Tool Tests and Reviews

  • DeWalt Dual-Speed Cordless Framing Nailer

    This battery-powered tool is more convenient than a gas-powered or pneumatic gun.

     
  • Milwaukee M18 FUEL Sawzall

    The speed and runtime of this cordless recip saw convinced one contractor to retire his corded model.

     
  • Maxxeon WorkStar 2000 Technician’s Floodlight

    This rechargeable work light has a rotating head and can be placed upright, hung from a retractable hook, screwed to a tripod, or attached to metal with magnets.

     
  • A Dual-Battery Cordless Chainsaw

    Makita’s HCU02ZX2 has a feature no other chainsaw has—the ability to be run from two 18-volt tool batteries.

     
  • New Cordless Drills and Drivers from Bosch

    With the introduction of six models in two different voltages the company has jumped into the brushless drill and driver category with both feet.

     
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    DeWalt Gyroscopic Stick Driver

    The DCR680 was designed for the kind of light-duty assembly and fastening work an electrician, service tech, or installer might do.

     
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    Milwaukee M12 FUEL Drill and Impact Drivers

    These brushless subcompact tools will perform 90% of the tasks a carpenter needs to do.

     
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    Max RB397 Rebar Tier

    The grapple-like jaws of this cordless tool tie rebar so fast you can barely see it happen.

     
  • A push-button switch starts the tool and toggles through high, medium, and low speeds (the other button stops the tool). The sander takes 5-inch 8-hole hook-and-loop disks.

    Makita LXOB01 Cordless Sander

    This 18-volt tool is about a half-pound heavier than comparable corded models, but it feels similar in use.

     
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    Paslode IM250A Li Cordless Finish Nailer

    Though expensive, this tool offers some real advantages over comparable pneumatics

     
  • Max Rebar Tier

    My crew recently formed and poured the foundation for a 4,200 square foot custom home we would later be framing. It was larger than the homes we normally build - the perfect opportunity to try out a tool I had seen at the JLC LIVE tradeshow...

     
  • High-Voltage Cordless Chain Saws

    When lithium-ion tools first hit the market, a number of manufacturers introduced 28- and 36-volt models.

     
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    Tools Up Close: Two Fuel-Powered Framers

    Early this year, Tools of the Trade sent me the newest models from Paslode and Bostitch, and this story is about my crew's experience with those guns.

     
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    Tools Up Close: Milwaukee M12 Band Saw

    Earlier this year Milwaukee added a tool to its M12 line that I never expected to see: a cordless portable band saw. Many tool companies make 18-volt band saws, but this is the first subcompact (10.8-volt/12-volt max) model. At 6.75 pounds and 12 inches long, it's small enough to be used one-handed.

     
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    Tools Up Close: Makita LXSL01 Cordless Miter Saw

    Over the past decade or so, a revolution of sorts has been occurring within the cordless tool industry. Thanks to improved motor and battery technology, power-hungry tools that were once available only as 110-volt corded models are being offered without cords. The list is long and includes rotary...

     
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    Tool Test: 18-Volt Drill/Drivers

    Today's cordless drills are significantly better than the ones I used four or five years ago — they have more power and greater runtime, and take less time to charge. Many of them are lighter, too. The most obvious change has been the move from nicad to lithium-ion batteries, with lithium-ion...

     
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    Tools Up Close: Milwaukee M12 Cordless Jigsaw

    When it comes to jigsaws, I'm an avowed barrel-grip guy, so even though many of my other tools are cordless, I've been stuck using a corded jigsaw. But with Milwaukee's recent introduction of the model 2445 saw (which takes M12 batteries), I've been able to add a cordless model to my tool kit.

     
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    Tools Up Close: Makita Compact Drill/Driver

    The Makita drill/driver is short & a mere 7-9/16 inches from chuck to tail. With the battery attached, it weighs 3.3 pounds, which is lighter than the vast majority of 18-volt drill/drivers. Its small size and weight make for easy handling overhead and in tight spaces like cabinets and narrow joist...

     
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    Tool Test: Subcompact Drill/Drivers and Impact Drivers

    Subcompact tools are the fastest growing segment of the cordless market. The number of available models has grown from a mere handful four years ago to more than 100 today. The tools in this category are defined by their small size, light weight, and 10.8-volt lithium-ion battery packs (which for...

     
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    Tool Test: Concrete Pinners

    Tools for nailing through steel or into fully cured concrete used to be limited to PATs (powder-actuated tools), but gas-powered pinners are gaining popularity. And there are powerful pneumatics – some old and some new – that have been flying under the radar for some time even though they excel at...

     
 
 
 
 
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