August 4, 2008

Bosch PS20 12-Volt Max Pocket Driver Arrives for Review

Bosch_PS20.jpgSince 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.

At Amazon.com

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

July 30, 2008

Ridgid microExplorer Digital Seesnake Inspection Camera 30063

ridgid_explorer.jpgThe 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.

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

July 28, 2008

Festool MFK 700 Modular Router - Review

festool_mfk.jpgFestool has recently bombarded the market with four new tools; a modular router, a full-size router, an upgraded workbench, and the much talked about Kapex miter saw. Not only does Festool operate at a level of quality that must frustrate other tool makers, but they are one of the few companies who consistently design from the ground up, seemingly forgetting everything they know about the tool at hand and starting over with, usually, fresh and revolutionary ideas. We got a chance to test out their new MFK 700 Trim Router and were excited at the potential of this tool.

ArrowContinue reading: "Festool MFK 700 Modular Router - Review"

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

July 21, 2008

Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool System

dremel_multi_max.jpg
We just got word the other day that Dremel, one of our favorite tool companies, is on the verge of releasing a new oscillating tool. This is some unexpected news for us. We've been carefully watching the potential release of Bosch's PMF 180 E Multi oscillating tool and here comes Dremel out of nowhere with their own model. If you've never played around with an oscillating tool, you've got something coming. Not only are they precise, but they can be used an a staggering number of situations; everything from sanding to flush cutting to grinding to polishing. ArrowContinue reading: "Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool System"

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

June 30, 2008

Ryobi 4V Lithium Ion Screwdriver

ryobi_4v_li_ion.jpgIt was just a matter of time before Ryobi got into the mini Li-Ion driver market and with their exposure at Home Depot, we're sure that this tool will be a hit.

Unlike a lot of the other low voltage screwdrivers, this one not only has a little LED light, but also a 12 position clutch. It also has a quick change chuck and comes with a carrying bag and a 6-piece bit set. These features elevate the tool from a simple around the house "picture hanging" tool to something that has some functionality on a job site as well, particularly during the punch list phase of the game. It's not as compact as the Dremel Screwdriver (which is twice as powerful), but it sure looks more "construction."

According to Ryobi the screwdriver can hold a charge for up to two years, so, not only can it help out on the job site, but it can also sit in the entryway closet until it's needed around the house.

All this is being sold for just a hair under $30, a very competitive price. We saw this tool at the local Home Depot last week and it's got some high visibility there and we expect them to be pushing it pretty hard in the coming months. But the bottom line is that it's a great price for what we'd bet is a solid tool.

At Home Depot

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

June 23, 2008

Kawasaki Heat Gun - Review

kawasaki_hg.jpgWe're in the process of restoring a few old five-panel doors. The doors themselves are in pretty good shape, but they're covered with about eight thick layers of paint (each color worse than the last). The flat faces of the doors, we just scraped with a standard carbide-tipped scraper, no problem. But the molding on the panels proved to be trickier. With just a scraper, we kept damaging the wood fibers, meaning there would be a lengthy sanding step later on.

So we got in the market for a heat gun. First we figured that we'd get the Bosch. It's $100, but it's a Bosch, so it's worth it, right? We've actually even used it before and liked it quite a bit. But after thinking about it, we figured that there is probably a cheaper one out there that would be fine for our purposes and needs (which were neither extreme nor strenuous). So we looked around and settled on the Kawasaki 10-Piece Kit. What made us choose this model was the fact that it came with, not only a nice carrying case, but that it also included a few nozzles and a scraper. It was a fully-functional paint-scraping kit, all in one box. The cost was under $30, which was also good.

ArrowContinue reading: "Kawasaki Heat Gun - Review"

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

June 16, 2008

Skil Power Cutter - Review

skil_cutter_side.jpgSkil has definitely shown themselves to be interested in innovation. We loved last year's Power Wrench and we're looking forward to the benchtop tools they're releasing this September. In the meantime, they've slipped out the Power Cutter. It's a light-duty cutter powered by an 3.6 volt internal lithium-ion battery.

The Skil Cutter isn't the most aggressive tool you'll ever hold in your hand and it's not supposed to be. It's meant for small tasks. The packaging says that it can cut selected materials up to 1/4" thick. The list includes leather, wallpaper, cardboard, and carpet.

ArrowContinue reading: "Skil Power Cutter - Review"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

June 10, 2008

Ridgid Drill Owners, Full of Euphoria

ridgid_compact_drill.jpgAccording to a new study by J.D. Powers and Associates, of all the major brands, Ridgid ranks highest in customer satisfaction in the drill/driver category. The article says that,

"The inaugural study measures customer satisfaction with cordless drills/drivers by examining six key factors (listed in order of importance): drill performance (including drilling and driving power, performance under heavy use and maneuverability in tight spaces); ease of use (including balance, weight and grip size and feel); battery performance; price; versatility of the battery platform in supporting other power tools; and warranty."

A while back, we reviewed Ridgid's compact Li-Ion Drill and we can understand why they excelled in all of these categories. We were big fans of the drill when we reviewed it and we still use it all the time.

Read the article here.
Read our review of Ridgid's drill here.

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

June 5, 2008

Skil 3375-01 Belt Disc Sander

Skil_Benchtop_sander_1.jpgA few weeks back we told you about Skil's new line of benchtop tools coming out later this year. Now, we're going to take a closer look at one of those tools, the belt disc sander.

Skil's sander comes with a number of nice features. There is a beveling table top capable of a 45 degree angle, a 2-1/2" dust port, and a pre-drilled cast iron base, for attaching to your workbench. The belt sander can also flip up to a 90 degree position. There is also a safey switch and the whole thing is powered by a 4-amp motor.

The Skil will be available in September, exclusively at Lowe's. There are a number of similar items on the market (the Hitachi and Grizzly, for instance), but not having used either of them, we can't say how the Skil rates. Our guess is that they're all fairly similar and that it comes down to a matter of brand preference.

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

May 19, 2008

Festool MFK 700 Modular Router Arrives for Review

Thumbnail image for festool_mfk700_2.jpgRecently Festool launched a number of new tools and among them is a new trim router called the MFK 700. We've used the Bosch Colt quite a bit and we're interested to see how the Festool compares. We're willing to bet that the Festool is one seriously precise machine. The basic kit (with just the vertical base) goes for over $500 while a fully-equipped Colt (with 4 bases) isn't even $175. We're pretty interested to see where that extra $325 is going. We're going to start playing around with it this week and we'll post up a review as soon as we can.

At Rockler

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

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