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May 9, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Corded Drill Reviews

We do corded drill reviews so that we can evaluate the best tools for concrete professionals, painters, and more. This section includes reviews of rotary hammer drills, demo hammers, corded impact wrenches, and more. With cordless drills gaining ground, some applications still require tools with more power. As power tool innovations continue, that gap narrows, but for now some jobs continue to require a cord. Corded Drill Reviews – Power Beyond the Battery Some advanced products, like the Makita AVT technology available in their rotary hammers and demo hammers, improve ergonomics. From vibration reduction technology to advanced dust collection, corded drills retain jobsite relevancy. Depending on your application, we’re finding that light weight models with new brushless motors are performing as good as yesterday’s larger tools. That means less fatigue with just as much drilling. Whether it’s a demo hammer, rotary hammer, or corded mixer, we’ve got you covered.

Hilti Hollow Drill Bits Previewed at 2013 WoC

Our own Hal Jones was on-hand at World of Concrete this week to check out some of the latest tools and technology, and he came across something completely new and innovative: Hilti’s Hollow Drill Bit system (TE-YD and TE-CD). The system uses, as you’d expect, a drill bit with a hollow core which connects to […]

Porter-Cable PCE201 Corded 4.3-amp Impact Driver Preview

Porter-Cable PCE201 4.3-amp Impact Driver Preview

Porter-Cable is addressing the problem of needing the power of a cordless impact drivers, but for extended-use applications. They launched the 1/4-inch Hex 4.3-Amp PCE201 specifically to give tradesmen an option in the workplace. This impact driver is designed for deck builders, steel roofing installers and other tradesmen who complete numerous fastening applications in challenging workplaces (but who have easy access to power).

Max-Lok Carbide SDS-Max Bit Extension System

Milwaukee Max-Lok Carbide SDS-Max Bit Extension System

So Milwaukee is into innovation – everyone who is even remotely familiar with the company and its product lines can attest to that. But what’s always surprising (to me, at least) is the diversity of areas that innovation touches. Take their new Max-Lok Carbide Extension System, for example. This falls smack dab in the lap of serious concrete professionals who use SDS-Max bits day in and day out. The Max-Lok system is designed to extend SDS-Max rotary hammer bits up to 82.5″. That means you can take your existing SDS-Max bits and bore deeper and into more places than ever before. And you’re not buying expensive and dedicated extended length bits to do it.

Milwaukee 5317-21 1-9/16" SDS Max Rotary Hammer Preview

Milwaukee 5317-21 1-9/16 SDS Max Rotary Hammer Preview

Continuing their expansion of their rotary hammer line, Milwaukee has introduced a new 1-9/16″ SDS Max Rotary Hammer. This new rotary hammer delivers the durability users have come to expect from Milwaukee, with a 10.5-amp motor and 5.5 ft-lbs of impact energy. We’ve picked up and used several of Milwaukee’s rotary hammers and they are a force to be reckoned with. The new hammer is an improvement in that it offers new features to increase efficiency and lower the amount of work (effort) you have to expend in order to achieve the results you need.

Milwaukee 5316-21 1-9/16" Spline Rotary Hammer Preview

Milwaukee 5316-21 1-9/16 Spline Rotary Hammer Preview

Continuing their expansion of their rotary hammer line, Milwaukee has introduced a new 1-9/16″ Spline Rotary Hammer. This new rotary hammer delivers the durability users have come to expect from Milwaukee, with a 10.5-amp motor and 5.5 ft-lbs of impact energy. We’ve picked up and used several of Milwaukee’s rotary hammers and they are a force to be reckoned with. The new hammer is an improvement in that it offers new features to increase efficiency and lower the amount of work (effort) you have to expend in order to achieve the results you need.

Porter-Cable PC70THD 1/2-inch Hammerdrill Preview

Porter-Cable PC70THD 1/2-inch Hammerdrill Preview

When Porter-Cable announced it had launched a new 7-amp 1/2″ 2-speed hammer drill (PC70THD) we perked up our ears. The tool is designed to take advantage of new power-to-weight ratio advantages in motor and transmission technology and apply that to the corded tools that so often lag behind their “updated every 9 months” cordless brethren. The new corded hammer drill seems to really target pros who are looking for an ergonomic rotary hammer drill driver that doesn’t cost a fortune, but isn’t slack on performance.

Mall drill

Mall Drill Model 143-T Circa 1947

This “Old Tools” mini-series has gotten pretty popular, so we went deep down and pulled out an antique drill from 1947 a Mall Drill Model 143-T one-speed corded drill. This tool was actually purchased when my grandfather got out of the Army right after World War II ended. He used it for his antenna installation business where it was employed heavily up until 1969. After that, this tool saw part time usage for the next 20 years. For the past 20 or so years it has seen only occasional use, mostly due to the advent of cordless technology and variable speed tools with integrated brakes.

Milwaukee 5262-21 7/8" SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Preview

Milwaukee 5262-21 7/8″ SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Preview

Lightweight rotary hammers are fast becoming the new tool of choice among professionals who need to drop in some large anchors or drill through concrete or cinder block with a bit more performance than you get out of a cordless tool. Milwaukee has just revamped its rotary hammer platform with a new M18 Cordless rotary hammer, but their 5262-21 7/8″ SDS Plus Rotary Hammer is just the ticket when you’ve got enough work to warrant the extra power and versatility. At just 5.8 pounds, this D-handled tool is going to be able to be used overhead without causing your arms to fall off after the first 2 minutes of drilling. In fact, Milwaukee, in order to keep the price point where it is, opted out of active vibration reduction, relying instead on the low weight to help the user with any overhead work.

Makita LCT307W 12V Cordless Combo Kit Review

Makita LCT307W 12V Cordless Combo Kit Review

The Makita LCT307W 12V Cordless Combo Kit contains some very light and compact tools. Compared with typical competing portable drills, the included FD01W measures only 6 inches from hex chuck to back – and the DT01W Impact Driver is nearly the same. This really makes these Makita tools much more accessible to tight spaces. On both tools, the built-in LED light illuminates with just a touch of the trigger and proved to be very bright and helpful. Under our test conditions where we intentionally worked in tight (and thus dark) quarters, both the Makita Driver-Drill and Impact Driver were great tools.

Makita HM0870C 11 lb Demolition Hammer Preview

Makita HM0870C 11 lb Demolition Hammer Preview

At the 2011 World of Concrete (WoC) show this year, Makita unleashed a new hard hitting demolition hammer that uses less weight to accomplish more. The demo hammer, which accepts SDS-Max bits, weighs only 11.1 lbs. and is ideally suited for horizontal work and jobs where you just don’t want to lift a heavier hammer off the ground. The new tool comes with an Electronic Speed Control that automatically applies additional power to the motor to maintain speed under load to complete the most challenging jobs. It also features a soft start motor to suppress start-up reaction and current draw for more control and better accuracy.