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fm2176

Dead, Dying, or Stagnant Tool Brands/Systems?

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fm2176    124

"Why isn't this in the DeWalt section" you ask?  Because despite DeWalt supporting a few stagnant and arguably dying/already dead systems (12v XRP, 14.4v XRP, 18v XRP, and some will definitely argue 12v Max and perhaps 8v Max), the brand itself is going strong with 20v Max and Flexvolt continuing to grow.  Instead, this thread is a commemoration of sorts for those cordless systems that are no longer with us.  Feel free to bring up the good, the bad, and the ugly about those nearly forgotten (perhaps for the better) tools that some of you made a living with in years past.

 

I traded in cordless tools for pneumatic tools pretty quickly, and then traded those in for an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and later an M4 carbine.  Regardless, I remember two systems, one used professionally and one used around the house: the Black & Decker UniVolt and the B&D 14.4v NiCad.

 

The UniVolt was used when I was a kid of 17, working for my girlfriend's uncle fabricating and installing FlipClean gutters (we made the hinges out of custom aluminum stock with lots of fun toys like a bandsaw, lathe, drill press, and tumbler).  We had both B&D and DeWalt drills and batteries in at least 7.2v, 8.4v, and 9.6v, and everything was cross-compatible if memory serves me right.  In fact, I still have my old drill with two batteries and charger in the metal case and have been meaning to grab it since there isn't a whole lot of info online.  For heavier work we had a 12v hammer drill, but the UniVolt covered most of what we needed.  A charger was always plugged in and plenty of fresh batteries were kept on-hand; it became standard practice for us to carry an extra since they liked to die at the most inopportune times, like when you were at the top of a ladder, with the gutter at the perfect pitch.  Good thing I usually prepped the gutters and downspouts on the ground and left the others hang them.

 

The B&D 14.4v may have never been a system.  I don't know, it may have only powered a handful of standard drills with no other tools being released.  I picked up a neat retro drill, the RD1440K, for cheap and it met my needs well enough that I left a somewhat glowing review on Amazon seven years ago: https://www.amazon.com/Decker-RD1440K-Anniversary-Cordless-Driver/dp/B00006FX9U/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

If I had to do it again, however, the review wouldn't be quite so good.  Hindsight is always 20/20 and while NiCad was the best thing going when I purchased the drill, by the time I left the review some manufacturers were releasing lithium-ion batteries for their tools.  Looking back, each time I had to use it the battery would be dead.  After confirming that the nice silver battery that came with the drill was dead, I picked up three more batteries on clearance at Walmart, found the charger had died and made another trip out to buy the multi-voltage charger.  As I was starting to learn a little more about tool systems, I made a point of charging those batteries every few months until...I stopped.  Honestly, I don't even know where the drill is.  I'm pretty certain it's in storage and the batteries are probably dead.  With its unique look, it will be a wall hanger like the UniVolt. 

 

As stated above, my experience with cordless tools has been brief until recently.  I look at what I currently own and wish I had such tools doing gutter work, framing houses (I was the cut man, and a cordless saw would have been nice), or repairing vehicles and equipment.  That said, I know that some obsolete or almost gone systems made a lot of money for some of you in the past.  My disabled brother probably looks back fondly to his days using DeWalt 18v XRP to earn a living doing a variety of work.  He finally got a 20v Max drill/impact combo earlier this year, so I gave him an 18v adapter, a couple of 1.5Ah batteries (OCD? I only want XR batteries, kind of like how I only want Fuel and not regular M18 tools), and some other goodies like a ToughSystem radio.  To think, one day we'll all probably be thinking of 20v Max and M18 in this same light.

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Jronman    828

theres a few at Menards. Can't even remember their names. I remember one was a drill that looked like it had Chanellock Blue on it. 

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fm2176    124

Could it have been a Channellock?  I've seen a couple of drills at exactly one hardware store, one of which was a 12v, and a quick search results in a number of threads about the 24v drill on various forums that were created in 2008.  The consensus seems to be that they were cheaply made (priced at under $50 they had to be) garbage compared to established power tool brands.

 

A lot of these licensed products and obsolete cordless tools lie collecting dust in hardware stores.  A local store has new Porter Cable 18v lithium impact driver kits for $169, with the current 20v Max version for $129 just below it.  I've seen B&D Firestorm and other ancient products at other stores.

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DR99    2,089

Some stores can't be bothered to move old inventory or toss it. Its really dumb when respected names license their name out to crappy products. I'm looking at you Snapon they were probably the worst offender.

 

It was crazy how many voltages they pushed back in the day you had 12v 14.4 18 might be forgetting one it was all over the place.

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fm2176    124
On ‎9‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 1:38 PM, DR99 said:

Some stores can't be bothered to move old inventory or toss it. Its really dumb when respected names license their name out to crappy products. I'm looking at you Snapon they were probably the worst offender.

 

It was crazy how many voltages they pushed back in the day you had 12v 14.4 18 might be forgetting one it was all over the place.

 

I dealt with Snap-On before they started selling licensed products at retailers.  They always had some oddball stuff, but it was Snap-On quality (and prices), even for that pink screwdriver set for Mother's Day (or whenever, it seemed like they always released special editions and colors that sold higher than their normal products). 

 

I have no idea how inventory works at hardware stores.  I guess they buy their products and sit on them until they are sold.  Not too bad for common hardware, regularly used hand tools, and even oddball stuff no one else around sells, but venturing into some of the stores down here is like a trip 10 or more years back in time.  Corded tools should last longer than the owners, especially if they remain new in the box.  Cordless, on the other hand, must be a pain to watch sit if they know anything about the battery life.  Imagine finally selling that old Firestorm drill only to have the customer try returning it because the batteries won't hold a charge for more than a few minutes.

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