December 17, 2007
Stanley has a new flashlight out that should be a big hit with anyone who has ever tried working in an unlit crawl space. The flashlight has three tri-pod legs that fold out of the body allowing it to be set it upright and the articulating head means you can point the light wherever you want. Because it’s a battery-operated flashlight (9 AA batteries!), it's much more convenient than a standard electric work light, seeing as there are no extension cords to deal with.
The flashlight sells for about $25 which is a good deal, considering the innovative tri-pod design and the fact that any good mag-light is going to be in the $20 range anyway.
Stanley offers this flashlight in a number of other sizes and colors (purple?).
December 10, 2007
Lithium-ion batteries are a big deal right now. They last longer, charge quicker, and are half the weight of other batteries. But the catch is that they're quite a bit more expensive. There has been a lot of talk lately about Ryobi and their new line of inexpensive li-ion tools. But are they any good? Bad tools for a good price are still bad tools. Well, we spent all week using and abusing the 4-piece set and we're here to report back our findings. For the review, we're going to look at each tool individually and then wrap things up with some thoughts on the set as a whole.
Continue reading: "Ryobi 4-Piece Lithium-Ion Power Tool Kit - Review"
December 5, 2007
A little bit ago, we reviewed Skil's 18-Volt Lithium Ion Drill/Driver. We found it to be a nice tool for the casual user, but probably not for the contractor. Now we've gone and taken a good look at the Skil 14.4-Volt Drill Driver and can report that the tools are basically identical, except that the 14.4 is a little more affordable, lighter, and a little less powerful.
Like the 18-Volt Drill, the 14.4-Volt has the strange battery design with the exposed terminals. But this time, we took our heads out of the sand and realized that this serves a purpose. With the charging terminals located at the bottom of the battery, you are able to charge the battery with the tool attached. So there's a purpose to it, but does it make sense? Even in a really rushed situation, we've always had time to take the battery off the charger and plug it into the tool, so it can't be a time-saving issue. But maybe this is more for saving workbench space, so if you're someone with limited room, this could be a good thing.
Continue reading: "Skil 14.4-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver - Review"
December 4, 2007
We're big fans of the Fein MultiMaster. In our opinion, it's one of the best tools to come around in a long time. And we thought that it stood alone, with no other tool like it. We've been hearing about the Bosch PMF 180 E Multi, a similar tool that's available in Europe and may or may not be coming to the states, but what we didn't know about was the Proxxon Delta Sander. It's the Mini-Me of the MultiMaster and we were lucky enough to get a chance to test one out.
The basics of the tool are the same as the Fein. There's the oscillating head with interchangeable blades, sanding pads, files, scrapers, and polishers. If you're familiar with the Fein, then all the controls will be familiar to you. The accessories change out the same way, with a little hex key, and there's a little dial to control oscillation speed.
Continue reading: "Proxxon Oscillating Detail Sander - Review"
November 30, 2007
UPDATE: The review is here.
The good folks at Ryobi just sent along one of their 4-Piece Li-Ion sets and we're really looking forward to checking it out since it's pretty much the most talked about set this holiday season. Is it true that they offer both quality and affordability? We're going to start abusing them tomorrow and as soon as we can, we'll let you know what we find out.
There's more about the set here and here. And don't forget Ryobi's little 12-Volt compact drill/driver here.
We'll also be testing out Ryobi's Self-Leveling Laser, so stay tuned for that too. Details on that tool here.
November 29, 2007
Update: We were way off on the price of this saw. The source that we used for the info turned out to be four years old. The actual price is going to be somewhere in the $1600 to $1800 range. We attribute this error to an early overindulgence in holiday eggnog. Thanks to Ben over at Toologics for pointing out the error.
This spring, SawStop's revolutionary safety system is going to be available on a 10" Contractor Saw. At the moment, the only SawStop table saw out there is their massive cabinet saw, which retails for around $3000. The new, smaller version will be going for around $700. No matter how you slice it, either saw is cheaper than dealing with a severed finger.
If you're unfamiliar with the SawStop, this video should tell you all you need to know.
While you're at the SawStop website, check out the videos of the prototype chop saw and band saw, both with the SawStop finger-saving technology.
November 15, 2007
Skil has recently gotten into the lithium-ion race with their nice 7-volt Power Wrench and now they're getting into some higher voltage with their new 18-Volt Lithium Cordless Drill/Driver.
Although it's fairly stripped down, the drill/driver comes equipped with some nice features. It's got a little light, located at the bottom of the handle that shines on the tip of the tool, brightening up the work piece. Right next to it is a three light indicator system that displays the charge left in the battery. The drill also has a 15 position clutch and a little forward/reverse indicator light.
Continue reading: "Skil 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver - Review"
November 11, 2007
Saw it today at Home Depot. $79.
Read about the tool here.
November 6, 2007
The Festool Jigsaw has been out for a while, but we were recently reading about it and got to wondering why we had never covered it in the past. Festool makes some of the best tools around and after checking out some of the features on the Trion, it's obvious that this is a cut above other jigsaws.
The most impressive thing about the Trion is the 3-way blade guidance system. The blade is kept stable first by the pendulum rod, second by the pendulum guide, and third by the two carbide plates at the cutting point. If you've ever ruined a piece of wood with a wandering jigsaw blade, you should understand the value of this tool.
Continue reading: "Festool Trion PS (and PSB) 300 EQ Jigsaw"
November 4, 2007
Now with just about every major tool company trying to convert every single power tool into a cordless version, there are bound to be some duds. Some tools just won't be able to make the conversion, due to who knows what. So every time a new tool comes out, we cringe a little bit, wondering if it will be the first big disaster. With this in mind, we were curious about Skil's new Power Wrench. Would it be possible to make a battery operated ratchet tool? Skil was nice enough to let us try one out, so we're happy to say we have an answer to that question.
First, some general info on the tool. The Skil Power Wrench has a nice ergonomic handle, complete with little finger ridges. The trigger is right there and is no problem to get to and easy to keep depressed. Like a traditional ratchet, the forward/reverse toggle is located at the rear of the head, and operated just like you expect it to.
The tool is light, weighing just under two pounds. The weight is nicely distributed through the tool, so it's an easy 2 lbs to deal with, making the wrench feel solid and very natural in the hands. The tool operates on an internal lithium-ion battery, and the entire unit plugs into the charger stand, which can sit on any flat surface or be mounted to the wall.
Continue reading: "Skil 7.2-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Wrench - Review"