18-volt batteries, but can also operate for a shorter time on one if need be.
The MiniPak is a smaller version and can also be run off of both power sources. It has a 5.7" color display and only takes one battery to get to the five hour mark.
Keep in mind that these monitors are part of the SeeSnake system and aren't necessarily sold with the SeeSnake camera hose. They are also high-powered pieces of digital equipment and are priced accordingly. As stand-alone items, the LCDPak and MiniPak retail for $2,600 and $2,000 respectively. It ain't cheap, but that's not to say it's not handy either (hellooo double negative). We've played around with both the Ridgid and Milwaukee hand held versions of the inspection camera and quickly saw how these larger models could be helpful. They're not really items for the homeowner, but someone in the trades could put them to good use.
MiniPak at Ohio Power Tools
LCDPak at Ohio Power Tools
Here's a video with more information on the LCDpak:
July 30, 2008
The guys at CopTool have some cool information on Ridgid's second generation inspection camera. It seems that not only has Ridgid addressed any complaints with their first version, but they've added a whole lot more sauce as well.
New features include pan, zoom and a self-leveling camera. This is all well and good, but the real leap with this tool is that it can capture both images and video. And we're not talking about grainy 'here's my photo of the UFO I took in my backyard' resolution, we're talking about 1280 x 1024 images and 320 x 240 video. And once taken, the images and video can be easily transferred to a computer.
This looks like an amazing tool and a gift from the heavens to anyone who has ever had to track down a leak or find out what's in the way of that duct. But the impressiveness of the tool doesn't end with the features, it includes the price as well. This fella is going to go for a smashing $785. It's a boatload of money, but if it's a tool that you could use, it's a price worth considering.
Right now, Ohio Power Tools is taking pre-orders for a reduced price of $690. Order yours here.
May 7, 2008
Based on the great success of last year's Ridgid SeeSnake Micro (our review here), we've been wondering how long it would be before someone else followed suit with a similar tool. Well it turns out that it's Milwaukee and they've added a number of nice features, making their Digital Inspection Camera an across the boards improvement on the SeeSnake.
The basics of the tool are the same; there's a three foot long flexible hose with a camera lens on one end and a hand-held screen on the other. The lens end has a light and, like the Ridgid, hose extensions are available if 3' isn't enough length.
Continue reading: "Milwaukee Digital Inspection Camera"
March 12, 2008
We've been hearing about The Ridgid SeeSnake Micro for a while now and in the last month or so, we've seen it start to show up at job sites in a lot of different hands. First it was electricians, then it was plumbers, and now it's everyone else from carpenters to HVAC guys. We wanted to find out what the big deal is all about so we got our hands on one and gave it a whirl.
Continue reading: "Ridgid SeeSnake Micro - Review"