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fm2176 last won the day on April 9

fm2176 had the most liked content!

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About fm2176

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    History, guns, wood, and driving.

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  1. fm2176

    Craftsman Coming Back To Lowes

    I stopped by a few stores over the weekend and saw the new Craftsman displays, but wasn't overly interested. The most positive thing I can say is that Lowe's now has some color in it besides blue. I've stated this before, but the tool brands in Lowe's tend to blend together (with the exception of DeWalt and Hitachi), being primarily blue (Kobalt, Irwin, Bosch) or bland (PC, Bostitch) colors. The other thing I noticed was how quick SBD is to rebrand their products. One of the stores still has a FatMax T-Stak on clearance for $95. The exact same setup is now available with Craftsman branding for $99, $20 less than the FatMax originally sold for. I've been waiting for them to drop the price a bit more on the FatMax, but if it sells first that's probably for the best. I have a lot of ToughSystem and Ridgid boxes already, and will likely invest in Packout this holiday season or sooner. Also, when I last visted the Atlanta area a month or so ago, a HD was clearing out the DeWalt cantilever boxes. You guessed it, the Craftsman is the exact same box, albeit in black and red instead of black and yellow. I honestly hope that the Craftsman brand has retained some loyalty from others, but I've gotta say that I really wasn't interested in what Lowe's has started selling. I used to use a Craftsman toolbox and a number of their hand tools when was a mechanic, and swore by Sears when I was a road tech; I knew I could buy something needed locally, or swap out a broken tool without having to look for a Snap-On truck. Now I kind of view Craftsman in the same light as Kobalt--decent enough tools for someone who is in need, but nothing worth spending money on myself. Then again, maybe I'm just "tooled out" when it comes to mechanics tools. I've had my Snap-On, Mac, Matco, and Craftsman stuff in storage for over five years and haven't even looked at it in that time...
  2. fm2176

    best tool dewalt has came out with...

    I have two, with plans to set one up for finish work and the other for rougher cuts. The smaller miter saw is great, as it is much more portable than the FV. I plan to buy a DWX726 rolling stand for the FV, while my DWX725 work stands are perfect for the small saws. All that said, I agree with Babysaw that the FlexVolt battery is perhaps the best innovation in recent years. It allowed the creation of truly different tools in terms of power, which other manufacturers have struggled to emulate. Meanwhile, it permitted DeWalt to cross into new territory capacity-wise, while not simply relegating its larger Ah packs to 18v-class tools. In other words, I can put my 9Ah FV pack on an impact if I absolutely need the runtime, but during the 99% of the time I don't, that hefty battery can reside on the tablesaw instead. The fact that I can't run that tablesaw with a 20v pack is a non-issue for me. DeWalt has its detractors, but I don't believe that anyone can objectively debase the fact that FlexVolt was/is a game changer.
  3. fm2176

    The aftermath of an impulse buy! haha

    Almost all of my impulse buys see me considering returning them. Then I think, "some day..." I haven't had time for much more than minor projects for the past couple of years. Instead, I've taken advantage of great deals on tools, usually looking at the little used--if not unused--tool lying around. Those days will be done in another week, though. I'll be moving to an area where I'll always have a lot to do, while working fairly normal hours once again and having weekends off.
  4. fm2176

    why not a 20v light

    I saw this on ToolGuyd yesterday. It looks like DeWalt is trying to offer a more compact and lightweight light than they would be able to with a 20v version. I have a number of 20v lights and two of the 12v pivoting head lights. This one appears to be substantially smaller than any of those. The cord is my main concern...if it is lost or damaged another must be procured.
  5. fm2176

    home depot deal on 3.0ah battery and free tool

    It's in store. I saw it but passed it up as I don't need any of those tools.
  6. fm2176

    best tool dewalt has came out with...

    I bought one a couple of weeks ago but have only used the battery so far. I was comparing the display to the 575 yesterday and am glad I got the one I did. Though I'll likely pick up a 575 eventually, I've already got brushless Ridgid and Fuel saws if I want something lighter.
  7. fm2176

    Battery Design Theories? (with pics)

    I noticed that HD stopped selling B&D cordless tools, leaving DeWalt and Makita as the only non-TTI cordless tool presence in-store. As for SBD, it's crazy how many different brands they offer; it could be easily imagined to have SBD consolidate down to three brands if they wanted. They've got two Bostitch platforms alone (I don't believe they are compatible): the 18v at Wal-Mart and the 20v nailers at Lowe's. Something about SBD's business model works, though, so who am I to call it stupid? As for Lowe's, SBD does have a chokehold on them. Even so, serious tool users are better served by going to HD, in my opinion. Whatever agreement is between HD and SBD, the orange store has the upper hand when it comes to SBD's premier tool brand. They sell the nailers, FlexVolt, and a number of other DeWalt tools which Lowe's doesn't sell, to include hand tools. Lowe's is stuck with Bostitch (no other tools available) and Porter Cable (generally regarded as much lower in quality) nailers, while they switch between Bostitch and FatMax hand tools. When you compare in-store offerings of Makita, Ryobi, Ridgid, and Milwaukee to Hitachi, Bosch, B&D, Porter Cable, and Bostitch, I feel as though HD wins every time unless the consumer is already heavily invested in one of the latter brands. Going back to the batteries, I think that a lot of the qualms I have with SBD's "lesser" brands is that they all use different batteries. If they stuck to, say, B&D, PC, and DeWalt as their primary battery platforms and made other brands compatible with one of those, it would make more sense to buy into the very limited Bostitch systems or other small brands (such as the FatMax power tools from a while ago).
  8. fm2176

    Home Depot

    Electrical clearance has largely dropped to $.03 pricing. I picked up four 250-count jars of Ideal Wire-nuts and a few pairs of the Klein Extreme gloves (made by Mechanix) for $11.03. In terms of power tools, they currently have Milwaukee kits and lights at around 30-50% off. I found the original Rocket light for $125 in Opelika, AL but passed on it.
  9. fm2176

    Battery Design Theories? (with pics)

    True, I didn't take into account TTI's licensing vs. SBD's ownership of their respective brands. In a sense, TTI has a brilliant marketing strategy, licensing respected and well-known trade names and remaining loyal to battery platforms released in the infancy of modern battery tech. I missed out on the whole V18 to M18 debacle, but have read enough older threads to know that tool users generally aren't happy when they invest a lot of money in a brand only to have their chosen lineup discontinued with minimal support. DeWalt was bad-mouthed many times over for not releasing their DCA1820 adapter earlier, while a few years ago I was upset to see PC abandon their 18v line so soon after buying into it. SBD's "family" approach also seems wise given their ownership of the brands. While I can imagine that Milwaukee, Ridgid, and Ryobi power tool engineers share some knowledge and technology, I can also see where the licensers of those brands would not want them to be remotely compatible. SBD, on the other hand, can freely share tech between brands, minimize production costs by sharing some machinery, and even divert or clone products to other lines, as in the case of the Restorer. Anyway, the differences in battery design piqued my interest yesterday, but today I'll be actually burning through my batteries. I have an overgrown yard to clean up, so the Ryobi pole saw and the DeWalt string and hedge trimmers will be put to good use, along with my Sawzall with pruning blades and gas powered chainsaws and lawnmower. A local Lowe's has the 40v lawnmower in stock, but I don't want to open that can of worms by starting to invest in 40v Max tools and batteries.
  10. fm2176

    Battery Design Theories? (with pics)

    The pictures aren't professional in quality, I know, but the FlexVolt 9Ah is only marginally larger than the Milwaukee. Comparing the three, I'd say the Milwaukee 9.0 HD is slightly larger than the FlexVolt 6Ah, while the FlexVolt 9Ah is similarly larger than the Milwaukee. In other words, weight aside (I don't have a scale handy), these batteries are similar in size--if you need/want runtime at the compromise of having a large pack, I can't see why the battery size itself would win out in a Milwaukee vs. DeWalt contest.
  11. fm2176

    Why Ryobi? Why Not?

    Pride gets me as well, which is why the bulk of my tools are XR or Fuel, but sometimes we can't overlook sheer value, or the fact that a tool simply isn't available in a "premium" brand. I initially invested in DeWalt's premium tools before being enticed into Milwaukee. Later, I realized that some tools such as a router and sanders weren't available unless I "downgraded" to Ridgid or Ryobi. My Ridgid versions are perfect for my needs (bought another router today as well) and turned me on to the prospect of owning TTI's least expensive brand. I'll find out how the pole saw works tomorrow. In a way, I wish I weren't so prideful...90% of what I do could be accomplished by Ryobi. The other 10%, well, I've still got hand tools and ingenuity.
  12. So, I just tested out the Ryobi glue gun and have to say, I'm impressed. However, I had the spare battery sitting next to a Ridgid after just moving a few DeWalt 12v Max batteries and found myself interested by how different TTI (Milwaukee, Ridgid, Ryobi) and SBD (DeWalt, Porter Cable, Bostitich, FatMax, Black & Decker) battery designs are. TTI 18v batteries are vastly different in design. Ryobi uses a stem battery to ensure compatibility with even the oldest One+ tools; Ridgid uses a slide-on style that also allows compatibility with older tools but which creates a larger base for drills; and Milwaukee uses a more streamlined slide-on pack that replaced the V18 battery system. None of these batteries are remotely compatible with each other. SBD, on the other hand, seems to take a more familial approach in battery design. Their various battery systems are not designed to be interchangeable, but it seems that many people have converted Porter Cable batteries or tools to permit their use with B&D, or vice versa. The contacts may not line up, or there may be more or less in various brands, but overall the batteries look very similar. I recall looking at some B&D 12v Max stem batteries when I had my Porter Cable 12v Max tools and finding that the only difference was which side a plastic tab was on. Everything else seemed identical, and I found some testaments to their interchangeability online. Then too, there are the similarities in cross-voltage battery systems with SBD. DeWalt is the most blatant example of this, having chargers and accessories which work with either 12v Max or 20v Max batteries. In my mind, this was a precursor of sorts to FlexVolt, which (as all the regulars here know) can power not only the 60v and 120v tools but also most of the 20v system--barring those tools which have small batteries compartments, such as some radios. Anyway, my theory is that TTI had a unique theory when designing the tools they produce. Ryobi was seen as a stalwart holdout and, lacking the need to attract those with demanding needs, has been given increasingly newer battery technology in a system that is far older than any other mentioned here. Ridgid, being the middle offering, was also relegated to keeping its form factor, which is more in line with modern designs. Milwaukee, meanwhile, was intended to be the leader in innovation, technology, and naturally price. This caused them to adopt a battery format that many of us would consider modern (slide-on, more compact than earlier slide-on designs such as Ridgid's or Porter Cable 18v) and stick to it even as technology has progressed far beyond what many of us might have forecast. I think that SBD, however, wished to modernize all of their brands with smaller format batteries, keeping them largely the same. I can imagine that they found reduced production costs by having some of the older batteries share many components (i.e. PC and B&D 12v Max), and decided to stick with that business model. Besides this, their brands' offerings have always been less diverse than TTI's, with the exception of DeWalt and arguably Porter Cable (which might have matched Ridgid's diversity at one point). Speaking of DeWalt, I feel that they found a decent 20v Max battery design from the get-go and gradually realized that their 12v tools aren't that much smaller or lighter than compact 20v versions. All told, I find that DeWalt and Milwaukee batteries are very close in size, from 2Ah to 5Ah to 9Ah FV/HD. Ridgid tends to be a bit larger, but Ryobi is relatively massive, with their 3Ah nearly the same size as a DeWalt 6.0 XR. Despite, or perhaps due to this, I enjoy all three of the more expensive brands, while looking forward to putting the Ryobi tools through their paces. What are your thoughts?
  13. fm2176

    Why Ryobi? Why Not?

    The fact I'm starting this thread hints at my newly acquistioned Ryobi tools. Anyway, as with the DeWalt, Ridgid, and Milwaukee threads, what prompted you to make your first Ryobi purchase? If you don't own any or are simply uninterested, why? Ryobi has stepped up their game big time since they ditched the low-grade blue and decided to cater to budget-minded people, both professionals and homeowners. Ryobi Days finally got me, with the 3Ah starter kit and free pole saw. I've got a fair amount of yardwork to do tomorrow and needed a pole saw. DeWalt doesn't offer one that I know of, and even if they did it likely wouldn't be available locally. To be honest, the 18v glue gun has interested me since its release, so its current reduction in price just made the purchase a little easier. We'll see if I revisit this thread in a few months; there are few tools Ryobi offers that I don't already have in other TTI brands or Yellow, but the caulking gun and a few others might be too tempting to pass up. I also plan to pick up a 2-pack of the 6Ah batteries before June 20th (the last day of the promo).
  14. fm2176

    Why Ridgid (AEG)? Why Not?

    I don't blame you...the tools I own are decent but I wouldn't put them quite in the top tier of brands. They definitely aren't worth paying more than DeWalt and similar brands.
  15. fm2176

    Why Ridgid (AEG)? Why Not?

    The tools take a little getting used to since I'm used to DeWalt, primarily the light trigger on the grip of the impact and drill I picked up. In a way, it's very nice, being able to activate the light without pulling the trigger, but it can get annoying if something bumps against the tool, and I can imagine it would kill a battery if the tool is tossed in a bag with the battery attached and the light turns on often.