Category Archives: Safety Equipment

Ridgid Explorer vs Milwaukee M12 M-Spector AV – Full Review

Previously we did a post comparing some of the preliminary stats of the Milwaukee M-Spector AV vs Explorer however at that time we were just looking at the numbers from the M-Spector AV press release. Now the M12 M-Spector AV is in stock (at Ohio Power Tool at least) and we can do a more hands on comparison and see some of the differences between the two models.

Right off the bat you’ll see a good size difference in price, Ridgid Explorer 30063 ($690) vs Milwaukee M12 M-Spector AV 2311-21 ($399). So what does the extra $291 get you with the Ridgid and is it worth it? On the surface these two models look very similar, both feature 320×240 resolutin 3.5” screens, 17mm heads and ability to record still images & videos.

The Milwaukee M12 M-Spector AV 2311-21 even has several advantages despite the cheaper price tag. By simply being a part of the Milwaukee M12 line it gets a natural advantage as many people already have batteries, chargers and other tools. The actual M12 battery also lasts longer and charges faster than the Ridgid Explorer lithium battery, although I haven’t heard any complaints about Explorer battery life, it is always a big plus to have more time between charges. The Milwaukee also features a built in microphone for recording where the Ridgid requires a separate microphone.

The Ridgid Micro Explorer 30063 as you would expect for the price, obviously have several advantages over the Milwaukee. A big feature which is very clear when comparing them side by side is the self-leveling feature on the Explorer. This automatically keeps the image right side up which can be important when you are inspecting a pipe that takes a bend or just to keep you sanity. The Milwaukee does have a 180 degree flip option (shown above) which helps sometimes but other times just goes from one awkward view to another.

The Ridgid also wins against the Milwaukee with a much better designed camera head. The Explorer has 4 LED lights vs the Milwaukee single LED light. The head is also a better design with rounded metal face vs Milwaukee’s flat plastic piece. The Milwaukee head makes me nervous because it is very common to see abuse to these heads. The tips get pushed with considerable force to make any turns and all that pressure on that plastic piece… The Explorer also comes with the magnet, hook & mirror attachments (see below) which have proven very useful for specific tasks like pulling wires, recovering dropped screws or jewelry, etc.

The final reason you might pick the Micro Explorer SeeSnake over the Milwaukee is that while Ridgid isn’t building more products to use the same battery they are building products to work specifically with the Explorer. The microDRAIN 33103 for instance is a 30’ SeeSnake reel build specifically to attach to the Explorer and do line inspections. Although the microDRAIN has only been out for a number of weeks it has already had huge success among plumbers. This is the first and only camera that can pass through a toilet trap and is powered off the Explorer power supply. The Micro Explorer also features an expansion slot for future upgrades which, my best guess, could include thermal imaging or other cool technologies.

The verdict, while these two units look similar I would argue they are different enough that there are good reasons to select each. The Ridgid Explorer is a better unit all around but for many applications the added features may not justify the added price. If you need a simple handheld inspection tool you may consider the M12 M-Spector AV 2311-21 ($399) over the Ridgid Micro 31118 ($223) or the standard M-Spector 2310-21 ($249). Also if you need to simply document the inspection with images or video but don’t necessarily need to give the video to a customer the M-Spector AV is a good option. If you are planning to provide a copy to customers I would strongly suggest the Explorer using self leveling and keep them from getting seasick from an upside down spinning videos. Also I would recommend the Ridgid Explorer to any plumber hands down. Even if you are not yet ready to invest in the 30’ microDRAIN there are many additional products that will all be based on this platform coming down the pipe and when you are talking about SeeSnake reels which can cost thousands, paying a few hundred extra now is well worth it.

For many more pictures checkout this Facebook Photo Album. If you have any other questions on any Handheld Inspection Equipment give the professionals at Ohio Power Tool a call 800-242-4424 or email sales@ohiopowertool.com.      

  

At 12:43 PM | Posted in Comparison Tests, Cordless Tools, Electrician Tools, HVAC Tools, Milwaukee, Plumbing Tools, Ridgid, Safety Equipment | 2 Comments

Wordlock – Padlocks and Cable Locks

I love it when a small simple change happens to an everyday item and then everyone thinks “Oh yea that’s pretty obvious, why didn’t I think of that”. Wordlock hasn’t reinvent the lock, they didn’t make it any more secure, they are the priced similar to the competition ($4 – $15) but they did make it easier to remember the passwords and that’s enough to make them a player. The locks all still use 10 digit wheels so the number of total combinations is the exact same as numbered locks and assuming most people will make real words it seems like these would be easier to guess combinations. In reality if someone really wants through a pad lock or cable lock bad enough there are plenty of power tools that will do the job.

I tested out 5 different models of Wordlock locks: a Brass Lock, a Utility Lock, 2 Cable Locks and a Padlock. The Padlock and large Cable Lock features easy to set/change passwords, while the Brass & Utility locks require a key to change the passwords and the small Cable Lock had a set password you couldn’t change. I use several different locks personally, it will be nice to have them all be the same and if I gave out the password for some reason, easy to reset them all.

    

At 4:32 PM | Posted in Construction Tools, Safety Equipment | Leave a comment

M12 M-Spector AV vs Ridgid Micro Explorer (Preliminary)


Just announced, Milwaukee will be coming out with two models of the M-Spector AV, the 2311-21 (17mm head) and 2312-21 (9.5mm head). The M-Spector AV is designed to compete directly with the Ridgid SeeSnake Micro Explorer which has been a tremendous success. The M-Spector AV features match up with the Explorer including 3.5” screen with 320×240 resolution. Both have the ability to record voice over videos, the Milwaukee does comes with a 2GB memory card vs the Ridgid with a small internal memory and mail away to get a Free 2GB card (but $9.95 anywhere). The Milwaukee unit has the ability to rotate live or captured images but it does not mention anything about digital self leveling which is a huge feature of the Ridgid Explorer. The Explorer also has expansion slots which could include upgrades for thermal imaging at some point down the road which I am not sure the Milwaukee offers. Pricing information is not available yet, I imagine it will be in line with the Explorer’s price of $690 or perhaps below. The M-Spector AV is also part of the Milwaukee M12 line, one of the fastest growing and most successful cordless power tool lines on the market today.

I imagine most plumbers will stick with the Ridgid product for the digital self leveling and the fact that it works with the Ridgid MicroDrain to go through toilet traps. That being said the reason the Ridgid Explorer has been so successful is that it has opened up so many new markets. From HVAC, remodelers, electricians, mechanics, inspection, safety, maintenance staff to Biologists studying prairie dogs in Wyoming, the audience is wide open for these new borescope cameras.    

    

At 9:10 AM | Posted in Automotive Tools, Comparison Tests, Construction Tools, Cordless Tools, Electrician Tools, HVAC Tools, Milwaukee, Plumbing Tools, Ridgid, Safety Equipment | Leave a comment

Safety Glasses To Wear On The Job & All Weekend

It is a proven fact if you make safety equipment more attractive people will be more likely to wear it. If everyone is wearing their safety equipment all the time, you will see fewer injuries, saving time and money in the long run. Safety Glasses manufacturer Edge Eye Wear took this idea and ran with it. The Edge Safety Glasses look as good as many of the most popular sunglasses but protect the eyes from jobsite hazards as well as the sun’s rays. Edge was the first to offer safety glasses with features like polarized lens, anti-fog lens, blue light filter, aqua precision, high-definition lens and G-15 lens as options on their eyewear. They have also done extensive laboratory testing to ensure their eyewear meet and/or exceed all safety standards.

Each of the frame styles is also available in a wide range of lenses from clear to Welders IR 5.0, each with a specific task in mind. There are 15+ styles of frames to choose from so it should be fairly easy to match the right lenses with a frame you will want to wear on the job and after. Popular models include: Brazeau, Reclus, Khor, Baretti, Kazbek, Dakura, Delano & Kirova.

Lens Technology:
Clear Anti-Reflective – Designed to keep glare down. Allows 99% light pass through.
Yellow – Enhance available light in low light conditions or after dusk. Allows 80% light pass through.   
Polarized Yellow – Enhance available light in low light conditions or after dusk with added advantage of polarized lenses to eliminate glare and reflections. Allows 36% light pass through.
Amber – High contrast lens for overcast days. This lens also has blue filter properties. Excellent for activities where the light is flat of contrast is minimal, such as skiing. Allows 57% light pass through.
Copper – Filters out blue light of haze which can cause eye fatigue, tired, strained or sore eyes. Specifically engineered as a high contrast driving lens to give greater depth perception. Allows 8% light pass through.
Polarized Copper – Filters out blue light of haze which can cause eye fatigue, tired, strained or sore eyes. Specifically engineered as a high contrast driving lens to give greater depth perception with the added advantage of polarized lenses to eliminate glare and reflections. Allows 12% light pass through.  
Smoke – The perfect all around tint for standard shading in normal light conditions. Allows 16% light pass through.  
Polarized Smoke – The perfect all around tint for standard shading in normal light conditions with the added advantage of polarized lenses to eliminate glare and reflections. Allows 16% light pass through.  
Silver Mirror – Similar to smoke lens properties, but has the added Silver Mirror lens coating which reflects more light, making it ideal for bright light conditions. Allows 13% light pass through.  
Polarized G-15 Silver Mirror – The G-15 technology was designed by the US Air Force to maximize transmission of light at 555nm. Provides contrast and image definition while offering cooling sensation to the eyes. Allows 9% light pass through.  
Blue Mirror – Similar to Silver Mirror lens but more reflective power. Allows 12% light pass through.  
Polarized Aqua Precision Blue – The Aqua Precision lens technology was designed by NASA as a reflective coating for satellite portholes. The Aqua-based color of this lens maximizes clarity and contrast. Allows 9% light pass through.  
Rose Mirror – Reflects light in bright light situations. The Rose color base offers a warm color for the eyes and is coated with a Silver Mirror for additional light reflection. Details are enhanced in flat light. Allows 11% light pass through.  
Aqua Precision Red – The Aqua Precision lens technology was designed by NASA as a reflective coating for satellite portholes. The Aqua-based color of this lens maximizes clarity and contrast. Allows 13% light pass through.  
Welding IR 3.0 – Filters out low levels of intense Infra Red light, such as gas welding, brazing or torch cutting. Allows 12% light pass through.  
Welding IR 5.0 – Filters out medium levels of intense Infra Red light, such as gas welding, brazing or torch cutting. Allows 2% light pass through.  

 All the colored lenses provide 99.9% protection from UVA/UVB/UVC rays. For those with larger heads, like me, check out the oversized Kazbek XL models which have a 152mm front with 120mm at the temples. I’ve been wearing mine around for a few weeks now just as sunglasses when biking and they have been really awesome with better lenses than my old pair of more expensive glasses. Priced from $5.95 to $24.95 it’s not hard to imagine getting a few pairs with different styles and lenses. Contact Ohio Power Tool if you have any questions about the Edge Safety Eyewear.     

   

At 2:46 PM | Posted in Construction Tools, Demolition Tools, Metalworking Tools, Safety Equipment | Leave a comment