Category Archives: Plumbing Tools
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.
Recently Ohio Power Tool added the Rotozip tools to its growing number of product lines. The Rotozip tools are extremely well built tools and have great applications with drywall, ceramic tile and many other building materials. The DR1 (or DR01-1100) is one of the most popular models available and currently sells for $73.
For a limited time you can purchase the Bosch Screw Gun SG45M and with it you can also get a Rotozip DR1 for $0.01. This is not a mail in rebate. These items are in-stock and ready to ship out today. With Father’s day a week away you might want to take advantage of this deal and give the Rotozip as a gift and keep the Bosch SG45M. Both of these tools are perfect for any handyman or craftsman.
If you have any questions about this limited time promotion please contact Ohio Power Tool at 800-242-4424 and they will be happy to help you find the right tool for the job.
When it comes to plumbing & utility locating Ridgid has to be considered the leader in the industry. Ridgid has 4 different locators depending on the specific applications. Two models are designed specifically for plumbing applications and the other two for utility applications however several models serve double duty.
Ridgid NaviTrack Scout ($1,284) – The basic Ridgid Plumbing locator is designed specifically for plumbers to find sondes and Seesnake camera heads. This model is not intended for those looking to locate plumbing or utility lines.
Ridgid NaviTrack 2 ($2,217) – This model is ideal for plumbers. It locates sondes and Seesnakes as well is also excellent at locating energized lines. The NaviTrack is very easy to learn and use thanks to the simplified display and options.
Ridgid SeekTech SR-20 ($2,217) – This is the most common utility line locator. Similar in size to the NaviTrack 2 this unit offers some advantages when locating utility lines. This unit will also locate sondes and camera heads as a secondary feature.
Ridgid SeekTech SR-60 ($2,794) – The most advanced locator Ridgid has in the lineup. This unit is closely related to the SR-20 but has a few advances features such as the ability to trace two lines at once on the display. If you’ve ever run into a situation where you hade multiple lines overlapping you will certainly appreciate this feature.
Of course Ridgid also offers several options for 5 & 10 watt transmitters, signal clamps and sondes. Red models are intended to work with plumbing locators and yellow with the utility locators. The Ridgid locators will actually work with any Ridgid transmitters and even other brands of sewer cameras and equipment; the coordinated colors are just for show.
Above is great video of the SR-20 locator which really gives you a good idea how easy these units are to use. If you have never used one of these locators I would recommend calling Ohio Power Tool at 800-242-4424 and talking to one of the professional there before making any purchases.
Irwin Industrial Tool is holding the Ultimate Tradesman Competition again for 2008. This is a skill competition which measures your speed and accuracy for measuring, marking and drilling. Irwin is well known for their high quality hand tools and power tool accessories so this competition is a great way to showcases several of their products. The competition is easy to enter, simply attend one of the upcoming events (View Schedules Here) and compete. For complete information, to see standing, see a video of the time trial, information on prizes and more; visit www.irwinchallenge.com.
Prizes include Cash, Irwin & Dickies clothing, Irwin Tools, race tickets & VIP packages, Ultimate Irwin garage, Roush Ford F150 and a chance to win $1.26 million. The top 20 regional winners get to attend the semi finals at the Texas Motor Speedway. The top 4 finalist will then attend the Phoenix International Raceway and compete for the Grand Prize and a chance to win $1.26 million. For more information on Jamie McMurray, Irwin Racing and the Number 26 Car you can visit www.irwinracing.com.
Ohio Power Tool is proud to offer a wide variety of Irwin Tools including their locking tool Vise-Grips, Marathon saw blades, Strait-Line chalk reels, tap & die sets and much more. For more information on Irwin Industrial Tools call 800-242-4424.