November 11, 2007

Ryobi 12-Volt Lithium Ion Drill in Stores

Saw it today at Home Depot. $79.

Read about the tool here.

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

November 6, 2007

Festool Trion PS (and PSB) 300 EQ Jigsaw

festool_trion.jpgThe 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.

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

November 4, 2007

Skil 7.2-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Wrench - Review

Skil_wrench_1.jpgNow 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.

skil_wrench_charger.jpgFirst, 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.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (16) | social bookmarking

October 29, 2007

Ridgid R4121 12" Dual Bevel Miter Saw

ridgid_miter.jpgRidgid has just released a new 12" miter saw that looks like it's outfitted with some nice features. The blade has a side to side bevel capability of 48 degrees and the saw has a 50 degree range both left and right. The high fence (5-7/8") can support 7-1/2" crown molding and the saw comes with a quick release work clamp to stabilize whatever it is you're cutting.

The Ridgid saw is plenty powerful with a 15 amp motor and a blade speed of 3800 rpms. It also projects a laser line onto the work piece. The line is somehow adjustable, unlike other laser systems, and it only turns on when the blade is in motion.

We can't find any specific pricing info, but similar saws sell for around $300.

At Home Depot

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

October 26, 2007

Dremel Duo (Stylus & Driver) - Review

dremel_duo1.jpgDremel has just released a new lithium-ion powered screwdriver, the Dremel Driver, and they've bundled it with their Dremel Stylus, which has been out since 2006. We were curious to see how Dremel was going to handle the whole lightweight lithium-ion screwdriver thing and we jumped at the chance to test out the little guy and as a bonus, we got our hands on the Stylus as well.

The Dremel Driver and Stylus come nicely packaged together, but are also available as stand alones (more on that later). They come with a stand/charger that fits both tools, charging one at a time. There is also a nice little compartmentalized case for your rotary bits and driver bits as well as an expansion piece for the stand that clicks onto the side and provides a space to store your bits for easy access. This last piece isn't pictured, as we lost it somewhere along the way during our test phase. We're pretty sure it's in the truck somewhere.


The system has no removable battery to charge. Instead the entire unit clicks into the stand and it does its charging there. This situation presents no bench top space issues, seeing as both of these tools combined are hardly any bigger than the standard 18-volt battery and won't be taking up much space at all.

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

Skil 7.2-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Wrench

skil_wrench.jpgSkil has recently released an interesting little tool called the Power Wrench. It's essentially a 7.2-volt ratchet that fits a 1/4" socket and can also be used as a low-clearance screwdriver.

The wrench has a forward/reverse switch and a soft grip handle. The tool comes with a 17-piece accessory set which looks like it includes a standard collection of sockets and driver bits. Like the Dremel Duo, there is no removable battery, but a charging stand instead, which can either sit on a counter or get mounted on the wall. The tool weighs just over 1-1/2 lbs.

We're sure this is going to be a big Christmas item for Dad's and DIYers everywhere. It could also be a nice gift for someone who is getting on in their years and is losing hand strength.

Skil's Power Wrench sells for about $60.


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

October 25, 2007

Black & Decker VPX Website is Live (for real this time)

bd_vpx_2.jpgWell, after over almost two weeks of looking at that spinning battery, the Black & Decker VPX website is up and running. It looks very cool too. There's good info on all the tools, a bit about the battery system, and a neat page devoted to the team and some of the concepts they came up with during development.

Go and check it out at

More on the VPX System here.

VPX tools at

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

October 18, 2007

Milwaukee V18 Vs. 18V?

milwaukee_li_ion_18.jpgA while back, we told you about Milwaukee's new Compact 18-Volt Drill, but what we didn't know is that the li-ion battery that comes with it is not the same as Milwaukee's standard 18-volt lithium-ion battery. As it turns out, the differences between the two batteries are significant. For one, the new compact batteries only work with other Milwaukee compact li-ion tools as opposed to the larger batteries, which are compatible with all of your old Milwaukee 18-volt tools.

But don't worry, there's a real easy way to tell them apart. The new ones are called 18V Lithium-Ion Batteries and the older ones are called V18 Lithium-Ion Batteries. Simple, right?

Our buddies over at Toologics have the complete run down of the two batteries here.

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

October 17, 2007

Proxxon Oscillating Detail Sander

proxxon_sander.gifUPDATE: Our review of the Proxxon Oscillating Detail Sander is here.

So everyone knows that the Fein MultiMaster is an outstanding tool and there is a lot of buzz right now about Bosch's similar PMF 180 E Multi and whether or not they'll be releasing it in the states, but did you know that there is another oscillating tool out there? We sure didn't, until we were flipping through the latest Garret Wade catalog. It's made by a company called Proxxon and they refer to it as their oscillating detail sander.

Strangely, the only place we could find any real information on the tool is at the Garrett Wade site, Minicraft, and It's not on Proxxon's website and although it does show up in a hobby message board, no one who wrote about it seems to have any first hand experience with the tool.

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

October 16, 2007

iRobot Looj Gutter Cleaning Robot

irobot_looj.jpgWe were just getting ready to write a post about the new iRobot Looj gutter cleaning robot when we saw that the guys over at The Hardware Aisle have already done the work for us. Since the Looj is such a cool idea, we're going to go ahead and add our two cents about it anyway.

The Looj is a battery operated gutter cleaner that looks sort of like a Constructicon in mid transformation. The idea is that you plop it in one end of your filthy gutters and, using the remote control, you drive it down to the other end, watching as it blasts out all sorts of leaf debris and other accumulated junk.

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

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