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.
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.
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?
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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