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.

dremel_duo_box.jpg

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.

At Amazon.com

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 www.vpxsystem.com.

More on the VPX System here.

VPX tools at Amazon.com

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 ToolsAndMore.us. 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

Black & Decker VPX3101 VPX Inverter

vpx_inverter.jpgContinuing our coverage of Black & Decker's new VPX line of lithium-Ion tools, we're now going to take a look at the item we think is the most interesting of the bunch, the VPX Inverter.

What this little li-ion gizmo does is provide you with a mobile power source good for giving a little juice where needed. It seems tailored to small electronic devices like cell phones and MP3 players. Because it's no bigger than the average flashlight and weighs less than a pound, it looks like a good thing to throw in the backpack for a camping trip or a long vacation.

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

October 12, 2007

Milwaukee Hatchet Reciprocating Saw

milwaukee_hatchet.jpgMilwaukee apparently isn't content to coast on their reputation of making the biggest, baddest reciprocating saws. Nope, they've got to keep innovating and coming up with new features for the mother of all destruction tools. This time they've tinkered around with the handle design and the resulting tool is called The Hatchet.

They've removed the standard D-handle that has been a consistent part of every reciprocating saw ever made and replaced it with a pivoting pistol grip. When the handle is at full pivot, the tool is only 13-1/2" long, which means the tool can get itself into some tight locations such as joist bays and that mess of copper pipes behind your water heater.

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

Black & Decker VPX Website is Live

vpx_battery_charger.jpg
UPDATE: It really is live now. Details here.
Looks like Black & Decker is finally catching up to the buzz that's starting to emerge around their new VPX line of tools. Sometime yesterday, they put up a website just for that set of tools. At the moment, it's just a placeholder with a swirling battery, but if you're into staring at that for a while, the page is at www.vpxsystem.com.

Earlier postings on the VPS System here and here.

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

October 11, 2007

Black & Decker VPX Starter Set

black_decker_vpx.jpgLast week, we told you about Black & Decker's VPX Lithium-Ion Tools, their new line of affordable cordless tools. Now, we're going be highlighting the individual tools in the series to give you a closer look at what's available.

Because a lot of the tools in the line are available in tool only-format (no battery included), once you have a few batteries, you'll be able to pick and choose your tools in a relatively inexpensive manner. But, you have to get the batteries somewhere, so why not start collecting the line where Black & Decker advises, their VPX Starter Set.

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

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