March 1, 2011

Bosch MXE25E Corded Oscillating Tool

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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....

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

February 24, 2011

Craftsman C3 19.2-Volt Impact Driver

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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.

At Sears

Press release with all the stats is after the jump...

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

February 22, 2011

Makita LCT208W 12-Volt Combo Kit (Driver and Circ Saw) - Review

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UPDATE: The mini circ saw is now available as a stand alone, with two batteries and a charger. Makita's page is here and it's available at Amazon.com here.

Anyone who was on a jobsite in the 90s is probably familiar with the 9.6 volt circ saw that Makita used to manufacture. You know, the one with the long, skinny handle. Yeah, that one. Well, it's taken a while, but they've finally updated it for their new 12-volt platform (they've bundled it with one of their 12-volt drivers). They shipped us a kit to test out and for the past month, we've been driving it like a stolen car and here are our conclusions.

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

February 21, 2011

Ridgid Dual Blade Saw

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Has anyone ever used one of these dual blade saws? We haven't and for years, we've been searching for someone who has. The closest first hand information we got was from a mason a few years back, "yeah, this friend of a friend had one and said it was pretty cool. So to us, this means that a friend of a friend of a friend likes it. Totally reliable information. We're not sure if this information scarcity is due to that fact that people just don't know about the tool or that people do know about it, but they really just don't care.

Anyhow, Ridgid has one coming out and its release will either be the Waterloo of the tool, or it's true awakening. Once it's on the shelves at every Home Depot in America, there can no longer be the 'didn't know it existed' excuse. People will either go for it, or they won't. So what does the tool do that's so special, you ask? Well...

The saw has two closely set blades that spin in opposing directions. This cancels out kickback and allows for nice and easy plunge cutting. Imagine a circ saw that's been neutered of all it's rage. The dual blade saw works on a variety of materials like wood, metal and plastic.

What Ridgid has done (that we really like) is add a few handles to the tool. The existing models all have very simplistic bodies, like the kind you'd find on an angle grinder. Because it's a tool you're probably going to be using in some unusual situations, the added handles can only help. The Ridgid also has a little port that feeds a stick of wax into the blade to provide lubrication for metal cutting. It only has a cutting depth of a little over an inch, so don't expect that it's going to replace your circ saw.

Retail is going to be about $150, so you tell us...are you going to get one?

At Home Depot

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (13) | social bookmarking

January 26, 2011

Porter-Cable PC1500HG Heat Gun - Review

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A heat gun is one of those tools that you're probably not going to carry around with you in your truck, but when you need one, man o man are they ever handy. Recently, Porter-Cable sent us their new model to test out and review. We only used it a few times in the fall, but now that it's winter we're finding all kinds of things to do with it. We also did a few head to head lab tests against our old Kawasaki heat gun (reviewed here). Read on to see what we thought...

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

January 24, 2011

i-Drill 2i-Drill Review

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There's a new 12-volt platform on the block and it's from a company called i-Drill. They were nice enough to send us one of their new 2-Speed Drills to review.

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

December 21, 2010

DeWalt 4-3/8" Wet and Dry Hand Tile Cutter

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We're not feeling particularly verbose at the moment, but we'll just say that the new DeWalt wet/dry tile cutter looks pretty cool. We only like to set up our wet saw when we're going to be using it all day long, so we can see the value of this for smaller projects.

The press release is after the jump with all the information you need on the tool.

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

December 20, 2010

Bosch MX25EC-21 Multi-X Oscillating Tool

bosch_mx25.jpgThis past weekend Reader Jerome gave us the heads up about Bosch's new corded oscillating tool and, honestly, it's about time this tool was released. We simply don't understand why Bosch led with a 12-volt cordless model. Bosch Europe has had their PMF 180 E Multi corded oscillator for a while, but for some reason Bosch US went with the cordless, leaving the market wide open for the corded Rockwell SoniCrafter. As we've repeated over and over and over, the battery life of a 12-volt cordless oscillating tools is simply not compatible with a lot of the tasks that the tool can be used for. Less than 10 minutes of sanding time (for a battery that takes 30 minutes to charge) doesn't work on a jobsite or in the garage workshop.

But anyway, now that that's out of our system, Bosch's MX25 looks pretty sweet. It's powered by a 2.5 amp motor (Sonicrafter has a 2.3) and has a variable speed adjustment dial. The speed ranges from 8,000 opm to 20,000 opm, so the high end isn't as fast as the Fein, but the low end is slower. Unfortunately, it looks like it has the Allen wrench chuck system, so the advantage in that department remains with Fein and their stellar quick change system.

Home Depot is selling these for $160 which is $20 more than the similar Sonicrafter kit and about $40 less than the Fein. Is this where the tool lands with regards to quality as well? Our guess (and this is only a guess, so don't get all jumpy in the comments) is: 'probably.'

At Home Depot

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

December 16, 2010

New Info on the Festool Rotex RO 90 DX

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Festool has just updated their Rotex micro site with more information and pictures of their new geared sander, the first of its kind. If you missed our earlier post on the tool, the deal is that the sander has three distinct modes; an aggressive one which Festool likens to a grinder, a standard orbital mode, and a delta mode which requires switching out the circular pad for a triangular one (similar to an oscillating sander).

They've also posted up a couple videos. Here's a general intro to the tool...

...and here is the aggressive mode in action. Looks feisty.

They've also given a March 1st release date.

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

December 1, 2010

Festool Rotex RO 90 DX Sander

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One Sander to rule them all, One Sander to find them, One Sander to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

If you signed up to Tool Nut's weekly email blast, you'd already know about this all-powerful sander that's on its way from Festool. The newest tool in their Rotex line, the RO 90 DX, has the functionality of a grinder, a standard orbital and a corner sander. This tri-action is the result of two different aspects of the tool; 1) it has interchangeable heads (one circular, one triangular) and 2) it has gear settings that not only seem to regulate the speed of the tool, but the style of orbit as well.

From what little information there is available, the RO 90 DX has three distinct modes; aggressive, random orbit, and delta. Festool says that, "the aggressive mode delivers material removal like that of a grinder" which is an intense feat coming from a tool that doubles as a fine finish sander. The orbit mode behaves as you think it should and thankfully, according to Festool, "it's like a Zen sanding experience." Finally, there's the delta mode which, we assume, alters the orbital motion to better accommodate the smaller sanding pad.

There's no pricing yet, and not much else in the way of details, but to see some cool pictures or sign up to get more information as it becomes available, go here. This one sounds like a winner to us.

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

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