December 13, 2010
Bosch, being fully aware of our Trebubsession, has been nice enough to give us the first look at their new Power Box Beatdown video, in which the cubical radio goes head to head with a wonderful looking trebuchet. Actually, the term, 'head to head' indicates that there is a proactive stance from the Power Box. There isn't. It simply gets hurled about 150 feet. But what a great scene it is. Watch this Tool Snob Exclusive for yourself....
Now we've been very critical of tool demolition videos (see our lunatic ranting and raving here), and while this one breaks our cardinal rule of editing (once the demolition is in process any edits always make us think that the whole scene is rigged), it has a number of other things going for it...
1. Cows. No idea why, but the shot of the cows made us laugh out loud.
2. Music. The music selection made us feel like we were watching the Helm's Deep battle scene from LOTR (which is always a good thing).
3. A bunch of 'out-takes' at the end where we get to see the trebuchet from a number of different angles.
Also, we should note that in our big tool demolition video post, we called for the use of trebuchets in tool demolition videos. Little did we know that as we were writing that, Bosch was already in the process of putting this video together.
The apparently indestructible Bosch Power Box at Amazon.com
November 19, 2010
We're giving away a brand new Milwaukee M12 radio. It's a great little item and because of its size and the fact it has a protected compartment for our iPod, it's become our radio of choice. You can read our original review here.
To enter to win, leave a comment at this post telling us what tools, hardware, or gear you're wanting to get for Christmas. In a week or so, we'll compile all of the entries into a gift guide of sorts to help out all the clueless tool shoppers out there. Be sure to also tell us why you want it. Just a sentence or two is fine. We'll choose an entry at random and send you the radio.
And just so you know, the Milwaukee radio does not come with a battery or charger, but it does have an A/C adapter so it is ready to use out of the box, just not in a cordless fashion. If you have other M12 tools, great. If you don't, well, then this is as good a reason as any to start getting involved with them.
A big thanks to Milwaukee for providing the prize. Learn more about their massive M12 line here, or do some window shopping at Amazon.com.
November 11, 2010
Any video that begins with a warranty disclaimer stating that the tool will be shown in "abnormally abusive situations,' is one that we're going to watch. We're fully in favor of the current trend in which companies display their tools' toughness by beating on them in front of a camera, but what Ridgid does in this video goes above and beyond.
To say that they're bringing down the hurt on their new radio is like saying Charlie Sheen likes to have a beer every now and then. To say that they seem to be truly attempting to destroy the tool is far closer to the truth. The standard beat-the-tool video has kind of a contrived feel, like they're going most of the way, but backing off on the abuse when they know the tool might be at risk. Not this one. And Ridgid not only doesn't back off at that delicate point, they seem to accelerate.
The one fatal flaw in the video is that there is an editing cut after they throw the radio off the roof which is the only time the face of the tool sees any abuse...call us cynical, but our BS detectors went bonkers at that one. Still, the cinder block bonanza is sublime.
Check it out...
(and thanks to Reader Thomas P. for the head's up)
Ridgid doesn't have any info at their site yet, but we found the radio at Home Depot for $150
September 29, 2010
DeWalt, masters of the job site radio (and thus the people directly responsible for us having to listen to miles and miles of evil sports radio) have just released an upgrade to their enduring, 'on-every-site' stereo to the DC012. They were also nice enough to send us one so we could check it out. We did, and in the process we saw a million faces and we rocked them all.
Continue reading: "DeWalt DC012 Heavy-Duty Worksite Charger/Radio - Review"
May 6, 2010
With their 3rd upgrade of the Power Box, it's very possible that Bosch has arrived the world's most complete job site radio (even if it does look like an 8-bit space monster from an Atari 2600 game).
Other than swapping out a CD player for an MP3 port, the major difference between this version and the fantastic 2nd version is that it has 360 degrees worth of speakers. Now there is absolutely no escaping the guy who insists on listening to sports radio all day long.
There are going to be two versions available, the PB360S and the PB360D. It sounds from the press release like the D is the souped up model with a back lit display, more power output and a connection for satellite radio. Both versions come with the cool ability to play songs directly off of a thumb drive, so you don't need to worry about bringing your iPod to work and having it stolen by the sketchy painter who refuses to make eye contact.
PB360S at Amazon.com. It looks like the PB360D isn't available yet.
Read the full press release for more details and functionality after the jump.
Continue reading: "Bosch Power Box 360"
January 11, 2010
We have mixed feelings when it comes to jobsite radios. On one hand we like having a little background music while we work, but on the other hand, we can't stomach the musical tastes of most other people. Really, how many times can the human mind listen to 'Slow Ride' before there's some mental damage (and don't get us started on sports radio or 'wacky morning DJs')? So we always get a little nervous when we see a sub contractor getting out of their truck with some massive, John-Cusack-from-Say-Anything, boom box.
But like we said, we're not opposed to music at work, so when Milwaukee sent us one of their 12-volt radios to test out, we were predisposed to like it. And as it turns out, we did like it, but there are some caveats. We were into the fact that it's very small and stripped down (no cd player, no race scanner, not even a battery charger). All it is is a radio (with 10 presets), a weatherproof compartment for an MP3 player, and a clock. That's it. Basic and small. Minimal bling.
Oddly enough, we had just won an iPod Touch at the company xmas party, so we thought we'd give it a whirl in the Milwaukee. Strapping the mp3 player into the compartment turned out to be a little tricky. In order to prohibit the iPod from moving once it's in, there's a little elastic strap that holds it in place. Because the elastic is so tight, wedging the iPod in is quite difficult and the compartment leaves minimal room to access the power button on the top left of the iPod. Also, the elastic runs across the center of the screen, so using the Touch was also a bit of a pain. Our general thoughts on these drawbacks are that once the iPod is in, it's in. You're not going to be taking it in and out all day long, so we would rather have the iPod well protected and have the twice a day hassle of the tight elastic. We just have to get used to the idea of playlists and shuffle.
So once the iPod was in, we got some tunes going and discovered that the sound is pretty good. Not mindblowing, but really solid. Definitely good enough for a job site, in fact, better than is really needed for a job site. But if you're the type who can talk at length about the subtle production values of Johnny Cash's American Recordings, you're not going to be satisfied.
As we mentioned before, the M12 radio does not having charging capabilities, which is a standard feature on larger radios. It can run off a 12-volt battery or off the AC adapter, but sadly, it will not charge your battery when it's plugged into the wall. This is unfortunate, but our guess is that the miniature size of the radio would be sacrificed were this the case. We've had the radio on site for about a week and so far we've gotten an average of about 7 hours of iPod time per full 12-volt battery. Since we're down with the Milwaukee 12-volt system, we always have at least one battery kicking around so it works out for us.
The radio is also durable. We dropped a few 2x4s on it by accident (they hit hard enough to eject the battery from the back of the radio), and the radio didn't even take on a mark.
We also tested out the weatherproofing of the compartment door by bringing the radio to the sink and giving it a good hose down with the hand sprayer. After a nice drenching, we opened the door and the iPod area was bone dry. It's nice having the confidence that it can handle snow flurries or a light drizzle.
For our needs, this radio is right on target. We like not having to lug around a massive piece of equipment and it's loud and clear enough for our needs. For the low price of $100 it would be tough to ask for anything more.
October 23, 2009
Yesterday, we mentioned the itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny 12-volt radio that Milwaukee released this year. It's not surprising, but it, like all other Milwaukee tools, is built to take a few hits. To demonstrate this, the guys at Milwaukee have put together a video of them doing everything they can to disable, destroy, and in all ways defeat the small radio. The video is called a 'drop test,' but it's more like a 'drop, throw, toss out of a car, and kick test.'
We're immediately attracted to any video that starts with a disclaimer saying that what you are about to see will void the warranty of the tool. The third test is our favorite. There's something hilarious about the way the guy throws the radio and how it arcs through the air.
The cynical side of us keeps chiming in with the thought that somewhere at Milwaukee HQ there's a dumpster full of all of the 12-volt radios that were destroyed in the making of this video, but we've seen some incredible endurance out of other Milwaukee tools, so this is unlikely.
We first saw the video over at Toologics.
Milwaukee M12 Radio at Amazon.com ($100)
October 22, 2009
Dewalt's charger/radios are pretty ubiquitous on construction sites. They were the first ones to deliver on the idea and that initial foothold has done them well. Other companies have released nice products, from the Bosch cube to the new Makita box to the adorable little Milwaukee 12-volt radio, but it's the DeWalt that we see the most often. Knowing that the competition is fierce, DeWalt has recently updated their radio/charger.
The new model, the DC012 features 3 AC outlets, an iPod nest, an auxiliary port, a roll cage, presets, and best of all, a bass boost so you can shake the glass at coffee break with a little Milli Vanilli.
The most interesting feature on the radio is its ability to charge any DeWalt battery from 7.2 volts to 18 volts. And this is true across platforms, both NiCad and li-ion batteries are compatible here.
More details are in the press release, which is after the jump.
At Home Depot
Continue reading: "DeWalt DC012 Worksite Charger / Radio"
June 15, 2009
Last week we were lucky enough to go out to the Milwaukee Tools HQ to get a glimpse at some of the new releases they've got all geared up for this year. As one of our favorite tool companies, they didn't disappoint with the sheer variety and usefulness of their new tools and accessories.
A few of the highlights of what we saw were...
18-Volt Cordless Bandsaw - They're still putting the finishing touches on this one, but were nice enough to let us try it out and, honestly, it's the kind of tool that makes us wish we had taken up plumbing instead of carpentry. It's got a whole lot of power but it's light enough to easily work with both above your head and in tight spaces. Having an awareness of how people will be using it, Milwaukee has made the shoe retractable, so the tool is able to cut a pipe that's already attached to a wall. It's one of those tools that makes your chest swell a bit when you hold it. There will also be a corded version available and both will be hitting the market probably in October.
Shockwave Driver Bits - This is one of those ideas that, once you hear it, you wonder why it took so long for someone to think it up. Driver bits built specifically for impact drivers. Anyone who spends time on a job site these days (like we do), knows that impact drivers are taking over. That said, they really do a number on driver bits so Milwaukee has tailored this new line to withstand the abuse. In addition to other features, the new bits have a slight degree of flexibility in order to handle the added intensity of the impact driver.
Cordless Tubing Cutter - Much like their copper pipe cutter from last year, this one is a real niche tool. We tried it out and it had no problem slicing up pex and pvc. It has a great feel and possibly the power to do a little topiary sculpting as well.
Testing and Measurement Tools - This is a new area for Milwaukee, but judging from what we saw, they're going to quickly establish themselves in the market. Of the tools, the most interesting is the Sub-Scanner which is sort of like an amped up, battle-crazed stud finder. It can be used to find studs and pipes in walls and ceilings, as well as rebar in concrete. The cool thing about it is that it lets you know the exact depth of what it is you're finding, so if you only have one option for placing that pipe hanger, you'll know that only a 2" screw will work because of the rebar that's hidden in the wall.
Those are just some of the highlights and by no means a complete overview of what we saw. Milwaukee is also rolling out some nice 12-volt LED flashlights, a 12-volt power port, a very cool looking mini-radio, oh and about a thousand new grinders.
Follow the action over at Milwaukee Tools.
Milwaukee tools at Amazon.com
December 22, 2008
As we've mentioned, we recently spent six days without power. Two of those days (the middle two) were spent elsewhere but we decided to return to the house to keep the wood stove going and to keep an eye on the pipes, hoping that we wouldn't have to go to any major preventative measures such as draining them or fussing with anti-freeze. During the course of the episode, we realized that there are a few items that came in really handy. And when we say, "really handy," what we mean is, "we couldn't have gotten by without them."
The items that achieved MVP status are as follows:
Continue reading: "Power Outage '08 MVPs"
February 26, 2008
Have you ever been working on a project and thought to yourself, "Boy, I wish I had every single one of my Slayer albums with me right now." If so, Ridgid's new Job-Site Radio is a blessing from the heavens. With this iPod compatible, portable radio, it'll be Reign in Blood one minute and Seasons in the Abyss the next.
Continue reading: "Ridgid Job-Site Radio / Race Scanner"