In this issue of Tool News Nirvana we’re bringing you Milwaukee Tool news so hot, it’s just 60 seconds short of breaking a non-disclosure agreement we signed. Thanks to Irwin, some tradesmen are ringing the opening bell at the NYSE today. No word yet on whether they will do an impromptu remodel of the trading floor while they’re there. Add in a dash of special deals from our sponsor Tyler Tool, a toasty giveaway from Twin Star International, and some news from Powermatic and DeWalt and we’ve got a packed news schedule today!
Hot New Milwaukee Hand Tools Hitting the Market Next Month
Earlier this summer, we got to go hands-on with some top-secret new hand tools at the Milwaukee New Product Symposium. We were sworn to secrecy, but today we decided to break the non-disclosure agreement we signed. Actually, the news is for official release today, and by posting at a minute after midnight we hopefully won’t be getting a phone call from Milwaukee’s attorneys! We’re bringing you the news first! Milwaukee has several new products releasing this October. The new hand tools will include innovation in Pliers, Snips, and PEX Cutting.
“We are committed to rapidly grow our new Hand Tool business,” says Tim Albrecht, Director of Marketing – Hand Tools for Milwaukee Tool. “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 Pliers.”
Milwaukee sent us their new 6 in 1 Combination Wire-Stripping Long-Nose Pliers to try out pre-release. What’s so innovative about these pliers? They cleverly combine needle nose pliers, wire strippers, and reaming/deburring tools. Plus they’ve got threaded inserts for 6-32 and 8-32 bolts for clean shearing to length. We love these things, with two exceptions: the locking mechanism and the threaded bolt cutoffs (see “Editor’s Note” below for a response from Milwaukee on the bolt cutters). I’ll address those in order. Rather than the traditional metal hook, Milwaukee opted for a plastic thumb latch. The design is great for easy one-handed locking and unlocking. Unfortunately we found the plastic latch won’t completely lock the tips of the pliers closed, and the latch partially unclips and has popped off completely a couple times too. As to the bolt cutting, while I love the threaded bolt cutter concept, it’s not entirely clear to me why the two holes need to be threaded. My thinking would be to simply have the bolt holes unthreaded and machined precisely so each bolt can be inserted freely without any wiggle room. This way, the tools still keeps the bolt steady and straight, but you don’t need to screw and unscrew each bolt you want to trim. I’m not a mechanical engineer, but it seems like an unthreaded option could be made to work. The tool is so great and versatile, the benefits far outweigh the latching issue and bolt cutter critique, but we’d definitely like to see a more secure thumb latch on it, even if it’s just a more rigid plastic slider. This tool, along with several others in the category can likely save you from carrying multiple specialized tools. Just the idea of combining needle nose pliers and strippers in the same tool is genius as far as we’re concerned. Great stuff!
Regarding the threaded bolt cutters, we received the following clarification from Milwaukee: “Threading the bolt into the bolt cutter is very important for users. After cutting a bolt to size there are natural burrs left on the bolt end that will make it difficult to re-thread the bolt into an outlet or ceiling fan. The threads in a bolt cutter offer value because they clean those burrs off the end of the cut bolt after the cut is made, and allow users to fasten the bolt without the need of an additional threading tool.”
It’s also no secret we’re fans of the Knipex Cobra Pump Pliers and Irwin GrooveLock pliers. They adjust quickly, precisely, and deliver a pit-bull tenacious locking grip when force is applied. Milwaukee is getting into the pump plier market with 8″, 10″ and 12″ models. True to Milwaukee, they had to add a little innovation of their own with the wrench head and the end of the handles designed to deburr conduit and pipe. We likey! These should be a hit with both electricians and plumbers, and they make for a handy tool to have around the house or shop too.
Milwaukee also has some new metal snips on the way, as well as a very slick pex/tubing cutter that might do double duty snipping your cigars too (although Milwaukee isn’t currently marketing it as a cigar snip). The new hand tools are backed by Milwaukee’s Limited Lifetime Warranty, and each is drop forged and treated to resist rust. Durable over-molded grips add comfort and beat the pants off rubber dipped handles. Our sponsor Ohio Power Tool should be a great place to check for deals on these new Milwaukee Hand Tools once they’re on the market.
Johnson Stud Squared = Ultra Studly?
If you consider yourself an expert on studly things, Johnson Level has introduced the patented Stud-Squared™ Power Tape. The Stud-Squared™ Power Tape is a combination tape measure, square and layout tool.
The new 1812-0025 Stud-Squared™ Power Tape features a 25-foot tape measure within a 1.5″ x 3″ x 3.5″ housing to match common framing dimensions. Built into the case are two slide out Extender Guides™ for marking and squaring wide boards. Centering V-notches also allow the user to layout single and double frames, 2″x4″ wall partitions and double microlams. And a grommet hole at the 1″ mark fits a nail to easily draw an accurate radius. “The Stud-Squared™ Power Tape was designed to combine several tools and measurements into one easy-to-use tool that fits into a pouch the same as a regular tape measure, allowing the user to be more efficient and productive,” said John Dwyer, Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
The Stud-Squared™ Power Tape is just one of eleven different styles of tape measures from Johnson Level. You can check out all the Johnson Measuring Tools here.
Twin-Star International Giving Away $1000
Everyone wants you to like them on Facebook, but who’s going to give you $1000 for it? Twin-Star International might, if you’re the lucky winner from a live drawing they’ll be doing from their Facebook fans at the end of October. Just so you know a little about who you’re liking, here’s a little promo video showing a few of their fireplace products (they also make other products like wine coolers). That’s “wine cooler” as in the refrigerator, not “wine cooler” as in fruity alcoholic beverage from the 80’s. Check out Twin-Star’s Facebook page and like them for your chance at the dough.
Powermatic Turns 90 and Still Maintains Cognitive Skills to Make Tools
Ok, so technically Powermatic is a company, not a person. But in uncertain economic times where some companies don’t last more that 3 months, celebrating 90 years in business is impressive. To help celebrate the big nine oh, Powermatic has released a line of special edition stationary power tools in my favorite non-color: black. These sexy tools all come with a 90-month factory warranty, as well as a special complimentary accessory (such as an anti-fatique mat, we can all use one of those). Powermatic states, “Think of it as our way of saying thanks for so many years of your help in setting The Gold Standard.” In addition to the 14″ bandsaw shown here, you’ll also find an Onyx Table Saw, Lathe, Jointer, Planer, Drill Press and Dust Collector.
IRWIN Tools selected this specific date to ring THE OPENING BELL as excitement builds for National Tradesmen Day on Sept. 16, 2011 — the inaugural national day of recognition to salute and honor ‘The Hands that Build America and Keep it Running Strong.’ “America’s tradesmen build our homes, roads, businesses, and schools. They keep our cars running, our lights on, our water flowing, and so much more,” said Ross Porter, President of IRWIN Tools. “Too often, we forget how underappreciated these skilled professionals are, so IRWIN is committed to raising awareness and changing the way we view their contributions to our society.”
IRWIN Tools named the third Friday in September as National Tradesmen Day to recognize and celebrate the contributions professional tradesmen make to keep America productive and running strong. We’re also guessing they might sell a few extra Vise-Grips with the publicity around the festivities too. Nothing wrong with that. All this got me thinking, can bloggers name a particular day too? If so, we may need to come up with a suitable date for “National Tool Blogger Day.” Until that new national holiday is announced, visit www.nationaltradesmenday.com.
DEWALT Launches New Three-Beam Line Laser, Because Three Lasers Are Better Than One
DEWALT has announced the launch of its new Line Laser (DW089K).
The DW089K is ideal for professionals tasked with residential and commercial applications such as installing cabinets, drop ceilings, chair rails or doors and windows. The Line Laser can also be used when installing floor and wall tile or mapping wall layout. Unlike many line lasers on the market, the DW089K features a second plumb line that forms a 90-degree intersecting line on the floor and ceiling. This third vertical beam allows contractors to use the tool for layout applications without the need for a second laser, saving time and allowing users to be as productive as possible. The new Line Laser also has a micro adjust knob for easy alignment, a metal roll cage for durability, and an integrated pivot bracket and universal wall mount that is ideal for acoustical ceiling installation. The micro adjust knob is especially important in that it allows users to steadily adjust the 90-degree layout lines in small increments without the need to nudge the laser to hit a specific mark – a common frustration among contractors who are using standard line lasers.
Dewalt also says the DW089K is two-times brighter than the beam on DEWALT’s predecessor laser. You can find the new Three Line Laser at your favorite DeWalt dealer starting this month. Expected retail is around $329.00, which includes a kit box and four AA batteries that are said to provide 30+ hours of runtime.
Sponsor Tyler Tool Labor Day Deal
Labor Day Sale with 10% off all New Tools with coupon code “labor” @www.tylertool.com Also, a reminder, you can always get the latest in promo deals and coupon codes by checking out our Tyler Tool Coupons and Deals article (scroll down to the comments for regularly updated coupon codes).