January 12, 2011

Craftsman QuickBoost Charger

Craftsman_quick_boost.jpg

Craftsman
tipped us off to this new item about a month ago and because they made us promise we wouldn't say anything until its official release today at the Builder's Show, we've been chewing on our knuckles and shoving socks in our mouths in order to not spill the beans. The news is that their new 12-volt Nextec charger can do something they refer to as "QuickBoost."

What this charger does that no other charger can do is put 25% of a charge back on a dead battery in three minutes. That means that in the time it takes you to boil an egg, you could have your tool powered up enough to finish your project.

And don't sit there rolling your eyes thinking that 25% of a full charge isn't that much. According to Craftsman, three minutes of quality time with the QuickBoost means another 70 screws (1-1/4") driven by their Right Angle Impact Driver (which we reviewed here). It also means another 4 hours for their flashlight. So we're not talking just enough to put in one or two more screws, but rather enough to finish the last third of your project.

This three minute charge is twice as fast as their current charger which takes approximately six minutes to get to the 25% mark. Might not seem like a huge difference, but if you're standing there propping up a half-installed upper cabinet, it'll all make sense.

This gives Craftsman a nice step up against their 'one-battery' competitors (companies that offer two batteries with each tool are on a different playing field because, if you're smart about it, you'll always have a full battery ready to go).

So as it stands, all Craftsman 12-volt tools released from here on out will be sold with the new charger. And because it's compatible with all existing 12-volt Nextec batteries, the charger will also be available as a stand alone for a slightly higher price than the existing charger, which currently sells for about $30.

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

December 15, 2010

Free Bosch OIS Adapter

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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.

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

November 22, 2010

Dremel EZ Lock System

dremel_ez.jpgThe Dremel EZ Lock is a nice quick change system for their line of grinding wheels. We started using it when one came with our sample of the Dremel 4000 and it's great. Their older system was based around a screw that was so small it looked like it fell out of a watch, so this is a big improvement and one that we really appreciate. The EZ lock system won't rattle the tool world like the Senco Fusion, but it will make Dremel users smile.

We'd try to explain how it works, but why bother when there's a video...

It looks like you can pick up the stem for less than $4 and the wheels have a range in pricing. And as always with Dremel, there are infinite mix and match kits available. See what's out there at Amazon.com.

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

November 9, 2010

DeWalt DWHJHLD Impact Clutch Accessory Holder

DeWalt_impact_bit_holder.jpg

With impact Drivers on the rise, tool companies have started to offer accessories that can handle the particular type of abuse meted out by those tools. Thus far, this has meant the development of new, stronger bits, but now DeWalt has come along with a special bit holder that, according to them, increases the life of the bit by as much as five times.

It looks like a good item and it's going to set you back about $20 (including two of their Impact Ready tips - more info on those here). Is it worth it? Depends on how fast you're chewing through bits. In the press release, DeWalt specifically mentions 'commercial jobsites,' so this is really an item for those who give their tools a real workout.

And finally, what's up with the product number on this one (DWHJHLD)? It's like our worst scrabble nightmare come to life.

More information in the press release after the jump...

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

September 23, 2010

Gear Keeper

gear_keeper.jpgHave you ever been in a mall and seen a mother who has one of those tether things for their kid? You know, where the kid is actually on a freakin' leash? He can stray around, but if he gets too far, momma gives a sturdy tug to get him back to home base. We think those things are completely insane but when you carry the same principal into the tool world, it's a bit different.

So substituting, 'kid' with 'tool' you have the Gear Keeper. It's a leash for your tools; one end clips on the belt, the other on the tool. The line is coiled like an old-school telephone cord so it doesn't hang and cause a trip hazard if you clip the tool to your belt.

Judging from their website, Gear Kepper seems intent on creating a tether for every imaginable object that man has ever carried since he days as a cave-dweller. Check out the selection here.

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

September 15, 2010

Milwaukee's New Sawzall Blade

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UPDATE: We just saw that Jay from CopTool got his e-hands on some videos of the blades, so we shamelessly stole them and added them to our post. Make sure to also check out what Jay has to say about the blades here.

Of all the things we saw on our last trip to Milwaukee (the heated jacket, the new line of hand tools, the new battery, etc.), the one thing that made a real lasting impression was the new Sawzall blade design that they have in the works. We've spent way too much time working with recip saws and seeing the functionality of the new blades was almost too much to take. But, as with the battery, there was an embargo on the information while they ironed out the final few details, so we had to stay mum about it all until now. But we got word late yesterday that we can now blab, blab, blab. So, if you're a contractor, listen up, because you're going to like this...

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

September 2, 2010

Milwaukee Red Lithium

Milwaukee_logo.jpgRemember that whole thing about us going to Milwaukee earlier in the year and the part about, 'there are things we saw that we legally can't talk about until Milwaukee tells us we can?" Well, we just got word that the embargo has been lifted and that we can finally spill the beans about their new Red Lithium battery.

Q. So what does the battery offer?
A. More.
Q. More what?
A. More.
Q. More?
A. More.

More everything. More run time (up to 40% more according to Milwaukee). More speed (20%). More torque (20%). More charges (50%). And more durability in extreme conditions (operable at 0F).

We saw this battery in action and it's no joke. Particularly impressive to us was when they started pulling tools out of the freezer to show off its cold-weather abilities. Living in the northern part of the country, we run into the lithium-ion vs. winter problem a lot, and this new battery was a clear winner in this department.

Red Lithium is ready to go for the M12 and M18 platforms so in the next few months Milwaukee will be releasing 8 new tools which will come with the Red Lithium battery (the ones we saw at the Symposium) and from that point on all of their tools will transition to the upgrade. We recall being told that the new battery will not effect the price point of the tools. Also the battery will be available as a stand-alone so you can upgrade your existing Milwaukee tools.

We really like the theory behind this move. Why bother tinker around with individual tools making them better, when you can just improve the fuel system and thus upgrade your entire line in one sword swipe? Pretty crafty and a definite bonus to your end user.

Milwaukee tools at Amazon.com

Press release with more information on the battery is after the jump...

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

July 26, 2010

Milwaukee 2010 Product Symposium

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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...

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

June 18, 2010

Pimp Your Nailguns - Paslode Skins

paslode_Nail_the_Cure.jpgIn order to tell our tools from all of the other ones on the job site, we usually hit them with some marking spray paint. It's not pretty, but it works. Paslode has come up with another more refined way to personalize your tools (or at least your Paslode guns), and that's with their skins.

The skins are essentially decals to dress up and personalize your Paslode guns (sort of like a spoiler on a car). It turns out that they have a bunch of different patterns, one of which helps fight breast cancer. 25% of the proceeds of the Let's Nail the Cure decal gets donated to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Organization. We went and checked out the Komen site and there's quite a bit of information there if there ever does come a time when you or someone you know gets diagnosed with breast cancer.

So swallow your manly-man pride, turn your favorite framing gun pink, and give to the cause.

At The Paslode Outlet

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

May 20, 2010

Kreg KMA2600 Square-Cut

kreg_square_cut.jpgYesterday, we were all 'hoo-haa!" over Kreg's new Multi-Mark all purpose measuring tool, and to show that we're even handed, today we're going to dump on their other new product, something called the Square-Cut.

The Square-Cut plays the role of the rafter square when it's in saw guide mode. It has a lip which sits against the long end of a board, creating an edge to run the foot plate of your saw against, allowing for a perfect 90 degree cut. The one drawback to doing this with a rafter square is that the off-set from cutting line to edge of footplate needs to be known and figured into the equation, leading to some tedious measurements. Kreg solves this problem by having a little adjustable piece of plastic extend from the Square-Cut out the appropriate distance to the line. Now, all you have to do is align the little plastic thing to the cut line and the saw guide is automatically in the correct place.

Which sounds good in theory, but we wonder about practice. How can this little plastic arm survive a few passes with a saw. They're bound to make some contact and when that happens, see you later little plastic arm. There's also the issue of south-paw carpenters...sorry guys, there's nothing for you here. The Square-Cut is righties only.

We suggest just using a rafter square and visually lining up the blade and the cut line. Is that so hard? If you have halfway decent vision and passable hand-eye coordination, this should work (and work fast). It's always been fine for us and we even used this method last year to make some pretty fancy-pants shelves that turned out great. Another option is to make your own saw guides.

The Square-Cut costs about $16.

At Amazon.com

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

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