Category Archives: Plumbing Tools
In October Milwaukee Power Tool will launch its largest release of new products ever. The 2 lines of products currently exist but this will greatly expand on both of these lines and truly give them a foothold into several new markets. The new products will be part of the new M12 (12 volt) & M18 (18 volt) tool lines.
The Milwaukee M12 tool line currently features the Micro Driver 2401-22 and M-Spector Camera 2310-21. Soon to be released (October 1st – target date) are an Impact Driver 2450-22, Copper Cutter 2471-22, Flashlight & Hackzall 2420-22. These new tools will be very popular among plumbing and HVAC contractors. The copper tube cutter especially will be a huge time saver and can handle 3/8” to 1” copper tube. The Hackzall is ideal for cutting pvc tubes or putting boxes in drywall and plywood. It will be a handy tool to have but will not replace your Sawzall for all jobs. You can find a few extremely well priced M12 combo kits available on Ohio Power Tool which will be available in very limited quantities to promote the new tool launch.
The Milwaukee M18 line expands on the current battery system used by the compact 18 volt model 2601-22. The 2601 however has a slim battery which is light weight but not powerful enough to use with the new hammer drill 2611-24, Sawzall 2620-22 or circular saws 2630-22. A new larger M18 battery will work with all the tools and will be called the XC battery. The new M18 line features a light weight hex impact that outperforms the competition in speed, torque and run time available with compact batteries 2650-21 or XC batteries 2650-22. The new line will also add additional tools in the following months such as a grinder, jigsaw as well as other new tools. The new M18 will eventually replace the current line of V18 tools as the only Milwaukee 18 volt tools but that will not happen until some time in 2009 and the batteries and accessories will of course be available for at least 5-10 more years.
All the new M12 & M18 tools are available now for Pre-Sale from Ohio Power Tool. The Pre-Sales will be fulfilled in the order they are received so if you want to be the first kid on the block with the new tools you should probably make a pre-order ASAP. On the other hand if you are looking for a great deal on great tools you can get a V18 4 tool combo 0920-29 for $426.36 or a V18 Hammer Drill & Hex Impact 0824-24 for $299.
Look for several in-depth tool reviews and more information on the M12 & M18 tools over the next week.
There is a new addition to the 12V Max Litheon line. The PS30-2A which is a drill/driver with a 3/8” three jawed chuck, instead of the hex type that is on most other models. The obvious advantage is that this will use any standard drill bit, hole saws in addition to all the standard driver bits. I am happy to see this option finally available in the line up. These ultra compact are certainly powerful enough to handle basic drilling and consumers having been waiting for a compact drill like this for some time. The advertising from Bosch last holiday season said “4 now, 12 models in 2008” with the flashlight FL11 and this new PS30 drill we now have a total of 5 by my count so hopefully we will see some additional tools periodically through the end of the year. Ohio Power Tool has the new 12V models available now: Pocket Driver PS20-2A, i-drive PS10-2A & Impactor PS40-2A. Read the full Bosch PS30 press release below.
Bosch Press Release
The latest foray into ultra-compact tool design from Bosch Power Tools and Accessories has yielded what may well become the ideal do-it-all tool for users looking for maximum versatility in a small package. Bosch’s new PS30 12V Max Litheon™ Drill/Driver takes the company’s successful ultra-compact platform one step further with best-in-class speed and torque and a host of new features.
The most immediately noticeable feature is the PS30’s 3/8” three-jawed chuck. The new single sleeve chuck is designed to accommodate almost any need a typical user might encounter in a day’s work – simple drilling, drilling with spade bits, cutting with hole saws, socket fastening, screwdriving and more. To keep users moving in all of those applications, the PS30 delivers a robust 220 inch-pounds of torque, more than twice the torque of any other ultra-compact drill/driver on the market. And, to keep all of that torque under control, Bosch utilizes a 20+1 clutch.
Bosch’s PS30 also offers users the flexibility to choose between speed and precision based on their specific needs. The tool’s two-speed drivetrain delivers between 400-1,100 rpm. At full speed, the tool delivers 2.2 times the speed of any other drill/driver in its class.
With a weight of barely 2.4 pounds, an ergonomic soft grip and a profile that is 50 percent slimmer than a standard 12V drill/driver, the PS30 is both maneuverable and comfortable. The tool is small enough to reach into tight areas and corners with ease and light enough for all-day use and sustained overhead work. In cramped quarters, a robust built-in LED light offers outstanding visibility.
As with Bosch’s previous ultra-compact tools, users can count on quick 30-minute charge times and unparalleled battery life from the proven 12V Max* Litheon battery platform. Bosch’s 12V Max Litheon batteries are compatible with all other Bosch Ultra-Compact tools (PS10, PS20, PS40 and FL11).
The PS30 Two-Speed Ultra-Compact Drill/Driver comes with two 12V Max Litheon batteries, a 30-minute quick charger and a sturdy canvas carrying bag. The PS30 is covered by Bosch’s standard cordless power tool warranty and is eligible to be registered in the Bosch ProVantage Protection Plan. It will be available through authorized Bosch distributors nationwide this fall.
* Bosch now refers to its ultra-compact Litheon battery platform as “12V Max.” The change is due to lithium ion battery voltage ratings that have been adopted in the marketplace since Bosch first introduced its ultra-compact Litheon products in 2006. The new terminology, which replaces 10.8V, is meant to reduce confusion in the marketplace by clearly identifying tools that are rated at maximum voltage (i.e. 12V) rather than nominal voltage (i.e. 10.8V) by using the “Max” designator. Bosch’s 12V Max Litheon batteries are 100% compatible with all past and future Bosch ultra-compact tools..
Typically when you cut and thread pipe you need oil to continuously pump to keep the pipes cool and cuts smooth. Ridgid has introduced the world’s first completely oil less threading machine. This is a big advantage because with regular oil threading the job can get very messy, so it must be done away from the installation. With the Ridgid Oil-Less threader 1210 you can now thread right where you are installing, in basements, on rooftops, even in finished rooms. To eliminate cutting oil, the Model 1210 combines specially-formulated Ridgid Thread Cutting Coolant and unique Ridgid Oil-less Gold® Dies. Ridgid Thread Cutting Coolant will evaporate on contact with the pipe and leave you with a clean, dry, extremely high quality thread that is ready for immediate installation. The coolant system can also sit idle for any amount of time and go into use right away saving valuable time in setup.
To promote this exciting new threading machine, Ridgid has decided to give one away along with some other great Ridgid products. 1210 Promotion Registration If you are not interested in waiting to see if you’ve won the contest you can always get the Ridgid 1210 Oil-Less Threader ($1,865) or any other Ridgid Plumbing Equipment at Ohio Power Tool. The portable stand is a good idea for most jobs which will run an extra $190.
There have been many different attempts at the compact ladders over the years but for the most part these simply can not stand up to industrial applications. For occasional use or changing a light bulb around the house that infomercial ladder you got a few years ago probably works well, but why can’t anyone build a compact ladder for real professional use? These are the people that would use the product every day but need something compact that will fit inside the van.
Well I think we have final found it in the Pro Series 780P. The Xtend & Climb ladders originally came out some time ago but it started with a consumer ladder with a 225 lb limit and was not built for heavy use. The original was light and compact and handy for apartments and other light applications. The nice folks at Xtend & Climb recently did a very smart thing and built a new professional grade ladder, the 780P. This new ladder is rated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (OSHA) as a Type IA, 300 lb, Extra Heavy Duty Industrial. I have had a change to test this ladder out and as a true skeptic from the beginning I am now a believer. I weigh about 225 and full extended there was no flex to the ladder at all and it just felt very sturdy. It is pretty light for a professional ladder at just over 30 lbs and very easy to carry around when collapsed.
As a previous skeptic myself, I understand most people think a compact professional ladder could never happen but it has. The professional 780P Xtend & Climb is available at Ohio Power Tool and you know those guys only sell true professional grade tools and equipment.
It has been rumored Bosch was going to change from 10.8V to 12V for some time. Yesterday Bosch officially announced the launch the second generation of the PS20 which is a 12V Max tool, the new model number is PS20-2A. The upgrade for the originator of the ultra compact tool market features a 25% increase in power and speed to 100 inch-pound of torque and 500 RPM operating speed. Below is the explanation of the name switch from Bosch’s recent press release:
The new terminology, which replaces 10.8V, is meant to reduce confusion in the marketplace by clearly identifying tools that are rated at maximum voltage (i.e. 12V) rather than nominal voltage (i.e. 10.8V) by using the “Max” designator. Bosch’s 12V Max Litheon batteries are 100% compatible with all past and future Bosch ultra-compact tools.
So don’t worry, all your old 10.8V tools will work with the new 12V tools coming out, only a small marketing tweak to keep up with Milwaukee and Ridgid who decided to give the “Max Voltage Rates” and make people think their tools are more powerful. Basically all the ultra compact tools use almost identical batteries with equal number of lithium cells. Milwaukee has recent changed the name of their ultra compact tools as well to M12 Lithium Ion tools. Hopefully everyone has settled on their new names and we can stop confusing everyone. Personally my favorite of all the ultra compact tools remains the Impactor now also a 12V max PS40-2A , still more powerful than any of the competitors with the conservative numbers.
In addition to the PS20-2A Bosch also announced the launch of a 12V Max flashlight, model FL11. The unit is sold without batteries as an add-on unit to your other Bosch tools. Both new models will be available on Ohio Power Tool shortly, under Bosch Litheon 12V Max.
57 years ago Milwaukee invented the reciprocating saw so it is no surprise they still have the best tool in the game. The Milwaukee Sawzall has been copied by almost every competitor out there and although there are some other good tools, Milwaukee is still numero uno.
Popular Mechanic conducted the comparison below a few months ago which I though did a pretty good job creating real testing subjects with multiple materials. The two tests were named the “Nail Biter” and “PM House Sandwich”
The Nail Biter – Two 2 x 4 pieces hammered together with an entire box of 16d common nails.
PM House Sandwich – Smashed together 1/2-in. drywall, 2 x 6 lumber, 1 x 4 lumber, 1 1/4-in. PVC pipe, steel conduit, two 12-ga. cables, two pieces steel strapping, insulation.
Milwaukee 15 Amp Super Sawzall | $187.50, OhioPowerTool.com
Blade Damage: A /// Smoothness: A- /// Power: A- /// Overall: A-
The Nail Biter: Two pieces of wood and a whole pile of nails were no match for our winner—it took just 6 seconds to slice through the 2 x 4s with a remarkably smooth and straight cut.
PM House Sandwich: The Milwaukee ripped through all 10 layers in just 14 seconds. The almost-pristine blade that emerged impressed our team of testers.
Craftsman Professional 12 Amp Variable Speed | $110, craftsman.com
Blade Damage: A- /// Smoothness: B+ /// Power: B /// Overall: B+
The Nail Biter: In the showdown’s biggest surprise, a Craftsman bested a DeWalt saw across the board for the first time in recent PM history. Slicing the wood took just 8 seconds.
PM House Sandwich: Again, the Craftsman proved to be a pleasant surprise, carving through our sandwich in just 16 seconds with hardly more effort than the champion Milwaukee needed.
DeWalt DW311K Heavy-Duty 13 Amp | $170, dewalt.com
Blade Damage: B- /// Smoothness: B /// Power: B /// Overall: B
The Nail Biter: Cutting the lumber took 11 seconds—and required a fair amount of force to push the blade through the boards.
PM House Sandwich: The DeWalt split our sandwich in 23 seconds, and required far more muscle. The blade sustained about three times as much damage as the Milwaukee’s.
Black & Decker Firestorm 9.5 Amp | $80, blackanddecker.com
Blade Damage: C- /// Smoothness: D+ /// Power: C- /// Overall: C-
The Nail Biter: Our least expensive tool barely cut it, taking 25 seconds to complete the task—more than twice as long as the second slowest finisher—and requiring an enormous amount of effort.
PM House Sandwich: This saw is simply not powerful enough for most demolition jobs. It finished slicing in 29 seconds, but the rickety feel left our hands sore, and the blade was rendered unusable.
Test Results from Popular Mechanic
No Surprise that the Milwaukee Super Sawzall took the prize. I wish these tests could be done over and over to see which tool lasts the longest and I’m sure the Milwaukee would stand completely alone on top.
The tools themselves are obviously the most important consideration to overall performance but do not overlook the importance of blades and accessories. See the Ice Hardened Sawzall Blade Comparison Video. These were both done using the same Sawzall, so keep that in mind next time you buy blades.
At Ohio Power Tool the primary focus is professionals that rely on their tools everyday to make a living. In an effort to provide the best deal, on the best tools with the best accessories the Milwaukee 15amp Super Sawzall 6538-21 is on sale for $187.50 (currently lower than any big box or well known internet retailers). In addition to simply providing a great price the deal also includes a free 14 Piece Ice Hardened Blade Kit 49-22-1131 ($29.98) which features six 9” Torch Blades.
It’s no secret there has been some very big success in the Pocket/Micro tool market. It started with the Bosch 10.8v tools, then the Milwaukee 12v (newly named the M12 tools) and now almost every tools company has some form of these compact lithium ion tools. One of the common complaints for most of these tools is that they don’t have a standard chuck but instead a ¼” hex. This means you can’t use standard drill bits for pilots or any other form of drilling and if you need to carry two tools around that pretty much defeats the purpose. Obviously if you are going to do some serious drilling you may want to look at a slightly larger tool. Perhaps something like the new Milwaukee compact 18V Lithium 2601-22 ($199), still lightweight just over 3.5 lbs but it is built for heavy use. That being said you should still be able to do some occasional drilling and detail work with the 10.8v and 12v tool.
The internet is an amazing place to shop, compare and learn about products but I do feel there is something that maybe hasn’t been completely figured out when it comes to recommendations and accessories the way you get when you come into a store, hold the tools and talk to the guys behind the counter. A great instance of this is with the Milwaukee 38 Piece Quik-Lok 48-32-1500 set which sells incredibly well with any brand of the Micro & Pocket Drivers in the store because it just makes sense. The kit comes with 7 different sized ¼” hex drill bits, ¼” & 3/8” square socket adapters, Quik-Loc connectors and all sorts of different size driver bits. This is way more than just another driver bits which you already have but some however that gets lost online. With so much “upselling” going on it’s really hard to tell if this is really a recommendation from someone who know what they are talking about or simple a computer program matching compatible accessories, trying to add a few extra bucks on the sale.
Most people at this point have heard of the Ridgid Micro Seesnake and some of the very positive reviews of people using this tool. The Micro has a very wide appeal not specific to plumbing or any other one industry like the traditional Seesnake. The Micro has even picked up some competition in the form of the new Milwaukee M-Spector and probably additional companies looking to share it the success of this type of product.
To stay ahead of the competition and really take the Seesnake Micro to the next level Ridgid is introducing the Micro Explorer. This unit answers every possible complaint about the Micro and takes Ridgid way above any of the competition trying to copy the Micro. Potential weaknesses from the first generation design are now all but gone with the Micro Explorer. The Explorer is fully digital with the ability to capture images (1280 x 1024) and video (320 x 240) onto SD cards which are very easy to then load onto any computer. The new camera also features zoom and the ability to pan left or right. I am assuming the pan and zoom are digital features. The Explorer also has built in Self Leveling which some of the larger $10,000+ Seesnakes don’t even feature. This feature is truly impressive and very very useful as it’s easy to get disoriented when the camera head bends around a corner as to which way the camera is actually headed. Some other key point is the screen is now larger at 3.5” and the kit comes with it’s own lithium rechargeable battery and charger.
The Ridgid microExplorer will not replace the existing Seesnake Micro as the list price is $784.45, well above the Micro. It will however give professionals the ability to choose the features they need. For a plumber this might be a really great solution as opposed to adding the second or third full Seesnake setup.
Now for the bad news, these are not set to be in stores until September at the earliest. I would be happy to see them by Christmas time. Ohio Power Tool is taking *Pre-Sale* orders for Seesnake microExplorer at $690.32 which basically means you will receive your Explorer in the order it was placed, like a reservation. Your credit card will not be billed until the item is ready to ship.
RIDGID microExplorer™ Digital Inspection Camera 30063Display ………………….3.5" Color LCD
(320 x 240 resolution)
Image Capture……….JPG Images (1280 x 1024)
AVI Video (320 x 240)
Recording Medium …Internal Memory or SD Card
Image Controls ………Pan, Zoom, Self Leveling, Low Light Vision
Lighting…………………4 Fully Adjustable LEDs
Camera Diameter…..0.7" (17 mm)
Cable Reach …………3′ (expandable to 30′ w/optional extensions)
Waterproof…………….Camera & Cable to 10′ (when properly assembled)
Power Source ……….Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
(4 Hours of Continuous Run Time)
In today’s global market and with the help of the internet, consumers are equipped with more knowledge and purchasing options than ever before. In the quest for the best power tools at the lowest prices many people from around the world have found that a weak American dollar and the highest amount of online price competition, the United States is a great place to buy tools and equipment. Even with a higher shipping cost and a few days longer wait for shipping it is often still much cheaper to purchase from the US. A big problem many international consumers face however is that most US companies will not ship outside the US or the company will only accept wire transfer payments and not foreign credit cards or paypal. From the retail side even if they take the order many companies even the largest ones are not familiar with proper international shipping practices to every country and many mistakes are made.
For years customers from around the world have used the company International Checkout to purchase a wide variety of products such as shoes, clothing, electronics, musical instruments, house ware and more from well known US based companies. The company has built a strong reputation over the years and received very favorable press, including being named on a list of the 50 Great Ideas of the 21st Century. Recently International Checkout has partnered with Ohio Power Tool as their one and only source for name brand Power Tools such as Milwaukee, Bosch, Ingersoll Rand Makita, Ridgid, Power Team and many more.
The ordering process couldn’t be easier. Simply find the item you would like to purchase at www.OhioPowerTool.com and click the “Add to Cart” button. Once you are in the shopping cart choose the “International Checkout” button at the top or bottom of the page. This will import your entire Ohio Power Tool shopping cart to International Checkout. They allow for a wide range of shipping options at the lowest rates available and will accept almost any form of payment known to man.
Milwaukee recently announced the introduction of their 2 new inspection cameras the 2301-21 and 2300-20. We had a chance recently to get our hands on the M-Spector 2301-21 and compare it with the Ridgid Seesnake Micro. Here are some of my comparisons.
The basic feel of the M-Spector is that’s actually a little larger than I previously though. The handle is thicker than the Seesnake Micro and the vertical design makes it much taller than the Micro. The thumb locations do make it much easier to change light settings and the new digital zoom feature is an advantage over the Micro. The screen sizes are the same but the Milwaukee has better resolution at 320×240 vs. 234×160 with the Micro. The case for the Milwaukee 2301-21 is the typical red hard plastic case Milwaukee makes for each product. The case is also very large because it houses the charger and battery as well. The Ridgid case is a much smaller cloth case with foam lining.
In terms of performance I felt both did a very similar job actually viewing items. I couldn’t see any difference in light strength. One problem I still have with both cameras is there is no way to change orientation of the camera so the image is constantly sideways or upside down. I did see on the Milwaukee M-Spector that it says it only allows a 9’ reach with extensions (which is only 2 extensions). The Ridgid allows up to 9 extensions for a total of 30’. The Milwaukee is digital so in theory it should be able to handle many more than 2 extensions without image loss but there is no way to test it until it comes out. I was also told the 3’ extensions are not interchangeable between Ridgid and Milwaukee. The Ridgid Seesnake, unlike the Milwaukee, does come with 3 attachments (mirror, magnet and hook) which are good for pulling wires, picking up items, etc. The final big advantage for the Milwaukee is that it works with existing 12 volt lithium ion system that includes the 2401-22 Micro Driver and many more tools to come.
Overall I think it’s a pretty even match. The Milwaukee 2301-21 is $20 more than the Seesnake but you can use the battery with your other Milwaukee tools. I think the deciding factor for me would be if I were also going to put a 2401-22 Micro Driver in the tool box than I am going with the Milwaukee. The 2300-20 (M-Spector that comes out in Aug-Sept) works off regular batteries like the Ridgid Micro and in that case I would stick with the Seesnake Micro.
You can *PRE-ORDER* the Milwaukee 2301-21 M-Spector at Ohio Power Tool for $239.99. The pre-order means you will receive the product when we receive it. There is no promised date (because these are often delayed) but the credit card or paypal will not be fully processed until the product is ready to ship, so the pre-order is similar to a reservation.