This week, we ask Milwaukee what happened to FUEL. Plus, Robots are back and tying things up, and Makita beats Festool at their own game. With pretty much their own tool. THIS is your power tool week in review.
Jonathan Katz-Moses | Festool Vs Makita Track Saw
Today we’ve got several tool stories for you, starting with an in-depth head 2 head from Jonathan Katz-Moses, who compares the suspiciously similar Festool and Makita track saws.
This is the 36V Festool TSC 55 Cordless Track Saw, and THAT, is another Festool track saw with a Makita sticker on it. Oh wait a minute, no that’s the Makita 36V LXT Track Saw. It just LOOKS like a Festool with a Makita sticker. Because, as Jonathan finds out, it kind of is. The specs, ergonomics, and even performance are almost identical. We’ve heard nothing but extremely positive reviews of these saws in the past, so it’s no surprise that they both do well. But in the end, the Makita is still over $200 less. Something Jonathan can’t seem to get over. For the full review, head over to Jonathan Katz-Moses.
Tool Box Buzz | 10 Year Old DeWALT 12V Screwdriver
Rob Robillard over at Tool Box Buzz has been using a DeWALT 12V screwdriver, for 10 years, and just today decided to share it with us.
This is the DeWALT DCF-610 A 12Volt ¼” screwdriver. Actually, Rob reviewed it 10 years ago, and at the time his focus was the insane size to power ratio. It’s tiny. But it’s designed for pros. That small size meant it fit in really small spaces, but always had the power to get the job done. In its hay day, it could drive 207 2 ½” cabinet screws on that tiny 12V battery. These types of look-back reviews are super useful. Clearly this was a great drill with a ton of unique innovations that were so good, they’re now found across several other brands. Like that fancy grip and the 3 leds. The only tragedy? You can’t buy this one anymore. Unless maybe Rob’ll sell ya his. You can ask him over at ToolBoxBuzz.
Tool Review Zone | The Best Cordles Lawnmower of 2021 that he’s never used.
It’s still early in 2021, but Clint from the Tool Review Zone has already declared a Ryobi to be the best cordless lawnmower of 2021, and he didn’t even need to use it.
Clint took delivery of the all new Ryobi 21” 40 Volt HP Brushless Dual Blade Self Propelled mower, and seeing as he’s here in Ohio as well, he ran into the same problem we have. The yard is a bit more snowy then you might want when testing a mower. But considering the promises Ryobi has been making and meeting with the HP series, it’s hard not to get excited about a mower, even before you use it to cut any grass. For now he walks you through all of the features including a clever battery swapping key, huge 10” powered wheels in the back, a one touch folding handle, and super simple variable speed paddle. WE have to admit, it sure looks nice. And we’re looking forward to his full test when the snow melts. For now, if you want to window shop while dreaming of warm weather and green grass, head over to Tool Review Zone.
Tool Talk | Fuel or no FUEL
It’s time for some tool talk. Last week we talked about power tools you didn’t know your favorite brands made. Matthew Squillante. That name is magnificent. Anyways, Matty reminded us that Makita makes a freak’n electric wheel barrel,
and Shaun Catlett suggested a tool from a brand I’m not familiar with, Norbar, but boy was that a rabbit hole of fun. His suggestion of a Norbar Programmable Pneumatic precision impact wrench lead me to THIS monster. (How To Use an Electronic Torque Wrench on Vimeo) Go look it up yourself.
Earlier this week, Milwaukee finally announced the arrival of the long-awaited M12 23G Pin Nailer. While we expect it to start shipping this month, you can finally pre-order it to make sure you get one first. In the comments, there were an unusual number of people complaining that the new nailer wasn’t a FUEL version, and so I decided to reach out to Milwaukee to ask them about it. If you’re not familiar with FUEL, it consists of 3 technologies. RedLithium Batteries, POWERSTATE brushless motors, and Redlink, a technology that lets the two talk.
As I suspected, when Milwaukee makes a tool, they don’t aim to make a tool as powerful or fast as possible. They aim to make it just slightly more powerful and slightly faster than a pro needs. That’s how they keep expectations high, while keeping prices low. Relatively speaking. In this case, the M12 23G Pin Nailer didn’t need the boost of a brushless motor, specifically because it’s powered by a Nitrogen Air Spring Mechanism and the reality is, this nailer will easily drive up to 1 ⅜” pin nails, which is what most of us need. So why add FUEL, and extra cost?
So for this week’s tool talk, let me know in the comments below, is that answer good enough for you? Will you buy the non-FUEL and get the job done? Or stick with what you have, and wait for a FUEL version, that may never come? I’ll be ready to chat with you below after the show.
It’s time for construction industry news, courtesy of, the construction junkie. Previously, Shane over at Construction junkie told us about a rebar tying robot drone, that was on it’s way to jobsites. This week, we finally get some video of the latest edition, and well, it ties rebar.
This is the SkyTy P3 from SkyMul. That’s M-U-L not M-A-L-L. Turns out they’re not selling these from the seat backs of airplanes. This aerial wonder can float over the rebar, land on it’s giant feet, and then the robotic arm will jump around the grid tying rebar like a champ. This solution is quicker to setup and launch than the heavier ground-based solutions, and on the weekends, it can make some side cash delivering for Amazon. Probably. So if you currently find your joy tying rebar, you should start searching for a new way to break your back, because once again, the robots are coming.
For more on this, and the rest of your construction industry news, visit construction junkie.com
Last week we talked about rare and bizarre power tools, which you can watch right here.
Special thanks to SKIL and Ohio Power Tool for sponsoring this episode! We couldn’t do this without you guys.