February 15, 2008

Dirt Cheap Black & Decker VPX Tools at Home Depot

black_decker_vpx_drill.jpgWe were at our local Home Depot the other day and saw some huge deals on Black & Decker's VPX line. The tools were all spread out on a folding table and the prices were marked with those little tags that you see at yard sales. To us, the whole scene screamed, "We stocked waaay too many of these things for the holidays." We can't remember most of the prices other than that the 7-volt Drill/Driver was $20.

Has anyone out there used these tools? We've played around with them in the store and thought they looked pretty cheaply made. The plastic seemed very breakable and they felt more like children's toys than power tools.

In other Home Depot news, according to our friends at Toologics, Lowes will no longer be carrying Milwaukee, making Home Depot the only mega-store to stock the brand. Details here.

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

January 14, 2008

Denali 3.6V Lithium-Ion Cordless Screwdriver Kit

denali_screwdriver.jpgDenali has recently released a 3.6-volt screwdriver set that looks to us like a nice little kit. The tool, weighing less than a pound, has a nose-mounted LED, a cushion grip handle, and a battery indicator light.

But what really makes this screwdriver look good is the wall mounted charger which also doubles as a bit storage unit. Not only is the unit very compact, but all of the bits and accessories are easy to see and access.

denali_screwdriver2.jpgThe screwdriver also comes with a storage bag if you'd rather not have the thing stuck to your wall for all eternity. And because the li-ion battery can hold a charge for up to 18 months, this might be the case. The entire package goes for about $25, which sounds to us like a pretty good deal, especially for someone living in an apartment who just need something for minor repairs and hanging pictures.

At Amazon.com

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

December 10, 2007

Ryobi 4-Piece Lithium-Ion Power Tool Kit - Review

Ryobi_Li_set.jpgLithium-ion batteries are a big deal right now. They last longer, charge quicker, and are half the weight of other batteries. But the catch is that they're quite a bit more expensive. There has been a lot of talk lately about Ryobi and their new line of inexpensive li-ion tools. But are they any good? Bad tools for a good price are still bad tools. Well, we spent all week using and abusing the 4-piece set and we're here to report back our findings. For the review, we're going to look at each tool individually and then wrap things up with some thoughts on the set as a whole.

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

December 5, 2007

Skil 14.4-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver - Review

skil14.jpgA little bit ago, we reviewed Skil's 18-Volt Lithium Ion Drill/Driver. We found it to be a nice tool for the casual user, but probably not for the contractor. Now we've gone and taken a good look at the Skil 14.4-Volt Drill Driver and can report that the tools are basically identical, except that the 14.4 is a little more affordable, lighter, and a little less powerful.

Like the 18-Volt Drill, the 14.4-Volt has the strange battery design with the exposed terminals. But this time, we took our heads out of the sand and realized that this serves a purpose. With the charging terminals located at the bottom of the battery, you are able to charge the battery with the tool attached. So there's a purpose to it, but does it make sense? Even in a really rushed situation, we've always had time to take the battery off the charger and plug it into the tool, so it can't be a time-saving issue. But maybe this is more for saving workbench space, so if you're someone with limited room, this could be a good thing.

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

November 30, 2007

Ryobi 4-Piece Lithium-Ion Set Arrives for Review

ryobi_four_piece.jpg

UPDATE: The review is here.

The good folks at Ryobi just sent along one of their 4-Piece Li-Ion sets and we're really looking forward to checking it out since it's pretty much the most talked about set this holiday season. Is it true that they offer both quality and affordability? We're going to start abusing them tomorrow and as soon as we can, we'll let you know what we find out.

There's more about the set here and here. And don't forget Ryobi's little 12-Volt compact drill/driver here.

We'll also be testing out Ryobi's Self-Leveling Laser, so stay tuned for that too. Details on that tool here.

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

November 15, 2007

Skil 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver - Review

Skil_18.jpgSkil has recently gotten into the lithium-ion race with their nice 7-volt Power Wrench and now they're getting into some higher voltage with their new 18-Volt Lithium Cordless Drill/Driver.

Although it's fairly stripped down, the drill/driver comes equipped with some nice features. It's got a little light, located at the bottom of the handle that shines on the tip of the tool, brightening up the work piece. Right next to it is a three light indicator system that displays the charge left in the battery. The drill also has a 15 position clutch and a little forward/reverse indicator light.

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

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

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