From the Biggest to the Smallest of New Tools
When you get more power, sometimes you need to stop it faster. Right angle grinders can bite and bind so when DeWalt claims three times the power of an 18volt tool with their new 60v FlexVolt grinder, the new E-Clutch with a two-second stopping action is going to be appreciated.
Bosch is known for their muscle, but they are the ones who have built the lightest cordless professional duty jig saw, the JS120 – 12v—coming in at just 3.3 lbs, including the 2.0 Ah battery. This barrel grip saw is specifically designed for dexterity with its 9.4-inch length while maintaining a 2-inch cut capacity in wood. The no-mar plastic overshoe and counterbalanced low-vibration plunge mechanism make it ideal for finish carpenters, cabinetmakers and kitchen installers.
Porter-Cable is finding its niche with their new professional duty 18 GA Brad Nailer that is lighter and less expensive than the heavy duty tools from DeWalt and Milwaukee. It doesn’t have instant nailing as you get with Milwaukee or pneumatic tools, but the windup to strike is quick and the balance allows for far easier precision of nail placement. For the renovator who only uses a brad nailer occasionally, this is an excellent and solid tool.
Saw Coatings to Increase Battery Run Time
All cordless power tool companies are working to improve their cutting accessories and augment battery run-time by cutting more efficiently. It is really difficult to compare new blades between companies because they all claim such magnificent improvement, mostly with cutting thinner kerfs or keeping the teeth sharp longer by using new metals and new cutting angles. But as the kerfs get thinner, there is more friction with the body of the blades.
Milwaukee’s new Hole Dozer hole saws have a unique baked-on paint that will resist friction longer than most other paints. New tooth design and tougher metal allow them to offer the first hole saw that has a no-question replacement guarantee if you manage to break a tooth.
Freud markets their red Perma-SHIELD coating that not only avoids residue build-up and friction but, unlike most paints that trap heat, the Perma-SHIELD coating can help the metal distribute and carry heat away from the teeth.
The Self-Cleaning Tape
What could possibly be really new in long tapes? Nylon tapes stretch a lot but are much more convenient than steel tapes. How about actually mixing nylon and steel—giving a tape with 50% less stretch but the flexibility of nylon! And to make it even better, the Milwaukee 48-22-5230 even saves your gloves as they built the industry’s first debris wiper into the foot, wiping the tape clean as you reel it back in.
Tool Companies Are Now Lighting Companies
All the tool companies have gotten into job site LED lighting products, most running on their proprietary battery packs. From flashlights to floodlights to bucket lights—some with Bluetooth connections—allowing programming and control from your smart phone. Typical of the field is this DeWalt large area light, which can be run on batteries or corded power and incorporates a battery charger. It is dimmable, programmable and remotely controlled by your smart phone. Giving off up to 7,000 lumens, the physical design allows for stacking lights on top of each other for storage. This is truly part of the strategy to “own the jobsite by battery platforms.”
Even The Water Pump Has Gone Cordless
Whether emptying a hot water tank or a toilet, the Milwaukee M18 cordless self-priming 450-gallons-per-hour transfer pump can be useful. Eliminating the extension cord with standard Milwaukee M18 tool batteries can be critical around water. The closed battery compartment is water resistant, although not submersible. An auto-off after the pump runs dry for one minute allows you to set it up and go do something else without wasting the battery or doing damage to the pump. It is made with standard garden hose connections as on the drain spout of hot water tanks.
It is not designed to handle either water with debris in it or any liquid fuels.
Marrying Laser Measurement and Information Transfer
Bosch has moved a step ahead of the crowd with their Bluetooth GLM 50 C (50 meter range) and GLM 100 C (100 meter range) professional laser measurement tools when you connect them with three free apps and free instant sharing via e-mail and Dropbox directly. Via Bluetooth on your smart phone or tablet, the “GLM Measure & Document” app records measurements and annotates photos while the “GLM Floor Plan” app creates dynamic floor plans with direct site measurements. The “GLM Transfer Software” for the 100 model also connects to a computer via a USB connector for even expanded project management interfacing.
Start with all the basic types of measurement that any good electronic measuring device takes today: lengths, heights, maximum, minimum, surfaces, volumes, angles, hidden lengths and incremental steps. Bluetooth connect the device to your phone or tablet.
For difficult or one-man measurements, your phone or tablet can remotely operate the GLM, letting you stand at the target, not the source. Start from a floor plan, a photo of a floor plan or a site photo and then draw measurement lines; the GLM will label them with real direct measurements. The floor plan app will adjust your drawing to the real dimensions. A complete measurement list is created and each measurement can be labeled. The photos and measurements instantly become a pdf document or share just the dimensioned photos. Lists can be exported spreadsheet-compatible.
This is a good measuring device that connects with your existing technology to record and share site information without delays or extra costs.
Montreal-based TV broadcaster, author, home renovation and tool expert
Jon Eakes provides a tool feature in each edition of Home BUILDER.
Publishing date: September 2016