It’s just past back to school time. Or, in the case of this strange year, back to school-via-Zoom time. Normally, parents would be out right about now buying more last-minute school supplies for their kids. Pencils, notebooks, calculators, backpacks, and the like. This year, though, since there won’t be as strong of a need for transporting books to and from school, the need for a traditional backpack might be obviated. It might be a good idea, then, to get the kids a different kind of backpack – one that’s a bit more useful. Something like the PDC01 battery backpack from Makita, which would allow them to maintain your yard when they’re stuck at home. In this installment of Tool News Nirvana, we’ll hear about this new battery system as well as new impact wrenches from Makita, new face coverings and a tiny multi-tool from Milwaukie, and a new pocket knife from Klein. Let’s dive right in!
Makita Connector – The Backpack of the Future
Outdoor power equipment (OPE) continues to be a segment seeing renewed growth and interest due to most applications being converted to battery power. Many of the larger brands such as Stihl and EGO already have tools powered by backpack-style battery packs. With the CRU03Z 36V Brushless String Trimmer and the PDC01 Portable Backpack Power Supply, Makita has fired its opening volley in the battle for your yard. The two main benefits to these types of power supplies, in which the battery is connected to the tool via a cable, are power delivery and ergonomics. Since the battery is now not attached physically to the tool, the tool itself can be lighter and easier to use. The battery, since it’s now worn on the user’s back, can be bigger and is able to perform more work before needing to be recharged. The CRU03Z features a performance level equivalent to a 30CC gas-powered trimmer, giving it plenty of power for professional jobs. Look for it now.
Makita’s New Compact Impact Wrenches
Makita just released a family of four new ½” square-drive impact wrenches. Featured are 2 variations of bit retention (friction ring or pin detent), each available with or without batteries and a charger. All four models are capable of up to 240 ft. lbs of fastening torque and up to 430 ft. lbs of break-free torque. As well, all models come with 4-speed power selection for precise fastening control – anywhere from “gently tightening the little plastic lugnuts on your daughter’s Barbie Jeep” to “wrenching down so hard on your real Jeep’s lugnuts that you’ve got absolutely no hope of ever getting them off with a regular lug wrench”. Big power and compact size – we like it! Available now.
Protect Your Neck with Milwaukee
The new Multi-Functional Neck Gaiter from Milwaukee is the latest addition to big red’s workwear lineup. It’s made from a high-tech blend of polyester and spandex, which is probably what some of you used to wear out to the club in your “ABBA phase”. More importantly, this gaiter provides over UPF50 sun protection, to keep your skin safe without having to constantly apply sunscreen. It’ll be available in September from your favorite retailer.
Milwaukee M12 FUEL Oscillating Tool
Oscillating multi-tools have unassumingly taken a dominant spot in the ranks of preferred home-repair tools. They can do many things quite well – plunge cutting, sanding, removing grout, scraping, slicing charcuterie, and so much more. Milwaukee has had an 18V version on the market for a little while now, but will expand the line in September with the #2526-20 M12 tool. Part of the smaller, more compact (but rapidly expanding) M12 lineup, this tool’s miniature form factor will allow it to access the tightest spaces. Featuring the usual Milwaukee goodies like a POWERSTATE™ brushless motor and REDLINK PLUS™ intelligence, the 2526 is sure to last a while and help save you time on the job. Pre-order now.
Klein’s New Specialty Pocket Knife
The #44228 Electrician’s Bearing-Assisted Open Pocket Knife was recently launched, and provides electricians with a go-to sidekick for getting wiring jobs done. Featuring easy one-handed opening and an ambidextrous flip lever, this tool would be convenient to use if you happen to find yourself shimmied into a crawlspace with a need to cut something. Incorporated into the blade are three wire-stripping notches, capable of stripping 14-10 solid or 16-12 stranded wire. As well, the hole at the base of blade is useful for twisting wire and getting it ready for termination. We like these kinds of tools – a few key features for a certain trade, but still well-built and useful for the rest of us. Look for it now.
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