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.
I recently wrote a review of the Kett KSV-432 Vacuum Saw for Tools of the Trade Magazine and it's just been posted up at their site. If you're unfamiliar with the tool, think of a cross between the 12-volt Makita circular saw and your DeWalt corded drill. It's an odd looking item, but throughout all of the use I've put it through, I discovered that it's a great one as well. I used it yesterday in fact. And the day before that too.
The details are all in the review which is here. The Kett is available at Amazon.com.
I also wrote the Product Watch section of the magazine, which highlights some new and interesting items that are hitting the scene. Everything from the Liftpod to the new cordless Panasonic rotary hammer. For the full list, go here (and then scroll down a bit). While you're at the site, make sure to browse around a bit and check out all the other good reviews.
And if you're into tools enough to come to Tool Snob on a regular basis, I definitely suggest subscribing to Tools of the Trade. It's very well done and filled with all kinds of great tool information. Subscription information is here.
Update: we just saw that Stu from ToolGuyd posted about this yesterday. Great minds think alike, but apparently, his mind is one day greater than ours....
....and heeeeres Skil!
Skil's oscillating tool looks pretty similar to the Bosch PMF E Multi, which EuroBosch released years ago. Green EuroBosch, as opposed to blue EuroBosch denotes their DIY brand and since Bosch US doesn't have a Bosch DIY brand they own Skil instead, which is sort of the same thing. So it makes sense that the tools look like relatives. They are.
Skil's tool has a 2-amp motor, is variable speed and has a built-in dust collection system and a no-mar head. It's going for about $100.
We've got to be honest, we're a bit burned out on the whole oscillating tool thing. Fein's patent wore out years ago and it was way back in July 2008 that we started covering oscillating tools from other companies. Back then, for some reason Bosch opted to put their weight behind a 12-volt cordless version, even though EuroBosch already had a corded model available since at least mid 07 when we first covered it here (granted, it was in their DIY line...sort of like Skil).
At the time, the only corded options were the Dremel MultiMax and the Rockwell Sonicrafter (yeah, yeah, yeah, we know there was a Harbor Freight version available). And for years, those two models pretty much owned the marketplace. We've come to generally dislike 12-volt oscillating tools for their short battery life and truly don't understand why it took Bosch so long to get a corded version to market. If the traffic numbers to our review of the SoniCrafter are any indication, everyone and their mother has one by now. Since it was posted in late 2008, it has been, by far, our biggest traffic draw. By a long shot.
Seems to us like a big opportunity lost, and not just by Bosch, but by the other big companies as well. Milwaukee took a while to get into the game and, like Bosch, led with a cordless model and DeWalt is nowhere to be seen, which isn't surprising given that their 12-volt line was released just last year.
But this is all from our perspective and we follow the tool industry with a microscope. The average carpenter (at least the ones we work with) hardly know that there are even options other than the Fein available. So once we step back, the fact that this tool is two years late probably doesn't even matter. And the fact that we're like a broken record on this topic matters even less.
And, not surprisingly, the tool looks very nice. Jay from CopTool has a great review up at his site that puts the tool head to head with the Fein.
Press release is after the jump for all the stats....
Craftsman has added a new impact driver to their 19.2-volt platform. We like the fact that Craftsman is sticking with their Ni-Cad line. Two of the best carpenters we've ever worked with live and die by the Craftsman 19.2-volt tools. Every couple years, they head down to Sears and pick up a new combo kit. They have absolutely no interest in any other tools. It's totally legit.
bryon: hay tool snob just a follow up to your review read more Al: girlfriend bought me the saw, thank god i looked up read more R: I've been using the Dewalt version of this tool in read more Kyle: "..simply terrible and dreaded Robertson drives..." ??? I have a read more Kevin: I have the same Irwin set, I agree the mortise read more