New Tools from DEWALT Continue To Solve User’s Needs
This week I traveled down to Baltimore to visit Stanley Black & Decker University. If you like tools as I do then this place is tool nirvana! The facility is used as the main training, testing and design facility for the Stanley Black & Decker family including the DEWALT line-up. This year’s media event highlight tons of new tools for 2011 some of which will certainly make impacts on the industry.
I’m going to quickly summarize some of the highlights from my trip in this article. If you’d like to read more about the full press releases on all the new tools be sure to check them out over at Tool Box Buzz. Those will be up over the next few days. Later this summer I’ll write some reviews when we receive testing samples.
DEWALT 20V MAX Lithium Ion System
The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the new 20 Volt MAX* Lithium Ion system. Last summer we got to see the 12 Volt MAX system when it came out and it’s not a huge surprise that the same “platform” has been expanded to a higher voltage. Just like the 12 volt system the new 20 Volt MAX using a slide pack battery instead of the older pedestal type.
While it is called a 20 volt system the reality is that it’s an 18 volt system. DEWALT is calling it the 20 Volt MAX for a couple of reasons. First of all it technically is 20 volts under no load. Secondly, and more important is they wanted to be sure customers didn’t confuse the old 18 volt systems with this new system.
Lets face it there are lots of users who have a hard enough time figuring whether hey have 18 volt Ni-Cd or Li-Ion so if they introduced this as a 3rd option it would have been mass confusion. So I frankly think it was a good idea for what my opinion is worth. Sure there are going to be folks who think it’s a marketing gimmick but I’m not one of them, I say let the tool prove itself!
The new 20V MAX system will come with options for both a 1.5 Ah and 3.0 Ah lithium-ion batteries. In the adjacent photo you can see an older 18V impact driver to the right and the new 20V MAX impact driver to the left with the smaller 1.5 Ah battery pack.
* the 20V MAX*: Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18.
Another big announcement was their new 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS780). This new 12″ miter saw has several cool features. First of all is it’s weight, weighing in at only 56 pounds this saw will lead the industry where most other 12″ saws are in the 60 lb or more range. This saw also comes with the XPSTM LED light and cut alignment system that casts a laser-like shadow on the work surface.
Another thing that impressed me was the cut capacity of this saw. This includes 6-3/4 inch vertical capacity, 7-1/2 inch nested crown capacity, 13-7/8 inch horizontal capacity and exclusive back fence design that cuts up to a 2×16 at a 90 degree angle and 2×12 at a 45 degree angle. To simplify and maximize vertical cutting capacity, the unit includes a rail lock latch for holding the head away from the fence.
Miter Saw Stands and Work Stands
The new line of DEWALT Miter Stands and Work Stands offer a wide range of solutions for contractors. The Miter Stands come in the size shown along with a compact version which is great for guys who carry their equipment around in a small truck or car. The new line of work stands are glorified saw horses that offer strength, durability and portability. In addition to the new stands there are several great accessories that compliment the stands including carrying straps, roller supports, flip up cut stops and extension arm supports. This system looks great and offers tons of great features.
Research, Design, Testing – DEWALT Continues To Impress
Over the last couple of years I’ve made two trips to the facility in Baltimore and I continue to be impressed by the research and testing that DEWALT puts into it’s tools. Above is an example of a testing apparatus that is testing how fast a reciprocating saw blade can cut through a piece of rebar. They constantly develop tests and compare their products to others in the market to ensure they are competitive. Seeing the amount of research in their facility keeps reminding me why DEWALT brand tools and accessories never let me down!
They even have an in-house video studio where they produce short videos used to teach their staff and others how to use the tools. They take lots of time and effort to not only teach folks how to use the tool but they also teach their staff real world applications at the facility. DEWALT employees learn how to use the tools on real simulations such as framing walls, hanging drywall, setting up suspended ceilings and many other applications.
DEWALT also showed off their new line of hand tools. I’ll share some news about that as well in the coming days. Stay tuned for more!