Will you wear this on the Jobsite? Plus the best Power Tool Reviews! Power Tool Week In Review S4E23

This week, we seek out the holiest of barrel grips. We find a huge pile of tool reviews and Hilti’s mythical exoskeleton FINALLY arrives. THIS is your Power Tool Week In Review!

Philly Fixed | Makita XDT16 vs LXDT01

We have several tool stories for you, starting with Philly Fixed, who decided to put Makita’s king of impacts against it’s great, great grandpa. This is the fabled XDT16, the Makita Impact with more buttons than a shirt, and that is the XDT01, a 10 year old impact, that’s clearly been used… for like 20 years, I’m guessing. The old guy holds a special place in Jim’s heart, as it was his very first cordless tool purchase, something like 30 years ago. The most obvious difference between the two, are the 40 odd features on the XDT. Through rigorous testing, Jim discovers that the new-ish XDT16 might be a bit faster, but as he puts it “I have no problem using this old one”. You can find the full review at Philly Fixed.

Jonathan Katz Moses | Compact Routers

Moving on, whenever Jonathan Katz Moses stops making high end woodworking look easy, and reviews a tool, it’s always worth a watch. But this week he really went overboard and reviewed 7 compact routers in his typical hyper detailed fashion. Now he didn’t limit himself to cordless, but instead just grabbed the routers he uses in his shop every week, which includes the Milwaukee M18 FUEL, a Porter Cable, Bosch, RIDGID, DeWALT and two Makitas. This isn’t a router race. Jonathan is in a unique position to offer insight into how each model works in a fine woodworking environment, and there’s a ton of great advice in this review. So who wins? I don’t want to spoil it for you, but his choice almost feels like the DeFAULT. Go watch it. 

Hilti’s Exoskeleton

Do you guys remember several months back when we first showed you the 3D renders and a single photo of the Hilti wearable Exoskeleton, the EXO-01? Well this week, with no warning whatsoever, Hilti published the first video with actual footage of the gear being used, and it’s packed full of positive reviews by on the job testers. As previously described, the EXO-01 is a passive support system that automatically supports your arms at the elbow joint, alleviating the impact of physically intensive work, apparently winning over a lot of tradesmen who have a lot of overhead work to do. We’ve been excited about this concept since it was first announced but were suspicious of the total lack of video showing the rig actually at work. In the new video, several users mention a learning curve of a few days, but once acclimated to the setup, they say they forget they have it on, and no longer have shoulder pain they’ve become accustomed to. We also now have pricing, which is a solid $1,599. That might seem high to some of you, but when it comes to your physical health, that may be the best purchase you buy this year. If any of you guys end up biting the bullet, let us know, as we’d love to get your feedback. We’ll link to Hilti’s video and website below.

Torque Test Channel | Power loss with small batteries

Ok let’s head over to Torque Test Channel, where they’ve had just about enough with your constant complaints over which battery they use in every test. The mob has decided that the smaller the battery, the fewer the cells. The fewer the cells, that less bandwidth the battery has, so the worse they’ll perform. So TTC Decided to test this theory the only way they know how. With fanatical precision and super cool animation. They focused on a set of Makita batteries, and the results were actually pretty dramatic. Before you grab that tiny battery you should go check this out at Torque Test Channel.

Tool Box Buzz | Barrel Grip

The Team at Tool Box Buzz heard our call last week to the alter of the barrel grip. The boys decided to take a detailed look at the DeWALT DCS335, the Festool Carvex, the Makita XVJ01Z, The Milwaukee M18 and even the Hilti SJT 6-A22. Once again, I’d like to plead with the power tool industry to find a different way to name their tools besides rolling their face on a keyboard. Of course with this being a Tool Box Buzz Head 2 Head, you’ll find clever setups, over-engineered testing rigs, detailed charts and review details that will not only inform, but often teach you things about the tools you never knew. We were surprised not to see the new FLEX Barrel Grip, which has VERY similar stats to these, but it may have just been too new at the time of testing. Either way, this is another fantastic head 2 head from TBB that you should really take the time to watch, even if you’re not shopping for one right now.

Project Farm | Bio Diesel Home Brew

Todd over at Project Farm is brewing his own biodiesel fuel now. Because… He’s project Farm. And I’m guessing that monster RV of his is hungry. What does this have to do with power tools? I don’t really know. I just felt you guys would want to know about it.

Tool Reviews | Round up.

There were several other, *actual* tool reviews you won’t want to miss this week, including Man Caver Tools who wanted a tiny shop vac, and tested the Milwaukee M12 FUEL version.

The boys over at Tools In Action tried out the full line of 40V Outdoor power equipment from SKIL,

and Robert at On the Workbench, pointed us to a 24V Kobalt tool we totally missed. This is the Kobalt Misting Fan, which as Robert points out, was released at the end of summer last year, right when no one needed to cool off. Well Lowes bad timing is our happy clearance deal! Apparently you clip this onto the top of a 5 gallon bucket full of water, and the fan will fill the room with cooling mist. And instead of paying $139, you can get one right now for only $47 on clearance. 

Tool Talk

For this week’s tool talk, we’re going to talk about the subscriber number you see under Belts and Boxes, just below us. As I record this, we’re just over 94,000 subscribers, which we’re pretty excited about. This is the 164th episode of Power Tool Week in review, and before our 170th, we’re likely to hit the big 100k mark. Here at Belts and Boxes we’re fully aware that this milestone is not ours. It’s yours. Because so many of you love tools as much as us, and choose to join us every Friday for some powertool news, reviews and various shenanigans, You’ve built a power tool news channel. And we want to celebrate that. 

Our first thought was to purchase a $1000 GC from Ohio Power Tool, with our own money, to give away. When we asked OPT about that, they insisted on adding another $1000 to it as well. We’re also planning a few tool giveaways too. So my question for you, how can we best celebrate YOU. Do you guys want a chance to win a $2000 Gift card? Or maybe 10 of you could win $200 gift cards? What about a live show? Is that interesting? We want to celebrate this channel, and the fans who made it. If you have an idea on how we can best celebrate, let us know in the comments below. And thanks in advance. 

Last week we revealed a ton of new tools from Milwaukee, Ridgid and Ryobi, which you can watch right here.

We want to thank FLEX and Ohio Power Tool for sponsoring this episode. Guys, we couldn’t do it without you. Have a restful weekend, and we’ll see you next week.

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