August 27, 2008

Bosch Releases 14.4-Volt and 18-Volt Litheon Tools

bosch_litheon.jpgBosch just sent out word that they're finally getting into the 14.4-volt and 18-volt lithium market. Up until now they've kept their Li-Ion tools at the extremes, with either the little 12-volt or the Conan the Barbarian 36-volt. But now, finally, they've discovered their middle ground.

The new tools are exclusively in the hammer/drill/driver category and from what information is available at the moment, they look pretty nice. In addition to there being the two voltages (14 and 18), there are two types of batteries as well. The Brute Tough tools come with a FatPack battery and the Compact Tough come with a SlimPack Battery. The systems are compatible with one another, meaning that SlimPack batteries fit on Brute Tough tools and vise versa. Got it?

The tools also come with a nice 2 year battery replacement policy.

bosch_fatpack.jpgbosch_slimpack.jpg

The new tools are as follows:

  • 18V Litheon BruteTough Hammer Drill/Driver
  • 14.4V Litheon BruteTough Hammer Drill/Driver
  • 18V Litheon BruteTough Drill/Driver
  • 14.4V Litheon BruteTough Drill/Driver

...and...

  • 18V Litheon CompatTough Drill/Driver
  • 14.4V Litheon CompatTough Drill/Driver

The best news is that this is just the start. After the release of these tools in October, we can expect to start seeing more tools start to appear in the lineup, including a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, and a flashlight, all 18-volts.

Bosch tools at Amazon.com

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

August 21, 2008

Milwaukee Hackzall Arrives for Review

milwaukee_hackzall.jpgWe always like to see something new and different, and that's just what Milwaukee is delivering with their new Hackzall, due out later this year. The easiest way to describe it is to call it a single handed Sawzall, but that's actually pretty far from the truth. For one, it's only 12 volts and when put up against 15 amps of destructive power, it's not up to the same tasks at all. But because it's so small, it doesn't even want to do those tasks, due to the fact that it's busy doing all the things that a full-sized Sawzall can't. Things like cutting in outlet boxes, cutting pipes in cramped spaces, and plenty of other things that you'll discover once you get your hands on one.

We were fortunate to try out a Hackzall at Milwaukee when they released the tool and there, under a very controlled setting, we really liked it a lot. We're curious to see how it does under less controlled circumstances.

Another thing worth mentioning is that when we were at Milwaukee, all of the employees, every single one, seemed very, very happy to be working there. It wasn't the pasted on smiles that you see at some press events, it was legit and almost unsettling. It had us thinking that either a) there's some pretty strong Kool-Aid in Milwaukee, or b) it really is a great company to work for. Our guess is the latter, due to the fact that everyone made eye contact when they spoke to us, as opposed to that having that glazed-over look that you see in George Romero movies.

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

August 10, 2008

Milwaukee M-Spector Giveaway

Thumbnail image for milwaukee_digital_inspectio.jpgLooks like our friends over at Toologics are giving away a Milwaukee M-Spector to one lucky person. Entering is a snap, just to to their contest page and give them your name, email, zip code, social security number, and mother's maiden name (we're kidding about those last two).

They're accepting entries until 10/31 and the random drawing will be sometime early November.

Enter the contest here.

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

August 4, 2008

Bosch PS20 12-Volt Max Pocket Driver Arrives for Review

Bosch_PS20.jpgSince we're all in favor of a seriously strong driver that can fit in a nail pouch, we're pretty happy that Bosch has just released their 12-Volt Max Pocket Driver. It's sort of an upgrade of their 10.8-volt driver, but not the way you think. The new tool is capable of 100 inch-pounds of torque and a speed of 500 rpm, both 25% upgrades from the previous model.

The way it is not an upgrade is in the battery. We know you're saying, "what the eff? The new one is a 12-volt and the old one is a 10.8-volt! That's an upgrade, morons." Not really. What has happened is that when Bosch released the original tool they called it 10.8-volts, using the nominal voltage of the battery. But then other companies started putting out similar tools and referring to them by their maximum voltage, which is 12-volts. So the battery is the same (same look, same charger, etc.), but it just has a new name so Bosch won't get screwed on the shelves. Think about it, if you're at the store looking at a 10.8-volt tool and a 12-volt tool for the same price, you're going to think that you're getting a better deal with the 12-volt. We can't say we blame them for the name change.

The 12-Volt Max is going to cost around the same as the 10.8-Volt, which is in the area of $120.

We're going to bring this little guy to the job site and see how it holds up. More soon.

At Amazon.com

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

June 30, 2008

Ryobi 4V Lithium Ion Screwdriver

ryobi_4v_li_ion.jpgIt was just a matter of time before Ryobi got into the mini Li-Ion driver market and with their exposure at Home Depot, we're sure that this tool will be a hit.

Unlike a lot of the other low voltage screwdrivers, this one not only has a little LED light, but also a 12 position clutch. It also has a quick change chuck and comes with a carrying bag and a 6-piece bit set. These features elevate the tool from a simple around the house "picture hanging" tool to something that has some functionality on a job site as well, particularly during the punch list phase of the game. It's not as compact as the Dremel Screwdriver (which is twice as powerful), but it sure looks more "construction."

According to Ryobi the screwdriver can hold a charge for up to two years, so, not only can it help out on the job site, but it can also sit in the entryway closet until it's needed around the house.

All this is being sold for just a hair under $30, a very competitive price. We saw this tool at the local Home Depot last week and it's got some high visibility there and we expect them to be pushing it pretty hard in the coming months. But the bottom line is that it's a great price for what we'd bet is a solid tool.

At Home Depot

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

June 16, 2008

Skil Power Cutter - Review

skil_cutter_side.jpgSkil has definitely shown themselves to be interested in innovation. We loved last year's Power Wrench and we're looking forward to the benchtop tools they're releasing this September. In the meantime, they've slipped out the Power Cutter. It's a light-duty cutter powered by an 3.6 volt internal lithium-ion battery.

The Skil Cutter isn't the most aggressive tool you'll ever hold in your hand and it's not supposed to be. It's meant for small tasks. The packaging says that it can cut selected materials up to 1/4" thick. The list includes leather, wallpaper, cardboard, and carpet.

ArrowContinue reading: "Skil Power Cutter - Review"

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

May 7, 2008

Milwaukee Digital Inspection Camera

milwaukee_digital_inspectio.jpgBased 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.

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

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.

ArrowContinue reading: "Skil 7.2V Lithium Ion Power Driver - Review"

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.

ArrowContinue reading: "Hitachi DB10DL 10.8 Volt Lithium Ion Micro Driver Drill"

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.

ArrowContinue reading: "Ridgid Job-Site Radio / Race Scanner"

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

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