Category Archives: Metalworking Tools
We mentioned the overhaul of the Milwaukee Grinders in a recent post and how several of our contacts have been testing them in heavy abuse environments with very positive results. Check out the YouTube video below to see the Milwaukee vs DeWalt vs Makita vs Metabo small angle grinders in action for yourself. These are the 4.5” models cutting into thick steel plate until the motors basically die. The Milwaukee higher 11 Amp motors and overload protection allow the Milwaukee is able to handle the abuse better than it’s counter parts.
At the beginning of summer Milwaukee announced it was doing a complete overhaul on all of its 4.5”-6” grinders promising more power, better performance and better overall tool life thanks to a variety of electronic improvements. In talking to Milwaukee’s product development team they were promising to outperform and outlive any of the pro grinder competition in electric tools. A pretty bold statement from a company whose grinders have historically been ok but never considered class leaders.
Working in conjunction with Ohio Power Tool more than a dozen of these new grinders were placed in high usage environments around the greater central Ohio area with some simple instructions. Use the crap out of them and see what you think. So how do folks like them after the first 4-8 weeks?
We first learned about the DEWALT’s diamond blade DW8500 ($249, Amazon) for cutting metal at last year’s STAFDA trade show and instantly it seemed like a no brainer. Using a standard cutting abrasive disc just has so many flaws. For one they don’t last very long, they get smaller as they are used so it makes cutting large diameter pipe very inconsistent, applying to much pressure binds up the blade, blades can break fairly easily sending shrapnel everywhere and the list goes on. We had a chance to test out the DEWALT Diamond Edge blade a few weeks ago and we were really impressed. Similar speed to an abrasive but no blade binding and no disc shrinkage.
A while back we had a chance to test the Bosch 18V cordless band saw BSH180-01 ($398, Ohio Power Tool) against some of the competition and found it to be a very nice tool. For a long time Milwaukee was the standard but now there are several other players in the field making for some stiff competition.
It was not that long ago (about 2 years) Milwaukee Tools launched a full line of brand new 4.5” to 9” grinders and they are at it again. With 18 new grinder models just in the 4.5” to 6” category Milwaukee is serious about reclaiming a larger portion of this market. It looks as though the new Milwaukee grinders will replace the existing units with several key improvements including tool free accessory changing, improved internal electronics such as overload protection, soft start and Constant Power Technology. The other critical improvement everyone always wants to see is more power output, which is achieved through either a compact 11amp or 13amp motor. These new grinders will be released a few at a time between June and August.
Diamond cutting blades have become common place in the construction world for cutting/drilling into stone, concrete and asphalt. The technology which makes this all possible mixes diamond with various bonds of metal that slowly rub away and expose more diamonds throughout the segment like chocolate chips in a cookie. The reason this technique does not work on metal is because then you end up with metal on metal which will not wear away but instead creates friction and a lot of heat. The diamonds however are more than capable of cutting almost anything.
The relatively new technique (at least for construction blades) of vacuum bonding the diamonds to the blade means all the diamonds are on the outside of the blade and there is only a single layer. In the case of the Diamond Products Cut Core A2Z blades the diamonds are of a higher quality and held in place much longer meaning it can cut metal, rock, concrete, asphalt and just about anything pretty equally. The cuts should be much faster however because it is a single layer the life of the blade is going to be much less in concrete. In this case the chocolate chips are all on top of the cookie not baked into it. For fire and rescue this is an idea blade because it will go through all the materials you might face very quickly while creating relatively fewer sparks and debris.
A few weeks ago we did a quick post and video announcing the launch of the Milwaukee M18 2682-22 5-3/8” metal cutting circular saw. We had a little experience with the unit but still had some lingering doubts about how it would perform in the real world. Then last week one of our local contacts purchased one of these saws (tool only 2682-20, no Red Lithium batteries) so we pitched in a free blade and asked them to test its limits. Honestly we were a little nervous for the results because we knew they were not going to be nice to this tool.
Last summer we were lucky enough to get to test out this new metal cutting circular saw 2682-22 ($349, Ohio Power Tool) and while it was still in its prototype form it was very impressive. For such a compact light weight tool it was very powerful for cutting through metal strut, threaded rods, pipe and others metals with up to a 2” clearance. Battery life is reported at 200 cuts per charge on the new Red Lithium XC batteries, up to 40% longer than the competition. Cutting visibility is also very well thought out thanks to the clear cutting window and LED light. While we probably won’t see one in every home in America this saw definitely has a place among several professional trades, and it appear Milwaukee remains committed to developing new products for those trades specifically.
Checkout all the Milwaukee M18 Tools at Ohio Power Tool and for more info on the Milwaukee Metal Cutting Saw 2682-22 check out the video below and the official Milwaukee press release below that.
This could be a nice acquisition for Fein, headquartered in Germany as their line of portable magnetic drills are not that popular, in the US at least. Jancy is the number two line in the US market behind Hougen Manufacturing so it will definitely give Fein a nice foothold here in the states. Jancy, based in Iowa, sells their machine under the popular name Slugger. It does not look like Fein is planning to make any great changes in management at this point but at the same time they probably didn’t make the acquisition just for business as usual. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Read more at Construction Supply Magazine.
Hougen Magnetic Drills are some of the most popular on the market and arguably some of the best. Doug Hougen patented the first Rotabroach Annular Cutter back in 1973 and since then a whole industry has obviously taken off. If you are in the market for a new Mag Drill now is a good time. Until the end of this month 2/28/2011, you can take advantage of this mail-in rebate promotion for your choice of: Drill Chuck & Adaptor, Twisted Drill Adaptor Kit, 1” Arbor Extender or 2” Arbor Extender. The promotion is good with the purchase on any of the Hougen HMD904 or HMD914 models.