This week, we look at the future of track saws, and the Kite Army takes us into the backyard, while Shane takes us into the future of robots on the jobsite. THIS is your power tool week in review.
Workshop Addict | DeWALT String Trimmer
We have several tools stories for you today, starting over at Workshop Addict, where DeWALT is once again trying to convince us to throw out our gas-powered tools. This time, they’ve built a FLEXVOLT powered 17”, that number isn’t wrong, 17” string trimmer. Not even EGO offers a 17”, and that’s a 56 volt platform with enormous batteries. Brian is trying to make a case for only buying OPE tools that use the batteries your tools do, pointing out the obvious benefits of sharing the batteries you already have. But what happens when you try to use high performing outdoor power equipment like a 17” string trimmer? Well, in this case you get 9 minutes of run time at 100% speed in tall grass, with the included 9ah battery. He points out that this is a pretty extreme example, but worth noting. Overall Brian really likes the trimmer, and you can find the full review at WorkshopAddict.
Doresoom | Festool
So it seems that after raiding the patent office for Milwaukee secrets last week, Nate decided to see what Festool is up to, and boy did he find something interesting. There were a few oddities including an led light on a drill that automatically points to the tip of your bit, and Sawstop tech on a Kapex, but the most interesting is a trackless track saw. That’s right, Festool has had a successful line of track saws for so long, they’ve moved on to trackless track saws. Using technology they acquired when they purchased shaper, this new circular saw will be able to make slight adjustments to your blade, keeping it straight, even when you veer off track. Considering the Shaper Origin is $2,500, I can only assume a trackless track saw would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 23 million. Which makes me wonder, is a lightweight track really that much of a nuisance to anyone? I had a TS 55 for years, and never once did I think UGH, I have to grab the 3/4lb track and carry it two feet, just for a straight cut. But hey Festool, you be you. For the full deep dive into all the patent goodness, head on over to Doresoom Tool Reviews.
Kite Army | EGO multi tool
Andrew, Sr. Officer in the Kite Army is back in his backyard, this time playing with the popular EGO muilti head system. This time around he gives you a closer look at each of the available heads, including the cultivator, and brush tools. Beyond the versatility, Andrew details the robust and easy to use connection system that makes this setup work so well. And of course it wouldn’t be a Kite Army review without a brick ton of beautiful b-roll. If you’ve been thinking about getting into the EGO multi head system, this is a great opportunity for you to see it all in action and ask questions of someone who’s used them all. The full details can be found at Kite Army.
Stuart over at ToolGuyd wrote an article about Makita’s new 18V Brushless Wet Diamond Cutter with an adorable water bottle on top… And you can have one!
Unless you’re here in the states. At this point, I’m starting to wonder what Australia has on Makita. What terrible secret are they holding over their head, making them release all the cool tools there instead of here. If you happen to know, reach out to me. This adorable masonry saw has a 5” diamond grit blade giving it a 40mm cutting depth. No clue what that is in the States. WE USE MERICA NUMBERS ROUND HERE!
That water bottle keeps the silica dust at bay, but you can also use an included tube to hook up to your faucet. It can adjust up to a 45 degree bevel, has an electronic brake and an optional rail attachment. If you’d like one here in the states, Makita invites you to print out this picture, roll it up into tube and shove it up your… kidding. At least we can still buy the 3” version here in the states. They gave us the tiny one. You can read more about it at Toolguyd.com.
Milwaukee Tool News
In other tool news, Milwaukee announced 3 new products this week, and not a single one was a lawnmower that rides across your plywood on a track. So, you know.. No thanks. Although when we shared this news earlier this week, a bunch of you spoke up, suggesting the reamer slash screwdriver is actually pretty brilliant, so I guess I have to give them credit for that.
Some other tool reviews you won’t want to miss this week including VCG who takes a closer look at the FLEX Impact Driver,
Philly Fixed stole a new XGT Hammer drill from a Makita rep and forced it to fight a Milwaukee and DeWALT,
and Dave over at Man Caver Tools decided Milwaukee’s 3 drawer packout works better as a cabinet, and I’m not gonna lie. That dudes over there living in the year 3000 while we’re stuck in, well, you know.
Construction Junkie | Baubot
It’s time for a quick stop at Construction Junkie, for your construction industry news, and this week, Shane has a jobsite robot that isn’t happy just taking one job. It wants all of them. This is Baubot, an austrian based robot developed by Printstones, and it’s headed to the jobsite. And thanks to it’s all-terrain tracks it can even climb stairs. Once it gets to the second floor, you just have to tell it to get to work, at which point it can weld, drill, rout, nail, sand, paint, and lay brick. This thing can even 3D print with concrete. All of which is accomplished with different attachments to that robotic arm. And this little guy is strong too. It can haul over 100lbs on it’s back, and claims a battery life of 8 hours. And although it’s still in development, according to their promotional video, it’s already the #1 Construction Robot. For the full video, and a full-on panic attack for tradespeople, head over to Construction Junkie dot com.
Well if that isn’t the perfect Segway into Tool Talk, I don’t know what is. So we’ve featured many different jobsite robots in the past including Spot from Boston Dynamics, and the highly anticipated Hilti Jaibot. But those are fairly limited in scope. This new Baubot is directly imitating the human arm, with plans to replace it. So my question is, does this concern you? Do you think the robot revolution is a pipe dream? Or do you see yourself controlling robots on the jobsite in the future? There’s a fantastic series on YouTube called the Future of Work, that details the coming robotic revolution, and it estimates that nearly 80% of current jobs could be done by robots. But we don’t see the trades talking about this very much. Do you think we should? Let me know in the comments below.