We recently got our hands on the Bosch ½” 18V Impact Driver (model #IWMH182) with their new brushless motor. Bosch, among many other brands, are introducing new brushless electric motors for their top end models. These motors deliver more power, less friction, and longer battery life. The package we received came with the drill, two 18v batteries, a charger, belt clip, and carrying case. An instruction manual was included for what I assume is for legal purposes, but that was immediately “lost”.
You can tell once you get the tool in your hand that Bosch Power Tools is listening to the tradesmen. It appears that Bosch has looked at the competition and put together a package that takes the best parts of all their competitors and puts them into one compact driver. The first thing you notice when you pick the drill up is that it is lighter than you would expect, yet it feels solid. The plastic housing feels durable, and gives the feeling of a high build quality. The seams are flush and smooth where the plastic housing comes together. Bosch has included rubber bumpers at all the areas of the tool that might hit the ground when dropped. The rubber guards seem to be better than just glued to the exterior of the driver. I picked at them for a couple of minutes to see if I could get one off, but I failed to make any progress. Based upon all these aspects, it's a good bet that this driver will last you for a long time. I don’t think that it will survive a two story drop, but I also don’t think that you will need to baby this drill.
Durability = 4/5
This driver has it! For a cordless drill, this one delivers a lot of power. It cranks out an effortless 2,213 in/lbs of torque and 3,500 bpm. Over tightening could become an issue and if you don’t watch out, the drill will win. The test unit that I received came with the 18v FatPack battery which lasted me two days of medium use. One of the great things about the new Li-Ion batteries is that they continue to give you the same power output until they are completely out of juice. The driver uses an 18v 4.0amp battery that delivers enough power to satisfy just about any lag bolt application. I tested the drill lag bolts into concrete and I might as well have been drilling into Styrofoam; it was that effortless. The batteries also come with heat sync housing that dissipates heat from the battery for longer run time and prolonged battery lifespan. All of Bosch’s batteries come with Electronic Cell Protection Technology to prevent overheating and overloading for extended tool and batter life.
Power = 5/5
This category is where this driver shines. You can tell that Bosch did their homework in this department. Bosch was able to cut the weight down on the driver to 3.6 lbs while, with the addition of the brushless motor, creating an excellent power-to-weight ratio. This driver is almost a pound lighter than some of its competition and yet still keeps up with torque, bpm, and rpm specs. One of the first comments that I heard people saying after they used the driver was “This drill is light like a Makita, but feels more powerful.”
The Bosch impact driver also has great balance. The grip is perfect; it doesn’t feel too heavy to the front or back. It feels natural in your hand whether you are a lefty or a righty. I also find the Bosch to be slightly more quiet than its competitors. It doesn’t have that big echoing impact noise when the hammer kicks in.
One of the subtle favorites of this drill is that it has a slow start when you pull the trigger. It is not annoying like you may think; it allows you to better control the speed of the driver when you first start up. I found that it really reduces fatigue compared to the other impacts I have used in the past. This slower more controlled start also makes the driver safer. It reduces those jamb moments that try to pull your arm out of socket.
Ergonomics – 5/5
The Bosch driver is appropriately priced at $169. This is a fair price and positioned nicely with other drivers in its category. The kit that I received with the two FatPack batteries, charger, and carrying case can run you upwards of $300. This is a quality tool placed at a competitive price, if you are in the market for an impact driver it is worth your time to check this one out. It comes with a great warranty and a durable housing that will keep it running for a long time to come.
Value = 4/5
Overall = 90%
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of a Craftsman portable table saw, sold exclusively by Sears Holdings from April 2014 to October 2016 for around $200. The specific saw was manufactured in China by Rexon Industrial Corp, Ltd. of Taiwan.
With Sears and Kmart stores slowly closing across the country, Sears Holdings had to sell off their longtime brand of tools, Craftsman to generate cash flow. The buyer turned out to be Stanley Black & Decker (SBD), who also runs DeWalt, Black + Decker, Porter Cable, Bostitch, and others. Late last week, their deal to purchase the tool icon was officially finalized.
An acquisition of Interline, a home repair and maintenance products firm, and a 2 year trial run of delivery services has positioned The Home Depot (THD) to begin offering same day deliveries for professionals.
Daqri, an augmented reality technology company, made waves throughout the industry when they released the heir apparent to the trusty hard hat last year. The Daqri Smart Helmet is part head protection, part computer and is littered with sensors and gadgets that can make a construction job site completely interactive. The helmet puts 3d models, plans, and even a thermal imaging camera on your head and overlays that information onto your real life project. At 3.3 pounds, the helmet is a pretty hefty object, so that’s one of the reasons the company decided to create a lighter, more mobile version of their technology in the form of Smart Glasses.
With the increased push from nearly all major tool manufacturers to ditch the cords and convert your toolbox to battery power, it’s important and interesting to learn about where all that lithium is coming from. Not only are lithium ion batteries in power tool batteries, but, as you probably know, they also power smartphone batteries and electric cars.
Announced at the start of the new year, FLIR has released specs on its new and updated line of thermal imaging devices and accessories. We have talked about the many reasons that contractors should use a thermal imaging camera and the FLIR ONE mobile accessory in the past and it has returned in 2017 with a new Gen 3 Pro Model. They have also announced their FLIR C3, which is the size of a standard digital camera, offering great accuracy and detail in a compact form. Lastly, FLIR is also offering the FLIR Duo, which will remind you of an action camera. Intended to be used on that fancy new drone quad-copter you got your kids for Christmas.
Sears' iconic brand, Craftsman, is leaving the mothership and being bought by Stanley Black & Decker for around $900 million. This announcement comes on the heals of Sears planning to close 150 Sears and Kmart stores nationwide this year. The deal for the 89-year-old Craftsman brand allows Stanley Black & Decker to manufacture and sell Craftsman products in non-Sears stores. Sears will also continue to sell the Craftsman brand in its dwindling retail stores.
For decades and decades, construction and technology didn’t mix. In recent years, companies have been flocking to the underutilized construction industry to try and offer the newest solutions. When we talk about technology, we’re not just talking about computer work, there are tons of new products out there that are challenging the way our industry thinks and acts.
Many of the items on our 2016 technology list are still very much conceptual and will undergo plenty of testing over the next few years, but that’s one of the beauties of technological advances: many are extremely forward thinking.
Until recently, I had no idea that Nike even made field boots, especially ones that could be used on a construction site. The men's Special Field boot is designed by Nike for first responders, military, rescue, and law enforcement, but if you ask me, it would be perfect for the jobsite. Some of the key features of this boot are its lightweight design, flexibility, and breathable materials.