Launch Slideshow

Three Useful Specialty Tools

Three Useful Specialty Tools

  • DCV581H AC/DC Vacuum

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    David Frane_ToTT

    The blogger tries out the vac in cordless mode by collecting a couple of gallons of water.

  • DCV580 Vacuum

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    David Frane_ToTT

    This is the DC (cordless only) version of DeWalt's new vac. Like the AC/DC (corded and cordless) model it can be powered by post style (XRP) battery packs and the newer (20V MAX) slide mount packs. The batteries fit into a recessed area on the side of the machine.

  • Both Models of Vacuum

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    David Frane_ToTT

    The vacuum in the foreground is the AC/DC model; the one in back is cordless only. Note the cord wrap on the AC/DC model and how neatly the hose stores on the machine. A crevice tool stores in the handle and a wider nozzle on the side of the housing.

  • Inside the Vac

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    David Frane_ToTT

    As with most vacuums, the lower part of the machine is a simple tank. The interesting parts are in the upper housing. Here you can see the filter, which on the AC/DC model is HEPA.

  • DCR015

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    DeWalt

    This is a manufacturer's shot of the new radio/charger.

  • Media Bay

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    David Frane_ToTT

    The right side of the radio has a compartment that will hold a smart phone or MP3 player. The device can be connected to the auxiliary port and played through the speakers and connected to the USB port (see left side of compartment about half way down) for charging when the radio is plugged in. There are two 10-amp electrical receptacles on the other side of the radio.

  • Back Side of Radio

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    David Frane_ToTT

    The DCR015 accepts 12V and 20V MAX batteries, which fit into a compartment on the back of the housing. The radio can charge the battery or be powered by it (when not plugged in).

  • DCT418 Radar Scanner

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    David Frane_ToTT

    The scanner uses ground penetrating radar technology to locate components inside of walls. It works to a depth of up to 3 inches on a variety of wall surfaces including drywall, plywood, concrete, marble and ceramic tile.

  • Scanner Display

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    David Frane_ToTT

    One of the unique features of this tool is the graphic display, which displays a visual representation of what is inside the wall. Here it's showing a stud - not the actual stud but a representation of the wood that it senses behind the drywall.

  • Pipe Sensing

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    David Frane_ToTT

    In addition to wood, the scanner can sense ferrous and non-ferrous metal, plastic pipe, and electrical wires. The screen is displaying a copper pipe, which means there is non-ferrous metal on the other side of the drywall.

DeWalt recently held an event where they announce dozens of new tools. I have already written about the drill and impact drivers; now I'd like to tell you about some specialty tools that promise to make life easier and more pleasant on the jobsite.

Cordless Wet/Dry Vac
DeWalt announced a pair of two-gallon portable vacuums that differ only in the way they are powered. The DCV580 is cordless only and the DCV581H is AC/DC, so it can be powered by a battery or cord. Both accept two types of batteries, 18-volt tower style packs (NiCad or Li-ion) and the newer 20V MAX slide-mount packs. The AC/DC model will come with a HEPA filter.

According to the manufacturer the tools will get 25-30 minutes of runtime from the company's new 4.0 Ah Premium batteries and are capable of collecting up to 100 pounds or sand or 17 gallons of water per charge. A crevice tool and a wider nozzle store on the housing and the hose can be connected so the vacuum sucks or blows.

Both tools will be sold bare (without battery or charger). The DCV580 will hit store shelves in June 2013 and sell for around $99. The DCV581H will be released in the 3rd quarter of 2013 and sell for about $119.

My take: It's hard not to like a cordless vac that runs on AC and DC power. If the battery conks out part way through the job you can plug in and keep going. That the tool can be run from XRP and 20V MAX packs is a plus for anyone who owns both style of battery.

DCR015 Radio/Charger
DeWalt invented the jobsite radio and holds the patent on radio/chargers, which is why so few tool companies put chargers in their radios – they would have to pay royalties to DeWalt. The DCR015 is their 4th generation radio/charger. Previous models were powered by tower style batteries; this model is powered by 12- and 20-volt max slide style packs. When the radio is plugged in it will charge the batteries.

There are two 10-amp electrical receptacles built into the left side of the radio. The right side contains a sealed compartment large enough to hold a media player such as an iPod or smart phone. The compartment contains an auxiliary port so you can connect the device to the stereo speakers and a USB port so you can charge the device when the radio is plugged in. And of course, you can always use the DCR015 as an AM/FM radio. The radio/charger retails for about $180.

If you can't decide what to listen to, and you have the Pandora app on your phone, you might want to check out two new Pandora stations that launched in May – DeWalt Radio and DeWalt Latino Radio. The stations are sponsored by DeWalt and will be supported by their own commercials. The playlists (favorite artists) were determined by a series of votes taken on DeWalt's Facebook page.

My take: I was surprised this tool did not come out sooner. The 20V Max platform was introduced in 2011 and we're only just now seeing a radio/charger. Was it worth the wait? Yes in the sense that the radio can charge and be powered by 12- and 20-volt max packs. The USB port (which can charge phones and media players) is a definite plus because now all you need to haul is the USB cord for the device.

DCT418 Radar Scanner
I was given a sneak preview of this tool late last year at the STAFDA show but had to promise not to reveal it until DeWalt was ready to announce – which they did at their recent media event. The DCT418 is a hand-held scanning device that uses ground penetrating radar technology to locate items hidden within walls. A number of manufacturers (including Bosch, Milwaukee, and Hilti) make tools that do this; what's cool about DeWalt's is the graphic display and low purchase price.

You roll the tool across the surface of the wall to pre-scan the area and then roll it back to view what's inside. When the scanner passes over wood, a representation of a wood stud appears on the color LCD screen. Non-ferrous metal appears as a copper pipe, ferrous metal as an iron pipe, and plastic pipe as a PVC pipe. The scanner also detects electrical wire and can tell you whether or not the wire is live.

The DCT418 scan through multiple wall surfaces including drywall, plywood, concrete, marble and ceramic tile to a depth of up to 3 inches. The scanner will come in a kit (tool, charger, one 12V MAX battery, and case) and sell for about $300.

My take: There are a number of scanners on the market that can do what the DCT418 does but they cost a lot more and are in most cases, not as easy to use.