As tools are continuing to drop the cords and move more towards battery power, the race is on to not only have the battery with the biggest runtime and most power, but also the lightest and most compact. Milwaukee and DeWalt seem to be battling it out at the top for the power and runtime category with the release of DeWalt’s 20V/60V FLEXVOLT battery and Milwaukee’s 9.0Ah 18V battery, but Makita has recently emerged as the company to beat in the light and compact 18V competition.
In the past, the compact tool market was dominated by 12V tools, offering a lot of convenience, but less power than some of your tougher jobs may require. With Makita now creating a new class of compact and utilizing their 18V batteries while doing it, tool users will get the benefit of using the same 18V battery that their other favorite Makita tools use, but the size and convenience of the 12V tools. That reduces the need for different batteries, different chargers, and even a different size of the same tool.
The first two tools released in Makita’s new LXT Sub-Compact Brushless tools, as they are calling them, are the 18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless ½” Driver-Drill (XFD11ZB) and the 18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless Impact Driver (XDT15ZB). Here’s the quick specs:
18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless ½” Driver-Drill (XFD11ZB)
- Weight: 2.8 lbs with 2.0 battery
- 6-3/8” long
- 0-500 & 0-1,700 RPM
- 350 in-lbs of Max Torque
18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless Impact Driver (XDT15ZB).
- Weight: 2.6 lbs with 2.0 battery
- 5-5/16” long
- 0-1,300/0-3,000 RPM & 0-1,600/0-3,900 IPM
- 1,240 in-lbs of Max Torque
Compared to the 12V versions, you’ll get roughly the same tool specs, but in a new black color. Makita currently only offers a 3/8” Drill/Driver in the Brushless 12V variety, so it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. The tool lengths are roughly the same (18V drill/driver is 5/16” longer, impact driver is the same) and the 18V are a tad heavier (18V driver-drill and impact driver are each ½ lb heavier). The 18V driver-drill does have a higher RPM (0-450 & 0-1,500 vs. 0-500 & 0-1,700) and more torque (280 in-lbs vs. 350 in-lbs). Utilizing the 18V system will definitely increase the wattage of the tool, however.
The cost of the new tools falls between the 12V line and the full size 18V line. The combo kit, which includes the drill-driver, the impact driver, (2) 2.0Ah batteries, charger, and bag retails for $229 (you can get it here on Amazon). It also appears to have replaced Makita’s 18V compact line, which came in white, as they are shown to be discontinued on Makita’s website.
While you may not be able to toss your current full-size 18V drill-driver and impact to the side just yet, these new sub-compact tools are a step in the right direction, especially since it can eliminate the need for the 12V battery platform.
What do you think? Will you be investing in Makita’s new sub-compact tool class?
On August 18th, around 200 new tools were showcased at the annual DeWalt Media Event. This particular event was held in Nashville, Tennessee, where you can’t escape country music no matter how hard you try.
Below are what we thought were the highlights of the event. Let us know what new release you’re most excited about!
In June, Milwaukee Tool hosted its annual New Product Symposium, which gave members of the media a sneak peak of the new products the red tool manufacturer would release the rest of the year. One of the highlights for us in the M12/M18 category was the ultra-portable and convenient 7 ¼” Cordless Miter Saw.
I’ve recently been following a channel on Youtube called Hand Tool Rescue and it’s been fascinating to learn the history of antique hand and power tools. I didn’t realize how long ago many power tools – most of which we still use today – were created. It’s perhaps even more fascinating to watch a rusty old machine that hasn’t been used in decades be completely restored to working condition. His videos don’t have voice overs, so you have to pay close attention to his methods, but every step of the process is shown.
Many contractors and repair technicians live out of their truck and Milwaukee Tool knows this. That’s why they’ve just released an M12 and M18 battery charger that plugs into the c12V DC outlet in your truck or van! As added security, the charger will automatically shut down if it senses that your vehicle’s battery is getting too low. Smart and ultra-convenient.
We know a lot of you out there could use this charger, so we teamed up with Milwaukee to give YOU the chance to WIN one! There are 4 ways to enter below!
It’s pretty amazing all of the things that smartphones can do right now. While some wish phones would go back to “just making dang blasted phone calls, like the good ole days,” it’s clear that phone’s will always be more than that moving forward. Through apps and other attachments, phones can now turn into a thermal imagine camera, an x-ray vision scanner to see what’s behind walls, a laser measure, and now an augmented reality tape measure.
For many construction superintendents and project managers across the world, tablets are becoming one of the most important tools on the job site. They’re great for looking at plans, taking pictures, making notes, and running your favorite construction apps. Carrying a tablet does take up at least one of your hands, however, so it can be a hindrance if you need to help a co-worker lift material or climb a ladder.
In today’s race for most powerful cordless tools, it’s important to remember the humble beginnings of hand tools, especially those with mechanical parts. Much like cars of the early 20th century, mechanical and power tools were simple machines, as opposed to the heavily electronic tools that are becoming popular now. Easy to understand and easier to repair.
High demand battery packs have allowed many construction workers ditch the cords on jobsites throughout the country, by providing more power and longer runtime. As with any battery packs, it’s important to follow safety warnings, but with a higher capacity can sometimes mean greater consequences when those warnings are not followed.
Fiskars was first founded as a Finnish Ironworks company in 1649, making it one of the oldest companies I have heard of that is still going strong. Recently – relatively speaking - in 1967, Fiskars made a name for themselves with their orange handled scissors. Noted for their build quality, sharpness, and durability, these scissors quickly became an industry standard and a leader in the category. Since then, Fiskars has expanded into other areas of the home and outdoors. You may also recognize the name Gerber, as this is one of the brands Fiskars sells under.
Every now and then a new product comes along and you ask yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?!” The OVAL Fire Extinguisher is just that product. Architecture and interior design have been moving towards cleaner lines in their spaces. Foregone are the days of bulky protruding water fountains (bubblers for my northern friends) and fire extinguisher cabinets. Interior designers are looking for cleaner and sleeker interior spaces but the 10lb fire extinguishers and cabinets have not changed for quite some time. OVAL is about to change all that.