Ah, the days of September. The kids back at school – even if that means their commute is only from their bed to the computer desk in their room. Your friendly neighborhood big-box store has, by now, put all air-conditioners, grills, and lawnmowers on clearance – and replaced them handily with the latest and greatest Halloween decorations. As a matter of fact, on a Home Depot reconnaissance trip earlier today, this Tool News Nirvana writer spotted a new “13 ft. Giant-Sized LED Monster Archway” inflatable! Honestly, it’s probably bigger than some NYC apartments. Thinking ahead to the big night at the end of October – in addition to a killer costume for your kid, it’d probably be good to have some compact, but bright lighting options for all members of the trick-or-treating party. Perhaps something like the new personal flashlights from Milwaukee that we’ll learn about in this installment of Tool News Nirvana? We’ll also hear about a new saw from Ryobi, and electric pressure washer from WORX, chalk reels from Crescent Lufkin, and updated storage options from DEWALT. It’s a stacked deck this week at TNNN – let’s get to it.
A Highbeam for Your Hand
Milwaukee rolled out two new pocket-sized flashlights this month – the #2161-21 1100 Lumen USB Rechargeable Twist Focus light and the #2160-21 800 Lumen USB Rechargeable Compact Flashlight. With a runtime of up to 14 hours for the 1100 lumen model, these lights should allow for a long, productive night of trick-or-treating. Just make sure you don’t shine it in your kid’s bag – otherwise, they’d see that you’re stealing all of the good chocolate and leaving them with the “lesser” candies. **Cough** Tootsie Rolls and Laffy Taffys. Both of these lights are rated IP67 for ingress protection and can survive drops from up to 4 meters. The 100-lumen model has a precision twist focusing mechanism, for adjustability between spot and floodlight. They’ll start shipping on the first of October.
Ryobi continues to expand the already vast array of tools on the 18V ONE+ platform with the Cordless Multi-Material Saw. It’s designed to cut through wood, PVC, thin non-ferrous metal, drywall, tile, and many other materials depending on the type of blade used. Included in the box are a wood blade, a diamond abrasive blade, and an HSS metal blade – all 3-?” in diameter. The maximum depth of cut is 1”, though it has variable plunge depth settings. This saw would work perfectly for something like a bathroom remodel, where there are quite a few different materials to cut and a full-size circular saw might be tough to maneuver. Look for it now.
Compact New Pressure Washer from WORX
The WG604 is a new electric pressure washer from WORX, sized perfectly for homeowners. It can operate at up to 1600 PSI at 1.2 GPM, which is plenty of power to clean cars, driveways, and your kid’s soccer jersey after a spirited Sunday morning on the field. Just, you know, make sure to take the said jersey off of your kid first. One thing we really like about this unit is the integrated hose reel – pull out as much hose as you need for your job, then securely wind it back up when you’re done. It also features a heavy-duty wheeled frame, a selection of 3 nozzles, and an onboard soap tank for when you want your property to really sparkle. Look for it at retailers now.
Innovative Chalk Reels from Crescent Lufkin
Crescent has really been taking great notes over the past few years, and noticed a few glaring problems with the chalk reels on the market. Namely, older models didn’t retrieve the line very quickly or offer a mess-free way to refill chalk. With 9 (!) new professional chalk reels, Crescent made iterative improvements to this stalwart tool. The 50’ compact models offer a 3:1 retrieve speed. The 100’ professional models feature end hooks that retract into a nested position for snag-free performance, and offer a 6:1 retrieve speed. The 150’ site prep model has a neat combination hook + ring anchor for versatility, and also has a 6:1 retrieve speed. All three sizes feature one-way chalk refill valves, for mess-free filling. We’re excited about the uses for these – snapping lines to layout a wall, making cut lines across your basement for some new plumbing, or snapping a clear line across the threshold of your house before everyone comes over for Thanksgiving dinner. That way, your weird Uncle Butch will know that your house is, very clearly, a “no conspiracy theory” zone. Look for these chalk reels now.
A Tougher-er System from DEWALT
DEWALT is releasing an update to their popular Toughsystem tool storage boxes, the original version of which came out almost a decade ago. Toughsystem 2.0 products have been re-engineered and improved. Most notably, the side latches (which allow multiple Toughsystem boxes to be stacked and secured) now engage automatically. This feature, called AutoLock, eliminates the need for users to open or lock the latches manually. Additionally, there have been updates to the carrying handles, the latches, and the back handle on the rolling toolbox. Most importantly, the new generation is backward-compatible with almost all of the old generation. As a professional user of the first generation of Toughsystem storage boxes, I was slightly skeptical when I heard that DEWALT was releasing Toughsystem 2.0. However, the improvements handily solve the (admittedly, minor) issues of Toughsystem 1.0. Any improvement to comfort and efficiency is always welcome on the job site, for sure. Look for Toughsystem 2.0 now, and keep an eye out for a review coming on HomeFixated.com soon too!
Stay tuned for our next episode of Tool News Nirvana, where we bring you the latest and greatest tools, industry news, tool giveaways and more! Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to catch all the news along with tool reviews, how-to’s, cool home products, sweet gear, and build projects!