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Everything posted by fm2176

  1. Home Depot getting aggressive!

    Ridgid is well established as Home Depot's premier exclusive brand (Milwaukee being sold elsewhere), with battery compatibility going back a few generations at least. Kobalt 24v Max replaced the interchangeable 18v/20v Max and has yet to really stand the test of time. As others have stated, this comparison does little for Home Depot. In my opinion, Harbor Freight's DeWalt comparisons are valuable to them because they may attract dedicated HF shoppers who want to feel like they are getting a professional quality tool without spending (admittedly not much) more for DeWalt. This Ridgid to Kobalt comparison only serves to make HD shoppers aware of Kobalt's new line, with the two brands being similar in nature to each other (both store exclusives, both mid-tier with some encroachment on professional specs and quality, both offering latest generation brushless technology and advances previous incarnations did not, etc.). Ridgid's offerings speak for themselves. They have a myriad of lighting solutions Kobalt cannot match and were among the first manufacturers to offer cordless sanders, routers, and other tools. Kobalt 24v Max is still playing catch up with tools long offered by the likes of Ridgid, Porter Cable, and especially Ryobi.
  2. starting over

    When I travel with tools I'm especially paranoid if I have to keep any in my truck bed. They usually reside is ToughSystem or Ridgid boxes and are not only locked but secured with two cable locks. I also being them inside if staying overnight. It sucks that we can't stop for even a few minuted without risking tool theft. To think that only a few decades ago, people in my area drove around with visible gun racks in their trucks and felt safe keeping their vehicles unlocked around town.
  3. Just a Reminder...

    With the new year comes new deals! For at least the past few years, large retailers have put their holiday specials and seasonal stock on clearance through January and February, translating to great deals for the persistent and/or fortunate. Things to look for: DeWalt and Milwaukee bit sets Holiday tool kits Left over Black Friday deals (some Lowe's stores have stacks of the ugly camouflage Werner ladder for $25 still, this is sure to go down if they don't sell) Blade combos (check the aisles if the holiday displays are torn down) I've found leftover holiday promotions as late as May, often paying 50-75% less than the already great promotional price. So happy hunting, and I hope everyone has a great 2018!
  4. Maybe SBD is doing the same thing that some think TTI did--releasing certain tools under a brand other than their premier one to test the waters first. This would explain why brands like Ridgid or Ryobi (and in this case, Stanley Fatmax) get sanders and routers before Milwaukee and DeWalt.
  5. Remember When?

    Share your memories of things that we once took for granted. Despite the large amount of disparity in ages here in the TIA forums, please feel free to share what you remember, regardless of how young or old it may make you sound. I'll start with a few easy ones: Remember when Craftsman hand tools were proudly "Made in the USA" and represented a level of quality that made them ubiquitous in garages and shops across the United States? Remember when incandescent bulbs were our primary means of lighting, and we were just fine with using them? Remember when we had two buying options: in person at the retailer or mail order? Remember when a payphone call cost a quarter, as immortalized by Travis Tritt, only to have the price raised months after the song? Remember when we had to find a quarter for the payphone after we received an urgent text on our pager? Remember when a car could get 35+ mpg without hybrid technology or complex monitoring systems? Remember when computers had mere kilobytes of RAM yet cost thousands of dollars? Things change, often for the better, but there are times I long for those days when everything seemed simpler and less hectic. I realize that this feeling comes with age, and that older folks might consider my own fond memories as examples of complicated times while younger ones may think I'm archaic, but there is something relaxing about remembering what was once the norm. We'll never get it back but we can reflect and relive those times when everyone was immortal and things would never change.
  6. I saw them yesterday as well. They look nice, albeit a bit too specialized for my wants (let's face it, I'm past the point of needing any power tool ). It also drives home the point that DeWalt's 20v Max platform is here to stay for the foreseeable future. I recall some discontent a few years ago as they weren't keeping pace with Milwaukee for new releases, not to mention the fact that 12v max seems all but dead in the water.
  7. In three weeks, 2017 will be gone, and given that Christmas is only two weeks away, many of us have probably stopped buying (major) tools for ourselves. What tools do you plan to buy next year? I know all of the manufacturers continue to innovate, and 2018 will surely see some new tools some of us simply have to add. Are any of you planning to invest in a battery platform different than the one(s) you already have? Like some of you, my initial 2018 tools plans involve the post-holiday clearance deals at Lowe's and Home Depot. The latter store is especially known for its hit or miss post-holiday deals, such as $100 ToughSystem radios and even penny deals for a lucky few. After that, we'll see where need and desire take me. I want to get the DeWalt fan along with the portable power station. On the Milwaukee front, I'm sure some more M18 Fuel will be added, as might some M12. Ridgid doesn't offer much else I don't already have, but their tripod and some lighting may be in order. If I have disposable income and find the "right" deals, I'll probably buy some things to give to others. Overall, I think that the second half of 2018 will be when I slow down on tool buying and begin ramping up my tool use. My time as a Drill Sergeant, with the associated 80-100 hour work weeks, comes to a close in May, and I'll be going to a unit I spent some time in previously, which stays much busier than other Infantry units (when they are stateside) but which will also see me spending most nights at home, unlike most Infantry units. May will also mark the end of my undergraduate studies, and though I plan to start a graduate program, I'm thinking about going for a post-baccalaureate certificate first. The reduced hours spent at work and doing online coursework, along with my proximity to family and friends, will hopefully see me spending less time browsing the aisles at local stores and more time in the shop or helping others out. I hope all of you are looking forward to 2018. Like every year, it will present some unique challenges, but overall I have to admit that we live in some great times! Just don't listen to the media...
  8. The DOUBLE NOUN game.

    Bowl haircut
  9. What tools did you buy today?

    Picked up a Ryobi tile saw for $50 earlier. Reviews are mostly positive and before I use it I'll probably get a better blade and a pump. Like most of my tools it will get little use for now, but I do have some tile projects planned for the future.
  10. Tractor Supply has PC chargers and lights for as low as $8 and the 4Ah battery for $18. I found one of the batteries earlier but passed on it, though other stores I've visited were already sold out. It might be worth a look if you have PC tools.
  11. Retail Schlub in Tool Department

    Welcome! My unsolicited advice is to listen to the customer even as you learn about tools. Know your products and try to avoid becoming too biased toward any one brand. Also, keep the future needs of your customers in mind. I'm not saying to talk someone out of buying a particular tool system, but if a customer is trying to decide between, say DeWalt 18v ni-cad and 20v Max, for their first cordless drill, the latter will serve them much better for the foreseeable future. Also, use the knowledge you gain here and elsewhere to your advantage. Most customers not only know their needs but are also able to conduct basic research, so trying to upsell them or talk about something you aren't familiar with will likely just annoy them.
  12. My restoration project- 1964 willies

    True, mine was comfortable enough but still a little small for my 5'11" height. The military knows how to make even the largest vehicles uncomfortably small, though. Armored HMMWV variants are cramped for someone even my size, especially when you add body armor and battlefield tracking systems.
  13. The DOUBLE NOUN game.

    House salad
  14. New Pickup Trucks Coming

    Sorry, but my '06 Sierra is going strong with only 245k on the odometer. I like renting a newer vehicle on occasion but the prices of trucks are ridiculous, not to even mention the anxiety that comes with every little nick and scratch put on a new vehicle. I'm better off planning to eventually replace my drivetrain than committing to another vehicle loan, though I plan to eventually pay cash for a newer truck (around 5 years old and under 150k). That said, new trucks have a lot of bells and whistles that were unheard of when mine came off the assembly line in 2005. My '06 SLT has everything except the rear tv screens and DVD player, being the top of the line GMC besides the Denali at the time. Our government owned 2015 Silverado is a basic work truck but has the LCD radio display, while higher trim levels have things that make mine seem archaic.
  15. Impact socket thickness

    One key application is lugnuts. A lot of wheels lack the clearance for thich wall impact sockets. I used to have to use regular chromed sockets on some rims.
  16. DeWalt Seating solutions

    Those look nice! I may go industrial for my next home decor; until a few months ago my kitchen table was shelving clamped between two JawHorses with a work platform as a bench seat. I could see using those DeWalt seats with a shelf unit next. I have to find creative uses for my stuff until I retire and can set my shop up, plus furniture is expensive and flimsy by comparison.
  17. Blinded by Brand Loyalty

    Before I begin, let me recognize the fact that many of us here and on similar forums are somewhat receptive to owning tools from different brands, being capable of recognizing that the "best" isn't always proprietary to a favored tool brand. Also, though this thread will naturally concern tools in general and power tools in particular, a representative example of how close-minded some people are can be had in the endless debates on which truck brand is best. Ford guys stick to Ford, GM to GM, Dodge to Dodge (or Ram to Ram I guess nowadays), etc. So, how many of you have met someone so blinded by loyalty to a certain brand that they refuse to acknowledge that sometimes that brand comes up short? Such consumers sometimes waste tons of money on products that receive poor reviews or that are inferior to offerings by competing brands (sometimes even at lower cost), yet become rabidly defensive when confronted with facts or differing opinions. In this thread I'll share my thoughts on a few of these types of individuals as well as their potential motivations for staying loyal to their preferred brand at all costs. First, a couple of valid (IMHO) reasons: 1) Wanting to restrict the number of cordless tool platforms: cordless tools take batteries which can be quite expensive and which usually require separate chargers between brands and/or voltages. Even if a tool company doesn't offer the absolute best tool for the job, necessity sometimes dictates that a slightly inferior tool is purchased for the sake of battery compatibility. For example, a company that runs M18 tools might not desire to buy DeWalt nailers, even though they seem to perform better than Milwaukee's current offerings, since doing so would incur additional costs to buy and maintain batteries for those. Another example might be considering whether or not to buy a FlexVolt circular saw when one already has 20v Max. Sure the FV battery can be used with existing 20v Max tools, but the reverse isn't true, making the jump into the new system pricey if only one tool is to be purchased. 2) Availability: the availability of tool brands is subject to a person's location. In some areas, one brand may be easy to obtain while another may be impossible to find locally. Add in factors such as authorized repair centers and other customer service aspects of ownerships and use, and the effect that a brand's availability has on loyalty is evident. While home improvement centers have made common tool brands readily available in most areas, they have also limited that same availability to an extent. Consider Home Depot's two proprietary brands, Ryobi and Ridgid. Both have a loyal customer base that swears by the tools, with the former appealing more toward novices with some definite professional use and the latter sometimes considered an underrated brand that competes with premium brands. Both are only available at Home Depot, however, limiting owners of said brands to shopping there in person or online. This has the opposite effect of limiting those brands' appeal to tool users who might otherwise be interested. As a Milwaukee owner, should I buy the fan that my local hardware store carries and have instant gratification? Or should I order a Ridgid version, wait for it to be shipped, and have to use the internet if I have any issues with it? I had the opportunity to expand into Metabo tools for cheap a couple of years ago, but passed on it as I knew that I'd be unable to find additional tools and accessories locally once the supply ran out. Now, on to some less logical reasons: 1) Country of origin (COO): let's face it, few tools, and fewer power tools are domestically manufactured anymore. Yet some people may point towards COO as a reason to only buy one brand while ignoring another. I have a large number of DeWalt tools and often point out that some are assembled in the US. I usually add the fact that some others are made in Mexico but most are of Chinese origin. Why? Because I'm misinforming people who are less familiar with tools if I imply that DeWalt produces all of their tools here in America. I've read comments around the internet from people slamming Milwaukee because of its parent company while praising DeWalt for supporting the local economy. Some people even confuse a brand's name with its COO; I'm sure some of you have met a person who though Milwaukee tools were made in Wisconsin. The same holds true for Bosch (German), Makita (Japan), and other brands whose names denote the country they were originally founded in. For better or worst, the majority of power tools are sourced from mainland Asia now, regardless of whether the name sounds American, German, Japanese, or Ethiopian. 2) Tenuous claims: most companies market their tools as being superior to other brands, often using data that is skewed to put them in the best light. Some people fall victim to this tactic, considering x brand to just be better than y brand because the packaging says so. Amusingly, these same people are quick to call foul when another brand claims to offer something "their" brand doesn't. Since I've mainly covered brands that most of us recognize as solid performers, I'll pick on the perennial whipping boy of tool retailers: Harbor Freight. Harbor Freight seems to rely a lot on having the best prices, often coupled with deep discounts making good deals absolute bargains. In turn, they gain a lot of loyal fans who stop there before even considering another retailer, since they just assume that no one can beat them. This tactic has doubtlessly led to decent sales on their newest cordless tools despite the fact that more tried offerings from the likes of DeWalt and Milwaukee can be had at little, if any, more cost. I can't name how many times I've heard someone lavishing praise on Harbor Freight while dismissing the very thought of paying a little more for a lot more quality. Deceptive ads comparing tools and accessories to name brands costing much more leads people to believe that they are getting more for their money. In some cases, yes. In many, no. 3) "'Cause I said so": this is akin to the truck brand argument touched upon in the opening paragraph. Some people just allow their experience and pigheadedness to make them oblivious to reality. I have owned DeWalt and have had no problems with their cordless tools. I also own Milwaukee (albeit much fewer tools) but have an issue with the trigger on an impact wrench. Should I sell my red tools and badmouth the brand as producing substandard garbage? Of course not. Should I place both my yellow and red tools on a pedestal and declare them vastly superior to all tools because they are mine? No, most major tool brands, even lesser tiered ones such as Porter Cable and Ryobi, offer exceptional value to customers, and no amount of he said, she said will change that. In other words, let our experiences enlighten us, but we should never refrain from trying out something different if we need to. 4) "It's the best, why buy less?": this can sometimes be justified by the want or need to restrict platforms, but if we find ourselves buying a $300 tool for a one-off project because it is red, when a green one can be had with battery and charger for half the price, we might be drinking too much Kool-Aid. This is the most subjective entry on this list as it really does depend on a number of variables, but it could be viewed as compromising versus not doing so. Brand loyalty sometimes finds us choosing a certain tool not because it is truly needed but because it is the best compromise (even if it is overkill) and it's offered in our favorite color. If I need to drill a few holes in masonry but lack a hammer drill, do I buy the M18 Fuel SDS-Plus, or consider the much less expensive Ryobi? If I'm going to use it more than once, maybe. If I'm not even certain I'll keep it afterward, why waste the money? Ultimately, we decide what is worth spending our hard earned money on. Brand loyalty can be advantageous to our bank accounts but it can also drain them. In a similar manner it can make us appear to be snobs, or worse fools, especially when two hardheaded people with different opinions start arguing over whose tools are better. I guess it's all part of the joy in having so many options available, though; maybe it's me who is the fool writing such a lengthy post about this.
  18. The DOUBLE NOUN game.

    Field hockey
  19. What tools did you buy today?

    Picked up six 4" Bessey QuickTight c-clamps earlier, as well as two DeWalt 28" rolling tool boxes. I'm hoping my wood working tools fit in the 28" box better than the Ridgid box they are currently in.
  20. I need your thoughts

    From the LSA paper that came with my belt sander: "This unprecedented protection covers all defects in workmanship or materials amd normal wear items for the lifetime of the original, registered tool owner." This include batteries purchased as part of kits, which essentially makes a Ridgid combo kit a one-time investment to some.
  21. Lowes hard to shop at?

    Here's my take on Lowe's... I don't know if they still do or not (this practice may have stopped once FlexVolt was released) but not too long ago they advertised themselves as having the largest selection of DeWalt power tools available. They do carry a lot of 20v Max stuff, with larger stores carrying things I've not seen at Home Depot such as the fan and certain lights. When it comes to other brands, Lowe's carries a fair amount of Hitachi, most of the relatively small lines of Porter Cable and Kobalt, and a handful of Bosch power tools. The reason that DeWalt products don't dominate Lowe's shelves outside of the power tool section is plain and simple--retailer agreements. If you look, Stanley Black & Decker brands comprise the bulk of Lowe's shelf space, with the notable exception of DeWalt, whose hand tools are carried by Home Depot. Both stores get Fatmax and a few other products, but Lowe's gets Bostitch, Lenox, Irwin, more Stanley and Black and Decker tools, and soon enough, Craftsman. Home Depot has no room for more competiting products, carrying not only DeWalt but also brands owned by Milwaukee as well as Bessey clamps. I'm basing this on my own observation, but it seems like SBD holds a majority of shelf space at Lowe's while reserving its premium tiered brand (DeWalt) for the store it lacks dominance in (barring some accessories like blades and bits). This could also be why Lowe's gets a seasonal FatMax T-Stak combo instead of the ToughSystem. As for FlexVolt, I recall early reports that Home Depot had an exclusivity agreement for the first year, but that has long passed and Lowe's still carries nothing beyond FlexVolt. The decision to sell different products at each chain is evidenced by Lowe's shift away from 20v Max OPE just before Home Depot began selling it. I bought my first two OPE tools on clearance, noticing them at HD shortly after. Now Lowe's sells 40v Max while HD sells 20v Max, with no overlap in stores (online may be a different matter, I rarely shop online). To close for now, I don't think that Lowe's necessarily carries fewer tools per se; anyone can get the basic tools they need at either store so long as they are not picky as to brand or voltage. I do think that Home Depot has the better selection for the pro and the serious consumer, while Lowe's tool section is lackluster and drab at best these days. Maybe it's just the colors, though. Home Depot has a bright orange sign with a colorful tool section consisting of a lot of green, orange, red, and yellow, while Lowe's has a more drab blue sign with the same color dominating the tool section (Kobalt, Bosch, Irwin).
  22. Just a Reminder...

    I did find the last (that I know of) DeWalt tape measure combo at my local store shortly after posting about it. The displays were long gone, as were the combos, but something told me to check the aisle, and sure enough someone had left one there. It was still regular price, but a good deal nonetheless. I just need to avoid throwing this one. It's still early in the year, and I think the discounts don't really hit until February, and then only at a small number of stores, but all of my local home improvement stores have put away the holiday promos without any real hint of future clearance events (outside of a few cordless combos that are maybe 25% off).
  23. I need your thoughts

    Here's my suggestion, take it for what it's worth. I'd gift the Black and Decker drill to someone who can use it. Then I'd sell either the DeWalt 18v or the Bosch* stuff (if it were me, the Bosch would likely go). If I sold the Bosch, I'd buy the DeWalt DCB1820 adapter and limit future purchases to DeWalt 20v Max for mostly home and limited use at work, and Milwaukee for primary work use. Getting the adapter will allow you to use 20v max batteries in the ni-cad tools, replacing worn out or broken tools as needed with their newer counterparts. As for the 8v Max gyro screwdriver, I'd keep it for small jobs; I have two of them and they are great for replacing power outlets and lights. Personally, I'm in a similar boat, with a bunch of different battery platforms. I plan to keep most of them but reserve them for various uses. For example, my Bosch 12v drill will probably stay in the truck and may eventually be supplemented by an impact driver. My DeWalt, Milwaukee, and Ridgid tools are stored according to use, e.g. the Ridgid sanders and router along with the DeWalt jigsaw reside in a box set aside for small woodworking projects. My Hitachi 18v impact driver may be sold, or it may stay in the truck until and if I get the Bosch 12v. *Makita, not Bosch, sorry for the error.
  24. My restoration project- 1964 willies

    Unfortunately, I doubt that Fiat Chrysler will ever make a Jeep with the charm and rugged utility of the M-series or even the simple off-road capability and versatility of the CJ series. I'm biased, of course, but modern safety standards (not to mention convenience and luxury option necessary to enhance sales) make today's Jeeps little if any more practical than most other 4wd vehicles for off road use. Military use is improbable at best--they simply wouldn't hold up to what I've put HMMWVs and even LMTVs through. Even so, it's nice that modern Jeep Wranglers at least maintain the basic appearance of their predecessors.
  25. Remember When?

    I was thinking of the 1980s era Hondas and I confirmed it before posting about it: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/1986_Honda_Civic.shtml EPA combined estimate of 46 mpg for an '86 Civic? That matches the 2018 Prius c according to the above site. The regular Prius is rated at 56 mpg, though.