October 8, 2010
If you live and breathe Tool Snob, you may recall a funky tool we reviewed a while back called the Easy Chamfer. It looks like nothing you've ever seen before and it's used to chamfer the edges of PVC pipe. Well, we just got word that a new improved version of the tool has been released. According to our Easy Chamfer connection, the new model "has better cutting blades for an even smother bevel and is easy to use. It's also lighter in weight and grips on the two knob handles." Also, the pricing is not finalized yet.
There's a video of the tool in action as well as more information here.
September 23, 2010
Have 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.
September 15, 2010
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...
Continue reading: "Milwaukee's New Sawzall Blade"
September 2, 2010
Remember 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?
Q. More what?
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...
Continue reading: "Milwaukee Red Lithium"
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"
June 18, 2010
In 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
May 20, 2010
Yesterday, 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.
May 11, 2010
When DeWalt sent us a sample of their new ToughCase, we thought, "oh yeah Toughguy, we'll show you how tough you are." We started thinking of ways to condense a year's worth of abuse in about 45 minutes.
But first, about the item. The little case is well built and has the nice clasp that DeWalt uses on their tool boxes. The main features of the box are the magnets on the lid that allow you to open the box and stick it to something metal (a metal stud, a piece of duct work, etc.) and work out of it like a feeding trough (in fact, the ToughCase would make an excellent birdfeeder - if you had a metal tree to hang it off of). In a smart move, DeWalt added little o-rings around the magnets so the case won't slide once it's stuck to something, but also to prevent any magnet to metal marring if you need to shift the case around. It's a clever little idea and one that certainly comes in handy from time to time. There are also little hooks on the back of the case so if there's no metal around, you can hang it off something.
We tested the ToughCase's durability a number of ways. First, we just sort of threw it around the driveway, then we kicked it a few times, then finally during lunchbreak the other day, we challenged the painters to a game of ToughCase soccer. Although we lost 2-1 (the painters are Brazilian, soccer's in their blood), the case showed its resilience. It got some corner dings and scrapes, but the functionality was perfectly intact.
So it's a tough little case, but there's one little glitch in it. It's sort of unavoidable, but the magnets that work so well on the outside of the case also work on the inside of the case. This means that the case is opened up, there are always a few drill bits or driver bits stuck on the inside of the lid. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but knocking them off each time we accessed the case was a bit annoying. But following the 'make lemonade' theory of life, we utilized these magnets a few times in situations when we were constantly switching between two bits. Instead of dropping it back in the box to get lost among its friends, we just stuck it against the lid for the next time we needed it. It's a nice little unintended feature of the box and one that offsets having to constantly knock bits off the inside of the lid.
It looks like you'll be able to get the ToughCase in three versions; just the case, with a set of driver bits, or with a set of impact-ready accessories. Just the case will be about $12, the driver bits $20, and the impact gear $35.
ToughCase with driver set at Lowes
May 6, 2010
With their 3rd upgrade of the Power Box, it's very possible that Bosch has arrived the world's most complete job site radio (even if it does look like an 8-bit space monster from an Atari 2600 game).
Other than swapping out a CD player for an MP3 port, the major difference between this version and the fantastic 2nd version is that it has 360 degrees worth of speakers. Now there is absolutely no escaping the guy who insists on listening to sports radio all day long.
There are going to be two versions available, the PB360S and the PB360D. It sounds from the press release like the D is the souped up model with a back lit display, more power output and a connection for satellite radio. Both versions come with the cool ability to play songs directly off of a thumb drive, so you don't need to worry about bringing your iPod to work and having it stolen by the sketchy painter who refuses to make eye contact.
PB360S at Amazon.com. It looks like the PB360D isn't available yet.
Read the full press release for more details and functionality after the jump.
Continue reading: "Bosch Power Box 360"
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"