June 3, 2009

New Porter-Cable 18-Volt Tools Now Available in Stores

pc_impact_driver.jpgIn late March, we told you about Porter-Cable's seven new 18-volt cordless tools. It looks like they're now finally available in stores. Just in time for Father's Day.

It looks like the best place to find these tools is at Lowes, but from what we understand they will be sold at other retailers as well.

There is more information at the website: deltaportercable.com/18volt/

Porter Cable tools at Lowes

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

May 28, 2009

Evolution Fury3 8-1/4 Multi-Purpose Sliding Miter Saw

evolution_rage3.jpgThe madmen who brought us the Rage Circular Saw (which is capable of cutting the Golden Gate Bridge in half) have recently expanded their rugged technology into a mini-compound miter saw called the Fury3.

This saw, like the Rage can cut through everything from steel to wood to aluminum. Having the ability to make a quick (and straight) cut on a metal stud, trim a 2x4 and also zip the end off an aluminum gutter all with the same saw sounds pretty appealing. As with the Rage, this multi-material cutting power seems to be a combination of the hi-torque gear box and the blade design.

Because the saw is only 8-1/4", it weighs a mere 22 lbs. so it's going to be easily portable and it'll be no problem carrying it up a ladder or slinging it on some pipe staging. Neither of these things you want to do with a 12".

The Fury3 sells for around $200 which sounds to us like a great price for what it could be capable of. We do wonder about blade life though. Regardless of design, how much abuse can any blade take? In addition it's not like you can mosey into the local Home Depot and get a blade for this tool, you'll need to go to the manufacturer (who, at this point, doesn't even list replacement blades on their store).

At Evolution

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

May 19, 2009

Coleman Flashcell 5.4-Volt Cordless Screwdriver

coleman_flashcell.jpg

If you've ever wanted a cordless screwdriver that charged so fast it was at risk of opening a worm hole, your day has come. Coleman's Flashcell 5.4-volt screwdriver charges in all of 90 seconds, shorter than the time it takes for Paula Abdul to ramble out her opinion on American Idol.

This tool has actually been out for well over a year and we've been meaning to write about it, but we figured we'd wait to see if it caught on or not. At the moment, Coleman's Flashcell website happily announces that the item is sold out and that you can email them to get on a waiting list. We also saw that it's at Amazon, with no indication of being sold out. To further confuse us, an old Gizmodo post from October 07 states that the tool costs $100. But back at Amazon, it's currently being peddled for $40. Not exactly an indicator of a high demand item.

Either way, it does look like an interesting tool and particularly handy for all of you city apartment dwellers out there who don't have a need for a larger cordless driver and who live in such a fast-paced world that even the 90 second charging time is bordering on too long.

At Amazon.com

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

May 11, 2009

Ye Olde Makita Drill: RIP

makita_drill.jpgLast Friday was a sad day for us because it marked the last breath from our Makita Drill. It's been our go-to cordless since the Panasonic died in November 2006 and during that time it's been a total badass. It's funny, but with all the hooplah about lithium-ion and compact this and micro that, it was always the 14.4 NiMH tool we'd go for. Over the two plus years it served us, it never gave out, took a tremendous beating and managed to do everything we asked of it, some of which was pretty extreme. Tools like this we practically consider to be our friends and we really hate to see it go. But since now the chuck won't spin and it only makes a strange farting noise, into the abyss it goes. Goodbye pal.

We still don't have a replacement and are happily taking suggestions/recommendations in the comments section.

Makita 14.4 Drill, Impact Driver, and Flashlight at Amazon.com

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

April 27, 2009

Ridgid LCDPak and MiniPak for the SeeSnake

ridgid_lcdpak.jpgridgid_minipak.jpg

Ridgid recently increased the capabilities of their SeeSnake with the release of two new monitors for the system. The big selling point on these two new items seems to be the fact that they can be powered by both standard AC or with Ridgid's 18-volt li-ion battery. This feature obviously translates into a much greater degree of portability and ease of use.

The LCDPak is the larger of the two new monitors. It's got a 10.4" color LCD display with 640x480 resolution and ten levels of light adjustment. The LCDPak can run for about five hours on two 18-volt batteries, but can also operate for a shorter time on one if need be.

The MiniPak is a smaller version and can also be run off of both power sources. It has a 5.7" color display and only takes one battery to get to the five hour mark.

Keep in mind that these monitors are part of the SeeSnake system and aren't necessarily sold with the SeeSnake camera hose. They are also high-powered pieces of digital equipment and are priced accordingly. As stand-alone items, the LCDPak and MiniPak retail for $2,600 and $2,000 respectively. It ain't cheap, but that's not to say it's not handy either (hellooo double negative). We've played around with both the Ridgid and Milwaukee hand held versions of the inspection camera and quickly saw how these larger models could be helpful. They're not really items for the homeowner, but someone in the trades could put them to good use.

MiniPak at Ohio Power Tools
LCDPak at Ohio Power Tools

Here's a video with more information on the LCDpak:

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

April 2, 2009

Porter-Cable Introduces Two New Corded Tools

PorterCable_Logo.jpgNext month, Porter-Cable is releasing two new corded power tools, a 3/8" drill and a 6-amp jigsaw. These tools are part of a larger roll out that includes two new batteries and seven new cordless tools. They'll all be available at Lowes and other retailers.

From the press release...

3/8-inch Drill
With a high-output, 6.0 amp motor capable of 0 to 2,500 revolutions-per-minute (RPM), the PORTER-CABLE 3/8-inch drill (PC600D) is designed to provide the speed needed for a variety of drilling applications. The high-torque gear design makes the drill ideal for metal and wood fabrication, pilot hole drilling in deck building or frame construction, and other applications requiring the extended run-time of a corded drill.
The lightweight, hand-held drill incorporates a range of professional features, including:
a variable-speed trigger for application-specific speed control; a two-sleeve, keyless chuck for quick bit changes; a belt clip for securing the tool; and a six-foot-long, high-grade cord.
The PC600D will be available in April 2009 for a suggested retail price of $44.97.

Jigsaw
The PORTER-CABLE jigsaw (PC600JS) is outfitted with a high-output, 6.0 amp motor capable of 0 to 3,200 strokes-per-minute (SPM) and offers a four-position orbital setting, encouraging productivity and user-controlled cutting performance across a range of materials and projects.
For accurate bevel cutting, the cast shoe has detents at 0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees. The jigsaw also includes a shoe cover to protect the shoe when not in use and to protect softer surfaces when cutting. Additional features include an on-board LED light for increased visibility of the work piece and cutline; tool-free bevel adjustments and blade changing; a seven-position speed dial for fine adjustments; and a six-foot-long, high-grade cord.
The jigsaw is ideal for cutting plywood, sink cutouts, scrollwork, art projects, shelving, as well as cutting designs into dimensional lumber. The PC600JS will be available in July 2009 for a suggested retail price of $79.97.

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

March 30, 2009

Quadra Bench

Quadra_bench_1.jpg

Now this looks interesting. It's a workbench out of Australia called the Quadra Bench that is comprised of two connected benches, each topped with a sliding platform, one for the tool and one for the workpiece. In addition to the horizontal movement, each bench can be raised and lowered as well. This multi-axis maneuverability gives the user a great deal of flexibility when positioning the tool and workpiece for making a cut. It also adds makes things quite a bit safer.

Tools for the bench will come in interchangeable modules built specifically for the machine. Thus far, we've seen pictures of a router and a circular saw.

The Quadra Bench is currently just a patented prototype (pictured), but it looks like there is a good chance that it will actually be manufactured. The finished product will likely have more features and be more spruced up than the prototype.

Watch a short video of the Quadra Bench here.

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

March 25, 2009

Porter-Cable Introduces Seven New Cordless Tools

In May of this year, Porter-Cable is adding seven new tools to their cordless catalog. They're also releasing two new 18-volt lithium-ion batteries (which we covered here). With one exception, the new tools are all 18-volt and they're going to be sold without batteries or chargers, which will be available separately. We discussed the possible advantages and disadvantages of this set-up here.

The oddball tool in the seven tool release is a 12-volt impact driver that is powered by a Ni-Cad battery and comes with a charger and two batteries.

The run-down on the tools is as follows...

From the press release:

Impact Drivers
pc_impact_driver.jpgPORTER-CABLE introduces two new 1/4-inch hex impact drivers, available in 18-volt (PC18ID) and 12-volt (PC120IDK-2) configurations. The 18-volt impact driver also is available as part of a lithium-ion kit (PCL180IDK-2), while the 12-volt impact driver comes standard as part of a NiCad kit. The impact drivers offer high-torque output, virtually eliminating kickback, thus allowing users to take-on heavy-duty fastening applications for extended periods without fatigue.

With a heavy-duty impact mechanism, the 18-volt and 12-volt impact drivers can deliver up to 1,600 inch-pounds and 1,400 inch-pounds of torque, respectively, at 2,800 blows-per-minute (BPM). The impact block is cold-forged to provide maximum durability.

At 6-1/2 inches, the impact drivers fit into tight areas not accessible to larger impact drivers and drill/drivers. To achieve the shortest length in their class, the impact drivers utilize a high-output, compact motor. The impact drivers incorporate a variable-speed trigger to provide a smooth power curve for maximum control across a range of applications and an on-board LED work light to illuminate dark areas without compromising battery run-time.

The 18-volt impact driver (PC18ID) will be available for a suggested retail price of $69.97 (batteries and chargers sold separately). This impact driver also will be available in an 18-volt, lithium-ion kit (PCL180IDK-2), which contains two standard lithium-ion batteries, a lithium-ion fast charger, a screwdriving bit, a belt clip and a storage bag, for $199.00. The 12-volt, NiCad impact driver kit (PC120IDK-2) contains two NiCad batteries, a one-hour NiCad fast charger, a screwdriving bit and a storage bag, and will be available for $139.00.

ArrowContinue reading: "Porter-Cable Introduces Seven New Cordless Tools"

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

March 24, 2009

Porter-Cable Rolls Out Nine New Tools and Two New Batteries

pc_battery1.jpgpc_battery2.jpg

Porter-Cable is in the process of rolling out a number of new tools, both corded and cordless, as well as two new battery platforms. Over the next couple days, we're going to be checking out the new tools, but here, we're going to take a look at the batteries.

Both of the new batteries are 18-volt lithium ion, which are built in such a way that they're backwards compatible with all older model 18-volt Porter-Cable tools. Porter-Cable already has a compact 18-volt li-ion battery on the market, which they released last year, but these two new ones offer longer run-times (at a heavier weight). They're sort of a momma bear and poppa bear to the existing baby bear.

It looks like Porter-Cable's plan is to release the batteries and tools separately. Because in the standard cordless tool kit, the batteries are equally as expensive as the tool, this is going to allow the user to save some money. It's a particular plus to the weekend DIYer, who can buy say three or four cordless tools at short money and only invest in one battery/charger kit (as opposed to paying for all those extra batteries). It poses a problem though for the tradesman who is going to be giving his tools constant use and will need all of those extra batteries kicking around. Porter-Cable's solution to this problem is to offer two new combo kits, which come with the tools as well as batteries and a charger.

From the press release:

LX Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (PC18BLX) The LX Lithium-Ion Battery Pack holds 18-volts of power in a pack weighing less than one pound. Available for a suggested retail price of $69.97, the PC18BLX is ideal for drilling, driving screws and other applications where a lighter weight and compact size are preferred. The LX battery pack has a 1.3 amp-hour rating.

EX Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (PC18BLEX)
The EX Lithium-Ion Battery Pack stores twice the power capacity of the more compact LX battery pack, doubling the run-time on a single charge while weighing 20 percent less than the PORTER-CABLE 18-volt NiCad battery pack. With this extended capacity, the EX battery pack is ideal for heavy-duty applications that require high power or longer run times such as projects involving extensive sawing or hammerdrilling. The EX battery pack has a 2.6 amp-hour rating and will be available for a suggested retail price of $89.97.


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

March 11, 2009

Review of DeWalt Tracksaw at Wood Whisperer

Thumbnail image for dewalt_tracksaw.gifMarc, over at The Wood Whisperer, has posted up a very good video review of the new DeWalt Tracksaw. The review not only looks at the DeWalt saw, but gives some direct comparisons to the Festool unit as well as a general introduction to the usefulness of this type of tool.

There's a lot to like about the review. For one, Marc is videoing his very first experience with the saw, so you get to watch him try to figure the whole thing out, just like anyone would. We also like that Marc doesn't get caught up in the nit-picky details of the tools but keeps things at a 'big picture' level, preferring to find out if the tool makes a nice cut rather than get lost in stats like no-load speed and maximum wattage. All in all, it's a very thorough review and after watching it, we realized that there was only one question left unanswered: "Is that a pink feather boa in the background?"

Check out the review here.

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

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