Tool Talk: New tools in the family pack

By Don Geary –

Last year, The Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation introduced a line of innovative hand tools. The initial tools included utility knives, jab saws, compact hack saw, 8-piece screwdriver set and 11-in-one screwdriver. These tools were well received and now, following on those successes, Milwaukee has introduced its latest wave of hand tools beginning in October.

With a focus on delivering innovative solutions that increase productivity, the new products will fall into three new categories which include Pliers, Snips, and PEX Cutting. Committed to its core user, Milwaukee will incorporate features into each hand tool that provide application-specific solutions for the electrical, mechanical, HVAC and remodeling trades. “We are committed to rapidly grow our new Hand Tool business,” says Tim Albrecht, director of marketing — Hand Tools for Milwaukee Tool. “We continue to add more resources to this business unit and further invest in its development. Milwaukee Tool’s approach of understanding our core user’s needs and then creating new-to-world designs that solve key user problems, has set us apart from other hand tool makers in the industry.

The new hand tools specifically include Quick Adjust Reaming Pliers, Tongue and Groove Pliers, Aviation Snips and a PEX/Tubing Cutter. Additionally, Milwaukee will introduce a family of 6 in 1 tools that will reduce the number of hand tools needed to complete common applications such as reaming pipe, cutting nails, pulling wire, cutting bolts and more. The 6 in 1 tools will be offered as Lineman’s Pliers, Diagonal Cutting Pliers, Combination Wire Pliers and Long Nose.

“One example of the advances in hand tool design that will set Milwaukee Tool apart is our 6 in 1 Combination Wire Pliers. These pliers feature a new-to-world design that incorporates all functions of long nose pliers, wire strippers and reaming/deburring tools,” says Albrecht. “We have replaced three tools in the user’s pouch with one Milwaukee hand tool; creating less weight to haul around, at a better value — a prime example of what we call Disruptive Innovation.” Backed by Milwaukee’s Limited Lifetime Warranty, each of the new products is drop forged, machined for maximum precision and treated to resist rust. Durable over-molded grips add comfort and last longer than traditional rubber dipped handles. Dedicated to delivering advanced solutions to increase productivity, Milwaukee’s Hand Tool category will continue to grow and offer innovative products according to Albrecht.

Milwaukee has also expanded its wood-cutting Sawzall blade offering with two new application specific blades focused on eliminating key user frustrations. While the recently launched wood-cutting blades appeal to the majority of users by delivering the fastest cuts, most nail durability, and quickest plunge cuts on the market, the new Flush Cut and Rough-In blades fill critical voids in the market by solving problems often encountered in trade-specific applications.

The unique looking Flush Cut Sawzall Blade has been engineered to specifically address the common frustrations encountered during window and door cut-out applications. When attempting to cut bottom plates from a doorway, traditional blades will bend and break when the tip impacts the floor or the teeth will dull from rubbing against the floor. The Flush Cut blade solves these issues with a unique shape to protect against floor impacts and a Floor Guard design to shield the teeth from floor.

Additionally, the Flush Cut blade features a Double Truss design that guides the blade for straighter window cut-outs.

The Rough-In Sawzall Blade has been engineered to specifically address the unique frustrations encountered when cutting through-holes in nail-embedded wood during plumbing and HVAC rough-in work. It features a low profile for cutting holes as small as 2-1/8 inches in diameter and an optimized 7-3/8 inches length that allows the blade to cut holes through double top plates. “Users want more options for creating through-holes,” says Erich Herman, Director of Product Management. “Traditional blades are a poor option as they will warp and break under the stress of cutting a tight radius. This new design will easily cut small diameter holes with great control and no concern for nail impacts.”

Both blades also feature the award winning Nail Guard and Fang Tip designs that were introduced in November 2010. The Nail Guard tooth design keeps nails out of the gullets and protects against tooth fracture. The Fang Tip design bites into the wood on first contact for faster plunging.

With the launch of the new-to-world Sawzall Blade design and this expansion into application specific blades, Milwaukee Electric Tool demonstrates its continued commitment to delivering innovative accessory solutions to save time and increase productivity on the jobsite.

This year, Paslode is celebrating 25 years of fuel powered cordless nailers with the introduction of another first — the first fuel powered cordless framing system in the USA with a Lithium-ion battery. It is also the niftiest Paslode framing nailer we have tested.

The Paslode Cordless Framing System, Model CF325Li, is more than just a nailer. It combines Paslode’s latest, most advanced fuel powered cordless framing nailer with a Lithium-ion battery and the benefits of the Fuel + Nail Combo pack. This gives contractors the most powerful and convenient cordless framing system on the market today — everything a contractor or remodeler needs to save time, money and get the job done right.

This new framing nailer also works flawlessly at high elevations — a drawback of earlier nailing systems. We tested this unit at an elevation above 10,000 feet and it drove nails just as well as it did at sea level.

The CF325Li’s performance is outstanding. It drives 50 percent more nails per charge (up to 6,000) and holds a charge five times longer than the Ni-Cad battery. It charges in just one hour and features a two-minute quick charge that will drive up to 200 nails when you just can’t wait an hour to finish a project.

Another unique feature of this new nailer is the two-stage battery compartment. Once a charged battery in installed, the tool is not operational until the battery is pushed into the second stage. This will certainly go a long way in preserving battery life.

Because of the smaller battery footprint, it weighs less than the older Ni-Cad battery powerded nailers, providing the professional contractor with a lighter tool and better balance, which reduces arm fatigue. It also features a new depth-of-drive adjustment that adjusts on the fly improving productivity. Other features include a no slip grip and a tool less adjustable belt/rafter hook.

Introduced in October, the CF325Li was designed and assembled in the USA and works with Paslode’s Fuel and Nail Combo Packs with PowerBoost Black Tip Coating. The PowerBoost Black Tip Coating is a proprietary coating that allows the CF325Li to drive the nail flush into the hardest engineered lumber, such as LVL, something many pneumatic nailers cannot do. Another feature of the PowerBoost Black Tip Coating on these nails is their holding power or withdrawal resistance, which is 20 percent better than a traditional framing nail.

Paslode’s unique concept of packaging the fuel cartridge with the nails is preferred by remodelers, builders and carpenters. In the past, most users would run out of fuel before they ran out of nails, so Paslode engineers designed an all new fuel delivery system for the Cordless Framing System that can drive more than 1,000 nails per fuel cartridge. And by packing each cartridge with 1,000 nails, the tool never runs out of fuel before it runs out of nails, increasing user productivity.

The Fuel + Nail Combo Packs come in cartons of one fuel cartridge plus 1,000 nails or three fuel cartridges plus 3,000 nails. While the 1,000 packs are designed for remodelers and lower volume users, the 3,000 packs are for the growing number of heavy duty users that have completely converted from pneumatic to cordless nailing systems, eliminating the need for hoses or compressors on the jobsite.

The CF-325Li Cordless Framing System comes complete with a rugged carrying case, rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and charger, safety glasses and a comprehensive owner’s manual. The System’s suggested retail price is $399 and is covered by a one-year full warranty and a five-year limited warranty. RB


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