September 5, 2012
Next month, Black and Decker will be getting into the modular tool arena with something called the Matrix. It's sort of their version of the Ridgid JobMax. It's a battery-powered handle with a PTO end that can accept a variety of different tool heads ranging from a sander to an oscillating tool to a router to a mini-circular saw. It looks like B&D has two different bodies to choose from; one powered by a 12 volt battery and one powered by a 20 volt battery. An AC version in en route and will arrive early next year.
The kits come with a drill/driver attachment and the other available heads are...
From the B&D website:
Impact Driver Attachment
• Up to 1,300 in-lbs of torque** for tough fastening applications
Oscillating Multi-Tool Attachment
• Up to 18,500 OPM (oscillations per minute)** for precision and performance when sanding, cutting, scraping, grinding, or paint removal
• Tool-free release that allows users to quickly change between accessories
• Up to 2,800 SPM (strokes per minute)** for fast straight cutting or detailed curve cutting in wood, metal and plastic
Detail Sander Attachment
• Compact tool for access into tight spaces
• Up to 9,000 RPM (revolutions per minute)**- ideal for use on decorative edging projects, small woodworking projects and more
Trim Saw Attachment
• Up to 3,400 RPM (revolutions per minute)** for use on plywood, paneling and fence boards
One thing that's funky about the Matrix is that they've opted to go with a screw gun-like base, rather than a 'lightsaber' base like Ridgid used. Not sure how easy the router head will be with the Matrix, but we'll see. There are always drawbacks with the 'one-tool-does-everything' scenario and here the handle may cause some issues.
It's doubtful that the Matrix will be able to handle the abuse of a construction site, but that's OK. If it functions as advertised, it could be a nice item for a DIYer looking to consolidate or an apartment dweller who is looking for a lot of functionality but only has room for one or two tool boxes.
At Black and Decker
August 6, 2012
The whole "Fein owned the patent to the oscillating tool" thing has been well documented. The eventual fall out is that now that the patent has expired, there are all kinds of oscillating tools on the market; some for $40 and some for $400. We've always admired Fein for sticking to their guns with their own product during this onslaught of competitors. Seeing company after company undercut them on price (and quality), they never blinked. Their tool remains what it always was: a hand-held piece of finely engineered cutting, sanding, and grinding goodness. They didn't release a DIY version made from cheaper materials and they didn't make a less functional one for short money.
Continue reading: "Fein 250Q START MultiMaster Kit - Review"
December 9, 2011
We were at Home Depot the other day and got a glimpse of where Ridgid is heading with their new JobMax system (our review here). If you're unfamiliar with it, it's a powered handle with a PTO at the end of it, and a series of interchangeable heads. Thus far, the heads have stuck with the standard fare, mostly fastening tools like impact drivers and right angle drills, but now they've branched off into cutting tools with a cool looking jigsaw head.
We checked out the tool a little (but not too much, due to the annoying lasso that Home Depot uses to ensure no one steals their display tools) and it seems like a neat item. The fact that there is now a corded JobMax makes us more comfortable with this kind of thing. It's our experience that cutting tools and 12-volt cordless systems don't pair up too well.
In the late summer we met with one of our pals from Ridgid and they let us know that we should expect a lot out of the JobMax system in the coming year and beyond. Sounds like there is an over abundance of accessories heading down the pike.
It's a cool tool (we closely examined it's capabilities at Popular Mechanics) and it's looking like Ridgid wants to go to the "only tool you'll ever need" realm.
Should be available at Home Depot online, but we can't find it. HD's website ain't the greatest.
July 13, 2011
Porter-Cable is now in the oscillating tool game and honestly it's a tool that wouldn't have interested us a whole lot except that it has a funky quick change feature that looks to solve one of the key hassles with oscillating tool, the blade change-out. PC sent us one to check out and we've been absolutely pounding on this thing at work, trying our best to break its spirit. Here's how it did...
Continue reading: "Porter-Cable Oscillating Tool - Review"
May 4, 2011
Porter-Cable has put together this little video highlighting their new oscillating tool. We've been pretty burned out on the oscillating tool thing, but this one, because of its quick change feature, has caused our ears to prick up. We actually got a sample this afternoon and immediately opened it and started swapping out accessories as fast as we could...and we could do it pretty fast. So check out the video and keep and eye on how quickly accessories lock in and out of the tool. It's waaaay faster than the allen head system and even faster than the Fein quick change. We're going to start using the tool tomorrow and hopefully have a review up before too long.
April 6, 2011
Word has been floating around about Porter Cable's new oscillating tools for a while now and honestly, we haven't been paying too much attention. As we've stated earlier, we've run out of steam on oscillating tools. But wait! Something different here....a quick change system. See, now we're talking....
We've always been firmly in the Fein corner. We think it's the best tool out there and one of the reasons for this is the quick change system. All other models take after the early Feins with the constantly annoying and slow Allen-head blade change out. Not only is it a time consuming way to do things, but it relies on how tight you can get the screw by hand. We've also seen the screws strip out over time which makes everything more difficult.
So Porter Cable is the first of the second generation oscillating tools (we consider all non-Fein to be second generation) and we hope that it's something consumers take note of. From the pictures, it actually looks like it might work faster than the Fein quick change system. You just have to pull back on a little trigger located at the head of the tool and this loosens the accessory. Then just slide it out and put in a new one. No removable parts. Really clever.
After looking at it, it occurred to us that the way the system is designed means that the tool can only use Porter-Cable accessories because the attaching end needs to have an open horseshoe in order to slide on the tool. Therefore the rest of the accessory world is incompatible. Well, not so fast. We called up Porter-Cable and asked them about this and they informed us that there is something in the works for a universal adapter (which will be a tooled-system, not tool-free) and that it won't be long before they release all the info on it. We'll let you know when we find out more.
The two tools will be available this month and should be selling in the $150 arena.
The press release is below the fold. It has all the information you need including pricing for individual accessories.
Continue reading: "Porter-Cable Oscillating Tools - Corded and Cordless (PC250MTK and PCL120MTC-2)"
March 3, 2011
Update: we just saw that Stu from ToolGuyd posted about this yesterday. Great minds think alike, but apparently, his mind is one day greater than ours....
....and heeeeres Skil!
Skil's oscillating tool looks pretty similar to the Bosch PMF E Multi, which EuroBosch released years ago. Green EuroBosch, as opposed to blue EuroBosch denotes their DIY brand and since Bosch US doesn't have a Bosch DIY brand they own Skil instead, which is sort of the same thing. So it makes sense that the tools look like relatives. They are.
Skil's tool has a 2-amp motor, is variable speed and has a built-in dust collection system and a no-mar head. It's going for about $100.
March 1, 2011
We've got to be honest, we're a bit burned out on the whole oscillating tool thing. Fein's patent wore out years ago and it was way back in July 2008 that we started covering oscillating tools from other companies. Back then, for some reason Bosch opted to put their weight behind a 12-volt cordless version, even though EuroBosch already had a corded model available since at least mid 07 when we first covered it here (granted, it was in their DIY line...sort of like Skil).
At the time, the only corded options were the Dremel MultiMax and the Rockwell Sonicrafter (yeah, yeah, yeah, we know there was a Harbor Freight version available). And for years, those two models pretty much owned the marketplace. We've come to generally dislike 12-volt oscillating tools for their short battery life and truly don't understand why it took Bosch so long to get a corded version to market. If the traffic numbers to our review of the SoniCrafter are any indication, everyone and their mother has one by now. Since it was posted in late 2008, it has been, by far, our biggest traffic draw. By a long shot.
Seems to us like a big opportunity lost, and not just by Bosch, but by the other big companies as well. Milwaukee took a while to get into the game and, like Bosch, led with a cordless model and DeWalt is nowhere to be seen, which isn't surprising given that their 12-volt line was released just last year.
But this is all from our perspective and we follow the tool industry with a microscope. The average carpenter (at least the ones we work with) hardly know that there are even options other than the Fein available. So once we step back, the fact that this tool is two years late probably doesn't even matter. And the fact that we're like a broken record on this topic matters even less.
And, not surprisingly, the tool looks very nice. Jay from CopTool has a great review up at his site that puts the tool head to head with the Fein.
Press release is after the jump for all the stats....
Continue reading: "Bosch MXE25E Corded Oscillating Tool"
January 20, 2011
So this one was just a matter of time. We're actually surprised it took so long for Milwaukee to get with the oscillating tool program and on top of that, we're actually disappointed that they opted for a cordless version. We privately had high hopes for a corded version that would give King Fein some competition. No such luck.
But still the new Milwaukee Cordless Multi-Tool looks like a nice item and while we're generally uneasy with the idea of a cordless oscillating tools because of the fast battery drain, the Milwaukee is powered by their new Red Lithium battery so it stands a pretty good chance of breaking this curse, or at least making it less obnoxious. So far, cordless oscillating tools seem to drain out within 10 minutes of constant sanding, which to us is just not enough. Powering an oscillating tool is a lot to ask of a battery, and from what we've experienced, the oscillating function, when used in a construction site setting, is simply incompatible with the life that a 12-volt battery can afford it.
So anyway, we talked about Milwaukee's new Red Lithium battery here and according to the company, it supplies the juice for 40% more run time. If this holds true here, then we might finally be in business with the cordless oscillating tool.
It looks like this oscillating tool has all of the trappings of yet another solid Milwaukee offering; a metal gear case, a nice gripping area, and easy controls. The kit comes with two batteries and an accessory adapter which makes it compatible with most available accessories.
December 20, 2010
This past weekend Reader Jerome gave us the heads up about Bosch's new corded oscillating tool and, honestly, it's about time this tool was released. We simply don't understand why Bosch led with a 12-volt cordless model. Bosch Europe has had their PMF 180 E Multi corded oscillator for a while, but for some reason Bosch US went with the cordless, leaving the market wide open for the corded Rockwell SoniCrafter. As we've repeated over and over and over, the battery life of a 12-volt cordless oscillating tools is simply not compatible with a lot of the tasks that the tool can be used for. Less than 10 minutes of sanding time (for a battery that takes 30 minutes to charge) doesn't work on a jobsite or in the garage workshop.
But anyway, now that that's out of our system, Bosch's MX25 looks pretty sweet. It's powered by a 2.5 amp motor (Sonicrafter has a 2.3) and has a variable speed adjustment dial. The speed ranges from 8,000 opm to 20,000 opm, so the high end isn't as fast as the Fein, but the low end is slower. Unfortunately, it looks like it has the Allen wrench chuck system, so the advantage in that department remains with Fein and their stellar quick change system.
Home Depot is selling these for $160 which is $20 more than the similar Sonicrafter kit and about $40 less than the Fein. Is this where the tool lands with regards to quality as well? Our guess (and this is only a guess, so don't get all jumpy in the comments) is: 'probably.'
At Home Depot
December 15, 2010
Bosch has created this little circular piece that fits on the nose of any oscillating tool and allows it to be compatible with Bosch accessories. They're also giving them away for free (along with a blade). To get your grubby little hands on one, go to the Bosch Joe the Pro website here and enter the code OISC10.
The OIS certainly makes things easier for the oscillating tool owner, but we're a bit jaded that it renders our oscillating tool accessory chart obsolete. That's like three hours of life we'll never get back.
Thanks to Jay from CopTool.
July 26, 2010
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...
Continue reading: "Milwaukee 2010 Product Symposium"
May 19, 2010
There was a bit there when we'd hear of a new oscillating tool release and our eyes would sort of gloss over. After the first big rush of releases, we got a little sick of the tools. But we just noticed this new one and it's price alone makes it worth a mention.
The Genesis GMT15A Oscillating Tool is a paltry $35 at Amazon. It actually has a pretty sharp look about it as well. Who knows what you're going to get at the price, but it might be worth skipping a night out with the fellas in order to find out.
It looks like it comes with the standard assortment of blades and that the chuck can accept Bosch accessories.
We did a little research and can't find any other mention of Genesis tools (other than the non-related rescue tool company - which, by the way, is totally badass and worth checking out here). So who knows what the deal is? We still recommend the Fein to anyone who is looking to really get into oscillating tools, but if you just want something to play around with and the spending purse isn't as heavy as it used to be, maybe give the Genesis a shot. Who knows, there's at least one comment at Amazon that seems at least somewhat satisfied?
April 28, 2010
By far the most interesting tool we've seen this year is the Ridgid JobMax. The principle here is pretty simple: create a universal power handle, stoked by a 12-volt drill, and then create any number of interchangeable heads that can click on to it. The end result is an entire JoBox worth of tools that's capable of fitting into a ShuBox. Ridgid has released two different JobMax kits, each with a different selections of heads and they were nice enough to send some samples our way so that we could check them out. We've had them for over a month now and we've used them at work and in the shop. We've used them for big things and little things, complicated things and easy things. And we've finally come to our verdict...
Continue reading: "Ridgid 12-Volt Lithium-Ion JobMax Combo Kits - Review"