Category Archives: Comparison Tests
Just announced, Milwaukee will be coming out with two models of the M-Spector AV, the 2311-21 (17mm head) and 2312-21 (9.5mm head). The M-Spector AV is designed to compete directly with the Ridgid SeeSnake Micro Explorer which has been a tremendous success. The M-Spector AV features match up with the Explorer including 3.5” screen with 320×240 resolution. Both have the ability to record voice over videos, the Milwaukee does comes with a 2GB memory card vs the Ridgid with a small internal memory and mail away to get a Free 2GB card (but $9.95 anywhere). The Milwaukee unit has the ability to rotate live or captured images but it does not mention anything about digital self leveling which is a huge feature of the Ridgid Explorer. The Explorer also has expansion slots which could include upgrades for thermal imaging at some point down the road which I am not sure the Milwaukee offers. Pricing information is not available yet, I imagine it will be in line with the Explorer’s price of $690 or perhaps below. The M-Spector AV is also part of the Milwaukee M12 line, one of the fastest growing and most successful cordless power tool lines on the market today.
I imagine most plumbers will stick with the Ridgid product for the digital self leveling and the fact that it works with the Ridgid MicroDrain to go through toilet traps. That being said the reason the Ridgid Explorer has been so successful is that it has opened up so many new markets. From HVAC, remodelers, electricians, mechanics, inspection, safety, maintenance staff to Biologists studying prairie dogs in Wyoming, the audience is wide open for these new borescope cameras.
The Milwaukee 2410-22 have been shipped and those that pre-ordered from Ohio Power Tool should be receiving their orders starting today. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a few pictures and compare the sizes and some of the features verse the 12V Bosch PS30-2A, currently the most popular compact drill/driver.
The Milwaukee is only slightly smaller than the Bosch which I had actually thought it would be even smaller yet, side-by-side. I do like the feel of the metal chuck on the Milwaukee and it has a battery gauge, which the Bosch does not. Also I like the fact that the Milwaukee stands up on the base; for some reason the Bosch is just unbalanced enough that it can’t. The Milwaukee case is the traditional red hard plastic case while the Bosch uses a smaller soft case. The batteries for these two lines are almost identical but obviously not compatible and the LED lights on the tools are about the same. The full spec comparison is on the previous 2410-22 vs PS30-2A post, I just though it would be nice to get some photo side-by-sides out there as well.
The 3/8” Drill/Driver has been a long awaited addition to the Milwaukee M12 line. The 2410-22 ($149) comes with 2410 tool, (2) M12 batteries, charger & case but the drill/driver tool is also available as 2410-20 ($98) which is just the tool by itself. The closest competition for the new drill/driver would be the Bosch 12V Max PS30-2A ($139) which has been out for over a year and is currently leading the 12V compact drill/driver market. Milwaukee is trying hard to improve upon the already successful PS30 design and create a compelling reason to pick their compact drill over anyone else.
Milwaukee M12 2410-22
No Load Speed (2 speed): 0-400/0-1,500 RPM
Torque: 250 in-lbs
Single Sleeve: Metal
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Bosch 12V Max PS30-2A
No Load Speed (2 speed): 0-400/0-1,100 RPM
Torque: 220 in-lbs
Single Sleeve: Plastic
Weight: 2.4 lbs
In comparing the stats you can see how Milwaukee has worked to build a better tool… at least when it comes to the numbers. Obviously with an extra year of development time they are going to make it faster with more torque. It is also awesome to see that the M12 is over an inch shorter than the Bosch, making it even easier to carry in the tool belt. Adding the metal sleeve on this tool also makes me happy and think back to the introduction of the first generation Bosch PS20 when the tough sell was convincing people such a small tool had a place among professional (see: These Ain’t No Kids Toys 8/23/2007). Clearly we have come a long way and with Milwaukee adding so many M12 tools aimed specifically at Plumbers & Electricians I think everyone has embraced the idea 12 volt tools defiantly have their place among the pros.
If you have any questions about any of the Milwaukee M12 or Bosch 12V Max tools feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-242-4424. Once I get my hands on the Milwaukee M12 2410-22 we can do a more hands on comparison of the two different models and see if the Milwaukee stands out as much as the stats might indicate. Stay tuned.
The chart above shows website traffic to each company’s main website. It doesn’t take into consideration tool sales, units sold, product specific websites (ie boschedge.com, boschdaredevil.com, etc) or any other outside factors. The graph simply measures web traffic reported from a 3rd party source. In my mind this is a good measure of what is popular and the overall trend of how a company is doing. Overall I think it is pleasantly surprising that the lines weren’t all strait down. Watch the news or read the paper and all you hear is about how the sky is falling, the economy is in the tank and we are all going back to the dark ages but the year over year numbers are up for 3 out of 4 of the largest power tool companies. Again these are just web traffic numbers and not sales or profit numbers, but that’s still pretty positive I think.
The obvious thing that jumps out is what’s going on with Dewalt? Historically it’s been arguably the most popular tool brand, with tons of very loyal customers however recently the talk in forums has been a little more on the sour side. Black & Decker now owns Dewalt as well as Porter Cable and the overall perception I have read from loyal users is that the quality has definitely come down. The die hard Porter Cable guys are possibly the most unhappy (unfortunately they don’t have their own website; it’s a shared site with Delta and other products so we can’t look at it in the chart). Years ago Porter Cable was considered one of the highest quality professional tool brands on the market, now they are comparable to Ryobi, better for a DIY occasional user.
The second thing that jumped out to me is that Bosch Tools is up 95% in web traffic from last year. That is awesome! There have been some exciting new products including a completely new 18V cordless line, new 12V Max tool and a wide array of new accessories but overall I don’t think this is what is driving the gains. The brand remains very strong, continues to make a high quality product, great innovations in their new products, good marketing and very few layoffs while other companies in general have seen cuts across the board.
Milwaukee Tools also had some serious gains of 26% in web traffic from the previous 12 months. They had probably the biggest product launches with the new M18 lithium ion line and M12 lithium tool line. Both lines I would consider very successful launches.
Makita Tools also had modest gains but without a new complete line of tools to launches I think they did a good job in keeping traffic up with the new products they did have as well as strong promotions and relationships with MLS, Suzuki, Rockstar and sponsored events.
Overall I think these numbers are pretty positive and sure lots of people are just window shopping but I think it’s a good look at the overall popularity of the brands and the trends. There are plenty of other tool brands to compare or you might want to see your site’s traffic compared to your competitors, I would strongly encourage anyone to do some comparisons of your own at www.compete.com.
There is sometimes a little confusion as to what bits work with which hammer drills and what bit is best for each job. In the beginning there were a ton of different styles of hex and tapper bits, lots of manufacturer had their own, we won’t even get into that. Spline was introduced here in the US as a universal shank everyone could use, around the same time SDS bits started being introduced from Europe (Hilti & Bosch) which allowed the bits to be locked into place better but still move up and down.
Later the SDS-Plus was introduced to improve upon SDS which works interchangeably with regular SDS and simply offered a better connection. Spline was a good solution for the larger bits but then the SDS-Max was introduced which was supposed to replace Spline Drive for larger drills, with equal strength and capacity but improved connectivity similar to the smaller SDS bits. While SDS-Max has caught on it unfortunately never replaced Spline and now we have both types of tools and bits on the market for really no good reason we can see.
Most people are aware the new Dremel Multi-Max tool is out and that you can buy it online but why bother everyone is selling it for around $100 might as well go to the local big box store and pick it up there for about the same price right? Ah but if you read the fine print the 6300-01 model which everyone else on the planet is selling is not the same as the box’s 6300-02L (Wonder which store the L could indicate).
The regular 6300-01 kit is pretty lean on accessories in the first place, it comes with the MM610 Scraper, MM440 ¾” wood blade, MM450 3” round wood & drywall blade, MM11 sanding pad with several kinds of sand paper. This is just enough to get started and do a few projects. The 6300-02L looks identical in almost everyway to the 6300-01 except the different model number in the lower left corner. What’s the difference? The difference is the 6300-02L in missing the MM450 3” round blade, the most useful of the accessory in the original kit. The cost for this blade at a big box store $9.95 ($8.75 on OPT) that would make the kit 10% over everyone else price for the Multi-Max tool. I have no problem with the big box stores marking up their products and making bigger margins. They are convenient and you can go there for all sorts of junk and will pay a little more for things but don’t lie to us. This is misleading and just plain old fashion shady. The intent from the start was to misrepresent this product as the same as everyone else and most people have no idea just as the box stores planed. If I went into all our 6300-01 kits and stole the MM450 blade then sold them as normal people would call me a thief right.
This happens all the time at the big box stores and nobody really says anything. I couldn’t sleep at night if I mislead and ripped off my customers like this. However that is probably why we have a single location in Columbus, Ohio and the Big Boxes are scouting new store locations on the moon.
We previously reviewed these two tools and even did some comparisons in a YouTube video. My initial though was that they would probably sell pretty evenly as each tool has its advantages. So far however the Dremel has proven to be the favorite of the two selling out almost as quick as they are coming in. The accessories have also been hard to keep in stock. This will be one of the hottest guy gifts for the 2008 holiday season, no question.
The Dremel Multi-Max 6300-01 is the cheaper of the two by almost half at $99. I think that might be the ideal price for most people to make an impulse purchase even if they know little about these oscillating tools.
The Bosch PS50 Multi-X to be fair has only released the less popular PS50-2A ($179) model and not the PS50-2B ($199) which has several more blades included. The price is higher obviously but the tool is cordless which make it much more convenient to use. On paper the PS50 is less powerful but in use these two tools seem very similar in performance, I could not really tell any difference when cutting wood or sanding. The battery life is good but could be a problem for some applications such as continuous use when sanding or grout removal.
Verdict: personally I like the PS50-2B the best however that is probably because I like the oscillating tools for their amazing cutting abilities. I have a several sanding tools already that will do a similar job but nothing that can make cuts like this. For detailed cutting jobs the cordless feature is huge, going up on a ladder and make a precision cut on crown molding I don’t want to worry about a cord in the way. If you are getting a tool to do a lot of grout removal however the Dremel Multi-Max may be the way to go. Battery life on the Bosch PS50 will last an hour or more when making occasional cuts but for grout removal you are looking at about 10 minutes of continuous use for that battery draining application. The 12V Max kits PS51-2A (Pocket Driver & Multi-X) and PS52-2A (Impactor & Multi-X) both include 4 batteries so there is little chance you will run out of power for any job but there will be some battery changing.
Obviously all the tools, kits and accessories are available at Ohio Power Tool and currently in-stock unless otherwise noted as a “PRE-SALE”. These are all selling quickly so get your orders in now. Who knows what is going to happen after Black Friday/Cyber Monday but some of these tools may selling out and go on back order until after the Holiday Season.
Recently both Bosch and Milwaukee came out with new 18 volt lithium ion tools. Milwaukee Tools first 18v lithium line was one of the first to market with the V18 tools however after these tools were release other brands had a chance to copy their designs. Bosch Tools on the other hand stuck with the 18v NiCd tools and focused on thier 10.8v and 36v lithium tools. Both these new lines of 18v tools put them head and shoulders above the competition but which of the two is on top?
Today we are just looking at the 18v Cordless Hammer Drills, in this comparison specifically the Milwaukee M18 2611-24 and the Bosch 17618-01. Each product was laboratory tested against the other competition available at the time (a few months ago) so both tools are making the same claims of best in class torque, battery life and construction. Unfortunately I don’t have a lab in the back to redo all these tests comparing the two against each other but hopefully I can provide a little more insight.
Both units have 650 in/lbs torque (above any other brand on the market) although the Bosch unit has 2050 RPM rating vs. Milwaukee at 1700 RPM. Both units also have free battery mail-in rebate offers until the end of the year however Milwaukee is giving away the larger XC battery while Bosch is giving away their smaller Slim Pack battery. Both have a two battery system but on the M18 tools the smaller battery will not fit on the hammer drill or saws. On price, overall the Bosch 17618-01 is cheaper at $305 while the Milwaukee 2611-24 is $349. Milwaukee is including a free impact driver 2650-20 ($179) with the hammer drill, for a limited time, so big points there. Warranties are also pretty similar with 2 year battery replacement on each.
In size comparison the Milwaukee is slightly smaller which you can see in the pictures. The weight for the M18 is also lighter at 5.55 lbs vs Bosch at 5.75. If weight is a big factor the Bosch can use the slim pack batteries which will reduce the weight below the Milwaukee but battery life will be half. Both units feature a LED light but Bosch has the light on the base which illuminates the work surface a little better.
The biggest problem I discovered in looking at these two drills side by side was with the Bosch. There is no power gauge on their batteries. I’m not sure why this was left off, perhaps it makes the battery smaller but it is an extremely useful feature I can’t believe was left off. Bosch has the feature on their 36v tools so I am really baffled why they would leave it off the 18v. The charger is a 30 minute charge which works with 14.4v as well but even the charger only gives a simple charging or full indication not a power level.
For my money I am buying the Milwaukee M18 with free Impact and mail-in rebate for a 3rd XC battery. The deal is right and I just can’t see not having a power gauge on my lithium ion tools. If you have 3 batteries and 1 charger how are you going to keep track of which battery has power and which doesn’t? I really like the Bosch as well, it still has more power and longer run time than any other competitor but when they are so close like that a free M18 Impact Driver will make all the difference.
We continued to be amazed at the incredible amount of product development coming from Bosch Accessories. These guys are systematically reinventing all the basic accessories we use everyday and coming out with some really cool new products.
Recently the Bosch Big Blue Team spent the day at Ohio Power Tool and one of the new products that really impressed a lot of people were the DareDevil Spade Bits. Most people don’t think about their spade bits that much and just buy whatever is cheapest at the local big box. The new Bosch spade bits however are almost like a different tool. The DareDevil bit pulls itself through wood without any effort at all which really makes repetitive drilling significantly easier especially at an angle or overhead.
The key to this performance is the patented design of the bit itself. Many of the other wood drilling products come with a threaded tip for fast smooth feeding. A first for spades, Bosch has incorporated a full cone threaded tip, which has increased not only the speed of the bit, but also the ease of drilling.
Another patented feature of the DareDevil is the contoured paddle. This wave-like shape speeds up chip removal, adding to the speed of the bit. The combination of these two features creates astonishing results. In independent testing, the DareDevil was 2.4x faster and required 53% less force than the Irwin Blue Groove*.
It doesn’t end there. While spade bits are not expected to produce anything beyond average hole quality, the DareDevil is not your average spade bit. The patented spur and reamer design is unique in that it not only scores the wood for a clean entry hole, but also has angled cutting edges that ream the hole for reduced breakout, leaving a cleaner exit hole than any competitive bit.
Ohio Power Tool has the individual DareDevil Bits in-stock with full kits coming in the next few weeks. Watch the YouTube video below and see how much easier the DareDevil goes through wood than the Irwin Blue Groove, the most popular spade bit prior to the Bosch DareDevil launch.
Bosch has recently launched a line of Glass & Tile drill bits which range in size from 1/8” to 1”. These bits are ideal for bathroom installations, fastening mirrors, setting screws in tile, relief holes in glass, holding signage and much more. The new Bosch bits feature carbide tips for long life, reinforced heads to prevent cracking, precision ground tips which prevents bit walking and they are the only company to offer up to 1” size. The 8 piece drill bit set ($38) is a no brainer even if you only need 2 or 3 sizes. Of course you can get the set or any individual bit from OhioPowerTool.com.
I though this might also be a great time to test the New Bosch PS30-2a 3/8” drill as these drills will ship within the next few days. The PS30 handled these glass and tile bits amazingly well as you can see in the above video. We also tested a ¾” Rapid Feed Spade bit and different size drill bits all with outstanding performance.