Sunday, 21 August 2011

DeWalt DW745 Portable Table Saw Video Review

A very nice table saw from DeWalt, the DW745 is well worth a look.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Makita DPC6430 300mm 12" Petrol Disc Cutter Review

So you want to cut bricks, paving slabs, stone, metals poles, pipes and kerb-stones. With the right disc, either the supplied 12" Diamond Disc for masonry or an additional metal-cutting abrasive disc, the Makita DPC6430 is the right tool for the job.

The Makita 12" Petrol Disc Cutter won't be the lightest tool in your van, it weighs a hefty 10kg, but it could be the most useful. The powerful 64cc 4.5hp motor can spin the blade at up to 5100rpm, giving you a depth of cut of 100mm.

The DPC6430 is designed to be easy to start, using a decompression valve before you start on the pull-start. A water based dust-suppression system keeps site reasonably clean, and you've got easy, tool-less access to the spark-plug ignition.

To get closer to walls, or the edges of anything you're trying to cut, the blade can be moved to a lateral position for added flexibility. The 1.1 liter fuel tank will keep you productive on site, and the M2M vibration reduction will keep your hands from going numb too.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Laser Kevlar Hot Sleeve Review

No, the chap in the photo to the left hasn't broken his hand, and he isn't wearing some sort of a sports-support. This is a blog all about tools and equipment, and what you see here is special sleeve that will protect your arms and hands when working around hot objects.

The Laser Kevlar Hot Sleeve is a fantastic idea, and a great boon for auto-mechanics, plumbers, welders, and anyone who has to work near stuff that's hot.

If you've ever been working on a car, then lent over to adjust something and burnt your arm on a hot engine cover, or more commonly when you're under a car and accidently  brushed against the hot exhaust you'll know what a pain it is.

It may look a bit daft, but it works, it's cheap, and I think it's a must for every motor mechanics tool chest - the Laser Kevlar Hot Sleeve.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Numatic HVR200 Super Henry Vacuum Cleaner Review

Henry, Henry, where fore art thow? Foresooth, we are in needeth of a vacuum cleaner that caneth dealeth with thow dustiest floors, messiest basements and most foulest of abodes!

Yes, it is true. You may have mocked those who have professed their admiration of the little red tub with the cheeky grin and sparkling eyes, and thought him something from the past, but the Super Henry Vacuum from Numatic honestly is brilliant. I should know, I've got one.

Although he's been around since 1980, Henry has been in constant development. Today's model has a 1200w 230v motor, two power modes, a 9 litre bag, made in the UK, and a load of accessories in the box to tackle all the dirt you can throw at this great vacuum cleaner.

Before we purchased our Super Henry, I though upright vacs were the best. How could Henry, without a carpet beater, compare with the likes of Dyson and Electrolux? The answer is that Henry is better, tougher and cheaper. In Turbo mode Henry cleans carpets and hard floors really well and stair-cases with no troubles at all.

So, if you need a vac for home or work, consider the Numatic Super Henry, it's one of the few products where the superlatives actually are deserved.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Belle Minimix 140 Concrete Mixer - 230V - Review

If you've ever used, and been let down by, a cheaper cement mixer, you'll know the value of spending money on a good mixer, and the Belle Minimix 140 is a good one.

You can prepare 90 litres of mix at a time, yet the Minimix 140 is portable and small enough to fit in the back of your van or even your car.

The supplied stand makes tipping into a wheel-barrow a doddle, and the double insulated motor keeps everything nice and safe.

The Minimix 140 has a weight of 45kg, so it's not light, but it is one of the most portable, usable concrete mixers available, so make sure it's on your list if you're thinking about buying one.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Karcher SC650 Outdoor Push Sweeper Review

I can almost hear your reaction as you look at this odd little device. Is this a lawn mower? No. How about s pressure washer? Absolutely not. Ah you think, it's a floor polisher! Again, no, but you're close. This is the Karcher SC650, a modern version of an old favorite, a push sweeper!

We've all had the same problem of a dirty workshop or warehouse floor, a path or a car-park that needs sweeping. Yes, you could use a broom to do the work, but the SC650makes it oh so much easier.

All you've got to do is push this little wonder around, requiring no electrics, and it uses the built-in brushes to sweep up the rubbish and store it in a 16l hopper.

Karcher estimate that you could "sweep" an area of 1800 square meters in an hour, right up to the edges of curbs or walls. Change the height of the handle to suit the user, pop your ipod on, then get sweeping the easy way, with no broom and no dustpan and brush. And no back ache either!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

T B Davies Xtend & Climb 3.8m Telescopic Ladder Review

Maybe you don't have a van with a ladder rack on top, or maybe you haven't got the space for a traditional ladder, but with the T B Davies Xtend & Climb Pro Telescopic Ladder you can have a great little ladder without the storage and transport problems.

When I say little, I'm being unfair. The Xtend & Climb can reach up to 3.8m high, large enough for most trade and home jobs. When the ladder is in its compact form, it stands a mere 81cm high, small enough to fit in the boot of your car or a corner of your shed, workshop or garage.

Built to the EN131standard, the Extend and Climb can hold up to 150kg, has a tough anodized finish, and is furnished with a five year guarantee. Made of Aluminium and Platic, this truly flexible ladder weighs in at 15kg and has 13 rungs, which can be extended one at a time.

So, if you're in the market for a ladder, but are worried that you might not have enough space, take a look at the TB Davies Xtend and Climb Pro. It's small, light, and can reach the places that step ladders definitely can't...

Monday, 8 August 2011

Irwin Bolt Grip Seized Fastening Remover Set Review

How frustrating is it when you start a job only to be stopped in your tracks by a seized or damaged nut or bolt head? I've lost count of the times I've struggled with mole grips, blow torches and wrenches before I give up and fire up the easy-outs.

The tool specialists Irwin have come up with an alternative, their Bolt Grip System. Looking at first glance like ordinary sockets, what we have instead is a special design that will grip damaged and seized bolt and nut heads, even if they are completey rounded off, then give you a fighting chance of removing the fastening without having to resort to drilling it out.

Coming in 11, 14, 16mm, with their imperial equivalents, these bolt grips can get you out of many sticky situations, and if you get the add-on and lugnut bolt grips you've covered most situations.

A vice could be a necessity to get the bolt grip off the fastening once it is free, but even if you haven't got one, at the prices they are you could just get another set of these brilliant tools from Irwin.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Ryobi RLT30CESA 30cc Petrol Spilt Shaft Garden Line Trimmer Strimmer Review

First up, this isn't a trade or pro grade petrol strimmer, it's really just for domestic use or light trade, but that doesn't stop the Ryobi RLT30CESA from being a very useful garden and allotment tool indeed.

Ryobi make great power tools, and their petrol products are no exception. With easy (pull) starting on this model, an anti-vibration handle, a 0.42l fuel tank, and a 30cc 1hp motor, the RLT 30 CESA is a breeze to use.

Remember that this is a 2 stroke motor for light weight and power, so you'll need some quality 2-stroke oil, a mixing bottle, jerry can, goggles and gloves.

The real beauty of the Ryobi Petrol Strimmers and Trimmers is their Expand-It system. See that little attachment half way up the shaft of the strimmer? That's where the strimmer part comes away from the motor part, and can be swapped for a multitude of different options.

Ryobi offer Brush Cutters, Hedge-Trimmers, Pruners, Tillers, Blowers and extension bars. This means that once you've got your starter unit, probably a simple strimmer like the RLT30CESA, you can just buy that extra tools you need to complete those tricky jobs that just need a petrol tool.

The articulating Hedge Trimmer is particularly useful for doing the tops of your hedges, and the Brush Cutter is great for heavy duty clearing of difficult shrubs and plants.

So if you're thinking of buying a petrol strimmer, whether it be for your garden, allotment or for light trade use, but you want something that can do more than just cutting grass and tidying edges, why not consider a Ryobi RLT30CESA and then grab yourself some if the Expand-It accessories, you won't be sorry.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Tacwise 191EL Electric Stapler & Nailer 230v Review

A really nice electric Nailer / Stapler is an essential for any tradesmans tool-kit. The ability to drive fixings quickly will save you time, effort, and most importantly, money. Let's take a look at the Tacwise 191 EL Electric Stapler and Nailer.

The 191EL is good for soft and hardwood, and can drive narrow  crown staples and 18 gauge nails. There's a multitude of jobs this Tacwise tool can take on. You can put together wooden frames, say for window or picture frames. Fix together tongue and groove, flooring, work on your shed, put together pet cages, or do anything where you've got to fix mesh to wood.

Fix plasterboard in place, underlay, carpet, fencing, hobby stuff and furntiure. Remember these are narrow crown staples, with a depth of 15mm to 30mm, or 18 gauge nails which are from 10mm to 35mm, so there's very little you can't do with this Electric Nailer / Stapler.

This power tool can hold up to 100 staples or nails at a time, weighs about 1.8kg, has a nice rubber handle . and can fire up to four times a second. So if you think a good Electric Nailer and Stapler could help you in your trade, make sure you check out the Tacwise 191EL.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

DeWalt DC013 Site Radio and Battery Charger Review

We all know that building and construction sites are tough places for any type of electronic gadget. Dust, moisture, heat, vibration and the high chance of things getting knocked about are a few of the most common hazards. The DeWalt DC013  is a Radio and Charger that's designed to stand up to the rigors of this environment.

You may think that this is an expensive toy, but how many cheap radios have you been through in the last couple of years, that have let you down, broken and given up the ghost before you got your moneys worth?

The DC013 is an FM / AM Radio with an AUX input for a CD or MP3 player, a clock, a bass boost to even out the sound, and it can run off 230v mains as you'd expect.

Where it gets clever is that the DeWalt DC013 can also run off DeWalt batteries. Plug anything from a 7.2V to an 18v NiCd, NIMH or Li-Ion DeWalt battery into it and you're wired for sound. No more silent blues when you're away from the mains or on a 110v only job. Just borrow one of your DeWalt Power Tool Batteries and you're good to go.

When you're back at home or the workshop and plugged back into 230v , the DC013 turns into a very versatile battery charger, charging all the types of battery that I've listed above. Perfect!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Bosch DLE 70 Digital Laser Rangefinder Review

By now you'll know that I like Bosch Power-Tools, especially the blue professional range. Bosch tools are tough, practical and don't cost the earth. The DLE 70 Digital Laser Rangefinder is one such tool.

On the face of it, the DLE70 is a simple laser rangefinder that you can use for measuring distances on building sites, inside houses, or anywhere where accurate and fast readings are necessary. If you dig a little deeper though, this little Bosch can do so much more, and becomes a must have to for almost anyone from builders, surveyors, painter and decorators, and the serious DIY enthusiast.

The Bosch DLE 70 is a favorite with our local councils surveying department, and I know that serious Estate Agents love the fact that you can drop it and it won't break - I've heard stories of the DLE70 being dropped down a flight of stairs and it still working afterwards.

Let's start with the basic specification. This laser range finder can measure distances from 0.05m to 70m, with an accuracy of + / - 1.5mm. It will typically get you your measurement in around half a second, and it weighs approximately 180gms. The DLE70 comes with batteries (4 x AAA), soft bag and hand-strap.

With the boring stuff out of the way, lets look at the fun stuff. This gadget can measure straight distances, the area of something (like a wall, to work out how much paint you'll need), the volume of an area, and it can measure distances indirectly, so you point it at the bottom and top of a wall, and it'll work out the height. The GLE70 can also work out the combined volumes of walls with different lengths or heights, and it can also tell you the minimum or maximum lengths of a series of readings.

Hopefully you'll now see that this Bosch Laser Distance Finder is a very useful piece of kit for everyone in the construction industry, from builders, surveyors, architects, quantity surveyors, and serious amateurs. Grab one while you can!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Van Vault Original Security Storage Box Review

Loosing your tools is a serious situation. At worst it could mean the end of your business, and at best a very expensive insurance claim, with the associated increase in premiums. A Van Vault could help prevent this, so if you have to store tools in your vehicle, whether it be on-site or overnight, please consider buying one. 

You do have to be practical about this. A VanVault offers protection, but not complete security. It can't stop someone stealing your van, and it won't lock itself if you leave it open when you're in a rush. It's only as good as the security routine you have, and the old adage "out of sight, out of mind" means that you should try to keep the box hidden, or at least out of the sight of prying eyes.

This particular security box, the Van Vault Original, (sometimes referred to as the Van Vault 2) is very tasty indeed. Offering a 2mm steel body and lid, a tamper proof hinge, anti drill 70mm disc lock, a gas strut for easy (and safe) opening and closing, holes for an audio alarm (optional extra), and a tough paint-job to keep it rust-free for a long-time indeed.

Size wise, the Van Vault Original is 920mm (l) x 560mm (w) x 490mm (h), and it weighs 46kg. So, if you've got tools that you can't afford to lose, and can fit this great box into your commercial vehicle, buy a van vault now.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Warn Pullzall Electric Lift & Pull Winch Review, 230v & 24v Cordless

If you are anything like me you'll spend money on any gadget or tool that makes your life easier, and the Warn Pullzall Electric Winch is one such product.

Imagine not having to set up chain falls or manual pulley systems to lift or move around heavy equipment. With the Pullzall you can lift engines, drag quads, and generally do all those pain in the backside lifting jobs without that pain!

All you've got to do is secure the Warn Pullz All to a safe strong point, then use the built in winch to drag or lift what you need to move. With a maximum lifting capacity of 454kg, and 15ft of 5.5mm wire rope, this is a very useful and flexible piece of kit.

The Pullzall has a variable speed trigger, so you can precisely position any load, it has forward and reverse for lifting and lowering, and has a limiter so you can't damage it by trying to move anything that might be too heavy, seized, or stuck.

Coming in 230v and a 24v cordless versions, the Warn Pullzall needs to be in the back of every builders, farmers or contractors van - it really is that useful, safe, and it'll stop you damaging your back!

Friday, 29 July 2011

DeWalt Explorer Taped Work Safety Boot Review

Wait! Stop! Don't click away, this is important! When you spend all day on your feet, whether it be on a building site, in a workshop or even in your garden or at your allotment, a pair of comfortable (and tough) safety boots are a necessity.

I know you trade readers won't have any problem with buying safety boots, after all, you have to wear them when on site, but for DIYers you may not fully understand how important it is to protect your feet with a good pair of safety boots.

The other issue is one of comfort. I know it's easy and convenient to just grab the cheapest boots or shoes on offer, but honestly, it's best to try on as many styles as possible to find the ones that fit you feet the best.

Don't rush, have a clean pair of work socks on, and make sure you try both on and have a good walk around the store. Do all the movements you would when working. Don't be embarrassed, the Sales Assistants are used to it, and if they're snooty take your business somewhere else. Safety boots will feel tight across your toes to start off with, but they shouldn't be painful. If they are, try a different size or maybe a different style. Go for a boot style with ankle protection unless you're only after light protection.

DeWalt have a great range of boots. The one you see here is the Explorer, with a leather upper, steel toe-cap and midsole, and are incredibly flexible. If you're used to budget safety boots, these DeWalts will be a relevation. Go on, try a good pair of safety boots, you won't regret it!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Honda EU10i Portable Inverter Petrol Generator 230v Review

Sometimes we all need a little power when there isn't any. You know the score, you might be camping, caravaning, or even running a market stall, and you need a small, quiet, clean and light-weight generator. This is where a Honda EU10i comes into its own.

Commonly referred to as a suitcase type generator, this Honda Petrol Generator is light and small enough to be carried or stowed in a car boot, yet it kicks out a respectable 900w of continuous power. Not enough to get big power tools running, but more than enough to run a few lights, charge batteries, and keep the odd electrical appliance purring away nicely.

If you're unsure of what power you'll need, just check the wattage of all the things you'll need to run at once, and add them all up. As long as the peak demand isn't above 1000w, and the continuous isn't above 900w, you'll be fine.

The Honda EU10i uses ordinary unleaded fuel with standard four stroke oil. There's no messy mixing of petrol and oil here, it all goes in separate fillers just like a car. It's worth buying a petrol can, nozzle, funnel, safety goggles and disposable gloves to make filling the generator as simple and clean as possible, and to make sure you don't end up with fuel all over your hands, trousers and shoes.

Running for between three and a half to eight hours on a full 2.3l tank, this little Honda has an LWA (noise) rating of just 52, so it won't annoy the neighbours or people around you. Remember that's it is a pull start, and i would keep a spare spark plug handy for emergencies.

If you need a petrol generator that can kick out a relatively clean 230v and 12v, and you need about 900w of continuous power, you can't go wrong with the very quiet and light Honda EU 10i. Just make sure you lock it up with a strong chain and a big padlock, these are very desirable indeed!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Ryobi LCDI18022 One+ 18v 2 Speed Cordless Hammer Drill Review

In the scheme of things, Ryobi are a well respected power tool manufacturer, sitting somewhere level with DeWalt and Bosch. Ryobi offer great value for money, more than reasonable reliability, and with their One+ system, a collection of power tools that can all be run off the same batteries.

The LCDI18022 18v Cordless hammer drill could be considered a starter pack - it comes with two 1.4ah Li-Ion batteries and the proper charger, so it gives you a good base to build up your cordless powertool collection.

The Ryobi One Plus system offers a startling range of options. There's standard and compact drill drivers, impact drivers, an angle grinder, jigsaw, caulking gun, spray gun, tile saw and SDS drill, with more tools becoming available all the time.

Lets get back to the specification of this drill though, so you can gauge if its going to be suitable for the type of work you do in your trade or at home.

The LCDI18022 can be used for drilling, hammer-drilling or as a driver. It has a 13mm keyless chuck, kicks out a maximum torque of 49nm, which is variable using the dial behind the chuck. It has variable speed on the trigger, and a high and low setting on the top of the body.

Coupled with the two included lithium ion batteries, which offer high power, low weight, and no memory effect, this Ryobi cordless drill is a very tempting offer indeed.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Evolution Rage3 255mm Sliding Mitre Saw 230v 110v Review

Evolution are my kind of company. From their paddle mixers to their magnetic drilling systems, they show a willingness and ability to develop and deliver innovation in areas of the tool market that have gone a little stale.

Evolution haven't let us down with the Rage 3 either. The point of difference with Evolution mitre and chop saws are their blades. Steel, with a specially designed teeth pattern, Evolution saws can cut through steel, aluminium, wood and plastic without having to change the blade.

Another benefit to Evolutions blade technology is that there are less sparks, virtually no burr, and if you're cutting some wood that's got nails in it, the Rage 3 will cut through it all without a pause.

The Evolution Rage3 Sliding Mitre Saw has a 2000w motor, can spin at up to 2500 rpm, has a maximum depth of cut of 75mm, or a cross cut capacity of 75mm. Using a 255mm blade with a 25.4mm bore, the Rage weighs in at 17.8 kg.

Available in 230v and 110v versions, the Evolution Rage 3 has got to be near the top of your list if you're  in the market for a sliding mitre saw or a chop saw.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

DeWalt DW059k2h 18v Cordless Impact Wrench Review

You and I both know that a cordless impact wrench is one of those tools that we all want in our tool boxes, but we are waiting for the right job to justify the expense.

I'm here to say stop the waiting and get a good one now. As long as you pay a decent amount you'll end up with a good tool, and the DeWalt DW059k2h is a winner.

Whether youre spinning up wheel nuts, working scaffold, or are down on the farm, this cordless impact wrench definitely packs a punch.

With 418 nm of maximum torque, 18v battery, max 1650 rpm, 2600 impacts / min (max), 1/2" drive, m20 max bolt diameter and a hefty weight of 3.4kg, you can be sure that the Dw 059k2h will save you time, effort and money.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Makita LCT204W Drill Driver Impact Driver Twinpack Review

Some times you come across a power tool that you just have to own, and the Makita LCT204W Twin-Pack is one such tool-set.

As you can see, this set comprises a drill-driver and an impact driver, but what you can't see is how small and perfectly formed they are.

OK, you won't be drilling holes in concrete walls, but you will be using these gadgets when you're working with thin metals, wood, plastics and electronics. If you're an automotive electrician, the included DF330D Drill, and the TD090D Driver are perfect.

Running off 10.v Lithium Ion batteries, these tools are small and light enough to get into the tightest places, yet powerful enough to be much better than the usual electronic screwdrivers. Pack these into your van and you'll fall in love with them as soon as you use them.

The set includes two batteries, charger, and a very nice carry-case. Just imagine how easy your life will be using these two tools, one to drill and one to drive. Small, simple and sexy!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Bosch GSB 13RE 600w Impact Drill 230v 110v

Wait a minute, put that drill down. Don't buy that cheap no-name power tool, it'll break within the year and you'll have to buy another. Just grab a Bosch GSB 13 RE in either 230v, or 110v for site work, and you'll have a highly competent, and cheap, power drill.

The GSB 13 RE offers 600w of professional power, hammer action, a 13mm chuck, forward / reverse, variable speed, and a 3 year guarantee if you register online with Bosch.

You see, the GSB13RE is part of Bosch's professional range, so the build quality is much better than the unbranded drills at the big sheds on the edge of town. Pick the drill up and you can feel the balance  It may not be the most powerful tool, but if you're after a high quality budget power drill, you can't go wrong with this Bosch.

The Bosch GSB 13 RE can drill up to a diameter of 13mm in concrete, 25mm in wood, 10mm in steel  and 15mm in masonry. Thats enough for most DIYers, and is very useful for pro users too. Recommended!