Author Archives: Jay Amstutz

CS Unitec TwinMix 1800 Reduce Silica Dust Mixing

Mixing Concrete Silica Dust

If you’ve even mixed concrete, morter, leveling compound, plaster or any dry bagged products you have probably been on the inside of a large silica dust cloud, it was nearly impossible to avoid with traditional methods. The new OSHA Silica Dust Rules, Table 1 applications don’t provide an exemption for mixing with bagged goods because staying under 50 PEL in this application has been very very challenging to do safely.

The CS Unitec Eibenstock TwinMix 1800 ($1584) is the first solution we’ve seen that virtually eliminates visible dust from this process for mixing mortar, leveler, plaster and other bag goods. It does need to be attached to a vacuum CS1445 H ($599) or similar HEPA vac, not included. What we like most about this entire setup is that it actually improves efficiency on the job, as you can see in the video above, the cart easily detaches from the mixing station to get right where needed and easily pours. The system allows for continuous use with multiple carts going in succession, as we look to make these products safer for workers it is essential to see them become more efficient as well so they become welcome changes for the users. (more…)

At 4:52 PM | Posted in CS Unitec | 1 Comment

2017 Pro Tool Innovation Award WINNERS!!

2017 Pro Tool Awards

The 2017 Pro Tool Innovation Awards proved to include some of the toughest calls we’ve ever had to make. After all, innovation doesn’t squarely fall to the highest performing tools. It’s about making them better in small steps and occasionally giant leaps. But thanks to a team of judges spanning the trades and the country, we finally got it all sorted out. (more…)

At 12:00 PM | Posted in Tool Blogs | Leave a comment

Milwaukee RedLithium USB Lights & Battery System

Milwaukee RedLithiumUSB

Just hitting the streets recently Milwaukee has 3 new LED personal light solutions using the new REDLITHIUM USB battery platform. We saw these light first at the New Product Symposium (#NPS17) and they have been in very high demand for pre-sales. The 3 options include a 475 lumen Hard Hat Light 2111-21 ($59), 445 Lumen Rover Flood Light 2112-21 ($59) and a waterproof 700 lumen flashlight 2110-21 ($69). These are just the first of what we are guessing will be many new tools for the REDLITHIUM USB platform.


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At 12:07 PM | Posted in Cordless Tools, Milwaukee | Leave a comment

Dewalt FlexVolt, A Tale of Two Voltages

Dewalt 20V vs Flexvolt

It’s been just over a year now since we first saw the Dewalt FlexVolt opening lineup and learned that Dewalt was investing heavily into yet another new battery platform. It would be backwards compatible with 20V however users would need to invest in all new batteries to use their new FlexVolt tools. The initial response from many of the Team Yellow faithful was “not again”. Now that the dust has settled it seems as though the adoption is picking up and Dewalt is continuing to release new professional tools on both 20V and FlexVolt platforms. (more…)

At 5:34 PM | Posted in Cordless Tools, DeWalt Tools | Leave a comment

2017 Vacuum Comparison Test, OSHA Silica Table 1

Vacuums Comparison Testing

*** Important to note we are not testing if these vacs meet the OSHA Standards, we are only testing usability & performance. We are relying on the manufacturer testing to be accurate in that all 6 competitors do meet the standards!

The new OSHA Silica Standard is officially now a finable offense, having been in effect for over a year already they were not issuing fines before September 23rd, 2017, that has now changed. We have previous covered several topics related to this new standard including What is OSHA Silica Standard, what are steps can you take for your Company Silica Assessments and what is the Difference between Table 1 vs Objective Data testing. This topic is huge and worker safety is extremely important which we could never cover it all but we did want to take a deeper dive into what is one of the most important components, the Dust Extraction Vacuums used as the center piece for many of engineered controls.

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At 4:50 PM | Posted in Bosch, Construction Tools, CS Unitec, Demolition Tools, Makita Tools, Metabo Tools, Milwaukee, Safety Equipment | 6 Comments

M18 DrainSnake, M18 SwitchPack & M12 AirSnake

We saw these new Milwaukee Cordless Drain Cleaning solutions at this year’s New Product Symposium (#NPS17) we did leave there with a few questions and recently we had the opportunity to have Morgan in the shop and address some actual usability questions, pricing questions and try to get a glimpse into how deep Milwaukee plans to go into the Drain Cleaning. Below is our chat with Morgan and below that some additional info now available from Milwaukee, including their official product videos.

M18 Drain Cleaning (more…)

At 5:24 PM | Posted in Cordless Tools, Milwaukee, Plumbing Tools | Leave a comment

Ridgid 18v Cordless Air Compressor, 1 Gallon R0230

Ridgid Cordless Air Compressor

We recently had the opportunity to spend a few days with the Ridgid 18V Air Compressor R0230 ($179, bare or $299 kit) and really had some initial doubts about how practical it was to put batteries on an air compressor or how useful that might be. We’ve been using a Porter Cable 4 gallon for many years and since we’ve gotten our hands on various cordless nailers have really used it less and less. Currently the only other cordless air compressor on the market is the Dewalt FlexVolt DCC2560T1 ($299, Kit) which we will look at as well.

Cordless Air Compressor (more…)

At 8:32 PM | Posted in Air Compressors, Cordless Tools, DeWalt Tools, Ridgid | Leave a comment

Hitachi Multi-Volt 36V Tools in 18V Battery Package

Hitachi MultiVolt

Well it looks like Hitachi (which yes is now the same company as Metabo) has launched a Multi-Volt platform very similar to the Dewalt FlexVolt which can pull more power when needed but then still work with all the 18V tools. The big difference here is it is in a traditional 18V package with 2 row of cells not 3 rows like you would see with FlexVolt or Milwaukee 9.0Ah. Certainly an Multi-Volt 2 battery system for 72V would also be possible. Very interesting so far we just have this video in Japanese to tease us…

At 5:34 PM | Posted in Cordless Tools, Metabo Tools | 3 Comments

Makita 18Vx2 Brushless 6-1/2″ Track Saw XPS01

Makita brushless track saw XPS01

Recently we had the opportunity to attend Makita’s New Product Event where we got to see a handful on exciting new Makita products launching over the next several months in woodworking, concrete, outdoor power and many other categories. One product that was really a big launch for us was the Brushless Track Saw XPS01Z ($349,bare) or XPS01PTJ ($499, kit). If you’ve ever used Makita’s corded track saw SP6000J ($349) we’ve got good news if you liked it, bad news if you didn’t, they are very very similar. And the 55″ & 110″ tracks as well as all the other accessories are completely interchangeable.

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At 4:21 PM | Posted in Cordless Tools, Makita Tools | Leave a comment

Table 1 vs Objective Data – OSHA Silica Rules

Concrete Dust Cloud

Now that we are less than a month away from the September 23rd deadline we are seeing a lot more interest about the new OSHA Silica Rules which is good that people are taking this seriously. One of the big debates that has recently popped up, some manufacturers are telling their own customers that they will not support “Objective Data” and everything must be “Table 1”. This is also a commitment to not look at all the options for the safest possible solutions or to develop new tools/solutions in many key areas. The good news is OSHA (the people who make the decisions) wrote a pretty clear 26 page document §1926.1153 which provides 3 ways to be compliant for companies who will continue to innovate in this space; Table 1, Objective Data and Self-Monitoring Program.    (more…)

At 11:30 AM | Posted in Milwaukee, Safety Equipment | Leave a comment