June 26, 2007
We’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.
June 20, 2007
GMC has recently released a little detail sander available at a really good price. It's sort of like Skil's Octo, but without all of the attachments. Still, at just a hair over $10, there's no way to loose on this one. It's essentially a little orbital that ends in a little point making it possible to sand those little spots that even hand sanding can't deal with.
The sander has a dust-sealed switch, a hook and loop sanding pad, a vacuum port, and what looks like a nice gripping area.
Continue reading: "GMC ADS75 1.1 Amp Detail Sander"
The guys at Ridgid just set us up with one of their new Compact Lithium-Ion drills so we can review it. We got it out of the box and gave it a quick heft and there's no doubt about the 'compact' part. In fact, it feels a whole lot lighter than our 14.4-Volt Makita, but it's got 18-Volt power. We've got a few projects going on this week and weekend so we're going to put the drill right to work and see how it does. Stay tuned.
Also, we're still trying to get our heads around C.H. Hanson's Pivot Square and we just got a sample of the new Ace Sensations paint, so you can look forward to those reviews as well.
Ridgid's Compact Drill is available at Home Depot
June 18, 2007
If you’ve seen the letters AVT on the side of some of the new Makita tools and had no idea what they meant, you’re not alone. We were in the same boat until we did a little research. The acronym stands for “Anti-Vibration Technology,” and what it means is less teeth chattering and more productivity.
Makita’s engineers have taken the ideas behind earthquake engineering and applied them to power tools. What they’ve done is added a counter balance in the tool that works in opposition to the cutting/hammering/whatever action, essentially canceling out the vibration. And because your arm isn’t jiggling back and forth, all that power is going into cutting.
Continue reading: "Makita AVT Tools"
June 13, 2007
Milwaukee has a new circular saw called the Tilt-Lok that distinguishes itself from the pack with its interesting multi-position handle. Our complaint with Milwaukee circular saws has always been the fact that the handle is perched up on top of the saw, as opposed to behind it, making for an, at times, awkward cut. This new saw not only solves that problem, but it adds seven other positions for the handle to be in.
But the innovative handle isn’t the only good thing about the saw. The saw is light (10.5 lbs), powerful (3.25 hp), and durable. According to Milwaukee, the Tilt-Lok saw lasts eight times as long as other leading brands. They’ve got all sorts of official-looking charts on the subject here.
The saw comes with a case, a blade, and a wrench. It retails between $150 and $200.
Available at Tool King and Amazon.com
Wagner Spray Tech, makers of the interesting new Painteater, have also recently released the Wagner Power Tex, a cool new way to apply texture to walls and ceilings. The great innovation of the Power Tex is that it has the same basic functions of a commercial grade sprayer, but it’s powered by electricity, so there’s no cumbersome compressor and hoses to deal with.
Because of this ease of use, the Power Tex is useful for small patching jobs, but according to the Wagner Spray Tech website, it is also powerful enough to do an entire room. We’ve seen the pros do it and can attest that they come with a lot of equipment. We’ve also tried the spray can method and it’s messy and very inconsistent. If the Power Tex is what Wagner says it is, it should put professional quality work in the hands of the homeowner.
Continue reading: "Wagner Power Tex"
May 30, 2007
Not only is Porsche designing espresso makers, as our friends over at Single Serve Coffee
recently discovered, but they’re also getting into the tool world. Teaming up with Metabo, the Porsche design team has created an unusual tool that they humbly refer to as, "a perfect rotary hammer." Because they’re Porsche and they have to be different, they’ve put the handle on the top of the tool, with the theory that handling the hammer drill at its center of gravity gives the user more control and causes the tool to feel lighter. “In this product, design is an integral part of functionality,” says Roland Heiler, managing director of Porsche Design-Studios.
Like all good hammer drills, the P’7911 has settings for hammer drilling, chiseling, and just drilling. The body of the tool is made of carbon fiber and aluminum making for a lightweight and durable tool. It accepts SDS bits and comes with a case that, if we’re to believe the Metabo press release, “can be opened and closed with one hand.” Whatever that means.
Continue reading: "Porsche P’7911 Hammer Drill"
Rotary tools are on the rise and we couldn’t be happier about it. We’ve been using them for a while now and are constantly blown away by how versatile they are. Depending on the bit, you can sand, grind, drill, cut, and polish, and they are capable of handling wood, metal, and just about every other material under the sun. To do good work, you have to be detail-oriented, and rotary tools are just the thing for that last pass on a job to make every last detail perfect. Cut-out tools, like the Roto-Zip, are extremely handy and useful, but to deal with projects that need more finesse than power, you need one of the little hand-held models. And Ryobi has just entered the fray with their 229-Piece Rotary Tool Kit.
Just opening the box, we were stunned. We’d seen the picture, but seeing it in person is still impressive. Ryobi has crammed 229 pieces into a medium-sized plastic case. Everything is laid out in an easy to see way and bits and attachments are grouped with like items, making the case itself is a feat of spatial engineering.
Continue reading: "Ryobi HT230 229-Piece Rotary Tool Kit - Review"
May 24, 2007
Skil's entry in the 'Smallest Tool in America' contest is the iXO2 Cordless Palm Sized Screwdriver. Although it's pretty tiny, it looks like it has the power to become the go-to screwdriver for around-the-house needs.
The iXO2 comes with a cradle charger and a 22 piece bit set (including one drill bit). The battery is a Li-Ion so the tool is light as can be, not even hitting the one pound mark. There's a built-in work light and a charge indicator on the tool as well. According to Skil, the iXO2 holds a battery charge for up to 18 months, so it should always be ready to go, even after you lose it in the kitchen junk drawer for a year.
Continue reading: "Skil iXO2 Cordless Palm Sized Screwdriver"
May 23, 2007
If you're thinking about painting the house this summer, you're probably already dreading the scraping process; endless hours on a ladder covered with paint chips, scraping till it feels like you're arm's going to fall off. If this is your reoccurring nightmare, Wagner has a tool that might make things a lot easier for you. The PaintEater, aside from having a superhero name worthy of DC Comics, is a surface preparation tool that looks like it could help anyone speed up the first agonizing step of the painting routine.
The PaintEater exists somewhere between a grinder and an orbital sander. The pad looks like a circular Brillo and according to the Wagner website, isn't prone to getting clogged up with paint chips and dust. The tool has a Velcro hand strap for ladder work and a tool free arbor lock for quick and easy pad changing. There is also a secondary, retractable handle for those times when one hand just isn't cutting it.
Continue reading: "Wagner PaintEater"