February 27, 2009

Hitachi 10.8-Volt Right Angle Impact Driver - Review

hitachi_rt_ang.jpgProbably the most interesting tool in Hitachi's new 10.8-volt lineup is their new right angle impact driver. We're pretty sure that this is the first right angle impact driver in any of the new micro lines of tools, which is why we were interested in checking it out and seeing how it holds up to both it's larger cousin, as well as finding out what kind of niche it can carve for itself in the world of tool functionality.

First, like Hitachi's mini-reciprocating saw, the ergonomics are off the charts. Again, the crazy Spiderman design, which we've been critical of in the past, gives it all the right bulges in all the right places (well, we never thought we'd ever write that sentence), making it a very easy tool to hold and maneuver into tight spots, which you'll likely be doing with the right angle feature.

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

February 26, 2009

Skil Twist 4.8-Volt Screwdriver


We noticed the Skil Twist the other day while researching our post on their iXO3. The Twist has similar functionality to other low-voltage screwdrivers with the hinged body, but the difference here is that the handle twists instead of folding. The tool also has the general pug-nosed look of Skil's iXO series, and this body-type allows for getting in some tight spots.

Judging from our impressions of other low voltage Skil tools, our bet is that this little guy works fine and that the 4.8-volts is enough to handle any light-duty tasks around the house. It costs about $30 which is about half the price of the Milwaukee and roughly the same as a similar Black & Decker model.

It's also worth noting that, unlike the Milwaukee, the Skil has an on-board battery, so the only charger needed is an a/c adapter that plugs directly into the tool.

At Amazon.com

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

February 25, 2009

Ryobi 12-Volt 4 Piece Power Pack

ryobi_12_volt_kit.jpgWith the 12-volt craze in full swing, it was just a matter of time before Ryobi came along and filled up the shelves of Home Depot with a multi-piece kit for short money. And here it is: the 12-Volt 4 Piece Power Pack. At a glance, this kit looks very similar to their 18-volt kit, launched in the fall of '07, and our guess is that it will be just as popular.

The 12-volt kit comes with a drill/driver, a circular saw, a flashlight, and what they call a hybrid saw, which is a small reciprocating saw that uses jigsaw blades. We're all for the drill/driver, the hybrid saw, and the flashlight (probably the most used piece of our 18-volt kit), but we're a bit skeptical on the circular saw. We've found that 12-volt tools, while very useful, aren't all that powerful, so we have to wonder what the cutting capabilities are on this one. From what we've read, the blade only goes to a depth of 1" so it's obviously not going to handle any framing material, but it might be nice for small pieces of trim, 1/4" plywood, etc.

The really impressive thing about this kit is how much it's being sold for. Home Depot is practically giving them away for the irrationally low price of $119. The Bosch and Milwaukee drill/drivers alone go for that kind of cash. Our experience with the Ryobi 18-volt kit was that it was great for around the house activity and light contractor work and even though we did discover some longevity issues when pressed too hard, the low price made it more than worth the purchase. Our guess is that this little kit has the same characteristics, meaning it's a great way to get your hands on a full collection of nice 12-volt tools and not break the bank (just don't drop them off any scaffolding).

At Home Depot

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

February 10, 2009

Skil iX03 Palm-Sized Screwdriver

Skil_ixo3.jpgSkil has just released the iXO3, the third version of their popular palm screwdriver. To us, there were no apparent changes between version one and two, leading us to believe that there was some sort of battery upgrade, but this time, Skil has added on a removable right-angle attachment. We like this addition and think that it adds greatly to the appeal of the tool, particularly given it's small size. The ixO3 is only 3.6 volts so it's not going to be doing a lot of heavy lifting, but for around the house stuff like tightening drawer pulls, minor electrical work, and assembling toys and furniture, it should work great. All of these tasks mentioned are also places where the right-angle feature could be useful as well.

Unfortunately for all you iXO and iXO2 owners, it looks like the iXO3 is outfitted with a special chuck to accept the right angle attachment, so it doesn't look like there's the opportunity to retrofit the piece to the older models.

The iXO3 costs about $40, which is actually less expensive than the previous models without the right-angle attachment.

At TylerTool

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

February 9, 2009

Hitachi CR10DL 10.8 Volt Lithium Ion Micro Reciprocating Saw - Review

hitachi_recip_in_case.jpgIn early January, we announced that Hitachi was expanding their 10.8-volt line with a new flashlight, a right-angle impact driver, and a micro-reciprocating saw. Of these, the micro-recip saw and the Right-Angle Impact Driver interested us the most. We were happy to get our hands on the tools and have been testing them out for a couple of weeks. Here, we're going to give you our impressions of the micro-recip saw and in the very near future, we'll go on about the right angle driver.

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

January 30, 2009

Craftsman NexTec Auto-Hammer - Review

autohammer.jpgThis little fella hit the stores just before the holidays as part of Craftsman new NexTec line ("next technology?"). We got our hands on one a few weeks ago and have been testing it in a variety of situations and here's what we thought...

If we had to classify the Auto Hammer, we'd say that it's a battery-powered palm nailer. The functionality is the same; the piston within the sleeve that pounds the nail with a series of hits, in this case, up to 3600 impacts per minute, which is actually more than most, if not all, palm nailers. The Auto Hammer also has a magnetic head that can hold any nail up to 7/16" wide. There's also a little LED that lights up the work piece. The tools in the NexTec line are all powered by a little 12-volt li-ion battery. Now, on to how the tool actually performed...

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

January 8, 2009

Hitachi Expands 12V Li-Ion Line with Reciprocating Saw, Right-Angle Impact Driver, and Flashlight

With all of the big tool companies releasing 12-volt tools with the speed and frequency of machine gun fire, we were wondering when Hitachi would start really blowing out their own line of micro tools. Looks like we don't have to wait any longer because joining their current Driver Drill and Impact Driver are a new mini-reciprocating saw, a flashlight, and a right-angle impact driver.

To quote the press release:

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

December 10, 2008

Dremel Videos

dremel_in_action.jpgA little bit back, in our Oscillating Tool Roundup, we mentioned that Dremel had posted up some videos of their Multi-Max in action. As it turns out, they've got all sort of videos up at their site, not only of the Multi-Max, but of their other tools as well. It's a good selection of projects and if you're looking for some inspiration or you're curious about what a Dremel tool is capable of, they're worth checking out.

We're big fans of Dremel here and have reviewed a number of their tools:
Dremel 75th Anniversary Rotary Tool review is here.
Dremel Duo review is here.
Dremel Multi-Max review is here.

Check out the videos here.

Dremel tools at Amazon.com

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

November 6, 2008

Ryobi P232 Impact Driver

ryobi_impact.JPGWe stumbled across this at the local Home Depot the other day. Since Ryobi is notoriously lax at updating their website (they haven't even added their 4-Volt Screwdriver yet), there's very little information available about the tool.

What we do know is that the tool is part of the 18-volt line and it has an LED and a magnetic bit holder.

We swiped the image from ebay where a guy is selling the tool claiming that it is "Rare." Um. Since we spotted it on the shelves of Home Depot, we're not so sure.

We've been pretty surprised at how slowly Ryobi has been building their lithium-ion line. After all the hub-bub and hoo-haa last year with the unveiling of the 4-piece set, there's been little activity. It's strange considering the popularity of the line and the placement at Home Depot.

Eventually, it'll be on the Home Depot website, but for now, it's on ebay.

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

September 29, 2008

Milwaukee Hackzall - Review

Hackzall.jpgThe most interesting tool in Milwaukee's newly expanded 12-volt line of tools is, without question, the Hackzall. The easiest way to describe it is to say it's a 'one-handed Sawzall,' but we think that's like calling a sports car a 'mini-tractor trailer.' Sure, they've got some a few functional similarities, but beyond that, they are two entirely different creatures. The Hackzall doesn't just do what the Sawzall does but less of it, but by virtue of its size and reduced power, it creates its own to-do list and excels at tasks that you wouldn't even think of using a Sawzall for.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

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