Category Archives: Plumbing Tools
I’m sure most people are fully aware of the new compact tools being launched by both Milwaukee and Bosch, and possibly tired of hearing about them. Apparently I can’t shut about it but there is a lot happening all at once after what seems like a long drought of no new tools. Obviously these tools have a huge potential for gifts around the holidays so it’s no wonder they delayed the launch until October just in time to get the word out and all the products on the shelves for holiday shopping season.
Finally I think we have the full picture of what tools are available for each of these lines at least until first quarter 2009. At this point I think it’s probably more important to look at the full lines vs. simply comparing tool for tool as we did previously with Bosch Pocket Driver vs. Milwaukee Micro Driver. When it comes down to it most people are probably going to assume the drivers, impacts and flashlights will work fairly similar with both lines. These will probably not drive the buying decisions but the two lines do have some different tools available that are very unique.
They match up fairly evenly with 6 tools each but some big differences in what they do. In just looking at the unique tools Milwaukee has the M-Spector, Pipe Cutter & Hackzall while Bosch has the i-Drive, 3/8” Drill & Multi-X. My first reaction is that the Bosch products have more broad appeal, if we are talking about the regular user or DIY guy I think these might make more sense. The Milwaukee products however are focused on professionals and do a good job of using the small size to create great new supplemental tools for someone who already has an 18 volt drill and other tools. The ace in the hole for Bosch is really the Multi-X PS50, there has been a lot of buzz about this one. The tool has so many uses and really can do jobs no other tool can. If you are already committed to the Milwaukee M12 line you can always pick up the Dremel Multi-Max for $99 which can tackle the same basic jobs but it has also got a cord.
Milwaukee has some nice multiple tool kits which make a lot of sense as the tool only versions of most of these new tools will not be available until later (I am assuming after the end of the year) and how many batteries and chargers do you really need. Also I hate to discredit the Hackzall, I think this thing has a ton of use for everyone; it’s very powerful, incredibly easy to use, part jigsaw, part Rotozip, part Sawzall and very small. The 2490-22 kit with Micro Driver and Hackzall for $249 will be extremely popular for Pros and DIY guys alike.
It’s a very tough call. I don’t think the decision would be that easy for anyone. For plumbers, HVAC, electricians and other tradesman I would have to give an advantage to the Milwaukee M12 line for some of their specialty tools. For everyone else I think it’s going to be hard to pass up the PS50 Multi-X tool. This thing is going to be all over those “Top 10 Gifts for a Guy” lists this holiday.
For the month of September at Ohio Power Tool you can get free shipping on all Ridgid seesnakes, locators, inspection equipment and transmitters. That includes pre-sales on the Ridgid Explorer, Seesnake Micro and all the accessories. In addition to free shipping, the Micro also includes a free 3’ extension 26658 which normally sell for around $50. The free extension deal is good until November 15th which is about the same time the second generation Micro will be released. The new Micro will get updated thumb controls and a different hard plastic case but it will also be slightly more expensive ($239 same price as Milwaukee M-Spector) honestly I would rather probably have the current model with a free 3’ extension. For professionals you might just want to step it up and get the Seesnake Explorer ($690) to have the ability to record images & video. Below is an image of the new Micro with the different controls, if you really want to wait pre-sales will be available shortly on OhioPowerTool.com.
In very non-customary fashion some of the Milwaukee M12 tool kits have actually shipped well before the target October 1st launch date. After previous delays in receiving new products I think Milwaukee has final figured out the formula: under promise, over deliver. These two kits are the M12 launch specials and will only be available for a short time. Don’t be expecting these to be around after October anywhere.
The M-Spector kit 2310-21P features the two tools currently available but for $269 that is about $100 less than their individual price. It includes a case which fits both tools together, 2 batteries, charger, M-Spector & Micro Driver.
The M12 Impact Kit 2490-23 features 2 new tools the impact & flashlight as well as the Micro Driver currently available. The individual impact and flashlight will still not be available until the official October 1st launch but you can get them early with this kit. Price on this kit is $199 at Ohio Power Tool.
These two M12 Launch kit are available now but the other M12 tools and kits will not be available until October 1, and now I have a little more faith we will actually get them on time. The launch kits will again only be available for a very short time, my guess is these will all be gone very soon.
Now where have we seen tools that look like these before? It’s no secret that many companies have been waiting for the day they can legally bring products to market that can compete directly with the Fein MultiMaster. Fein has been unbelievably successful with these tools and if you have ever used one you will know exactly why. I even saw a MultiMaster Tool infomercial. Fein makes great professional quality tools however they are definitely on the pricier side which may keep these tools out of many people’s hands.
There are two new models that will compete directly with the Fein MultiMaster. Both Bosch & Dremel have new tools that will be significantly cheaper but do the same basic multi tool jobs. The Bosch will work with the existing cordless 12V max batteries while the Dremel Multi-Max will be a corded model.
Dremel Multi-Max vs. Fein MultiMaster
The Dremel Multi-Max will start at $99 vs. Fein MultiMaster Start at $245. Both are similar in size and have the same max oscillation per minute at 21,000 OPM. They both can use either brands attachments but the Dremel attachments will cost about half as much. Both feature quick change options. At 40% of the price I think the Dremel might be the choice for many people who have not picked up a Fein yet.
Bosch Multi-X PS50 vs. Fein MultiMaster ACCU Cordless
On Power rating the Fein is 9.6V vs. Bosch at 12V. On Speed the Fein has a Max 14,500 OPM vs. Bosch Max 20,000 OPM. On price the Fein Cordless in $481.50 and the Bosch PS50-2A is $179. The Bosch also works with a wide range of other great 12V Max tools, with more to come. The Bosch Accessories are about half the price of the Fein but work interchangably with Fein 636 model’s accessories. I think we may have a new player in the field when the PS50 is actually available.
The target launch date for both tools is October 1st. The Bosch and Dremel models can be pre-ordered from Ohio Power Tool on a first orders in first order shipped basis. The guys at Tool Snob posted some preliminary details on the Dremel unit over a month ago to give you an ideal of how highly anticipated these tools have been. These models could easily be back ordered after the launch so get a pre-order in soon. Ohio Power Tool will stock a wide range of blades and sanding accessories from each brand after the launch on October 1st but each tool does come with several accessories. *Note the accessories are different for each tool.
First things First, this is not an equal comparison of two identical products. Looks are deceiving with these new hole saws because while they look very similar they function very differently and are also priced very differently. The only reason we even are comparing the two products is because a lot of people that are looking at these as equal products. Hopefully this post will help highlight some of the similarities and differences of these two products.
The Milwaukee Big Hawg is primarily a wood hole saw. The pilot is a 3/8” spade like bit and the teeth are hardened steel. While an occasional nail will not damage the saw it is not intended for metal, concrete, fiber board or any other materials. The advantage over a bi-metal hole saw is that it is faster, longer lasting, much easier to get the wood core out as well as easier to sharpen. The advantage over self-feed bits it that they are much cleaner (far less shavings) and will last longer, up to 600 holes between sharpening.
The Bosch Carbide Hole Saw has a drill bit pilot and is made to go through a wide range of materials including: cinder block, metal, cement board, wood and many other materials. The tips are diamond ground carbide and extremely tough.
At first glance the Bosch Carbide looks like the superiors product and it is but the price tag is also double that of the Milwaukee Big Hawgs. Comparison price on a 2-1/8” hole saw: Bosch $55.40 vs. Milwaukee $26.32. While both Hole Saws made it through the wood test in almost identical times the Milwaukee would obviously be the smarter choice at half the price. However if you want a hole saw that is going to do more than cut wood do not buy the Big Hawg. We tested the Milwaukee on all the other materials in the video but basically ruined the pilot bit and damaged the saw by doing so.
Hopefully this post and video will help you determine the right hole saw for you. There are also many hole saw kits from Bosch and Milwaukee listed on OhioPowerTool.com.
There have been some discussions going on about the new M18 tools and why Milwaukee is coming out with a second 18 volt lithium ion line and what will happen to the current V18 line. There have also been some frustration that the batteries are not compatible between the two lines of tools. First let’s take a look at the current market for hammer drills including the new tools soon to be on the shelves in October.
Milwaukee M18 2611-24 – 1700 RPM – 650 in/lbs – 5.3 lbs – $329
Bosch 18V 17618-01 – 2050 RPM – 650 in/lbs – 5.? lbs – $342
Makita 18V BHP451 – 1700 RPM – 560 in/lbs – 5.1 lbs – $299
Dewalt 18V DEW 927 – 1800 RPM – 500 in/lbs – 5.5 lbs – $349
Milwaukee V18 0824-24 – 1700 RPM – 550 in/lbs – 6.2 lbs – $344
*M18 2611-24 comes with a free impact for all pre-orders from Ohio Power Tool
This is a very very rough overview because there are many other factors to consider such as tool size, battery life, etc which have all greatly improved as well with the new M18 tools. Milwaukee has built a reputation for building the best tools on the market and their target customers are professionals. The second generation of lithium ion was necessary for them to stay on top; obviously they need to beat Dewalt in everyway possible.
Why do the batteries not work with the current V18? I did get some technical answers part of which was that the new M series batteries have 5 connection points vs. 3 connections, with the V18, which allows for more power transfer etc needed for higher performance. In reality they probably could have made it work but do they build to work with previous tools or do they try to build the best tools possible? Obviously there is no money in making batteries that would essentially work with decade old NiCd tools. Maybe their problem is they make tools that last to long. They set expectations pretty high when they made the V18 batteries work with the NiCd tools, unfortunately this probably won’t be the norm. If you currently have V18 tools they will probably last you much longer, which is good unless you are like me and need to have the latest and greatest. Either way you will still be able to pick up new V18 tools from Ohio Power Tool for at least another year and batteries for probably the next 10 years.
¼” Hex Impact & Recip Saw comparisons with M18, V18, Makita & Dewalt:
Milwaukee M18 2650-21 – 3200 IPM – 1400 in/lbs – 3.3 lbs – $229
Makita 18V BTD140 – 3200 IPM – 1280 in/lbs – 3.3 lbs – $313
Dewalt 18V DC827KL – 2700 IPM – 1330 in/lbs – 3.7 lbs – $359
Milwaukee V18 0881-22 – 3200 IPM – 1400 in/lbs – 5.2 lbs – $325
Milwaukee Sawzall M18 2620-22 – 3200 strokes/min – 7.9 lbs – $349
Makita 18V BJR181 – 2900 strokes/min – 8.1 lbs – $363
Dewalt 18V DC385K – 3000 strokes/min – 8.2 lbs – $199
Milwaukee Sawzall V18 0819-21 – 2700 strokes/min – 8.6 lbs – $300
*Pricing for Makita and Dewalt are best prices from national Big Box websites.
Back in July we posted on these tools in their European versions (see here). Finally the Bosch Brute Tough Lithium Tools are here, well soon at least. These have been long anticipated and probably not a coincidence these tools will be released almost exactly at the same time as the new Milwaukee M18 line of tools. The Bosch Brute Drills have been the preferred cordless drill of choice by many for some time. The delay in coming to market with a Brute 18V may have caused some to switch brands but hopefully not too many. Bosch is making up for lost time with one of the most powerful 18 volt tools we have seen. The new hammer drill has 650 in/lbs and 0-475/2,050 RPM well above the current competition. The battery system will be similar to the 36 volt tools with SlimPacks and FatPack options.
The only down side of the release of new Bosch 14.4 and 18 volt tools is this means no more amazing deals on Bosch 36 volt which we have seen all summer long. Since Bosch didn’t have an equivalent 18 volt product they rewarded all their loyal users with 36 volt tools at 18 volt prices. A hammer drill kit for instance can still be picked up for $249 while a 4 tool combo is still only $497. These prices are part of a limited time promo and will go back up in September before the new tools are released.
The new 14.4 & 18V tools both Brute Tough and Compact Tough can be pre-ordered at Ohio Power Tool and will be shipped in early October. We will all patiently wait for the different saws, lights and other tools that will work with these systems to be released.
Read The Full Bosch Press Release Below:
Mount Prospect, Ill., August 25, 2008 – Building on the success of its award-winning 36-volt and 12V-Max Litheon cordless tool platforms, Bosch Power Tools and Accessories today unveiled its first Litheon-powered offerings in the popular 18V and 14.4V size ranges. The core of Bosch’s mid-range Litheon™ launch is a full range of cordless drill/drivers and hammer drill/drivers purpose-built to offer the best runtime, battery life, durability and performance in the industry.
“With our launches of 12V MAX and 36V lithium ion tools, Bosch brought compact power and corded power innovation to the category at both ends of the cordless spectrum. With our renowned Brute Tough™ drill design we brought unprecedented durability to the category. And with our Litheon™ system we brought the most unique battery technology to the category” says Edwin Bender, Bosch’s group product manager for the cordless tool category. “Now we’ve combined the best of these innovations to deliver the best-built lithium ion tools in the business. Guaranteed.”
Whether you’re an all-day, everyday user who demands uncompromising toughness or a lighter duty user who prefers light weight and value, Bosch has developed six new tools to give each user exactly what he/she needs.
Bosch’s Brute Tough lineup boasts best-in-class speed and runtime, perfect for the most demanding professional users and applications. All of the new BruteTough products deliver phenomenal increases in speed and runtime versus the competition, especially in tough applications such as spade bit drilling, hole saw cutting and large fastener driving.
But that’s just half of the story. Bosch’s Brute Tough tools have always been known for unparalleled durability and toughness, and the new lineup takes things a step further. The combination of distinctive Bosch unibody motor construction, all-metal gear train and DuraShield housing yield a tool that will last long-term and even withstand drops from 10 feet. Additional durability-enhancing features include a sturdy 25+1 clutch and tight-gripping ½” metal chuck.
In addition, Bosch has improved the tools’ ergonomics – better balance and more comfortable grip surfaces – to minimize user fatigue and increase long-term productivity. The new Brute Tough lineup, equipped with Bosch FatPack batteries, includes:
17618-01 – 18V Litheon BruteTough Hammer D/D
17614-01 – 14.4V Litheon BruteTough Hammer D/D
37618-01 – 18V Litheon BruteTough D/D
37614-01 – 14.4V Litheon BruteTough D/D
For users who desire comfort, convenience and value, Bosch has upgraded its popular Compact Tough lineup. Known for lightweight, maneuverable performance at a friendly price point, Bosch’s Compact Tough tools still deliver great speed, power and performance. Even when using the SlimPack battery, the Compact Tough Drill/Drivers feature up to 50 percent greater runtime than the competition.
The new Compact Tough tools also deliver improved ergonomics, a versatile 20-position clutch and a robust ½-inch single sleeve chuck. Bosch Compact Tough tools come standard with Bosch SlimPack batteries. The lineup includes:
At the heart of the new tools is Bosch’s outstanding Litheon™ battery technology. Offering up to 35 percent more runtime than the competition and two times more recharge cycles over the life of the battery, the Litheon system keeps users moving forward in any application. Bosch’s patented Electronic Cell and Motor Protection, meanwhile, protects both the battery and the tool by preventing the three main causes of battery failure – overheating, overloading and deep discharging.
Another key feature of Bosch’s new mid-range Litheon™ family is the Flexible Power System, an option first made popular by Bosch’s 36V Litheon tools. The FatPack option delivers maximum runtime, while the SlimPack option offers light weight. All of Bosch’s Brute Tough and Compact Tough tools are compatible with both options.
Bosch is so confident in its Litheon system that it backs the platform with its Provantage 3-year Tool Protection Plan and 2-year battery replacement plan. “Our Provantage Protection Plan is the best cordless tool program in the industry,” says Bender. “No questions asked, no worries about number of charge cycle
s, no fine print. We guarantee our system – period.”
Bosch’s new Brute Tough and Compact Tough 14.4V and 18V offerings will be available nationwide October 2008. Also launching later this fall will be an impressive lineup of complimentary Litheon tools, including an 18V circular saw, an 18V reciprocating saw and an 18V heavy duty jobsite flashlight. All tools in the system will be compatible with both FatPack and SlimPack battery designs.
Each of the new Brute Tough and Compact Tough tools comes with two batteries and a 30-minute charger.
Earlier this week we took a quick look at all the Milwaukee Tools launching in October which included several new M12 tools. In this post we will take a more in-depth look specifically at two of the new M12 tools, the Hackzall and Copper Tube Cutter. The whole M12 line is aimed at Tradesmen specifically plumbers, HVAC, electricians and remodelers. The tools are very lightweight and compact, perfect for working in confined spaces.
Overall I am very happy with their strategy and glad they found creative new product for professionals to use with the M12 battery system. My initial fear is that we would be hit with a bunch of cheap consumer products and that Milwaukee might lose focus on their professional customers. That is not the case with these tools at all.
M12 Copper Tube Cutter 2471-22
This is the first product of its kind and will directly compete with the Ridgid manual pipe cutters which have been very successful. The battery powered M12 unit should save a large amount of time for anyone that is continuously cutting copper pipe. On a ½” copper pipe the 2471-22 can make a cut in 3 seconds and do up to 200 cuts on a single charge. The same cut might take 20-30 seconds with a manual cutter. The tool also automatically adjusts to different sizes from 3/8” to 1” tube.
Of course when you talk about electric pipe cutting tools one of the first concerns might be working with pipes full of water and getting it wet. Certainly the tool is not waterproof so don’t take it in the bath tube with you but Milwaukee has make serious efforts to keep the unit’s electronics sealed as well as built the head with corrosion resistant metal.
M12 Hackzall 2420-22
This is not Milwaukee’s first effort to build a smaller cutting tool. Milwaukee had the NiCd 18V Hatchet which was a smaller version of the Sawzall that bent 90 degrees in the middle was very popular among plumbers. The Hatchet has since been phased out along with the rest of the NiCd tools but the idea or a compact reciprocating saw is very much alive in the new Hackzall. The Hackzall however goes way beyond a compact Sawzall. The smaller size and new tool configuration are not only intended to make regular cuts but also to use for detail work of a Rotozip or jigsaw. The small unit has 0-3000 SPM and can cut wood, drywall, PVC, fiberglass, plastic and ever galvanized pipe.
The Hackzall can use any Sawzall blade but will also accept New Hackzall Blades specifically made for the unit. The new blades are smaller 3.5”-6” and include scroll saw blades and other blades specifically made for the Hackzall. The unit also features similar preventative measures to keep water out of the internal parts of the tools when using on pipes that may have recently been in use.
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..