The release of the Bosch Colt a few years back seemed to be the official kick-off of the 1+ horsepower laminate trimmer/router. We don't know if it was the first or not, but it was certainly the first that made a real beachhead on the construction site. We got one right when it came out and since then, we've hardly used our full-sized router at all. Now, most brands have these little workhorses and last year, DeWalt upped the game with their own version complete with a plunge base. Porter-Cable has followed suit (not surprisingly, now that they have the same parent company as DeWalt) and released their fixed/plunge base model (that looks eerily similar to the DeWalt, minus the variable speed). They sent us one to check out and we found some good and some, well, not so good...
A guy we're working with right now busted this tool out the other day. The thing is solid metal and works like a mule. He said that he's never had to get it repaired (but there were a few years where the trigger acted a little funny) and he's consistently used it for as long as he's had it. This is the best part: he bought it new.....in the late 60s. So this thing is over 40 years old and it still churns on. Badass.
Check out Milwaukee's newer tools here or just check out what Amazon has here.
The latest issue of Tools of the Trade is out and with it, my latest Product Watch column. It's a roundup of a about 20 new items of interest to the tradesman. It's not all hand and power tools either (although there is a lot of that), so there's plenty that you'll see that isn't covered on Tool Snob. It's got everything from a freaky mixing paddle to a bizarre and very unsettling jobsite security system to a extraordinarily useful ladder.
Porter-Cable has put together this little video highlighting their new oscillating tool. We've been pretty burned out on the oscillating tool thing, but this one, because of its quick change feature, has caused our ears to prick up. We actually got a sample this afternoon and immediately opened it and started swapping out accessories as fast as we could...and we could do it pretty fast. So check out the video and keep and eye on how quickly accessories lock in and out of the tool. It's waaaay faster than the allen head system and even faster than the Fein quick change. We're going to start using the tool tomorrow and hopefully have a review up before too long.
Festool has just released the RO 90 DX Rotex Sander, a tool capable of sanding, grinding, polishing, and dealing with inside corners. It's a crazy tool and we were just entering the sanding phase of a large shelving project when Festool sent one our way to test out.
A number of years ago, we were in a pinch and bought the DeWalt biscuit cutter (we've always called them biscuit cutters and everyone we know calls them biscuit cutters). It's always been reliable and we've never had any real complaints with it. But earlier in the year, we were using the fantastic Porter-Cable Pocket Jig System and it occurred to us that the Porter-Cable biscuit cutter is also highly regarded. We put two and two together and decided we wanted to explore more of this tradition of joining tools that the brand seems to have developed. We were also looking at a massive shelving project that would require hundreds and hundreds of biscuits (over 300 and counting), so we talked to the people at Porter-Cable and they were happy to send us one of their 557 Plate Joiners (aka biscuit cutter) to test out and review.
So for the past month or so, we've been using the tool constantly (and we mean constantly). There's a lot to it so we'll try not to ramble like we usually do....
In our post on the JLC show the other week, we mentioned Festool's new 10.8-volt drill. Dave Frane, the editor of Tools of the Trade, was at the same show, and thankfully he had a video camera with him so he hit record at the Festool booth and got a nice run-down on the new drill. Here it is...
Word has been floating around about Porter Cable's new oscillating tools for a while now and honestly, we haven't been paying too much attention. As we've stated earlier, we've run out of steam on oscillating tools. But wait! Something different here....a quick change system. See, now we're talking....
We've always been firmly in the Fein corner. We think it's the best tool out there and one of the reasons for this is the quick change system. All other models take after the early Feins with the constantly annoying and slow Allen-head blade change out. Not only is it a time consuming way to do things, but it relies on how tight you can get the screw by hand. We've also seen the screws strip out over time which makes everything more difficult.
So Porter Cable is the first of the second generation oscillating tools (we consider all non-Fein to be second generation) and we hope that it's something consumers take note of. From the pictures, it actually looks like it might work faster than the Fein quick change system. You just have to pull back on a little trigger located at the head of the tool and this loosens the accessory. Then just slide it out and put in a new one. No removable parts. Really clever.
After looking at it, it occurred to us that the way the system is designed means that the tool can only use Porter-Cable accessories because the attaching end needs to have an open horseshoe in order to slide on the tool. Therefore the rest of the accessory world is incompatible. Well, not so fast. We called up Porter-Cable and asked them about this and they informed us that there is something in the works for a universal adapter (which will be a tooled-system, not tool-free) and that it won't be long before they release all the info on it. We'll let you know when we find out more.
The two tools will be available this month and should be selling in the $150 arena.
The press release is below the fold. It has all the information you need including pricing for individual accessories.
A number of new press releases have recently hit the inbox. We'd normally do each one as its own post, but laziness has taken hold and it has a firm grip. All of the press releases are below the fold in the order that the images appear. Enjoy.
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