Milwaukee Sawzall Wins the Showdown Every Time

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.

   

At 7:28 AM | Posted in Comparison Tests, Construction Tools, Demolition Tools, Milwaukee, Plumbing Tools, Tool Blogs, Wood Working Tools | 1 Comment

Getting More Out of Your New Compact Power Tools

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.

 

 

At 11:17 AM | Posted in Automotive Tools, Bosch, Cordless Tools, Milwaukee, Plumbing Tools, Wood Working Tools | Leave a comment

Ingersoll Rand Impact Socket Sets

The Ingersoll Rand impact socket sets are extremely well built sockets and can handle the toughest abuse. Each set comes in a hard plastic case which holds the individual socket into place. The cases feature strong metal latches and an easy grip handle for carrying. These socket sets are ideal for service vehicles or any mechanic. Price competitively against even the cheapest knockoffs you might as well spend the extra few bucks and get the Ingersoll Rand quality. Select from the standard sizes 3/8”, ½”, ¾” and 1” available in American (SAE) or Metric. You also have a choice of regular or deep sockets and even a few 1” sets specific to truck maintenance that feature both such as the SK8C5T & SK8H9T 

Currently there are two great specials on Ohio Power Tool for free SK4H13 ½” socket sets with the purchase of either the 1/2" air 2135TiMAX ($249) or the 1/2" Cordless IQv Impact Set W360-LSP ($359). Each great deals on their own but with a $30+ socket set these are some of the best deals on the internet. If you would rather have the ½” metric set SK4M14 you can also place the order by phone and ask to switch for that set instead.  

  

At 4:02 PM | Posted in Automotive Tools, Ingersoll Rand, Top Deals | Leave a comment

Kett Tools – Metal Cutting Equipment

Recently Kett Tools updated their website and added some additional products that were not previously on their former site. Additionally you can now find and download the full technical breakdowns, which is not always the case with many other manufacturers. (If you are looking for breakdowns, here is a good resource to help you find manufacturer’s parts breakdown pages.) If you are not familiar with the Kett Tool Company they are popular for their specialty shears, saws and nibblers. The new site also features videos (see below) highlighting some of the different tools in action, cutting metal sheets, wood panels and cement board.

Tool Kit Highlight: Kett Kit 210
Includes a KD200 double cut shear
Interchangeable nibbler head attachment 1020
Metal carrying case 251-4
$319.50

While the Kett Tool site is strickly informational, Ohio Power Tool is one of the best places on the internet to actually purchase Kett Tools. The site was recently updated with additional tools and shear heads. Additionally any parts or blades you might need not listed on the site simply call 800-242-4424 with the part number and they will get you the parts.

Videos

Double Cut Shears

Cement Fiber Board Shears

D Handle Saw

Pistol Grip Saw

Vacuum Saw

18 Gauge Nibbler

   

At 11:51 AM | Posted in Kett Tools | 2 Comments

RIDGID microExplorer Digital Seesnake Inspection Camera 30063

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)

 

At 2:35 PM | Posted in HVAC Tools, Plumbing Tools, Ridgid | 3 Comments

Power Tool Pinup Calendars

Having grown up around power tools and repair mechanics all my life I have very fond memories of going to the shop and playing with huge equipment I probably had no business near. Luckily I made it out with all my fingers. Part of those memories involves a strange phenomenon where each of the repair guys would have dozens of calendars at their benches. Why would anyone need more than one calendar? Perhaps it was the different tools showcased each month but most likely it was the nice young ladies modeling the tools that might have gotten their attention.

These days the number of annual power tool calendars printed by companies has dwindled greatly. With the consolidation of some of the companies and the increase in political correctness some companies have opted to stop printing calendars all together. I don’t think it was because they were ineffective marketing tools, as a high percentage of these calendars do end up on walls and many even stay up long after December 31st. This is much more than I can saw for any other 12 printed page of marketing material you might get on any other given day.  Ridgid Plumbing Tools continues the pinup calendar tradition started back in 1935 which many other have given up. You can order a Ridgid Calendar from ridgid.com for $10. Years ago these sat in the showrooms stacked up by the hundreds and every tool customer got one. Hopefully the tradition will continue for Ridgid and the few remaining companies that still print the pinup calendars. Plus I don’t want to see Miss Makita of get fired.        

View Full Size Calendar Image

  

At 2:16 PM | Posted in Power Tool Forums, Ridgid, Tool Blogs | 2 Comments

Top Deals Bosch and Ridgid Free Shipping

Ohio Power Tool is having a Free Shipping special for the month of July on all Bosch Power Tools and Ridgid Plumbing Equipment. In addition to the free shipping there are many other deals that really make July a great time to get some new tools.
 

Bosch CPK42-36 – 36 volt Litheon 4 Tool Combo Kit with Free 3rd Fatpack Battery (Good while supplies last) – $497.

  

Bosch PS40-2 10.8 volt Impactor with Free 10.8 volt PS20 (mail-in deal, good until July 15th) – $169

 

Bosch 4405 Slide Miter Saw with the T4B Stand, Plus a Free Jigsaw JS5 (Good while supplies last) – $699  
   

Don’t forget to use the Free Shipping Coupon Code – JULY31 or it won’t show the free shipping price. If you have any problems using the code or would rather just call, no problem. Call 800-242-4424 and the nice people at Ohio Power Tool will take the order and give you the free shipping on Bosch and Ridgid tools.  

   

At 9:21 AM | Posted in Bosch, Ridgid, Top Deals | Leave a comment

Power Tools to Anywhere in the World – International Checkout

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.              

 

At 1:24 PM | Posted in Automotive Tools, Construction Tools, Cordless Tools, Demolition Tools, HVAC Tools, Plumbing Tools, Tool Blogs | Leave a comment

Power Team Hydraulic Pullers – Grip-O-Matic

The Power Team Hydraulic Pullers Hydra Grip-O-Matic line has some serious advantages over previous models and most of the competition. These hydraulic pullers have a built in ram and pump assembly which eliminate the need to attach a hose and use a separate pump, saving time and just making things that much easier. There are 4 models of the Grip-O-Matics including 6 Ton PH63C, 8 Ton PH83C, 15 Ton PH113C and 30 Ton PH303C. All the models feature 2 and 3 jaw settings and the pullers design actually tightens as it pulls to increase the holding force. The size and jaw spread increase with cylinder capacity.

The hydraulic pullers have a wide range of heavy duty applications on bearings, gears, couplings, axles, pulleys, wheels, break drums, shafts and anything else you might need to pull. These pullers are built for one man operation, although the PH303C 30 Ton Puller does weight about 70 lbs and is a pretty good sized piece of machine. The Hydra Grip-O-Matic Pullers currently serve industries such as railroads, shipyards, aircraft, steel mills, repair and maintenance along with many others.   

Ohio Power Tool stocks and supplies a wide range of Power Team hydraulic equipment including all shapes and sizes of cylinders, pumps, hoses, couplers and specialty tools. SPX Power Team is a true leader in hydraulic power equipment and typically our recommendation for most applications. If you need any help selecting the right hydraulic puller or putting together a full hydraulic system feel free to contact the experts at Ohio Power Tool.      

 

At 9:26 AM | Posted in Power Team | 2 Comments

Bosch Acquires CST/Berger Measuring Tools from Stanley Works

On June 11th the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire CST/Berger from Stanley Works. The purchase price amounts to $205 Million for the tool division that had $80 million in sales for 2007 (excluding $10 million in certain European sales). The CST/Berger is primarily focused on laser leveling & measuring tools in the North American markets.

So why is Bosch Tools interested in this contractor oriented brand of laser products when Stanley has apparently lost interest? There are several takes on this, first Bosch is extremely diverse around the world and therefore less impacted by swings in the US construction market. If Bosch can capitalize on the success of CST/Berger in the US and duplicate it around the world they should see a solid increase in sales. Secondly, Bosch has only recently introduced its first professional/consumer measuring tools. If they were to incorporate the products of CST/Berger into the Bosch Tool family and make the price more reachable they could see serious increases in sales from contractors and consumers alike.

What is Stanley going to do with all that money? They actually already spent it and then some to acquire 100% of the Sonitrol Corporation for $275 million. The Sonitrol Corporation provides security services, access control and fire detection to commercial clients. The transaction will bring a new commercial customer base to Stanley’s Convergent Security Solutions business.

John F. Lundgren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "These two transactions are important steps toward advancing our growth strategy and repositioning the company to be less dependent on construction and DIY markets. We continue to be strongly committed to shifting the company’s portfolio into higher-growth, higher-return areas such as electronic security. The addition of Sonitrol, with its iconic brand and strong franchisee and direct sales network, expands the scale of our existing North American monitoring operation, increases our recurring revenue and adds breadth and depth to our electronic security product offering."

The recent down turn in the US construction market has not been an easy situation for many tool companies. It is completely understandable for a company such as Stanley Works to want to diversify their exposure. Stanley’s Bostitch line of air nailers is facing hard times as well with the slow down in new home building. Bosch has not only limited their risk with global reach but they have been in many diverse industries for years including security systems, car parts and even kitchen appliances.    

Bosch is committed to strengthening their power tools brand and there could potentially be additional acquisitions to make in the near future. The immediate slow down will most likely turn around but it has made some companies much more interested in selling it appears.

CST/berger Press Release

Stanley Works Press Release

Bosch Press Release  

 

At 12:06 PM | Posted in Bosch, Construction Tools, Laser Levels | 1 Comment