Author Archives: Jay Amstutz

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

Skilsaw 8” Metal Cutting Saw OUTLAW SPT78W-22

Skilsaw OUTLAW Wormdrive

When it comes to cutting metal in the field there are several different options between bandsaws, grinders, recip saws, chop saws, circular saws, torches just to name a few. A metal specific circular saw such as the Skilsaw OUTLAW SPT78MMC-22 ($319) offers some significant advantages in many different applications, lower sparks than grinding, minimal burrs, cold-cut won’t warp the metal, continuous cutting can make long straight cuts, long blade life, deeper 2-3/4” cutting, collects majority of the metal chips, just to name a few. This 8” saw uses the Skilsaw Wormdrive 15 amp motor that had been trusted for years on the job when power and performance are needed, packed with the Diablo Cerment II blades for a metal cutting dynamic duo!

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At 9:55 AM | Posted in Skil Tools | Leave a comment

Using a Welding Mask to Watch a Solar Eclipse

Save Phace Welding Mask

This Monday the 21st the moon will fully eclipse the sun for a narrow band across the US, during a “complete eclipse” you can actually look at the sun if it’s fully behind the moon without any protection and not be harmed because the sun is completely covered. However if even a tiny sliver of the sun is visible, which will be the case for the other 99.9+% of the country at any given time you will need to wear serious eye protection. You can check out the American Astronomical Society (AAS.org) for legit vendors of “Eclipse Glasses” but it’s not pretty, from their site Note: It is now too late to buy solar viewers in time for August 21st. Virtually all vendors are sold out, whether or not they’re listed as such below. See our pinhole projection page for other ways to enjoy the partial phases of the eclipse.

 Eclipse Shadow Path

Good news is this is just another excuse to buy that Iron Man Welding Mask you’ve been thinking about! Unfortunately you probably can’t order anywhere online and have it by Monday but perhaps one of these masks at Home Depot can be ordered for a local pickup this weekend. While there are a wide range of price points for welding masks the important specification to note is mask must be a 12 or 13 shade for sufficient protection from the sun. Darker the better but at 14 you may not be able to see much. Welding Glasses or Dark Green Face Shield rated IR3 or IR5 are not going to be protective enough for staring at the sun and can cause serious eye damage. ***WARNING*** if the auto darkening doesn’t come on and stay on (with no flickering) you are not protected so make sure it works correctly. 

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At 10:30 AM | Posted in Safety Equipment | 14 Comments

Confined Spaces – On the Job Safety Tips with Safex

Safex Confined Space Training

When working in any confined space there are a wide range of potential hazards and unfortunately has been a source for many worker fatalities in the past. For this reason there are some clear processes and procedure OSHA requires anytime some is going to enter a Confined Space. We have limited knowledgeable in this area but it is a very important topic which seems to raise a lot of questions, so we took a field trip to the Safex Training Facility to get a little better understanding of what processes, procedure, regulation and equipment are involved with working in confined spaces. (more…)

At 11:39 AM | Posted in FallTech, Safety Equipment | 1 Comment

Diamond Edge Cutting Wheels Head to Head

Special Thanks to The Jimbo Slice Workshop for this Guest Post, some great info we think many will find useful!!!

For years we have been using bonded cutting wheels for our metal cutting needs, and for years we’ve understood their limitation and danger. A rotation disc at 13,000 rpms that could explode at any minute. Not only can they break up and hurt users and people standing by, they don’t really last that long. (more…)

At 9:21 AM | Posted in Comparison Tests, Freud / Diablo, Lenox Tools, Milwaukee | Leave a comment

Skilsaw Recip Saw SPT44A with BUZZKILL Technology

SKILSAW BUZZKILL Recip

We have been very impressed with the new SKILSAW professional brand and their departure from the cheaper Skil Tools we were seeing in the market. They have really been creative in utilizing the tried and true Wormdrive motor to expand to high quality metal saws, table saws, larger circular saws and a handful of other nice circular saws all paired with high quality Diablo Blades. This new reciprocating aka “BUZZKILL” saw SPT44A ($99) is their first branch away from a circular saw platform but we are guessing this is the first of many under their new leadership.


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At 3:37 PM | Posted in Skil Tools | 1 Comment

Milwaukee M12 Micro-USB, Car Charger or Solar Power Source

M12 Micro-USB power

For many years Milwaukee has offered the ability to use their batteries to charge your phone via USB. The current M12 Power Source 49-24-2310 ($27) and M18 Power Source 49-24-2371 ($30) are quickly becoming a staple for pros that have Milwaukee batteries as a great way to charge their devices on the go. This new M12 Power Source Micro-USB 48-59-1202 ($49) goes 1 step further and allows you to charge any M12 Battery on the go. (more…)

At 4:42 PM | Posted in Cordless Tools, Milwaukee | 1 Comment