Last December, a California company named Amionx granted a license for SafeCore to Stanley Black & Decker. The system acts like a circuit-breaker to prevent lithium-ion batteries from being the source of a fire or explosion, and Stanley Black & Decker was the first publicly announced licensee. This is just one in a series of advances in lithium-ion technology over the last year or two – changes that are bringing more and more formerly corded tools into the mobile world of the jobsite.
One of the more dramatic upgrades is increased Amp-hour batteries that are making it possible for tool manufacturers to build more powerful and longer-lasting tools. An Amp-hour (Ah) describes the amount of energy stored in a battery that will allow one ampere of current to flow for one hour.
Interchangeability is growing, too, where the same tool can use different voltage batteries, albeit only from the same manufacturer so far. (Voltage is essentially the strength of the juice, while current is the speed.) Unfortunately, woodworkers are still a long way from seeing universal battery technology, where brands can interchange power supplies. Still, progress is in the air and that versatility is bringing us a whole lot of new tools.
In November, Makita introduced 25 new cordless power tools at the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) trade show, including the Quiet Series air compressors. There are also a couple of new 18-volt X2 backpack dust extractors that use two batteries in tandem to deliver 64 cfm of suction power. The larger unit (XCV18PTX) holds up to 1.6 gallons of debris, while the smaller model (XCV10PTX) holds a half gallon. They have a two-stage HEPA filter and are compliant with OSHA standards for exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
The new 18-volt Rocky CL cordless router from MLCS Router Bits & Woodworking Products delivers 10,000 to 30,000 rpm with a brushless motor and is available in various kit configurations – fixed base, plunge, and both. Height adjustments are rack and pinion, the body is aluminum, and the router has LED lights.
Bosch has introduced a couple of new battery-run jobsite lasers. The Revolve2000 runs on standard A and D has a working range of up to 2,000’, according to the company. The 18-volt Revolve4000 has a range of up to 4,000’.
New products from DeWalt include a 20-volt quarter-sheet sander (DCW200) and the ToughSystem 2.0 radio/charger (DWST08820) with four speakers.
The new 2739-20 from Milwaukee is a dual bevel sliding 12” miter saw that features a brudMakita’s new Quiet Series air compressor.shless motor and the company’s Redlink Plus tool intelligence. There’s a shadow cut line LED light, an adjustable stainless steel detent plate, a cam-locking miter system and easy-to-carry side handles. It’s also equipped with One-Key, which lets users track, manage, and secure the miter saw through a phone app.
Ryobi Tools’ newest kits include the P1819 with a drill/driver, impact driver, reciprocating saw, circular saw, multi-tool, work light, two 18-volt batteries, one charger and carry bag.
The compact and powerful new Dremel Lite has a 4-volt lithium-ion battery and a USB port. It’s variable speed and the integrated EZ Twist nose cap makes accessory changes very simple. It comes with a 10-piece accessory kit and is compatible with the full range of Dremel rotary accessories.
Festool’s new cordless, variable speed OSC 18 Vecturo multi-tool has an optional tool-less plunge base and depth-stop, a brushless EC-TEC motor, and a keyless quick-change system with the StarlockMax tool holder. It can be hooked up to dust collectors and has noise and vibration damping for optimum comfort.
The new Jobsite Saw Pro from SawStop has the company’s patented finger protection technology and also features upgrades from the previous version. These include a deeper table, an active dust collection blade guard and a T-Glide high/low fence. It has a 1.5-hp motor and weighs 113 lbs., which is a good balance between portability and sturdiness. This is full 10” saw that will also handle an 8” dado set.
Shops that work with unusual species or need green lumber for turning and bending will like Grizzly Industrial’s new 28” portable sawmill (G0901). Optional additional 6’-long sections allow for any length of lumber. The cut thickness is set in 1/16” intervals with a locking hand crank, and the four-column saw carriage has ball-bearing rollers.
Beaver Industrial Supply (Beaver Tools) in St Louis is now carrying the Shaper Origin, a hand-held CNC machine. On the jobsite, an operator can apply special tape to wood, laminates or solid surface materials and the machine will make perfect sink cut-outs, cord routes and other specialty cuts. The router self-adjusts in small increments inside the housing as a woodworker moves it along the tape, so the cutter stays exactly where it needs to be (both left/right and up/down). If the operator strays too far off track, the cutter automatically retracts, avoiding costly mistakes.
Woodworker’s Supply now carries the newest Maksiwa Cbc Flex Countour edgebander, a hot melt system for small shops and portable jobsite use. It works on straight, concave and convex arcs, and accepts tapes from 1/64” to 5/16” thick. The tool weighs about 20 lbs., has a digital temperature control and adjustable feeder speed.
A new Dust Right Mobile Dust Collector from Rockler is a plug-in unit (750 cfm) that has large casters to get around the shop or jobsite, and a basket in the base to store the hose and nozzles during transit. There are mounting holes in the frame to hang accessories, a 1-micron canister filter with a crank-style agitator, and easy bag changes with a snap band ring.
Oneida Air Systems has introduced a new 14-gallon dust collector that the company says generates ten times higher suction than standard collectors, allowing it to effectively capture dust and debris through up to 100 feet of 4” hose and ductwork. Its compact design makes it very mobile and it has a certified HEPA filter with an internal pulse cleaner.
Ridgid has added several new features to its 6-, 12-, 14- and 16-gallon NXT portable vacs. Those include new handles and clasps, a larger power switch, a built-in cord-wrap, and hose. The larger units can also be made OSHA/HEPA compliant.
Craftsman has increased its Versastack jobsite storage options with a 216-piece, three-drawer mechanics tool set, 17” tool bag, and a 30-quart cooler.
SawTrax has updated a bracket on its 30” x 25” yel-Low dolly that now accepts a caster that allows the jobsite cart to move in the direction of the wider 30” side. This lets one person carry 20” wider material such as furniture, sheet goods or casework up to 1,000 lbs.
And for woodworkers who need to sharpen chisels or planes on the job, M.Power Tools has released the FastTrack MK2 diamond sharpening system. This new jig improves on the design of the popular original by adding the ability to hone secondary bevels.
This article originally appeared in the May 2020 issue.