DeWalt Tools, Tough in the South Event 2017

Last week the Coptool crew headed off to Nashville, Tennessee to visit the DeWalt Tough in the South Experience where we got a good look at some of the up and coming DeWalt tools and accessories. We saw some new designs on some classic DeWalt tools that shows their commitment to their users as well as their determination to stay ahead of the game. We were very impressed by some of their advancements in jobsite connectivity technology that reflect the rapidly changing dynamics of jobsite productivity.

On our first of many stops, we were introduced to some of the new cordless plumbing and electrical tools. The 20V Max Cable Cutter DCE150B ($848) can cut up to 750 MCM copper and 1000 MCM Aluminum. It features an LED light and an inline forward/reverse switch to allow for full one-handed operation. The cutting blade is fully field serviceable and can be changed very quickly. DeWalt then introduced us to their all new ASCR Cable Cutter tool DCE155D1 ($1399). This tool is mainly designed for electrician use on power lines. It has a guillotine style blade that cuts 750 MCM copper, 1000 MCM aluminum, and 1590 ASCR cable. Like the DCE150B, it also features a bright LED light as well as a field serviceable blade for quick replacements.

We then saw the DeWalt 20V Max Dieless DCE350M2 ($3699) and Died DCE300M2 ($3149) Cable Crimping Tools. The dieless crimper has a universal 4 pusher design and crimps #8 – 750 MCM Copper and Aluminum cable. It has a 360° pivoting head allows for crimps at any angle and in compact spaces. It has a two-trigger design for forward and reverse, as well as a shoulder strap and LED light. It has a 6 Ton capacity. The died cable crimping tool has a 12-ton capacity and allows for much more secure crimps due to the use of speced dies. It accepts any brand U-Type die and also has a 270° pivoting head and dual forward/reverse trigger. It can crimp up to #8-750 MCM copper and aluminum. Both tools are able to utilize the DeWalt Crimp Connect software that is able to record the date, time, and success of crimp cycles as well as calibration and service history.

At the event, DeWalt introduced the worlds first powered cable stripper DCE151B ($199). It runs off the 20V Max platform and prevents the need of using a knife to manually strip cable, which can be dangerous to the user and can also damage the cable. When asked why not just make a drill attachment rather than a whole new dedicated tool for stripping cable, they responded by saying that the dedicated tool would provide the perfect range of speed and torque for stripping cable and would prevent user frustrations with damaging cables from using high torque or speed drills. The built-in clutch is also designed to protect users in the instance of bind-up, and stop the tool immediately.

We then got a quick look at the 20V Max Threaded Rod Cutter DCS350D1 ($379), capable of cutting ¼”, 3/8”, and ½” mild steel threaded rod and ¼” and 3/8” stainless steel threaded rod. It is designed to make clean, burr-free cuts to eliminate the need for shaving. It is safer to use than cutting tools because it eliminates fast-moving blades that can bind or cause user harm. It is designed for completely one-handed operation, and also includes a hanging hook. It can make up to 350 3/8” cuts on a single charge.

Moving into the plumbing section, we got to check out the 20V Max Drain Snake DCD200D1 ($399) designed for quick, in and out set up with no mess. It features a brushless design and comes with a 5/16” x 25’ black oxide cable with bulb head. It has a variable speed trigger for ultimate user control and sliding nose cone lock for cable feed. The drum can handle up to 35’ of 3/8” cable and 50’ of 5/16” cable and is fully enclosed and stationary to reduce mess and prevent surface damage.

With the growing preference of PEX over copper fittings, DeWalt has introduced the new 20V MAX 1” PEX Expansion Tool DCE400D2 that is proudly made in the USA. It has a quick-change head feature and can use DeWalt heads or competitor heads as well. It has an oversized trigger for ease of use in tight spaces and an automatic rotating head and LED light.

We then saw some improvements on the growing DeWalt TOUGHSYSTEM modular storage line, which is composed of the DS Carrier as well as several totes and clear cases and tool boxes, as well as a radio and charger. Along with the DS Carrier, the TOUGHSYSTEM boxes can now be neatly organized in the Workshop Racking System, which allows all TOUGHSYSTEM units to slide onto the wall rack in any formation, allowing for excellent workshop organization and storage.

Next we came across the Express Clamping Work Table DWST11556, which has a 1000 lb. capacity, and features an “X-Factor” design that allows for clamping all the way around the perimeter, as well as in the middle of the table in any of the holes. The table has super simple push button close design that can close or open the table in seconds, and a side handle for easy transportation. The table is light enough to be taken nearly anywhere. At only $69 this table will be a great option for any application.

DeWalt then introduced us to their new line of brushless corded grinders, that’s right, corded brushless. What this does is give their corded grinders an ultimate power to weight ratio and longer lasting durability. These new grinders have size-specific guards that are made not to be interchanged with the wrong size tool. They all come equipped with lanyard ready connector points and an anti-lock on feature that prevents the grinder from being activated if it is plugged in with the trigger suppressed. There is a green light on the handle as well that indicates to the user that the grinder is on and ready for use to prevent accidental release. All are equipped with a rapid electronic blade brake.

As for the cordless we saw a new 20V Max variable speed die grinder. This grinder has a 3-speed variable speed switch as well as a variable speed trigger. This allows for ultimate user control and prevents damage to bits. It also includes a bright LED light. We also saw their 4-1/2” grinder as well as their new flathead angle grinder for use in compact spaces. Both are equipped with top safety features like electronic brake.

At the fastening station, we got a first look at the new Mid-Range Cordless Impact that is designed to be a perfect middle between the compact and high-torque impacts. It produces 330 ft·lb of torque and features a new Precision Wrench feature that drops speed as the fastener nears full impact to prevent fastener damage. It also slows speed in reverse when it senses that the fastener is almost released, preventing the tool from tossing it when it leaves the material.

In terms of concrete tools, DeWalt had some new extraction systems to show us for SDS-Plus and SDS-MAX including filter boxes, hollow core dust extraction bits, and large diameter hole drilling extraction. The SDS-Plus filter boxes are designed to fit all SDS-Plus drills. They feature a HEPA filter and auto-cleaning mechanism. DeWalt has also developed a special extractor designed specifically for larger hole drilling in SDS-Plus applications.

DeWalt had a ton of impressive innovations in jobsite connectivity and tool tracking. We were first shown the 20V Max Bluetooth connector, which slides into the bottom of the tool just like a battery pack, and cannot be removed. The battery can then be inserted underneath. Once the pack is attached, it now gives that tool Bluetooth connectivity regardless if it had it before or not. The pack must be taken to an official service center to be removed from the tool, so there is no worry of crooks just removing them. The connector contains a rechargeable coin cell that keeps it running even without a battery pack attached.

DeWalt tools with Bluetooth connectivity can then be tracked in the Tool Connect App designed to be a full inventory management system. This app can track what jobsites tools are on and see the last know location of tools if they turn up missing. They can be equipped with the new Tool Connect Tag that can be attached to any tool ad used to track its last known location.

One of the more interesting jobsite connectivity solutions presented by DeWalt was the Jobsite Wi-Fi Systems. These routers are built tough with an IP67 rating, and are designed for a super simple set up. The idea here is that anyone on the site should be able to set these up without having to call in a specialist. These units can be daisy chained to spread all the way across the site and up floor levels. This system is great for long term jobs that will span many levels where Wi-Fi will not reach well trough many floors and is designed to prevent wasted time from workers having to run back and forth from field to office where they can get connection. This product is very early in its market so we are eager to see how larger companies adapt this type of hardware as jobsite connectivity becomes more and more important.

We had a great time with the DeWalt team in Nashville, as they showed their commitment to their core users and passion for tough tools and jobsite safety and connectivity.

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About Neil Rankin

Can never have enough tools...
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