Bosch Power Tools Model 4000
Bosch's new 10-inch portable table saw combines a powerful 15-amp., 4.4 hp motor and handy folding stand to make this a great addition to any job site. Its table and fence extensions nearly triple the size of the cutting and outfeed surfaces and provide a 25-inch rip capacity. The fence is accurate and tough, and the stand offers rigidity and stability during cutting. The model 4000 weighs 60 pounds, putting it in the middle of the pack. It comes with a 40-tooth carbide-tipped blade. The saw costs about $530. Bosch Power Tools, 877-276-2499; www.boschtools.com.
DeWalt Industrial Tools Model DW 744
The DW 744's rack-and-pinion-stabilized fence sets squarely for a solid 24 1/2-inch rip capacity. Arms telescope beneath the table to support wide-stock ripping, then hide under the 26 1/2-inch-wide deck. The 5/8-inch arbor's internal mechanism dampens vibration and makes the tool stable and solid. The 13-amp motor spins a 24-tooth carbide blade through pressure-treated yellow pine, hardwoods, and trim. Options include a folding stand and extra side and outfeed supports. It weighs 64 pounds, has a 3 1/8-inch depth of cut at 90 degrees, 2 1/4 inches at 45 degrees, and sells for around $500. DeWalt, 800-433-9258; www.dewalt.com.
Spec out Table Sawson ebuild, the Professional's Guide to Building Products (TM).
Proknee's flat-bottom pads with shin supports attach around the calf, not behind the knee. Double straps keep the replaceable pads perfectly aligned to grab floors, protect flooring surfaces, and your knees. The Proknee system sells for around $150. Proknee, 800-549-5018; www.proknee.com.
Three Cordless Winners
Porter-Cable, Bosch, and DeWalt upped the ante in the battery power race. We're not sure where the voltage race is heading – it seems like we're on our way to a cordless world – but we're watching power-to-weight-to-cost ratios to see how it all shakes out. In the meantime, we're compelled to acknowledge the innovations these forward-thinking companies have made. Some of these tools are available individually or in kits. Prices vary depending on packaging.
Porter-Cable's magic number is 19.2 volts; its engineers say that's where the balance between power and weight exists. The flux-magnet motors in P-C's hammerdrills achieve long run times under heavy use, while fan-cooled brushes extend tool life. The Saw Boss, a 6 1/2-inch, left-blade circ saw, has adjustable stops for bevel cutting. Like other tools in the 19.2-volt line, it has anti-slip grips and an ergonomic design to decrease user fatigue. P-C's soft-pulse charger minimizes heat build-up – a battery killer – and extends battery life beyond 1,000 charges. Porter-Cable, 800-368-1487; www.porter-cable.com.
Bosch Power Tools
Bosch introduced its 24-volt rotary hammer in 1985. Since then, the company has redesigned motors and gears to prolong the life of its cordless tools and heighten the efficiency of its nicad batteries. The company's new 48-mm drill/driver carries Bosch's largest power train. The 6 1/2-inch, left-bladed 60-mm circ saw produces 7 hp. And the company's recip saw is the first of its kind with dual stroke, a feature that lets users switch blade-stroke length for easier and more efficient cutting in a variety of applications. Bosch's charger system charges the company's 24-volt tools and many other pre-existing Bosch batteries. Bosch Power Tools, 877-267-2499; www.boschtools.com.
DeWalt Industrial Tools
DeWalt has designed the first cordless-to-corded system in the industry. It features a converter that replaces the firm's cordless 24-volt-battery pack. The converter plugs into a AC power source and offers unlimited run time for heavy-duty applications. DeWalt's drill/hammerdrill has 550 foot-pounds of torque. It's versatile enough to drive fasteners and drill holes in masonry, or to set wood screws and do light-duty drilling. The company's 6 1/2-inch, right-blade circ saw muscles through a variety of materials. Its recip saw carries its blades on-board and has a lever-action blade change-out. DeWalt's rotary hammer can crank out Tapcon fasteners and can switch to a wood- or metal-drilling mode. DeWalt, 800-433-9258; www.dewalt.com.
Spec out Cordless Hammerdrills and Rotary Hammerdrills on ebuild, the Professional's Guide to Building Products (TM).