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Should we give FLEX a chance?


Jronman

FLEX Power Tools  

3 members have voted

  1. 1. Should we give FLEX a chance?

    • Yes
      3
    • No
      0


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Do we need to give FLEX a chance? I get the impression some users won't even give the brand a chance. They say things like FLEX beat my [insert your brand here] therefore the test was rigged or it was user error or it was because person xyz was doing the test or whatever the reason may be. I get it some of the tests FLEX did were questionable but others seemed genuine. If a company says their brand is intended to be professional grade then I would say treat the brand as if it is that way until we know one way or another. I think the long term reviews will be the deciding factor for many potential users.

If we shouldn't give them a chance maybe explain below.

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I voted "yes", but have no personal interest in adding another battery platform to my tool boxes.  Then again, that's how I felt six years ago when I started investing in DeWalt, five years ago after buying my first Milwaukee and Ridgid tools, and four years ago after jumping onboard Ryobi.  Since January, I've added MetaboHPT and Bosch to the mix, so we'll see if Flex ends up at the homestead.  :)

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It’s a little weird to me any time I see so much pushback against any new line of...basically anything. Which sure seems to have come up a lot with this Flex tool line announcement. These things tend to bring out people’s inner fanboys I think.

 

I’m actually very interested in what they decide to bring to the table. Competition in the tool industry to my eye seems to be getting pretty fierce as these companies seem to be increasingly capable of developing entire new lines of competitive cordless tools in very little time.

 

Admittedly though it’s pretty unlikely I would have any personal interest in picking them up simply because I’ve exhausted most of my personal need for more tools. I’m at the end of a large tool-buying campaign replacing almost all my corded tools for cordless and then some. I feel I stepped in at a great time because lithium batteries and brushless motors have brought the market to a new plateau. So performance improvements from here forward are going to be more piecemeal until the next big paradigm shift (like solid state batteries or whatever). I’m a DIY guy and am respectful of my tools to boot, I’m unlikely to prematurely destroy any of my new tools any more than I did the corded ones they’ve replaced.

 

That said it’s hard not to pay attention, see where it goes, and hey maybe they’ll actually release something that I can’t say no to.

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On 4/20/2021 at 5:06 PM, ToolBane said:

...I’m at the end of a large tool-buying campaign replacing almost all my corded tools for cordless and then some. I feel I stepped in at a great time because lithium batteries and brushless motors have brought the market to a new plateau. So performance improvements from here forward are going to be more piecemeal until the next big paradigm shift (like solid state batteries or whatever). I’m a DIY guy and am respectful of my tools to boot, I’m unlikely to prematurely destroy any of my new tools any more than I did the corded ones they’ve replaced....

 

 Well stated.  I started my tool-buying after a burglary saw most of my corded and pneumatic tools stolen (the thief left my Porter Cable kit).  Initially, I expanded my PC 18v system, then invested in DeWalt when I saw that my then-current platform was obsolete.

 

Lithium-ion batteries coupled with brushless motors have truly been a renaissance of sorts for cordless power tools.  I still have my old UniVolt drill from the '90s as well as my B&D retro drill from the early 2000s, and I recall my brother's dependence on his DeWalt 18v tools for his various jobs 10-15 years ago.  A majority of my tools nowadays are brushless, and all my batteries are lithium.  I couldn't imagine going back to older technology, or even to the days of dragging around a cord.  We'll see what the future brings...let's hope it doesn't make our current stuff obsolete like the PC 18v system was made.

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I don’t think we’ll have the same sense of things going obsolete on us with current tools. It will be a different dynamic. I didn’t buy into earlier generations of battery tools, they simply were not up to corded power and had lousy runtimes. I had the option to sit there and continue suffering with corded so that’s what I did. I wanted cordless but I wasn’t going to deal with those early generations. I don’t worry that future tools will make my current ones look inadequate with regard to performance the way current ones embarrass the old NiCad stuff. It will be about somewhat longer runtimes and/or the same power in more compact tools, and eventually even runtimes on some of the high-power draw tools will finally become an afterthought. Most of them we’ve saturated the need for more power over these last couple years in my opinion.

 

I think where things are going will increasingly move toward tools that are smarter and safer. More anti-kickback protection, load-sensing technology, settings optimized for use on different materials...stuff like that. They won’t make currently new tools look inadequate in terms of power so much as make things feel easier, more predictable, and safer. That’s all just me guessing but a number of companies are adding smarter features to their impact drivers for example to better handle wood vs metal applications and I think there’s plenty of potential to do similar across the entire span of available power tools.
 

If solid state batteries really do become reality, and they’re talking about one of the technologies being sodium-based which would be super easy and cheap, we could be looking forward to batteries that are drastically cheaper while having almost none of the drawbacks we currently associate with lithium. Much better temperature flexibility, safer charging, seemingly unlimited charge cycles, hardly any worry about storage charge state and so on. Depending on the operating voltages of the cells in these emerging technologies we could see our current platforms being replaced again. If this is how it all goes, years from now I won’t feel too bad if I have to resume a slow turnover of current tools to newer ones.

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