September 18, 2007

Milwaukee 12-volt Sub-Compact Driver

milwaukee_sub_compact.jpgThis October, Milwaukee is getting into the mini Li-Ion market with their 12-volt Sub-Compact Driver. It looks like a nice tool with some good features. It's got a variable speed trigger, a little LED light, a easy-to-use chuck, and a little fuel gauge so you'll always know how much juice you've got left.

According to Milwaukee, the Sub-Compact Driver can drive 130 3" screws on a single charge. Not bad for something that weighs two pounds. The tool comes with a soft case, a 30 minute charger, and two Li-Ion batteries.

Up until this point, Bosch has really been the only player with this type of tool so we're looking forward to seeing what Milwaukee has to offer.

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

August 20, 2007

Dremel 75th Anniversary Rotary Tool Kit - Review

kit.jpgJust about everyone agrees that Dremel is the king of the rotary tool, but did you know that they've been at it since 1932? Way back then, they released an electric razor blade sharpener and soon after introduced the Moto-Tool, their first rotary tool. Since then, it's been one success after another and now they have decided to mark their 75th anniversary with a limited-edition commemorative tool kit. Needless to say, we were pretty thrilled when they kindly let us test one out.

The tool comes in a metal case with the commemorative Dremel logo imprinted on the lid. Although it's a bit impractical for throwing in the back of the truck and heading off to the jobsite, the case is very cool and fits the limited-edition nature of the kit. The tool itself also has a retro look and feel with a number of chrome accents, including the collet, brush caps, on/off/speed switch as well as a chrome version of Dremel's old-school logo printed on the side. The set comes with, you guessed it, 75 accessories. The accessories cover the basics of the rotary tool world; there are sanding bands, polishing wheels, cut-off wheels, steel brushes, grinding stones, and even a small container of polishing compound. It's a solid starter set, with just enough of everything to get you interested and wanting more.

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

August 17, 2007

Bosch PMF 180 E Multi

bosch_multitool.jpgOur pals over at Toologics got the big scoop yesterday when they posted about Bosch's new PMF 180 E Multi. It appears to be very similar to the amazing Fein MultiMaster and since the Bosch name screams quality, it should be quite a tool, not to mention some much needed competition in the niche market of oscillating tools. As reported at Toologics, the tool is only available in Europe at the moment, but it appears to be selling at less than half the price of the Fein. No word yet when it's coming to the States.

We did a little research and found the tool on Amazon's German site. With the help of an online language to language application, we translated the lone posted comment. The reviewer had this to say,

Hello, I have bought the device today and am inspired by the achievement circumference. It substitutes for several other Bosch devices and is useable for work which could be differently barely managed (the Terse take a short-cut, doors shorten etc.). On the homepage of Bosch a nice video about the achievement circumference is put nowadays. Hence, I can only recommend you the device.

Very well put.

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

August 16, 2007

Coleman Power-Tite

Coleman Power Tools has recently come out with an interesting innovation on the cordless drill. It's a new style of chuck that seems to solve a number of standard problems and inconveniences that accompany the traditional three-jaw chuck. Coleman's Power-Tite's chuck is internal, with some sort of locking mechanism that secures the bit.

This is good for a few of reasons. First, because the tip of the drill doesn't move, there's no chance of marring the workpiece if you're coming in at an angle. Secondly, the way that the chuck is set-up, there is no more need for hand tightening. So if you know of an aging diyer who has arthritis or is losing hand strength, this drill could be quite a gift for them. Finally, and most important (to us, at least), now that the tip of the drill no longer moves, it can be gripped, giving much greater stability and control to the drill.

These things all add up to a tool that looks promising. Could this possibly be the next big evolutionary step for the cordless drill?

Available at Menards

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

July 19, 2007

Dremel 75th Anniversary Rotary Tool Kit

75th-Anniversary-Tool-Kit.jpgIt's hard to believe, but Dremel was founded in 1932 and sold the world's first rotary tool way back in 1935. Now, seventy-five years later there is still no doubt that they are the kings of the rotary market. To celebrate this milestone, they're selling a commemorative Rotary Tool Kit. But if you want one, you'd better act fast, because it's only going to be available for a limited time.

The kit comes with a variable speed Dremel tool, stylized for this edition with chrome plated accents and a retro version of Dremel's logo. Also included are 75 accessories, capable of polishing, grinding, cutting, buffing and all the other tasks that rotary tools can do. If that wasn't good enough, Dremel has thrown in a 12-in-1 Multi-Tool (think Leatherman), free. The entire kit comes in a groovy, retro tin box and costs about $75 (get it....75?).

Although there's the whole commemorative, limited-edition thing going on here, it's still a Dremel rotary tool and, we assume, up to the same level of quality as their other models. So you can either keep it on the shelf as a collector's item next to your Millennium Falcon or you can put it to work. We suggest buying two, one for the work bench and one for ebay.

At Amazon.com

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

July 17, 2007

Fein MultiMaster

fein.jpg
Update II: Our hands-on review of the new Fein MultiMaster 250Q Top is here.
Update: We now know why we couldn't find any info on Fein's new generation of MultiMasters. It's because there wasn't any. Fein didn't officially release the tool until this past weekend. But now, it's out there and it's got a nice new website as well. Check it out here.


If you've never heard of the Fein MultiMaster, you have no idea what you're missing. It's powerful, precise, and because of the range of accessories available, might be one of the most versatile tools out there.

The actual tool has the look and feel of an angle grinder, but instead of spinning, the MultiMaster oscillates back and forth. The range of motion isn't that extreme (but it's quite powerful), so there is an extraordinary amount of control. Unlike a rotary tool, you never have to worry about the MultiMaster spinning out of control and zipping an unwanted mark in your work piece. The accessories are changed out with a little hex key (we've seen a new model advertised that has a keyless change out, but we couldn't find it on the internet).

We've used the Multi-Master and have been really knocked out by how detail oriented you can get. The blade attachment is prefect for detailed flush-cutting and also gives you the ability to do a plunge cut. We really liked Bosch's fine cut saw, but compared to the Fein, it might as well be a Sawzall. You could probably perform surgery with this thing.

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

July 11, 2007

Wagner PaintEater - Review

painteater1.jpgWe're pretty vocal about our dislike (hatred, really) of painting. We're happy to spend 10 hours shaping a piece of wood, but for some reason we don't have the patience to paint it. And if painting isn't bad enough, there's scraping to think about. If painting is like getting your fingernail pulled off, scraping is like being drawn and quartered. So when we heard about Wagner's new PaintEater, we dove at the opportunity to test one out and see if it makes the unbearable at least somewhat bearable.

First, about the tool. The PaintEater is about the size of a coffee can. It's got an adjustable Velcro hand strap around the main grip as well as a secondary handle that can retract back up to the body of the tool when not in use. The handle, when in the down or up position, locks in place preventing any slipping or unexpected movement. The on-off switch has a nice dust protected cover over it and is located in a convenient spot. At the bottom of the tool is the brillo-like pad that does the actual paint eating. The pad is a bit hard to describe, it reminds us more of a sea creature than anything else. It's much more rigid than a brillo, but there is a bit of a give to it. The disc can be easily removed with an arbor stop and a twist of the pad. The tool is pretty light (3.8 lbs), so there should be no problem spending a day on a ladder with it.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (8) | social bookmarking

July 10, 2007

Ridgid Lithium-Ion 18-Volt Compact Drill - Review

drill_top.jpgBecause Lithium Ion batteries are so much lighter and more powerful than standard batteries, tool companies have a lot more leeway as far as design is concerned. The problem is that most of them are still intoxicated by the technology, focusing on creating the "lightest ever" or the "most powerful ever" tools. The small little screwdriver-style drills are handy and the 36-volt tools are total overkill, but what about that middle range? What about having a nice, reliable, no-frills, 18 Volt drill? If you feel the same way, look no further than Ridgid's new 18-Volt Compact Li-Ion Drill.

The drill is very light, 4.5 lbs. to be exact. It's interesting, but when compared directly to the Makita 14.4, which is about 4.6 lbs, the Ridgid feels much lighter. We figure that this has something to do with the fact that two thirds of the weight is no longer in the battery and the balance is much more even. The Ridgid feels solid in the hands and once we put it to work, we were not let down at all.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (24) | social bookmarking

June 28, 2007

Pit Bull Power Planer

pit_bull_planer.jpgIf you're looking for a power planer on a tight budget, look no further. Pit Bull, a company we've never heard of (and can't find any information on), has recently released this one which is currently selling for the extremely low price of $16.50.

This planer has 2.6 amps, a small number when compared the big name planers which are usually above 6 amps. But, seeing as this tool is being sold for under $20, it’s really unfair to compare it to a Bosch. At the price it’s being sold for, if it even works you’re already ahead of the game.

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

June 26, 2007

Wagner Painteater Arrives for Review

Wagner_painteater.jpgWe’ve got to admit that we’re pretty excited about this one. We hate scraping paint about as much as we hate mixing concrete and from the looks of the Wagner Painteater, it could be a real ally in the battle against brutally tired arms and the seemingly endless task of hand scraping. We’re really interested to see how it works. Stay tuned.

The review is here.

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

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