September 11, 2008
A while back Bosch unleashed their 10-Volt, Lithium Ion-Driver to much acclaim; it was pretty powerful and very compact. But then, some other companies released similar tools that were more powerful by two volts. These new 12-Volt tools clearly out-matched the 10-Volt Bosch, so now, Bosch's 10-Volt has been upgraded to a 12-volt capacity.
When Bosch released their original tool, they called it a 10-volt, because that was the nominal voltage. When the other companies released their 12-volt tools, they decided to pick the name based on the maximum voltage, even though the batteries were pretty much the same. So, you see, Bosch's 10-volt is, and always was, in the same class as their competitors' 12-volts. So, not wanting to get continually screwed by shoppers who rightly assume that 12-volts is more powerful than 10-volts, Bosch has recently re-released their 10-volt as a 12-volt. So those of you who own the 10-Volt, don't hang your head thinking that your tool has already been outdated, because it hasn't. Well, it sort of hasn't. The Bosch 12-Volt Max has an increased speed and torque, both about 25% higher than the previous model. But our point is that the battery is the same.
Continue reading: "Bosch PS20 12v Max Pocket Driver - Review"
August 28, 2008
You know those creepy photos you can find on the internet, the kind with the frog that wandered too close to the nuclear power plant and now has an extra arm growing out of it's forehead? That's what we think of when we look at Stanley's new 3-in-1 Tripod Flashlight. We've got one of their standard tripod lights and are so used to it that this thing looks like some kind of ghastly genetic mutation. See it there with its freaky little, stunted silver legs and it's three heads all perched up top crowding each other in some Darwinian competition for to be the dominant head?
It's probably a nice light, but it sends a shiver up our spine.
This freakshow costs about $30 and is at Amazon.com
You can also still get the standard tripod light (which reminds us of Wall-E) at Amazon.com
August 27, 2008
Bosch just sent out word that they're finally getting into the 14.4-volt and 18-volt lithium market. Up until now they've kept their Li-Ion tools at the extremes, with either the little 12-volt or the Conan the Barbarian 36-volt. But now, finally, they've discovered their middle ground.
The new tools are exclusively in the hammer/drill/driver category and from what information is available at the moment, they look pretty nice. In addition to there being the two voltages (14 and 18), there are two types of batteries as well. The Brute Tough tools come with a FatPack battery and the Compact Tough come with a SlimPack Battery. The systems are compatible with one another, meaning that SlimPack batteries fit on Brute Tough tools and vise versa. Got it?
The tools also come with a nice 2 year battery replacement policy.
The new tools are as follows:
- 18V Litheon BruteTough Hammer Drill/Driver
- 14.4V Litheon BruteTough Hammer Drill/Driver
- 18V Litheon BruteTough Drill/Driver
- 14.4V Litheon BruteTough Drill/Driver
- 18V Litheon CompatTough Drill/Driver
- 14.4V Litheon CompatTough Drill/Driver
The best news is that this is just the start. After the release of these tools in October, we can expect to start seeing more tools start to appear in the lineup, including a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, and a flashlight, all 18-volts.
Bosch tools at Amazon.com
August 25, 2008
Because of the website, we're always checking out Amazon's bestseller list for the home improvement category. And today, for about the billionth day in a row, the number one spot is held by Dremel's Cordless Pet Nail Grooming Rotary Tool. It goes to show you what a little marketing can do. From the looks of it, it's simply a Dremel Rotary tool that comes with a few grinding drums. But it's packaged as a pet grooming tool, so it's bought as a pet grooming tool. They also have a pumpkin carving tool, which looks suspiciously similar.
We looked through the comments at Amazon (the majority of which were positive), hoping to find one of those choice negative ones that is completely irrational and written entirely in caps, but unfortunately, they were all pretty sane. It sounds like the major complaint is that the tool goes through batteries at a good clip. But, like we said, most of the comments are positive, so at the reasonable price of under $25, it might be worth checking out.
For more specifics on the tool, see what our pals at SuperCoolPets have to say.
August 22, 2008
While we're waiting very impatiently for the release of Dremel's new oscillating tool, the Dremel Multi-Max, we thought we'd tell you about three new glue guns that they're adding to their lineup. These new guns are stripped down versions of their existing gun, the 1200 which is for heavy duty work (it even has an LED). Each of the three has different features so it doesn't really matter what you do with a glue gun, you'll likely be able to find one of these four that matches your needs.
According to Dremel:
The only glue gun in the new line designed specifically to hold 7-millimeter glue sticks, the Dremel 1225 Glue Gun (20 watts) is perfect for light crafting projects like school assignments and decorating picture frames. It features a built-in stand and wide base to keep the glue gun upright and help to prevent the glue gun from tipping over while working on a project. It also offers an ergonomic handle for comfortable use and an anti-drip nozzle with silicon tip for protection from accidental burns. The suggested retail price is $5.99.
The Dremel 1230 Glue Gun (40 watts) offers a built-in stand, wide base, anti-drip nozzle with silicon tip plus a soft grip handle for extra comfort and control. It holds 11-millimeter diameter glue sticks and is ideal for home decorating projects and fixing broken household items. The suggested retail price is $9.99.
In addition to the features on the two previous models, the Dremel 1235 Glue Gun (60 watts) offers a textured soft grip handle, a dual temperature setting and power indicator LED light to clearly indicate when the tool is on and heating. This model holds 11-millimeter glue sticks. It is perfect for light DIY projects such as repairing a loose chair spindle or reattaching countertop laminate or cabinet veneer. The suggested retail price is $15.99.
The newest additions to the Dremel Glue Gun line join the brand's flagship model, the Dremel 1200 Glue Gun (80 watts), which offers all of the features on models 1225, 1230 and 1235 plus an LED work light, a light that indicates when the glue gun has reached optimal temperature and three changeable nozzles (one fine, one standard and one wide). This model holds 11-millimeter glue sticks. The suggested retail price is $24.99.
The best part is that they are all Dremel and that's likely to mean quality. But, like the Multi-Max, we're all going to have to wait until October.
Amazon's flagship glue gun, the 1200 at Amazon.com
August 21, 2008
We always like to see something new and different, and that's just what Milwaukee is delivering with their new Hackzall, due out later this year. The easiest way to describe it is to call it a single handed Sawzall, but that's actually pretty far from the truth. For one, it's only 12 volts and when put up against 15 amps of destructive power, it's not up to the same tasks at all. But because it's so small, it doesn't even want to do those tasks, due to the fact that it's busy doing all the things that a full-sized Sawzall can't. Things like cutting in outlet boxes, cutting pipes in cramped spaces, and plenty of other things that you'll discover once you get your hands on one.
We were fortunate to try out a Hackzall at Milwaukee when they released the tool and there, under a very controlled setting, we really liked it a lot. We're curious to see how it does under less controlled circumstances.
Another thing worth mentioning is that when we were at Milwaukee, all of the employees, every single one, seemed very, very happy to be working there. It wasn't the pasted on smiles that you see at some press events, it was legit and almost unsettling. It had us thinking that either a) there's some pretty strong Kool-Aid in Milwaukee, or b) it really is a great company to work for. Our guess is the latter, due to the fact that everyone made eye contact when they spoke to us, as opposed to that having that glazed-over look that you see in George Romero movies.
August 19, 2008
We've had our eye on this crazy little thing since we first heard about it earlier this year. It's a little circular saw that dresses like an angle grinder and has the strength to cut through metal, ceramic, wood, and stone.
The kit comes with the saw, a variety of blades, a carrying case, a level, and a few other saw accessories. Out of the box it looks compact, but has a nice heft to it, indicating the possibility of a really quality tool.
The Croc Saw sells for about $100. If it's what we hope it is, that's not a lot of money to pay. We're going to start putting it through the ringer tomorrow. More information about the tool is here (pdf).
Also, we've got a few other reviews in the pipeline; DAP's new quick drying caulk, Paslode's new roofing gun, and Bosch's little 12 Volt Max (which we've been seriously abusing lately). All these are coming up, so stay tuned.
Crocodile Saw at Amazon.com
August 12, 2008
We were talking to one of our carpenter pals the other day and he mentioned how much he liked Craftsman's little 7-1/4" Miter Saw. He said it's extremely light and perfect for small stuff. It's also got to be nice to have an alternative to the bulky 10 or 12 inch miter saw.
The saw runs on a 9 amp motor and comes with a little laser light to assist with cutting. But without question, the highlight of the item is its weight of 16 pounds. This is more than half of what most 10" saws cost. Sure, you'll be losing some functionality and won't be able to cut all those big boards, but for portability, this guy can't be beat.
The saw is about $80 which we think is a really good price for the potential uses of this tool. There is also a similar tool available that is a sliding compound miter (that one sells for $160). There is also the savings on blades. Ever price a 12" blade? It's ugly. But this saw uses the same blades that your circular saw uses and that you can pick up for $10-$15.
7-1/4" Miter Saw at Sears
7-1/4" Sliding Compound Miter Saw at Sears
August 4, 2008
Since we're all in favor of a seriously strong driver that can fit in a nail pouch, we're pretty happy that Bosch has just released their 12-Volt Max Pocket Driver. It's sort of an upgrade of their 10.8-volt driver, but not the way you think. The new tool is capable of 100 inch-pounds of torque and a speed of 500 rpm, both 25% upgrades from the previous model.
The way it is not an upgrade is in the battery. We know you're saying, "what the eff? The new one is a 12-volt and the old one is a 10.8-volt! That's an upgrade, morons." Not really. What has happened is that when Bosch released the original tool they called it 10.8-volts, using the nominal voltage of the battery. But then other companies started putting out similar tools and referring to them by their maximum voltage, which is 12-volts. So the battery is the same (same look, same charger, etc.), but it just has a new name so Bosch won't get screwed on the shelves. Think about it, if you're at the store looking at a 10.8-volt tool and a 12-volt tool for the same price, you're going to think that you're getting a better deal with the 12-volt. We can't say we blame them for the name change.
The 12-Volt Max is going to cost around the same as the 10.8-Volt, which is in the area of $120.
We're going to bring this little guy to the job site and see how it holds up. More soon.
July 30, 2008
The guys at CopTool have some cool information on Ridgid's second generation inspection camera. It seems that not only has Ridgid addressed any complaints with their first version, but they've added a whole lot more sauce as well.
New features include pan, zoom and a self-leveling camera. This is all well and good, but the real leap with this tool is that it can capture both images and video. And we're not talking about grainy 'here's my photo of the UFO I took in my backyard' resolution, we're talking about 1280 x 1024 images and 320 x 240 video. And once taken, the images and video can be easily transferred to a computer.
This looks like an amazing tool and a gift from the heavens to anyone who has ever had to track down a leak or find out what's in the way of that duct. But the impressiveness of the tool doesn't end with the features, it includes the price as well. This fella is going to go for a smashing $785. It's a boatload of money, but if it's a tool that you could use, it's a price worth considering.
Right now, Ohio Power Tools is taking pre-orders for a reduced price of $690. Order yours here.