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Category Archives: Makita Tools
At the World of Concrete apparently we spent too much time talking to the Makita girls and totally missed the new addition to the Makita’s Anti-Vibration Technology (AVT) technology breaker line. The AVT line has been very successful in the construction world and as the US (aka California then maybe everyone else) starts to adopt 2005 European Vibration Laws or some form of them there is going to be an even bigger push in that direction. If you are currently looking to purchase a SDS-Max rotary hammer drill or hex shank demolition breakers it is possible a few years from now you may not be able to “legally” use the tool or at least have limited time per day, if it doesn’t meet new codes. The new Makita AVT HM1317CB ($1,170, Ohio Power Tool) is the latest addition in their AVT line up with many exciting features in addition to the low vibration and ease of use. Checkout the full Makita Press Release below.
At 11:16 AM ||
The 6.5″ Makita SP6000K ($368, Ohio Power Tool) has been available for some time now but a new video just came out recently which I think does a really good job of showing just how accurate this saw can be. With professional grade Circular Saws starting at $119 it could be hard to justify spending a little extra on a plunge cut circular saw like this one but for high end woodworking, cabinet making and the like this could definitely be a very productive tool.
At 10:55 AM ||
You may remember the 10” Makita LS1016L we took a look at several months ago. This saw added cut capacity while cutting the actual overall tool profile, making it much friendlier to use. I was really impressed at the time and the obvious question was when does the 12” come out? Chris over at Tool-Rank.com tipped us off today and has all the stats up on his site as well. It looks like it shares many of the innovative features of the 10” but the capacity is obviously larger, up to 8” crown molding (nested). I look forward to getting my grubby little paws on one of these soon because it could be a serious contender for my next miter saw.
At 3:15 PM ||
New from Makita is the Autofeed Screwdriver 6844 ($267.60 Ohio Power Tool) some innovative new features have been combined into this screw gun. Tool-less screw depth adjustment and a capacity of 1-3/4” – 2-15/16” screws make this a very versatile tool. The D-handle and motor placement make the tool very comfortable for extended use and well balanced for working in any position. Dust proof construction and ridgid aluminum casting keep the slide working smooth for the life of the tool. Other features like lock-on trigger, belt clip and anti-tilt make this new Makita one to consider when looking for a new fastening tool. The extension handle 194500-1 ($84 Ohio Power Tool) would be the one accessory to consider which makes the tool even more versatile for many fastening applications.
At 4:54 PM ||
From time to time I like to look at the top professional tools brands and see what they are up to. Typically I’ll go to their various social media outlets to get the updates and I had a though, why not have one place and make it easy to find them all or better yet pit them against each other in a virtual Battle Royal.
Why is social media important for a power tool company? Obviously it’s important for any company to be involved in the communication about their own products. Please make it as easy as possible for us to get info on your company, events, promos, new tools and accessories. Probably one of the best examples of a power tool company using social media (although not part of the showdown) would be the Ridgid Forum, here you get real professionals, company reps and lots of others asking talking about new products, applications, issues, events, etc. Why can’t all of them just have awesome forums where we can talk tools.
Milwaukee Tools – FaceBook – YouTube – Twitter
For years it seemed like Milwaukee Tools was perhaps a little behind the times, they were first out with V28 tools with success but also had some misses. Over the past two years however I have been very impressed with what I have seen from the Red camp. With lots of very innovative new products and some real excitement all the way down the line these guys have good focus on professional customers and do a good job of getting info out in many different channels.
Makita Tools – FaceBook – YouTube – Twitter
Makita Tools I think has understood the idea of being involved directly with customers for some time. Not only do they do a good job online but they tie it all in very nicely with their direct promotions/sponsorships in motor sports, MLS Soccer, the 53’ Experience Makita semi-truck, contests, sweepstakes and of course Miss Makita 2010 & Senorita Makita 2010. If there were a high school for power tools, Makita would probably be the coolest kid in class.
DeWalt Tools – FaceBook – YouTube – Pro Blogs
The Yellow brand is by far the most popular of any tool brand and has been for years. They are focused on FaceBook and YouTube with plenty of good videos available on both. The Pro Blogs are a nice feature of their site. They also tie their online outreach in with DeWalt Racing & NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth which helps get more user/fans involved.
Bosch Tools – (Social What Now)
It is kind of surprising Bosch doesn’t do more with social media. I feel like they do a great job getting info out to magazines and other traditional media. They have innovative new products and build product specific sites like www.boschdaredevil.com so obviously not afraid of being online. They are also good about getting info to other bloggers for new products. The lack of social media has got to be by design and perhaps they just don’t like to toot their own horns but it sure would make it easier for the rest of us to stay up on their products, promos, events, etc.
Who wins… got to give credit to the DeWalt for this one, mainly for their Facebook Page which has a ton of user interaction (and better weapons, photo for the DeWalt M16 from the Facebook page). I’m going to call second place a tie between Makita & Milwaukee, which is kind of a coop-out but I really have trouble picking here. Both are doing some good things in different areas but how do I pick between innovative new products and Miss Makita. Bosch takes a back seat for this round. Social media obviously has zero impact on tool quality but if you use it I guess you expect everyone else to as well.
At 2:43 PM ||
The New 10” Miter Saw from Makita LS1016L is now available and I was lucky enough to get a chance to demo this unit. I had seen different marketing and press information on this unit and to be honest I had pretty high expectations when I finally got my hands on it.
Freakin Laser Beams
The unit I had was the LS1016L, which I am assuming the L is for Laser. Makita did some nice things here where they put a micro adjust on the handle, so you can control if you want the laser on the cut edge or left or right. They also put an on/off switch so you can simply turn it off, brilliant. Let’s spend no more time debating lasers usefulness and simply turn it off if you don’t want to use it.
Sliding Rail System
By having 2 pairs of independent rails, this 4 rail slide system is incredibly compact and does not require a huge work area behind the saw. I tested this unit out on an outdoor workbench behind the shop which would be way to shallow for any other sliding miter saws. This also makes the saw much more compact for travel and easier to carry around. Total weight out of the box is only 52lbs, so that also helped make it easier to lug around. Also either set of rails can also be locked if you don’t need all that travel. Each rail features 6 linier ball bearing and while I’m not sure what other saws have I can tell you the sliding motion on the Makita is exceptional smooth and very sturdy.
Working the Angles
The one touch miter locking system is very clever and easy to use. There are the standard set positions but it is also incredibly easy to lock the saw into any other measurement simply by letting up on the trigger once you have it in position. It does a real nice job of holding the angle, even before you tighten it down. The scale has also been moved to the front, where it should be. The bevel angle is also very easy to adjust using the large rear handle which is very accessible from either side of the saw. The 4-3/4” dual sliding fence features a top and bottom adjustment on either side to really get the perfect support when making beveled cuts.
Making the Cut
This is a of course a 10” saw but is has some features that make it work as good as or even better than a 12” in some cases. The clearance height allows for 4-3/4” vertical clearance or 6-5/8” nested, for crown moldings. The powerful 15 amp motor is angled and out of the way for a clear line of sight on the work surface. The slide action allows for the LS1016L to cut a full 12” wide cross cut at 90 degrees. The electronic speed control maintains the 3,200 RPM speed under load and the Soft Start feature made it very smooth to operate.
Some additional features that make the Makita saw easy to operate are the little extras like the vertical clamp. This clamp can easily be moved around to several fixed locations on the saw and you do not need to secure it to the saw in anyway. As you tighten the clamp to the material it automatically tightens itself to the saw. I could lift the whole saw by the clamp but the second you loosen the material, the clamp is again free to move to another location on the saw. Also I thought it was pretty cool that they made the work surface 4.5”, the exact height of 3 stacked 2”x4”. So for about $2 you can make yourself an extended work supports in a pinch.
Overall the Makita DXT 10" Miter Saw LS1016L lived up to my high hopes. I was really impressed by the quality of production with the heavy base and just an all around solidly built tool. This has got to be one of the best 10” miter saws on the market today and could hold its own against many 12” saws. Priced at $589 on OhioPowerTool.com, which is very reasonable for a professional quality miter saw like this.
At 6:11 PM ||
Makita is the official Power Tool of Major League Soccer and from July 1 – September 30th, 2009 you can ENTER TO WIN a VIP trip for 2 to see your favorite MLS team play an away game. The prize includes hotel accommodations, VIP field experience and VIP seating. The runner up “first place” prize is a Makita LXT Lithium 4 tool combo kit and a framed MLS jersey of your choice. The contest doesn’t cost anything to enter and should only take a few seconds to fill out and pick your favorite MLS team.
Personally I am becoming a bigger fan of MLS soccer and not just because the Columbus Crew won the 2008 MLS Cup. The games are really fun to go to and I think the sport in general is picking up fans across the board. If you aren’t a MLS fan, I am guessing you are at least a fan of power tools so it’s still worth the time to register. Good Luck.
At 1:50 PM ||
Until the end of April if you purchase any of these selected tools show below you get your very own Casey Trailer, Miss Makita 2009! April fools… You actually get the MSR gear she is wearing or your choice of LXT cordless tools.
At 8:04 AM ||
The chart above shows website traffic to each company’s main website. It doesn’t take into consideration tool sales, units sold, product specific websites (ie boschedge.com, boschdaredevil.com, etc) or any other outside factors. The graph simply measures web traffic reported from a 3rd party source. In my mind this is a good measure of what is popular and the overall trend of how a company is doing. Overall I think it is pleasantly surprising that the lines weren’t all strait down. Watch the news or read the paper and all you hear is about how the sky is falling, the economy is in the tank and we are all going back to the dark ages but the year over year numbers are up for 3 out of 4 of the largest power tool companies. Again these are just web traffic numbers and not sales or profit numbers, but that’s still pretty positive I think.
The obvious thing that jumps out is what’s going on with Dewalt? Historically it’s been arguably the most popular tool brand, with tons of very loyal customers however recently the talk in forums has been a little more on the sour side. Black & Decker now owns Dewalt as well as Porter Cable and the overall perception I have read from loyal users is that the quality has definitely come down. The die hard Porter Cable guys are possibly the most unhappy (unfortunately they don’t have their own website; it’s a shared site with Delta and other products so we can’t look at it in the chart). Years ago Porter Cable was considered one of the highest quality professional tool brands on the market, now they are comparable to Ryobi, better for a DIY occasional user.
The second thing that jumped out to me is that Bosch Tools is up 95% in web traffic from last year. That is awesome! There have been some exciting new products including a completely new 18V cordless line, new 12V Max tool and a wide array of new accessories but overall I don’t think this is what is driving the gains. The brand remains very strong, continues to make a high quality product, great innovations in their new products, good marketing and very few layoffs while other companies in general have seen cuts across the board.
Milwaukee Tools also had some serious gains of 26% in web traffic from the previous 12 months. They had probably the biggest product launches with the new M18 lithium ion line and M12 lithium tool line. Both lines I would consider very successful launches.
Makita Tools also had modest gains but without a new complete line of tools to launches I think they did a good job in keeping traffic up with the new products they did have as well as strong promotions and relationships with MLS, Suzuki, Rockstar and sponsored events.
Overall I think these numbers are pretty positive and sure lots of people are just window shopping but I think it’s a good look at the overall popularity of the brands and the trends. There are plenty of other tool brands to compare or you might want to see your site’s traffic compared to your competitors, I would strongly encourage anyone to do some comparisons of your own at www.compete.com.
At 4:23 PM ||
The sweepstake does not require any purchase just fill out the very short form and you are in. If you are worried about get emails from them simply check the box “NO” about emails and they won’t send you anything. The grand prize is 2 motorcycles (RM-Z 450 & RM-Z 250) and 2 Quads (QuadSport Z400 & KingQuad 750AXi) total package is worth $27,000. Not sure why they didn’t spread the love around and do 4 separate prizes but the winner and 3 of his buddies are going to be very happy. Contest ends June 30th and rules say 1 entry per person, per email. Take the next 40 seconds of your life and fill it out, when you win and want to thank me just send one of your new toys, quad or bike I’m not picky.
Check it out: Makita Feel Innovation Sweepstakes
At 8:57 AM ||