Can the Pro Series Xtend and Climb Replace a Traditional Ladder

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.


At 9:07 AM | Posted in Construction Tools, HVAC Tools, Plumbing Tools, Xtend & Climb | Leave a comment

Bosch Makes the Switch from 10.8V to 12V Max Litheon


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.


At 8:59 AM | Posted in Automotive Tools, Bosch, Cordless Tools, Plumbing Tools, Wood Working Tools | Leave a comment

Electric Cars: 1962 Bel Air V28 Battery Powered

It seems more and more people are getting excited about electric cars these days. With cars like the new Tesla Sports Car which does 0-60 in 3.9 and can drive 220 miles on each charge I’m pretty excited about the idea myself… although the 6 figure price tag slows that excitement down pretty quick. How far away are we from plug-in cars that are affordable and priced reasonable? Are the “evil” oil companies really buying up all the new technology, slowing the progress, so they can keep oil above $4 gallon? I don’t know and after watching too many movies I partly believe men in black suits are out there and might find me “expendable” if I start theorizing about that. I will tell you there are many people, tired of waiting for Toyota or GM to figure it out, are building their own electric cars and motorcycles. All over the country people have formed Electric Car Clubs while others share their projects on websites like Instructables or make their own sites like probably isn’t the first stop for most people when they are planning their great EV build. We do however get many questions about the Monster Garage episode which ran a few years ago where Jesse James and the guest crew turned a 1962 Chevy Bel Air into an electric car drag racer which ran solely off Milwaukee V28 Lithium Ion Batteries. Unfortunately there is no footage from that show on youtube. Here is Milwaukee’s short clip of the show (If anyone knows where the full show can be watched online let us all know). Some quick math on the cost; 384 V28 Batteries at $150 each from Ohio Power Tool = $57,600 for the batteries alone but I’m sure you can get a volume discount if you call.      

This type of build might be out of your price range but there are dozen’s of applications power tool batteries do prove very useful. The Milwaukee V28 ($150) and Bosch 36 volt ($142.50) are good candidates, also there is a Milwaukee V18 kit with 2 batteries and charger for $179.   
For more info on the Milwaukee V28 Bel Air here is another good blog post with some details on the systems including pictures from Brian the “Power Tool Geek” View Post Here. Also the original Milwaukee Tool Press Release can be read in full below.

02/03/2006 – Milwaukee Press Release 

Jesse James and the Monster Garage re-power a 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air with Milwaukee V28™ Lithium-Ion batteries!

Milwaukee’s V28™ lithium-ion batteries are getting noticed in more than one way at recent trade shows. Contractors and builders from across the nation checked out Monster Garage’s latest mechanical marvel, a 1962 Chevy Bel Air that has been re-powered to run off of 384 V28™ lithium-ion batteries.

The car made its first public appearance at the International Builders’ Show held recently in Orlando and will be featured on the cable TV show, Monster Garage on Monday, April 10, 2006. (Show airs on The Discovery Channel at 9:00 PM Mondays, Eastern Time)

The car was designed and re-built in five days by cable TV’s car-star Jesse James and his crew at his Monster Garage in Long Beach, California. It did standing quarter-mile runs in 14.533 seconds at 93.3 miles an hour, says Jon Zick, Milwaukee’s chief engineer of new concepts. With racing tires, he says the Milwaukee-red, cool-looking car could do the quarter mile at over 100 MPH!

The batteries in the car were connected in series to produce about 336 volts at 3,000 amps. The batteries drive twin electric forklift motors.

In every day life, the batteries drive Milwaukee’s new line of V28™ cordless tools that includes a portable band saw, impact wrench, Sawzall® reciprocating saw, circular saw and hammer-drill. V28™ users can expect up to 40-50% more power and up to twice the run time when compared with 18-volt NiCd batteries.

Milwaukee will introduce a V18™ 18-volt Li-ion tool system later this summer that will retrofit on existing Milwaukee 18-volt NiCd cordless tools.

View Milwaukee’s original Press Release


At 10:02 AM | Posted in Bosch, Milwaukee, Tool Blogs | Leave a comment

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,
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,
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,
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,
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

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.


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 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