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.

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


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


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

March 9, 2009

Bosch Vibration Control Rotary Hammers

bosch_rotary_hammer.jpgBosch 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

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

February 24, 2009

Craftsman Videos at Popular Mechanics


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

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

January 29, 2009

Secco 916 Oscillating Tool - Part 2...A Tale of Woe

caution_sign.jpgLast 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!

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (13) | social bookmarking

January 22, 2009

Secco 916 Oscillating Tool

secco916.jpgUpdate: 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.)

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (9) | social bookmarking

January 20, 2009

Ridgid R4511 Granite Top Hybrid Table Saw

Ridgid_R4511.jpgWe 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.

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

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