It’s easy to focus on where cordless tools are headed and forget their corded bretheren. The fact is, corded tools are still highly trusted and valued by industry professionals that need to know their tool is going to work the moment they pick it up without worrying about battery charge. While cordless tools may be catching up, corded tools are still king of the power tool world.
2015 Pro Tool Innovation Awards: Corded Tools
Winner – Angle Grinders
What they said: Metabo’s new WEPBF15-150 Quick Flat Head angle grinder is a unique tool in the angle grinder category offering the fastest, safest, most comfortable way to grind or cut in confined spaces. The unique design of the gear head allows for working into included angles as low as 39 degrees or reaching into confined spaces as low as 2-5/8″ high. The powerful 1550 watt, 13.5 amp motor makes for quick work, backed by electronic speed stabilization, soft start, electronic overload protection, and, electronic cutout in case the wheel is bound up. The WEPBF15-150 Quick safety features include a mechanical brake that stops the grinding accessory in 2 seconds or less as well as a dual action non-locking dead man paddle switch which greatly increase user safety, especially when working in confined spaces.
What we say: What really set Metabo’s Angle Grinder apart from the others is its ability to get into tighter spaces. When reviewer Jon Bucklew took a look at it, he immediately saw the value in grinding on his hand crafted furniture applications. It’s not just angles that it’s better at, confined space work is also easier and Metabo included a host of safety considerations with that in mind.
Winner – Edge Banders: Portable/Hand Held
What they said: Even if you have a large stationary edge banding machine, the CONTURO can complement your edge banding process by giving you a way to work with radii, circular pieces, bevels and small pieces. The CONTURO offers exceptional ergonomic design, including dual speeds, and a unique patented hot melt glue adhesive system. There’s no risk of burns because the glue system is thermally isolated. It’s suitable for machining all types of wood, plastic or melamine edging with a height of 18–65 mm (23/32″ to 2-9/16″) and thickness of 0.5–3.0 mm (1/32″–1/8″). The CONTURO features a self-contained glue cartridge system that eliminates glue-pot related hassles while enabling rapid color changes for a perfect match. The CONTURO Edge Banding System is extremely mobile and delivers the perfect edge.
What we say: Festool’s Conturo covers a major gap between machine and hand edge banding. Typically, once you leave the table sized banding machine or go to round or beveled pieces, you’re hand gluing your banding down. The Conturo gives you the flexibility to work around those awkward pieces while also addressing issues like glue color mixing. Check out our Definitive Festool Conturo Article for more details.
Winner – Paint Sprayers: Airless
What they said: The Ultra Max II 495 PC Pro brings the leading technology and performance of Graco’s larger Ultra Max II models into a compact and lightweight design. The innovative ProConnect pump exchange system makes it easy to swap out a worn pump for a new one on the job site in three simple steps. No more time wasted or money lost to labor charges on pump repairs. The Ultra Max II 495 PC Pro is the sprayer of choice for professionals who need a higher output sprayer for daily use on residential jobs.
What we say: Electric Motors and wet paint don’t usually play too well together. Eventually things get clogged and parts have to be replaced on even the best paint sprayers. Graco’s ProConnect pump allows users to replace the pump ridiculously fast. In about a minute (or less once you’ve done it a couple times), your crew is back to work instead of losing productivity.
Winner – Sanders: Random Orbit
What they said: To minimize vibration, the DWE6423K features a separate counterweight that provides the user with comfort and control, leading to a smooth finish. It also features an expanded rubber over-mold designed to increase comfort during use. Dust collection has been improved through the addition of a rubber dust skirt which minimizes dust escaping around the pad. Additionally, the dust collection port has a one-handed locking dust bag that works with DEWALT Dust Extractors and Universal Connector System. Now the shortest and one of the lightest 5” random orbit sanders in its class at 140mm in height and only 2.9 lbs., the DWE6423K is a powerful 3 amp tool that delivers 8,000 to 12,000 OPM on a 3/32” orbit.
What we say: Another member of DeWalt’s Perform and Protect line, the 5″ Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander does a great job of reducing vibration and airborne dust while improving the ergonomics. Users will still get up to 12,000 OPM of sanding power in a lighter, more compact package.
Winner – Rotary Hammers
What they said: The 1-1/8” SDS Hammer has 15% faster drilling speed on average when compared to the Bosch Bulldog Extreme Max when drilling 5/8” by 3” holes. An 8.5 amp high performance motor delivers an RPM of 0-1450 and a BPM at 0-5350 with 3.0 Joules of impact energy. The 1-1/8” SDS Hammer also features three internal and three external rubber seals which help protect the unit from dust and debris and provide DEWALT-level durability. At 6.8 lbs, with SHOCKS vibration control and a vibration-reducing side handle, this unit limits vibration felt by the user at the handle to 9.8 m/s² for optimal user comfort. Each SDS Rotary Hammer features a rotating brush ring that delivers full power in Reverse mode for bit jam incidents.
What we say: If you’re going to call out the Bulldog, you better be confident – it’s been the industry standard for a reason. DeWalt does it and delivers with a combination of performance, durability, and vibration reduction. The D25263K is part of DeWalt’s Perform and Protect line that reduces user vulnerability without reducing performance.
Winner – Demolition Hammers: Over 20 Pounds
What they said: Hits like an air hammer – but with less noise, lower vibration, and zero hassle with a hose/compressor The new 70 lb. AVT Breaker Hammer is engineered to hit like an air hammer, but with less noise and vibration. It has a powerful 15 AMP motor that delivers a full 53.9 ft.lbs. (73.8 Joules) of impact energy, so contractors get hard-hitting performance. Users also benefit from less noise and lower vibration than an air hammer, and zero hassle with an air hose and compressor. The HM1812 features the latest Advanced AVT Technology. Advanced AVT is more than a padded or spring-loaded handle. It’s a synchronized three-component system that more effectively reduces vibration.
What we say: We got to see a working cutout of Makita’s Advanced AVT technology at World of Concrete and it’s impressive. For such an aggressive tool in what can be a brutal industry, Makita’s HM1812 is going to set a new standard for vibration reduction.
Winner – Table Saws
What they said: REAXX Portable Jobsite Table Saw – the first saw with the company’s proprietary flesh-detecting Active Response Technology. The Active Response Technology system on the REAXX table saw rapidly detects human flesh that comes in contact with the blade and drops the saw blade below the tabletop. This high-speed action helps reduce the potential of serious user injury and occurs without damaging the blade. After activation, the system can be reset in less than 60 seconds. Through a phone app, the saw can communicate information from the onboard control system – such as, number of system activations, servicing needs, access to instructions, how-to videos and other details. Also, the saw owner can use the app to manage who can use the bypass and main switches. This capability enables owners and managers to lock the saw as needed, which ensures that workers cannot bypass the safety system.
What we say: Bosch developed the first real response to SawStop’s flesh detection system and improved it in a couple of areas. Bosch’s ReaXX uses airbag technology to drop the blade below the table – without damage to the blade. In less than a minute, the user can flip the two-shot cartridge around and be back in business. Bosch also developed an app to help managers and owners control the saw, particularly the bypass switch. There will be a lot more news as Bosch rolls out the ReaXX, but for now, it’s an impressive option in safety and performance.
Winner – Tile Saws: Compact
What they said: The BEAST7, 7″ Tile Saw offers virtually the largest Rip and Diagonal cutting capacity in its class. It is capable of performing a diagonal cut on a 18″ x 18″ tile, and it can execute a 24″ Rip Cut. Lackmond’s new 7″ Beast Tile Saw is designed with a Heavy-Duty Rail System, engineered for exceptionally straight, accurate and smooth cuts. It is equipped with a powerful tilting 13 AMP motor to ensure accurate 22.5 degree and 45 degree bevel cuts. The BEAST7 weighs only 48 pounds and comes with an innovative snake pipe water nozzle which allows for precise water control and placement. The durable steel pipe saw frame is constructed to withstand the toughest conditions.
What we say: The Beast7 is a joint venture between Lackmond and Delta that has clearly resulted in a successful product line. What we love about this saw is the capacity and accuracy. This sliding tile saw can handle a 24″ rip cut or a full diagonal on an 18″ x 18″ tile. That’s pretty much what you can get on a 10″ saw. You’ll also be able to get 22.5 and 45 degree bevel cuts with confidence in the accuracy. Not to be left out, the snake pipe water nozzle really helps control the water flow so it’s getting where it needs to instead of all over you.
Winner – Tile Saws: Full Size
What they said: The BEAST10, 10″ Tile Saw offers the largest Rip and Diagonal cutting capacity in its class, and weighs only 84 pounds. It is capable of performing a diagonal cut on a 24″ x 24″ tile, and it can execute a 34″ Rip Cut (39″ Rip with plunge). Lackmond’s new 10″ Beast Tile Saw is designed with a Heavy-Duty Rail System, engineered for exceptionally straight, accurate and smooth cuts. It is equipped with a powerful tilting 15 AMP motor to ensure accurate 22.5 and 45 degree bevel cuts. The BEAST10 comes with a removable table extension for large format tiles and an innovative snake pipe water nozzle which allows for precise water control and placement. The durable steel pipe saw frame is constructed to withstand the toughest conditions.
What we say: If you make a great compact tile saw, why not make a full size model? That’s what Lackmond and Delta did with the 10″ Beast Tile Saw. All the features we love on the compact model are here – large cutting capacity, accurate bevels at 22.5 and 45 degrees, and excellent water flow control.
Winner – Drill Presses
What they said: The NOVA DVR 18″ Drill Press features the DVR Smart Motor, the first perfected or practical Switch Reluctance Motor. The NOVA drill press uses a 1.75hp DVR Smart Motor. It is a direct drive motor with no belts or pulleys; it also has no brushes, permanent magnets, or electrical connections to moving parts, and no current flow in the rotor. The Motor has a variable speed range of 50 to 5500 RPM and enough torque to tackle any material. It also features a powerful CPU. A user-friendly LCD screen allows the user to access a picture menu. The user can select the drill bit along with the size and the material they are drilling into, and the computer will select the correct RPMs. The user can select how deep to drill and what action the machine should take once reaching that depth.
What we say: Nova’s DVR 18″ Drill Press is simply amazing when you see the technology applied to it. Going with a direct drive motor by itself is a big deal. Going with a DVR Smart Motor and adding so much computer-based control puts this machine light years ahead of traditional drill presses.
Winner – Plumbing: Pipe Beveling
What they said: The B-500 produces a consistent, high-quality bevel in less than two minutes without flames or sparks. The B-500 is a compact and transportable unit that easily mounts to the end of pipes four inches or greater in diameter, with a maximum wall thickness of a half-inch, as well as on flat plates up to a half-inch thick. Interchangeable heads allow bevels to be cut accurately at 30 degrees, 37.5 degrees or 45 degrees. The unit features speed monitoring with LED indicators that assist the operator in keeping the beveller moving at an optimal pace. This ensures a consistent, machined finished bevel in a single pass. The compact design allows for a single operator to quickly set up and create bevels in a wide range of applications.
What we say: When we got to see the B-500 in action, we were impressed. Rather than taking much longer to create a bevel with a grinder, Ridgid’s Pipe Beveller does it is about 2 minutes depending on the material. It also creates a consistent bevel, where hand grinding leaves less desirable results. Using the head angle of your choice, you get a solid fit that can be easily welded.