Category Archives: Cordless Tools
A little over a year ago Makita relaunched 3 new cordless reciprocating saws that would work on their 18V LXT platform in the XRJ04Z ($119) which was utilizes a brushed motor and designed as entry level price point cordless recip. To compete with the Milwaukee M18 FUEL Sawzall, Dewalt FlexVolt, Hilti and others to come they needed a powerful brushless model that had corded power and solid runtime. Do they use their 18Vx2 platform or use a single battery that’ll be a little less powerful. In this case Makita said let’s do both and let the people choose between the very similar 18V XRJ05Z ($199) and 18Vx2 XRJ06Z ($219).
Makita has really jumped into the Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) arena with both feet and currently uniquely positioned to be one of the strongest players moving forward. There has been a big push away from 2 Stroke small engines for several reasons including hassle of mixing & storing gas, emissions standards and noise just to name a few. Makita (with Dolmar) is the only manufacturer out there that is really strong in both 4 stroke gas technology and battery technology which gives them a huge advantage as the consumer demand changes.
Makita is leading the way in 4-Stroke gas technology (MM4) which if you are going to stay with gas is where things are going. Offering the only MM4 Cut-Off Saw and MM4 blowers but they are also leading the charge with OPE that works with the 18V batteries everyone already owns. The XCU03 cordless chainsaws are a prime example of that next step forward although still not surpassing gas in power but we are getting pretty darn close. (more…)
The new Makita LXT Brushless Rear Handle Circular Saw XSR01Z ($199, bare) launched at the World of Concrete this year and looks to be coming in very very soon, perhaps by the time you read this post! We had the opportunity recently to get one in our shop for the afternoon and do some testing. Unfortunately it was just after our 2017 Cordless Circ Saw Testing (see video below) which we are now confident this new saw would have been our favorite. What is interesting with this new Makita however is they seem less interested in taking on the Milwaukee M18 FUEL or Dewalt FLEXVOLT cordless saws and much more interested in going after Corded Skil WormDrive market which until now has had no option for a cordless saw.
In recent years there have been a lot of advancements that allow tools to work effectively at various voltages as well as batteries with dramatically higher Amp Hours (Ah). Unfortunately that’s all the tool brands want to talk about in terms of specs on these awesome tool achievements, Volts and Ah but clearly that does not tell the full story. The formula Amps * Volts = Watts is what we use to figure out power and works great with corded tools on our meter above. With battery tools if you are only provided Volts and Ah ratings (or Watt Hour Wh) unfortunately you’re never going to be able to determine the real power of your tools. (more…)
Yesterday we got some teasers on Dewalt’s Plans to Expand Tool Connect, currently very limited to just the Tool Connect Dewalt Batteries (see below) which turn off when they get out of range from the phone running the App and last location. At this point we can only talk to the images provided but Dewalt Tool Connect will expand to Cordless Tools, the TAG which will be very similar to the Milwaukee TICK (finally available) and the CONNECTOR which will allow any existing Dewalt 20V tool (no mention of FlexVolt yet however) to join the Tool Connect Bluetooth platform.
It looks like 2017 will be the year Bosch 18V Cordless jumps back aggressively into the game. We recently saw the launch of new brushless compact and brute tough drills, coming soon new CORE high capacity batteries, new brushless recip saw and now a pair of LED flood lights are coming as GLI18V-1900N ($99) and GLI18V-1900C ($119, few months later) will offer Bluetooth connectivity to control multiple lights at once. (more…)
The circular saw has been around for many years and offers many unique advantages. They are one of the most powerful handheld tools you can own for cutting, similar power to a small table saw but fits in your hands. Overall, they are easy to use, affordable, portable and practical for so many applications. In the days of NiCd battery technology they simply could not build a competitive pro grade circular saw to keep up with corded, however over the last several years, we’ve seen changes in cordless batteries with increased amps, performance, sizing, costs, etc. With the industry demanding longer lasting batteries and corded performance, we wanted to see how these cordless 7-1/4″ circular saws from the top professional brands would perform.
- Makita – XSH01Z ($199.95 bare) XSH01X ($399 w/3.0) – 36V, brushed, 10 Ah (5.0 x2), 18650 battery cells
- Milwaukee – 2731-20 ($229.95 bare) 48-59-1890PC ($249 w/9.0) – 18V, brushless, 9.0 Ah, 18650 battery cells
- Dewalt – DCS575 ($179.00 bare) DCS575T2 ($355 w/ 2.0) 54V, brushless, 9.0 Ah, 20700 battery cells
We saw these units briefly at the FLEXVOLT launch event last June, and think it is a smart move for all the power tool brands to expand their offerings to take advantage of their advanced battery platforms. This give the tool brands a big advantage over strictly OPE brands going cordless like Stihl, Oregon, EGO, etc because the batteries are already in the market place. This does cannibalize on their Dewalt 40V OPE line up (just launched last year), while their target is a bit different on paper we would not want to invest thousands into a 40v system when you know the big development moving forward is going to be on the FLEXVOLT platform. Why not keep it all together and just build a 120V FLEXVOLT backpack blower? (more…)