DeWalt Media Event 2017 – The Nashville Edition

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Lead photo of DeWalt tape measures

This year’s theme was “Tough in the South” as DeWalt showed off their new tools and accessories at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. The event was tied in with a professional bull riding event we attended later at the arena, so apparently the tough in the name wasn’t referring to us. Throughout the day dozens of new products charged out of the gate, and despite the short attention span of tool journalists, we were able to stay on them all for more than eight seconds.

DeWalt Tech Innovations

Leading the charge were tech tools that serve to connect construction pros to their tools and building plans, providing asset management and communications from the office to the site to anywhere in between. New adapters that snap onto a tool’s battery port serve to make almost any 20v Max tool part of the brand’s Bluetooth-connected system. The next generation of some tools will have tracking and monitoring electronics built in, but these adapters allow over 100 of the 125 or so existing tools in the voltage platform to be attached to DeWalt’s Tool Connect system now. The adapters will add a little bulk to the size of the tool, and in some cases may affect the tool’s balance by moving the mass of the battery pack away from its original position.

adapter that connects between the tool and the battery pack
DCE040 Tool Connect adapter; $39
Bluetooth tracking adapter on cordless tool
Adapter mounted to tool

The existing Bluetooth-connected battery packs could be used to serve that function before, but unlike the batteries, the adapters snap in for good and aren’t designed to be removable by the user. Now the Bluetooth battery pack’s job is only to keep track of itself, not a tool it may or may not be with. There are also tracking “tags” that can be secured to tools, equipment, or other objects that you want to keep track of with DeWalt’s Bluetooth-enabled Tool Connect system.

tracking tag that can be attached to a tool or other object
DCE041 Tool Connect Tag; $29

DeWalt’s other new tech solution is a job site-tough Wi-Fi access point to help builders stay connected to paperless plans and drawings. With one unit connected to an ethernet cable from your existing service provider, it can broadcast to other hubs spread around a large jobsite with a range of about 10,000 square feet each. And the network is designed to be self–healing if one of the devices loses power.

job site wi-fi modem
DCT100 Wi-fi access point, $1,500

Power-hungry data transmission keeps these hubs connected to AC power for now, but here’s hoping DeWalt will be able to use their power tool battery packs someday to aid in their portable installation. Each unit comes will a wall mounting bracket to keep it out of harms way, but the IP67 rating means it’s fairly durable against dust and moisture hazards.

The Latest DeWalt Cordless Tools

compact cordless reciprocating saw
DCS367B 20-volt Max compact recip saw; $159
angle grinder body
15 new grinders from DeWalt–both corded and cordless–all feature brushless motors. Other new features spread throughout the line include variable speed operation, safety lanyard attachment points, and permanent labeling cast into grinder bodies listing max rpm and wheel diameter for accessories (shown)

flat-nosed angle grinder

DCG413FR2 20-volt max cordless Flatnose grinder for deeper reach into tight spots

cordless die grinderDCG426M2 20-volt Max cordless die grinder with variable speed operation and bright LED headlights.

cordless laminate flooring stapler
DCN682B 20-volt Max cordless (more accurately, hoseless) flooring stapler; $319
cordless concrete nailer
DCN890B 20-volt Max concrete pinner operates without the combustion fumes of gas cartridge units; $599
cordless track saw
DCS520B 60-volt Max Flexvolt track saw fits the same tracks as DeWalt’s corded and earlier generation cordless model; $379
cordless air compressor
DCC2560T1 60-volt Max Flexvolt cordless air compressor kit; $299

And this leads to my coveted “coolest thing at the show” award which goes to DeWalt’s new 60-volt Max Flexvolt circular saw. This left–blade, rear–handle saw fulfills the need for users who prefer an inline design. At first try, the saw feels super powerful with 2,400 watts output power. The brand’s 60-volt Max sidewinder saw is rated at 1,600 watts and is already one of the most powerful circ saws I’ve used.

blade-left cordless circular saw
The Star of the Show – DeWalt DCS577B inline circ saw; $259

New DeWalt Trade Specialty Tools

DeWalt’s new 60-volt Max Flexvolt mud mixer features 5 speeds (with the rpms listed on the tool for quick reference) and seals its battery pack behind a hatch designed to keep dust and water out.

cordless mud mixer
DCD240B paddle mixer; $399

Wire insulation stripper that surgically peels back the insulation on thick cables to a set length up to four inches. The low rpm motor makes this purpose–built 20-volt Max tool superior to a stripping attachment chucked into a drill that often makes a mess of the job if run too fast, according to DeWalt.

cordless cable stripping tool
DCE151TD1 cable stripper kit; $399

DeWalt’s new 20-volt Max drain-clearing snake works with various lengths of common diameters of auger cables. The drum remains stationary in use so it doesn’t bang up its surroundings or the user.

cordless drain snake power tool
DCD200D1 20-volt Max drain auger kit; $399

DeWalt Accessories

There weren’t a lot of accessories shown, but the one that caught my attention was the, two–in–one, snap-off recip saw blade for metal cutting. When cutting hollow metal forms, most of the wear is concentrated a narrow zone of a blade’s teeth. After wearing out those areas, the new Breakaway blades can be snapped in two for longer cutting life. The 6-inch version snaps into two 4-inch blades, while the 9-inch makes two 6-inch blades.

snap-in-two recip saw blade
6-inch DeWalt Breakaway recip blade

DeWalt Tackling Dust and Silica

DeWalt is geared up for next month’s implementation of the stricter OSHA standard regulating exposure to crystalline silica (e.g. concrete and masonry dust) with a variety of hardware solutions for drilling, cutting, and grinding. Providing tools with assured Table 1 compliance is the goal of tool manufacturers because it’s generally considered the easier method for workers to follow, and also relies on employers buying new tools and accessories. Chi-Ching!

rotary hammers with dust collection attachments
Dust pickup done three ways with DeWalt’s new SDS Max hammer and their dust collection vac. Hollow bits or a bit-surrounding vac fitting for drilling holes, and a boot for breaking chores.

And the Rest…

Besides the highlighted tools we had room to feature here, DeWalt also showed off new Tough System van storage racks, Tough Box made-in-USA job boxes, large rolling tool boxes, shallow concrete anchor systems, BIM software, several new hand tools, installation tools for commercial electricians and plumbers, cordless LED tripod lighting, more laser levels, and a dual-battery 20-volt Max battery lawn mower – marking the first such multi-battery tool from DeWalt, and another step away from the brand’s 40-volt Max lawn and garden tool voltage platform. Aww, what the heck, we’ll feature it too.

battery powered lawnmower
DeWalt DCMW220 brushless motor 40-volt mower, but designed without their 40-volt battery.

Make sure you’re subscribed to HomeFixated’s Instagram and Twitter accounts for more coverage and photos from this and future tool events!

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About Michael Springer

Craftsman and former tool magazine editor Michael Springer specializes in testing tools and covering the tool industry for construction and woodworking professionals. Based in Boulder County, Colorado, but going wherever the story takes him, Michael crisscrosses the country yearly visiting tool manufacturers and industry personalities and attending trade shows. He also treks to major manufacturers in Europe to stay apprised of the newest tool developments and track the design influences that shape many construction tool products long before they reach our shores. When not out sleuthing or at the shop or job site running the kilowatts through the latest power tools, Michael enjoys unplugging and getting his hands on his collection of antique and new wood shaping tools. He enjoys nothing more than a day of rustic woodworking, starting with a log and making the chips fly with chain saw, axe and adze.

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