March 11, 2009
Marc, 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.
March 9, 2009
Bosch is introducing a new family of rotary hammers that they say has both reduced vibration and increased impact strength. The technology behind the improvement has something to do with, "an innovative new approach to the striker pin assembly."
According to the press release,
"A slightly longer air cushion between the piston and the striker pin significantly reduces vibration at the point of impact while increasing impact energy by about 10% at same time. The new design ultimately yields significantly faster drilling (+ 20%) in concrete. The second component of the system is a shock-absorbent main handle. Rubber damping elements at the top and bottom of the handle further isolate the user from vibration. The end result is greater productivity and all day comfort."
It looks like the Vibration Control technology is going to be present in the new 11264EVS and 11265EVS 1-5/8" rotary hammers and the 11321EVS 12-pound demolition hammer. No word if this technology will be transferred to the smaller hammer-drills like our favorite, the Bosch Bulldog. These tools are available now and will all cost between $550 and $600.
Bosch Rotary Hammers at Amazon.com
February 24, 2009
Craftsman has a bunch of videos over at Popular Mechanics featuring some of their new tools. We're usually a bit suspect of these sorts of promotions, but this one features our pal Mark Clement. Since we know Mark and are convinced that he would never tell a lie, we're on board for what he has to say about the tools.
There are a lot of videos here on everything from the new Vibra-Free Sander to some hand wrenches to this cool vehicle diagnostic unit that we've never even seen before. The videos are clear and concise and offer nice introductions of the tools as well as Mark's impressions of them.
It's worth mentioning that Mark has a lot more luck with the Auto Hammer than we did. In the video, he was able to drive galvanized nails into pressure-treated wood without any of the problems that we had here and here.
Check out the videos here.
Craftsman tools at Sears
January 29, 2009
Last week we told you about the Secco 916 Oscillating Tool. At the time, we were a little suspicious of it because it was only being sold on ebay and there was absolutely no information available on the manufacturer. In the post, we asked if anyone had any experience with the tool.
The other day, we received the following comment from a reader. You can read it in the comment section of the original post, but we thought it was worthy of its own article. It seems that the Secco might not pass the sniff test after all. (Update: we just received another comment on the tool, this one mostly positive. Read that one here. Second one down.)
As RkyMtnRon reports....
You asked for feedback on the Secco 916, so I've got some.
Bought one on Ebay on Jan. 2, 2009, for $157.50 (plus shipping).
They are misrepresenting this unit! The description clearly states that it can use the Fein Multi-master blades. Not true!
Their blades have a circular center hole and a pattern of smaller holes that fit onto a circular array of raised pins on the blade arbor, allowing the blade angle to be changed.
There is no "adapter" disk to allow the use of the "star" hole on the Fein blades.
I challenged the seller about their claim and they hedged and said "Ya well, just tighten down the blade bolt and they'll work". Well, I tried that and a Fein blade just spun around in a heart beat!
There also does not seem to be any other blades available for this unit, other than the ones in the kit. No "bi-metal" blades at all, or recessed hub "flush-cut", circular blades.
Specialty Diamond Products does not even have any replacement blades for this unit on their web site!
One other interesting fact. My sales slip that came with the unit has an address in Santa Barbara, CA, that I looked up on Mapquest and found to be in the middle of a residential area, so some dude is selling these out of his home!
Currently, I'm trying to return my unit and plan to contact Ebay to report this misrepresentation.
I would urge anyone considering this unit to forget about it!
January 22, 2009
Update: We got some feedback from someone who purchased a Secco 916. Sounds like things might not be on the level. Details here.
A number of heads up readers have pointed out this item to us. It's yet another entry into the oscillating tool bonanza that started as soon as Fein's patent wore out. This one is made by a company called Secco and is sold by Specialty Diamond Products exclusively on ebay.
There's not a whole lot more we can say. The info over at ebay is boilerplate and the tool comes with a nice, but standard, set of bits and blades. This isn't to say that it's a bad tool in anyway, but the only place it is being sold and the only mention we can find of the manufacturer is on ebay. This tool could be great, but there's simply no way to know until you buy it. We couldn't find any reviews, buyer feedback, nothing.
The 916 has a "buy it now" price of $199, which puts it way up there at the price of the most basic Fein kit. The fully loaded 72-piece Rockwell SoniCrafter, which we love, is only $180. The Secco 916 Oscillating Tool also does not have a starting bid price, but rather, a "make offer" option, leading us to believe that they'll happily take less than $199. The question is then, how much less?
If anyone has picked up one of these tools, let us know. We're curious how it measures up against the other oscillating tools.
At ebay (we don't know how long this link will work, but if it's broken a search of "Secco 916" at ebay should turn get you there.)
January 20, 2009
We just got an email from our pals over at Tool Crib pointing us to their great article on the new Ridgid Table Saw. It appears that there's a bit of a to-do surrounding the release of the tool. Apparently, it wasn't supposed to be in stores until February, but it somehow got 'leaked' and there are at least a few people who own one and have commented on it.
From what we can tell, it's a nice tool with a ridiculous price point of $600 (most saws of this type are in the $1000 range). The tool will be at Home Depot in a month or so (if it isn't there already), but in the meantime, head over to Tool Crib and get all the information on the tool, including pictures, early reviews, and all the rest of the gossip.
Tool Crib's info on the tool is here.
January 19, 2009
Last week we reviewed Arbortech's Power Chisel and were amazed at how much we liked it and how well it worked. We've also been playing around with their other woodworking tool, the Mini-Grinder, and now we're here to tell you how that one worked.
The basics are the same as the Power Chisel, the Mini-Grinder is an attachment for a standard angle grinder. It attaches to the top of the grinder and uses the spinning chuck as a gear to move the mini grinder at the end of the attachment. Like the Power Chisel, it's available as a single unit (attached to an Arbortech Grinder) or as a stand-alone that you can attach to your existing grinder.
Continue reading: "Arbortech Mini-Grinder - Review"
January 9, 2009
We've known about Arbortech's AS160 AllSaw for a while now (it's consistently been one of our most popular articles), but what we didn't know was that they also make some innovative woodworking tools; the Power Chisel and the Mini-Grinder. We weren't sure what to make of these tools at first glance, other than to be impressed with the fact that they are both essentially attachments for an angle grinder, which is one of our favorite tools and one that we think doesn't get the kudos that it deserves. We jumped at the opportunity to test out these tools and, here, we're taking a look at the Power Chisel. Our review of the Mini-Grinder should be along at some point soon.
So what is the Power Chisel all about and how does it work?
Continue reading: "Arbortech Power Chisel - Review"
January 8, 2009
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:
Continue reading: "Hitachi Expands 12V Li-Ion Line with Reciprocating Saw, Right-Angle Impact Driver, and Flashlight"
January 7, 2009
The guys over at CopTool found this cool item a couple weeks ago. It's Euro-Bosch's Table Saw / Miter Saw Hybrid. These hybrids are popular over in Europe, but have never really taken hold over here in America. We've never used one, but they sure look fun, sort of like a one-unit, trim carpentry extravaganza.
There's no word if this is coming to the states or not. CopTool has all the stats on the item here and the German Bosch page on the tool is here.
We did a little additional research and found this youtube video, which is in english, so that's encouraging. We also discovered this site which is selling them for 609.94 euro, which translates into about $820.