THIS week, we see some new PACKOUT, a pile of new tools reviews, and talk about tools using batteries from other brands. This is your Power Tool Week In Review!
Shop Tool Reviews – Milwaukee PACKOUT Mechanic’s Set
Starting with Tim over at Shop Tool Reviews that got his hands on a unique Milwaukee PACKOUT kit that a LOT of you have been waiting for. THIS, is the Milwaukee 106pc Packout Mechanics Tool Set. Ever since Milwaukee’s PACKOUT system took off, fans have been asking them to offer them prepacked with tools. These mechanic’s sets are some of the first. This set includes a complete set of SAE and Metric ¼” and ⅜” drive sockets, a 90 tooth ratchet for each, and a few extensions. The sockets are the popular square design that won’t roll off your table, which is nice, but the real feature here is the convenience of having it all laid out in a single low profile PACKOUT, which makes it super easy to take with you. But as Tim finds out, it’s probably best not to mount it vertically. Now of course being Milwaukee, the tools are nothing but Heavy Duty, which includes the impact on your wallet. The Set retails for $299, but as Tim points out, it’s been seen for a little as $249 if you do a bit of hunting. But considering the lifetime warranty, is it worth it? If you’re already a packout addict, easily.
ToolGuyd – XGT Track Saw
Stuart over at ToolGuyd.com uncovered the Japanese reveal of the long-rumored Makita XGT tracksaw. The 36V LXT track saw has been an industry favorite for a while now, so ever since Makita announced they’d be offering a completely different battery platform, that’s slightly better than their other platform… still trying to figure that out…. We all assumed this saw was coming.
The most interesting part, as Stuart found out, is that the new XGT version has a listed max rpm of only 4,900, which is 1,400 LOWER than its LXT sibling. Now that’s presumably a no-load number, leading Stuart and his commenters to speculate that maybe the motor is new, and brings a higher torque rating, which may result in higher under-load speeds.
Of course, this also means you’ll be using a single 40V battery instead of two bulky 18v, which would likely lead to shorter run times. But according to the press release, the XGT version will feature a 10% increase in cutting efficiency. We’re gonna have to wait for someone to test it themselves to know how exactly this will stand up to the LXT. The comments over at ToolGuyd.com are full of some really fascinating theories, so I highly suggest you read the article.
Tool Box Buzz – HPT Trim Router
Rob Robillard over at Tool Box Buzz is testing the popular Metabo HPT platform again, this time putting their new Trim Router through its paces. At 10 to 30,000 rpm, and both 1/4in and 3/8in collets, this trim router has quite a range. But at only 2.5 lbs, it’s incredibly portable and offers precise control.
The most significant feature on this guy is of course the Metabo HPT trio of power options, letting you choose between one of their lightweight 18V batteries, a larger Multivolt battery, or in a pinch, even the AC adapter that lets you plug it into the wall. Rob put it through all kinds of materials, including mahogany, and was never left needing more power. It’s not perfect, Rob had a few ergonomic issues including accidental power button presses and a dust hood that was too easily pulled off, but overall, this router ticked off just about every one of Rob’s boxes. You can see the full video with a link to the article at Tool Box Buzz.
Oz Tool Talk – Flexvolt Advantage
More thunder from Downunder this week, as the boys stayed up late and braved the Australian Winter, (Guys, it’s Summer, try to keep up ok?) and finally put their Aussie paws on a DeWALT circular saw backed up with FLEXVOLT Advantage power! If anyone can put this saw through it’s paces, it’s Mike and Dwayne. They were using it for several different tasks, including using multiple cuts to get through some 6×6 beams. But when the work was done, what did they think? Mike said “Crack’n saw. I stink’n love it. I’d use that all day every day and it might just be coming home with me.”
Philly Fixed – Makita vs Metabo HPT Sub-Compact Showdown!
Jim over at Philly Fixed continued his Subcompact Showdown series this week, with the Makita XDT18, and the Metabo HPT. Jim ran these two through his typical screw and lag bolt tests, drilled a bunch of big holes in 3 grand worth of 2x4s, (So like, 2.) and eventually gives us numbers for both, and compares his experience to the Ryobi and Ridgid he tested previously. Jim still has 2 more subcompacts to test, being a Milwaukee and DeWALT. So be sure to go get subscribed over there so you don’t miss it.
Man Caver Tools – Ridgid vs Ryobi
Over at Man Caver Tools, Dave decided to take two popular middleweight brothers from, well, the same mother, and put them to the test, including the new Ryobi One+ HP impact, against the now-defunct Ridgid Octane, both using their 21700 cells to push their brands into power territory previously out of reach. And as I mentioned, both “Orange” Ridgid and Ryobi are owned by TTI, so this is more a family feud than an all-out brawl. After Dave puts them through his typical run of tests, he feels the Ryobi does a slightly better job, which may be why RIDGID bailed on Octane a few months back. This match-up has lead to some really fun comments so be sure to leave your two cents after you watch the full review.