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.
We were joined by many of the tool industry’s social media stars, including our fast friends Rob, Josh, and James from JBKnowledge's the ConTechTrio Podcast, Ethan Abramson, who makes some pretty slick custom furniture, Old Town Home’s Alex Santantonio, and Neil from Cop Tool, just to name a few.
Below are what we thought were the highlights of the event. Let us know what new releases you’re most excited about!
60V 7 1/4" Left-Bladed Framing Saw
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who prefer their circular saw blades on the right side of the saw and those who prefer it on the left. DeWalt got many at the event pretty fired up when they announced the left-sided 60V MAX 7 ¼” Framing Saw (DCS577T1), which is “similar” to a worm drive saw. They currently also have a 20V and 60V 7 ¼” right-sided blade circular saws.
One things for sure, this saw packs some power. As you can see in the video below, a rig was created to pit the new framing saw against Makita’s also-powerful 36V left-sided blade, and the age old favorite, the worm drive Skilsaw. Obviously, the company is not going to set their saw up to fail with a bunch of media present, so we’ll hold off on saying which saw is better until we can get a closer look.
The 60V MAX* FLEXVOLT® 7-1/4” Framing Saw (DCS577T1) will be available in the fall of 2017 for $259 as a bare tool, $369 with the DCB606 battery ($149 on Amazon) and charger, and $399 with the DCB609 battery ($139.82 on Amazon) and charger
Nailers, nailers, and more nailers
DeWalt went all in on 20V cordless nailers this year, as they’ve released a 15GA Angled Finish Nailer, an 18GA Brad Nailer, an 18GA Flooring Stapler, and an 18GA Narrow Crown Stapler.. DeWalt’s cordless nailers have always been one of the most consistent brands on the market and these new nailers seem to continue that standard. They’re ergonomic, well-balanced, powerful, and accurate.
All of these nailers are available now:
20V MAX* XR® 18 GA Brad Nailer (DCN680B) $249 bare, $299 kitted with 2Ah battery
20V MAX* XR® 18 GA Narrow Crown Stapler (DCN681B) $249 bare, $299 kitted with 2Ah battery
20V MAX* XR® 15 GA Angled Finish Nailer (DCN650B) $319 bare, $399 kitted with 2Ah battery
20V MAX* XR® 18 GA Flooring Stapler (DCN682B) $319 bare, $399 kitted with 4Ah battery
New Storage Solutions
DeWalt’s ToughBoxes and Toughsystem are getting some upgrades this year, as well. The ToughBox Job Site Chest and Piano Box are for heavy duty users looking for a heavy duty storage unit. Each are built with 16 gauge steel bodies, 14 gauge steel floors, and 11 gauge steel skids for easy transport with a forklift. Some other nice features are rubber grommets in the rear to allow electrical cords to pass through to safely charge batteries and a 2,500 pound static weight capacity. The chest stands 34.5” high and comes in widths of 36”, 42”, 48”, and 60”. The piano box is 49” high and comes in widths of 49” and 61”.
If you’re already invested in the Toughsystem storage boxes, these units have been designed to accommodate those boxes, as you can see in our video below.
The @DEWALTtough ToughBox Job Site Chest and Piano Box are both made to fit the Toughsystem storage cases. The chest also closes quietly. The chest had been hit a bunch of times with a crowbar earlier in the day to show off it's toughness. It was loud, but I'm not sure what other purpose hitting it served.⠀ ⠀ #dewalt #dewalttough #toughinthesouth #jobsite #toolstorage #teamyellow #construction #constructionlife #superintendent #foreman
Speaking of the Toughsystem, it also got a bit of an upgrade. There weren’t any new storage boxes announced, but DeWalt did unveil a new van racking solution, which is a great looking solution for your work fleet. It’s certainly less expensive than a custom van racking solution and will keep your tools and materials much safer and organized.
The racking system includes (2) crash tested telescopic metal bars, (3) sets of reinforced brackets that are compatible with all ToughSystem boxes, an adjustable tie bar for extra strength and stabilization, and (4) floor connectors for attachment into the van floor. Two different sizes will be sold starting in September in order to accommodate different van sizes: 62 7/8” high and 82” high and will be priced between $199-299.
Hand Tools are Still in Style
As much as manufacturers are trying to push everything to battery power, hand tools are still seeing major improvements every year. Some of the highlights from DeWalt this year are the 35” XP Tape Measure, the Carbon Fiber Squeeze Tacker & Hammer Tacker, and the pocket sized 30’ Laser Distance Meter.
DeWalt went on a major marketing campaign after the launch of their made-in-the-USA 25’ XP Premium Tape Measure earlier this year, one that they’re touting as the toughest on the market. There’s no doubt its tough, with 13’ standout and a heavy duty case, but that toughness also came with a price ($30 retail). At this year’s event, the team unveiled a new 35’ tape and also announced plans to release a 16’ tape in 2018. The new 35’ tape will retail for $39.99 and be available sometime in the fall.
The Carbon Fiber Squeeze Tacker and Hammer Tacker were lightweight and easy to use. The Squeeze Tacker promises up to 25% less muscle fatigue and accepts 18GA brad nails (1/2” and 5/8”0 and heavy-duty staples (1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 1/2”, and 9/16”). The Hammer Tacker was also light weight, promises vibration reduction of up to 45% and 25% less muscle effort. It can drive 5/16”, 3/8”, and ½” Havy Duty Staples.
The 30’ Laser Distance Measure (DW030PL) was given to everyone in attendance. It will be a handy tool for anyone to have on hand, as it’s lightweight and super small, measuring in at 2.5” long, 1.25” wide, and .75” deep. It’s also the only pocket sized laser measure that has a USB rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It’s perfect to carry with you for small jobs and, at a price of $19.99, it won’t hurt your wallet either.
DeWalt 2x20V Lawn Mower
I was excited to see a new DeWalt mower on the sales floor for personal reasons rather than for construction, obviously. I’ve been wanting to buy a battery powered mower for a little while now, but just couldn’t bring myself to invest into yet another battery platform, such as Ego, Stihl, or Greenworks. The mower was only out on the floor for long enough to snap some pictures, as it was mysteriously moved to the back room soon after the event started. There were immediately a lot of questions and unfortunately the landscaping team had to be at another event that day.
Nevertheless, we were able to gather some more details about the unit, including that it will retail with (2) 5.0Ah batteries for $399 (DCMW220P2) and be released in early 2018, just in time to start mowing the lawn again. (2) 20V batteries will be necessary to run the unit, which features a 20” metal deck.
Jobsite Tough WiFi Routers
DeWalt stepped way outside the tool box earlier this year when they announced that they would be entering the world of construction jobsite WiFi. A series of wireless mesh network routers not only makes sure contractors are adequately connected to the increasingly internet dependent jobsite, but also opens a world of possibilities for sensors and data points to increase productivity and quality of a job.
Many new details were announced during the event, including cost, setup, and efficiency. Once an internet connection is established on a job site, it will need to be connected to the series of jobsite tough access points in series.
One access point, which will cost $1,499 each, covers roughly 10,000sf and can cover multiple floors, if each floor is small enough. The connected jobsite team promised a signal degradation of only 10%, or in other words, the last access point in line will still have 90% of the internet signal as the first one in line. The access points are IP67 rated for water and dust resistance, so they are able to be left outside. This initial release focuses mainly on first establishing internet connection throughout the site and ease of initial setup, but the team was pretty hush-hush about future plans, including sensors and other data compliers.
DeWalt Tool Connect
For a while, Tool Connect consisted of a Bluetooth enabled battery that could shut itself down if stolen. In May, DeWalt announced a major expansion of Tool Connect with Tool Connect Tags, Connectors, and tools. For those familiar with Milwaukee’s ONE-KEY, there are a lot of similarities, but also some major differences. We were able to get hands on with the new Tool Connect tools and accessories while at the event.
First, it’s important to clarify that Tool Connect or any other any location services other tool manufactures currently provide are Bluetooth related and not GPS related. The tools and functions will work as long as a Tool Connect enabled device is within Bluetooth range, usually round 100’, of the Tool Connect enabled accessory or tool.
Let’s start with the Tool Connect Tag, which adds tracking features to anything it can attach to. There were some major upgrades over Milwaukee’s TICK, but also one major downside. The upgrades included a smaller and sleeker design, a front button that allowed you to connect to your Bluetooth device (versus removing the case and battery from the TICK), and the LED light to allow users to identify which Tag they were locating. The Tag will last for 3 years, but its major downside is that the battery cannot be changed, so once it dies, the Tag is useless.
The Tool Connect Connector is a permanent solution to a tool that has not been enabled with Tool Connect, as it permanently attaches to the battery slide. The tool’s battery will then connect to the Connector. When it’s attached to a tool, it’s now trackable from the Tool Connect app. In order to remove the Connector from your tool, it has to be taken to a DeWalt Service Center.
Several new tools will have Tool Connect integrated into them, as well, including a compact Hammerdrill, a Compact Drill/Driver, an Impact Driver, Hammerdrill, the already released LED Area Light ($399 on Amazon), and a 100’ Laser Distance Measure. The tools with Tool Connect integrated into them will allow tool customization from your smartphone or tablet. This functionality is especially great with lighting, as light levels can be adjusted remotely and schedules can be set up.