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Dewalt’s Flexvolt 60V Stud & Joist Drill may look familiar, I mean without the battery and add a cord, paint it red and you might be reminded of an old industry mainstay. But let’s forget about that old drill, made by another manufacturer and focus on what I might call the most powerful cordless tool Read More

Dewalt’s Flexvolt 60V Stud & Joist Drill may look familiar, I mean without the battery and add a cord, paint it red and you might be reminded of an old industry mainstay. But let’s forget about that old drill, made by another manufacturer and focus on what I might call the most powerful cordless tool I have ever used.

The two variable speed settings (forward, with single speed reverse) coupled with the ” E-Clutch® System” make for a high performance machine ready to handle probably anything you throw at it. I must remain honest and admit that I entered this review thinking I already knew how it would perform but not only that but how I would be sure to point out a huge flaw in the overall design. After using the drill on multiple projects, large and small, I can not say I have found a definitive job task this drill should be able to perform but cannot. Because it can and will, and it will do it faster and safer than any other drill before.

The E-Clutch system senses reactionary torque caused by a bind-up or stall and reduces speed to a manageable level until control is regained. This is a significant technology and the first in any large pattern, full-sized rough-in drill I have used. All right-angle drills I have used, owned or tested have had mechanical clutches. Mechanical clutches are sufficient only that they will save your knuckles, face or knuckles and face sometimes but the problem is they will not always prevent a hard stop or throw from a ladder. In fact most of the time when a mechanical clutch engages on large right angle drills the user is thrown or pinned up against a nearby object and almost always materials are damaged. The E-Clutch is sensitive but will allow you to get the job done without excessive engagement and stopping. Its so smooth it will take a few engagements before you’re completely aware of why the drill stopped and what exactly is going on, I know I felt this way at first and drilling with a right angle drill is nothing new for me this long into my plumbing career.

For the video review I loaded the drill with a 3.0Ah Flexvolt (9Ah 20V equivalent) battery,fully charged. The battery had been used multiple times before on other Flexvolt and 20V MAX tools. After drilling every hole needed to complete the drain, waste and venting rough-in on a three bath house, 40 holes 2-9/16″ & 3-5/8″ diameter, the battery had used 1/3 of the total capacity as indicated by illuminating 2 of the three LED lights on the battery when finished. The whole house was drilled using nothing but cordless and not more than one battery. What a time to be alive.

The weight of the drill and its balance seem comfortable although the d-handle protruding off the backside of the head is less useful for actually drilling than it is useful for carrying and pulling the drill and bit from a completed hole. I have not used the side handle bar for any holes to date but it is included in the kit and would be useful for added control while drilling or mixing various materials like small batches of concrete or drywall compound etc.

Overall I was thoroughly impressed, I could not find any detail that stood out as a flaw or that I would consider suggesting to change. It provides more than enough power needed to complete a plumbing, hvac or electrical rough-in with ease. Its fast and efficient in its use of battery power; evident by the battery capacity used to drill all the needed holes in the video. As the Flexvolt system continues to grow and remains backwards compatible with all the 20V MAX tools I can without a doubt recommend taking a close look at this tool if you’re thinking of trying a new tool line or already on the 20V MAX platform and need to add a high performance right angle drill to your tool arsenal.

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    Cordless outdoor power equipment [OPE] is not entirely new but the application of today’s battery technology coupled with the performance of highly efficient and powerful brushless motors has created a whole new level of tools for both residential and commercial use. Although Dewalt’s DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX brushless chainsaw is considered the homeowner’s Read More

 

 

Cordless outdoor power equipment [OPE] is not entirely new but the application of today’s battery technology coupled with the performance of highly efficient and powerful brushless motors has created a whole new level of tools for both residential and commercial use.

Although Dewalt’s DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX brushless chainsaw is considered the homeowner’s tool, separate from the 40V MAX commercial lineup, this chainsaw further expands the usefulness and value of investing into the FLEXVOLT tool platform. Arguably more agile than the 40V MAX chainsaw given the more compact battery pack [60V, 3Ah] it weighs in a full pound lighter [12.2lbs]. As one of three 60V MAX OPE tools this model is equipped with a low kickback 16” Oregon brand bar. Chain break, auto oiling and tool-free chain tensioning round out the saw’s main features.

Ratings from the Dewalt engineering team have it set at approximately 70 cuts per charge on 6”x6” pressure treated pine. Our tests shown in the video included various diameter log and stump cutting ranging from 5” to 14” oak. Our time in the woods allowed for 100 cuts, requiring one battery change at cut number 64. In total the saw consumed 1 & 2/3 batteries.

This isn’t plumbing related…

A few of our friends on social media have asked why we’ve been showing the cordless OPE so much this spring, noting it isn’t plumbing or hvac related. While I’d totally agree these tools are a bit off our scope of product and trade focus I’d offer up the fact that most people have a use for these tools at home AND on the job site. The blowers for example are a huge time saver over a push broom, the chainsaws could prove useful as well but overall I find them truly exciting because of how well thought out and powerful they are. Given I already have invested heavily into cordless tools for my business, expanding the utility of my own batteries into helping me get some work done around the yard is attractive. Besides, who wants to deal with the incessantly fickle 2-stroke motor with its annual carburetor issues? With these battery tools you just insert a battery off the truck, pull the trigger and go. Very cool indeed plus tools like the chainsaw ans trimmer are extremely quiet allowing for that one last pass thru trimming up the yard at 9:30pm, likely without your neighbors even knowing it!

Back to it
The saw performed flawlessly in everything we threw at it. Honestly I was impressed over and over at the power available as I pushed the saw searching for it’s limitations. The oak hardwood was fell earlier this spring but only cleared to make way for a future building site, no rot was present which made these tree trunks prime for challenging the saw.

So you may be wondering if the newest generation of battery operated outdoor power equipment is worthy for the pro jobsite and to that I’d have to honest and say these tools will not completely replace a gas engine model in all instances but as you can see in the video Dewalt’s chainsaw has packs some power and provides a considerable runtime overall. I own other Flexvolt batteries and will consider this my new chainsaw of choice because of the power and agility it offers. Add to that the fact that this electric motor comes complete without a 2-stroke carburetor and the hassle of annual starting issues. As the battery OPE offering continues to expand by all major tool brands we are looking forward to testing out additional tools as they come to market so please watch for those reviews soon.

Dewalt’s OPE warranty as stated on their website is as follows: 3yr Limited, 1yr Free Service, 90day Money Back Guarantee.

Local retail pricing (Minnesota): $329.00

Available online and in stores now. Check out @acmetools or Home Depot for this and other FLEXVOLT tools by Dewalt.

Not paid content. This review is one of many performed by the mechanical-hub.com ProStaff, a team of skilled trade professionals who love tools and sharing info with our industry friends. A special thank you to Heather Aune, my lovely wife for helping with not only the camera work for this review but also testing out the saw herself, a significant task given she’s never even touched a chainsaw in her life before this test!

Here’s a quick look at the Milwaukee Tool Cheater pipe wrench 48-22-7314. When I first got my hands on the Cheater wrench I was blown away by its simplicity. I thought “Why hadn’t someone thought of this decades ago?!” This wrench had the potential to replace my traditional, fixed-length wrenches but it’s not there just Read More

Here’s a quick look at the Milwaukee Tool Cheater pipe wrench 48-22-7314.

When I first got my hands on the Cheater wrench I was blown away by its simplicity. I thought “Why hadn’t someone thought of this decades ago?!”

This wrench had the potential to replace my traditional, fixed-length wrenches but it’s not there just yet. Milwaukee is pushing the fact that this wrench takes the place of three wrenches but I’m not yet convinced. To me it’s either a short, medium length or too long of a wrench for 1/2″-1″ pipe sizes.

I’d prefer some modification to the handle to increase grip and control. With some improvement I’d be more inclined to use it up high or overhead. Check out a related Instagram post for more thoughts and comments by many of my followers.

If you look close you’ll see some chipped paint on the wrench head. I’m not sure if this is epoxy or powder coat but it’s chipped in about ten spots, rust will form there no doubt. I’ve had this wrench since June/July ’16. It’s been used weekly at least. I should have included this in the video: This wrench retails for $99. That’s a bit high in my opinion. I get why the pricing is set there, marketing it as a 3-n-1 but it doesn’t truly replace three wrenches and therefor I’d say the current price is upwards of $30 too high. Just my opinion. Please click the video below for a look.

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The new FLEXVOLT system from Dewalt has opened up a whole new line of tools and possibilities for the pro contractor looking to get more done in less time. We’ve had a few of the FLEXVOLT tools at work in our shop and in the hands of the ProStaff team for a couple months now Read More

The new FLEXVOLT system from Dewalt has opened up a whole new line of tools and possibilities for the pro contractor looking to get more done in less time. We’ve had a few of the FLEXVOLT tools at work in our shop and in the hands of the ProStaff team for a couple months now and continue to be impressed. The latest is the DCB1800 Portable Power Station.

The power station is a combination 4-bank parallel battery charger and DC power inverter capable of providing 1800 watts continuous power at 15A with a peak power rating of 3600 watts 120v. That’s some serious power, this thing is sick.

There are a still a lot of tools on the job that haven’t lent well to cordless technology yet. Core drills, large demo hammers, compressors and various saws. Add to that the many contractors still using corded tools where upgrades either haven’t been in the budget or replacement of a perfectly good tool is unwarranted and you’ve got the need for portable power.

The DCB1800 power station is a portable generator running off (4) 20v MAX batteries, not a gas engine so indoor use is not a problem. The inverter is silent in comparison to any other portable power solution as well making it a non-factor where noise is a obstacle to getting the job done. This is a gamechanger for those looking to knock out some punch list items at the end of the job or quickly get in and out to complete a task with a corded tool when cordless isn’t available.

I wanted to get an idea of how much power this thing has so I loaded it up with (1) FLEXVOLT 20/60v MAX pack and (3) 20v MAX batteries, all new and fully charged and plugged my DW734 thickness planer in to it. I ran (14) 2×8 Fir boards thru the planer before losing power supply. The low power indicator lights started flashing after 10 boards, giving me four more complete before shutting down. That’s 112 feet of planing 2×8′s! I’d imagine ripping some plywood for backing or chipping with a rotary hammer for 20-30 minutes is within reach with a power supply like that. I’ll be putting this to the test on the job soon so stay tuned, for now check out video proof of my test:

 

Mechanical Hub road trip to the Plumbing Museum Read More

Mechanical Hub road trip to the Plumbing Museum